Chapter 10. Beyond Their Means: Balance Sheet Clues That May Stop You from Losing Your Shirt

 

“Profits are an opinion; cash is a fact.”

 
 --unknown

Early in 2001, one of the security guards in my apartment building was fired for borrowing money from many tenants without returning it. I was among the lenders, getting hit for $10. The guard was very convincing. Others in the building got hit for much more. We were all suffering from a lack of market information—this person was a bad credit risk and as individuals we only had a small part of the picture. Of course, if we had pooled our knowledge and realized how much we were all owed, we could have turned off the credit tap, but this is New York City, and many people don’t chat with their neighbors. ...

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