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Dana Blankenhorn

 
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  • An on-air debate between CNBC's Jim Cramer and Simon Hobbs over European banks gets testy. Cramer said traders have to consider the possibility that this is a Lehman moment, and Hobbs cried foul, arguing that even the suggestion of a Lehman moment could cause markets to convulse. Hobbs to Cramer: "You told people to buy Bear Stearns!"  [View news story]
    Zubikov is right, but the question to be asked today is whether trading is entertainment. I don't think this site would have succeeded if it weren't, and I think in the end that's what CNBC is, too.

    Having people scream at one another (and we haven't discussed the Santelli-Swonk dust-up yet, which was even more fun than Cramer-Hobbs) is great TV, but it doesn't help me make financial decisions.
    Aug 18, 2011. 11:30 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Adding a bit more fuel - following Finland getting collateral from Greece for its share of the rescue package, other EU nations are requesting the same. Reuters quotes a government source as saying such chatter threatens the entirety of the 2nd bailout.  [View news story]
    I'm coming to agree with those who say this doesn't end until bankers take a haircut on bad sovereign debt. You declare bankruptcy and you move on. This has the look of going back to the loan shark...
    Aug 18, 2011. 11:27 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An on-air debate between CNBC's Jim Cramer and Simon Hobbs over European banks gets testy. Cramer said traders have to consider the possibility that this is a Lehman moment, and Hobbs cried foul, arguing that even the suggestion of a Lehman moment could cause markets to convulse. Hobbs to Cramer: "You told people to buy Bear Stearns!"  [View news story]
    A few minutes after the "debate" I distinctly heard someone on CNBC yell (off-camera) "Roll 212."

    It was an allusion to Jim Cramer's appearance on The Daily Show, which he said during the discussion he still hasn't lived down. And with reason.
    Aug 18, 2011. 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • With Cloud Becoming Fog, How Far Will Amazon Fall? [View article]
    I agree with you, Dave, that Amazon will be successful. I just don't think any company can be 89 times earnings successful, especially when most of its money and sales are still tied up in retail.

    At current prices you're actually betting the Kindle will be bigger than the iPad. I like the Kindle, but not that much.
    Aug 18, 2011. 08:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Android Take Google Down? [View article]
    I think some skepticism is warranted. Larry Page has to "make his bones," as they say. Not by killing someone, but by making something he starts work on the bottom line.

    That said, I think he's got the training and the team to be worth a small wager on. I wrote a year ago that Google needed to get control of Android, and it has now done so. I'd be a troll to say, now that they've done what I suggested, we should all abandon them because it's stupid. So I won't. But I will acknowledge the risk.
    Aug 18, 2011. 07:59 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart and Target Could Lead U.S. Retail Recovery [View article]
    They've been slowly changing the spelling over the years. I was always spelling it Wal-Mart until recently.
    Aug 18, 2011. 07:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart and Target Could Lead U.S. Retail Recovery [View article]
    I agree that the Great Recession will never truly end until we break the link between growth and oil prices. It has gotten so tight that now oil prices rise with each increase in stock prices -- they don't wait for demand changes.

    The solution is harvesting the abundant renewable energy all around us, starting with the cheapest such energy, which we have more of than any other country. Waste. Then moving the cost of solar, wind and biomass down, through research and scaling, so it becomes the cheap energy.

    That has little to do with WalMart, although WalMart can do some interesting things.
    Aug 17, 2011. 08:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart and Target Could Lead U.S. Retail Recovery [View article]
    I think that is why their strategy has changed. I find it interesting. They made their name by being able to bulk-ship to stores, which is why they built big stores. With smaller stores, they have to break bulk at the shipment level. When other stores have done this, it cost so much they had to raise prices. If WalMart has to do that, it really breaks them. People will immediately start publicizing the price differences between WalMart and WalMart.

    The problem you cite, by the way, is only true for WalMart branded stores, stores where people buy each product in a small quantity. It's not true at Sam's Club, where bulk is never broken.

    Point is that breaking bulk at minimal cost is a huge challenge.
    Aug 17, 2011. 08:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Google, Motorola Deal as Rat Poison [View article]
    A few charges offered without proof aren't evidence of a conspiracy. Sorry. I compare Google with its peers in the tech space and I don't see anything egregious. Especially compared with the companies you find out are usually behind the charges like AT&T, Oracle and Apple.
    Aug 17, 2011. 05:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Android Take Google Down? [View article]
    I hate to get jingoistic about this but it will also be great for America.

    Think about it. A few years ago all the dominant phone platforms were foreign -- Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Samsung etc. Now all the platforms are American -- iPhone, Android and (let's be fair) Windows. Quite a turnaround in a very short time.
    Aug 17, 2011. 03:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Android Take Google Down? [View article]
    I don't think we disagree much on the motivation. The common view is that ":Jobs and Co. will eat their lunch," and they've been doing this for some years now, so there's reason to see that as true.

    But some important points. Google has lots of cash to throw at this. The Chinese OEMs want a choice of platforms -- there are tons of guys getting shut out by the way Apple does business. And there remain opportunities for Chinese OEMs to optimize within the Android ecosystem that don't exist in the Apple universe. For example they can tweak the code inside chips, to meet a set of open specifications.

    Even though Android is now more "closed" than it was, it's still based on visible code, it's still got a lot of open source in it, and there are still opportunities there to be innovative many Chinese companies will want to pursue.

    To me, it's the difference between a semi-free market and a dictatorship.
    Aug 17, 2011. 03:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here's Cisco's Real Problem [View article]
    When you concentrate on a small customer set with an extremely long, expensive sales cycle, you often find yourself unable to deal with a truly competitive market.

    It's a contracting mindset you can find in any large firm that does substantial business in Washington. It's very French, actually. I don't like seeing American businesses copy French methods, and I don't see why they should be defended.
    Aug 17, 2011. 03:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Google, Motorola Deal as Rat Poison [View article]
    I was responding to the post above mine, and noting that I have seen that kind of active distrust, even cynicism as to motives, from others.

    The idea that Google owns Washington (they don't), the idea that somehow Google's desire for profit is obscene (while others' isn't) the implication that they are thieves (completely unproven) smacks of an active dislike toward the company which, while I've found it before, I've always found curious.

    Google's ethics are, on the whole, pretty good. They built what they felt was an open source phone with open source parts, and their view is they were suddenly hit with trolls and claims that no one else should be allowed to create a smart phone, even with open source, without paying royalties.

    Having covered open source for six years at ZDNet, I have some sympathy for that, and some knowledge of the background.

    I suppose it's because their unofficial motto is "don't be evil" that some insist on seeing evil intent in everything they do. But I've seen a lot of companies, and I'd stack Google's ethics, overall, against any other firm's.
    Aug 17, 2011. 03:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How the NYT Paywall Is Working [View article]
    Business of Journalism 101. The content and printing are paid for by the advertising. The only thing paid for by the subscriber is the cost of getting it to them.

    I suspect the Times is claiming great success here without evidence.
    Aug 17, 2011. 11:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Android Take Google Down? [View article]
    Apple is no more a hardware company these days than Google is.

    They don't make hardware. Foxconn does. Apple designs hardware, which mostly means they do software and specifications.

    Android is software and a specification. So there really isn't as much difference as you think between what the two do. Page is copying Jobs' strategy, and maybe you think no one can but I don't think that's true.

    Microsoft failed because Microsoft's software sucked. Google's software does not suck. Now it will try to monetize this advantage. (Which answers your other question -- why are they doing this.)
    Aug 17, 2011. 11:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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