I think I’m falling a little for Jay Brown, now on his second tour of duty as MBIA CEO. From his letter to shareholders:
As the leading monoline, we are also a convenient and attractive target for self-interested parties such as Mr. William Ackman. Many of you have asked me in the past few days whether there is something personal between us. In actual fact we have many similarities. We are both extremely passionate in our beliefs and are persistent in overcoming all obstacles in terms of reaching our objectives. The real difference is that I am leading a regulated institution that provides security, jobs and peace of mind to tens of thousands of institutions and millions of individual investors. Mr. Ackman’s objective is less complex; he will stop at nothing to increase his already enormous personal profits as he systematically tries to destroy our franchise and our industry.
The whole letter is extremely well written, and I suspect that most of it was written by Brown himself rather than a flack or speechwriter. It has a human voice, it doesn’t descend into jargon, and Brown gets his points across clearly and succinctly. Maybe he should start a blog!