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On the timing of the IPO, Visa has been preparing for this for a few years, it has nothing to do with the turmoil in the credit markets.

I have sold software to them for years and as a result get intimately familiar with their budgeting process. For the past couple years it's been all about cutting budgets, getting their house in order, etc. etc. in anticpation that they would be going public.

Unfortunately due to the success of Mastercard I have a feeling that the Visa IPO will be more enthusiastically received and price much higher as well than MA initially did. That is unfortunate because I would love to own a piece of this fantastic business.

Visa the organization going public is really the transaction processor (why they need all the software) and brand holder. They have member banks that issue the cards.

Several years ago when I sold to them I used to refer to Visa's IT organization as the "country club" because it seemed like the execs played a lot of golf and had bankers hours. The organization was bloated to say the least and you could always count on them spending a lot of money on projects, demo/lab equipment etc. far in excess of what most leaner public companies would buy. In short they had money coming out of their ears and their model was to bill member organizations, so it made little sense to curtail spending, they just eventually added it to the tab. So that is the good news, I still think there is a lot of efficiency and fat to cut out of Visa, but they have been on that track for a little while now.

It will be interesting to watch, any reasonable valuation and I will definitely open a position.
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