So what type of Supreme Court justice would John Roberts be? Is he an originalist in the mode of Antonin Scalia? A traditionalist in the mode of David Souter? Heck, I don't know. But I do know a bit more about Roberts' investment philosophy, thanks to his recent disclosures.
According to financial statements filed with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Roberts owns more than $1.6 million in stock. His top six holdings are XM Satellite Radio
- Judge Roberts, I see that you're an investor in XM Satellite Radio. As you know, the main competitor to XM is Sirius Satellite Radio
(NASDAQ:SIRI). Sirius carries the NFL and will soon be airing shows by Howard Stern and Martha Stewart. XM, meanwhile, has Major League Baseball and the healthier balance sheet. Do you think there's room for both XM and Sirius? What effect will the addition of Howard Stern have on Sirius' bottom line? Is he really worth $500 million over five years? And when it comes to non-satellite radio, do you share my soft spot for Washington station WTOP and its traffic and weather on the eights?
- Judge Roberts, I noticed that another one of your holdings is Dell Computer. Now, I happen to be a big fan of Dell. In fact, I went to high school with Michael Dell. (Memorial Senior High School, Houston, Class of '83). I always thought he was a nice guy. So my question is: Why did he skip our 20-year high school reunion? Was it something I said?
- Judge Roberts, you also own Time Warner. I used to own shares of AOL, and I confess that I was one of those who thought AOL's merger with Time Warner was a good move. But the stock has been a real dog over the past few years. Did you knowingly invest in the company pre-merger (as I did), or did someone give you the stock? Should Time Warner spin off AOL? And can you, as a judge, annul this uncivil union?
- Sir, I see you have a few shares of Microsoft as well. Now that seems like a pretty safe investment. Microsoft has loads of cash and one of the richest market caps on Wall Street. And while the stock has fallen over the past few years, it does pay a dividend. But it seems as though all the talk these days is about Google and its paid-search business. Do you think Microsoft founder Bill Gates is losing sleep over Google? And if so, could we see it happening because of Google Maps satellite imagery?
- Judge Roberts, you're also an investor in Texas Instruments. I was recently watching this CNBC show called Mad Money and learned that Jim Cramer (the host of the show) thinks Texas Instruments is a buy because the company is the sole maker of DLP (digital light processing) TV technology for high-end television sets. Texas Instruments was just one of about 50 stocks that Cramer managed to mention in this particular episode. Judge Roberts, do you enjoy watching Mad Money as much as I do? Was your opinion of Texas Instruments at all influenced by Cramer's comment? What do you make of Cramer's frenetic approach? And on a related note, what do you think is the ideal ratio of steak to sizzle?
- Finally, Judge Roberts, I noticed that you're an investor in Intel. As you may remember, Intel founder Andy Grove was Time's Man of The Year in 1997. Who do you think Time's Man of the Year should be for 2005? On the strength of his performance in Hustle and Flow, I'm thinking Terrence Howard. But I know that in a democracy such as ours, reasonable minds can disagree.
Dell and Time Warner have been recommended in our Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter.
Motley Fool Radio Show producer Mac Greer doesn't own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this article. He does enjoy watching Mad Money and thinks that Hustle and Flow is one of the must-see movies of 2005. He thought March of the Penguins was a bit slow in parts.