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Deja Vu

 
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  • Is Apple (AAPL -1.7%) starting to see a brain drain in the post-Jobs era? "There is a growing level of dissatisfaction among Apple executives and employees, and a greater willingness to explore leaving," one VC tells BI. Another says his firm is seeing a lot more resumes from Apple employees, and attributes this both to the impact leadership changes have had on Apple's culture, and the higher pay offered by startups. A month ago, John Gruber warned Apple is at risk of losing top talent, and called it "the single biggest problem that Apple faces." [View news story]
    Quite simple. When the stock price falls, the unvested options go underwater. Employees would rather work somewhere else where they could get options that'll be worth something.

    Each two-bit programmer in Silicon valley thinks s/he is worth and entitled to millions. They look upon the lavish regular pay as merely a living allowance meant to defray day to day expenses.

    Falling stock prices mean that the options were granted at higher strikes and are hence worth less. Since the employees are not named Steve Jobs, they cannot back date their options nor will Al Gore come and anoint such backdating with a squirt of his anointing oil.
    Apr 15 01:17 PM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • White Collar Crime Expert Slams Herbalife: An Exclusive Interview With Sam Antar [View article]
    The below has nothing to do with Herbalife.

    But if you publicly take a stand against a MLM company, yes, expect a threatening letter in the mail from a big law firm.

    Such a letter, just a letter (threatening to sue you for tens of millions in a city distant from your residence), no actual lawsuit, has the potential to disrupt your life as you ponder how to muster up the resources to defend yourself. Your relatives and close friends will ask you what you were thinking and how you could expose your family to such a situation.

    You or your significant other will fear the mailman each day and be waiting and collect your mail with shaking hands and pounding hearts to see if anything else has arrived. You will do this for months. When you go on vacation, you will have your petsitter go to your house just after the mailman is scheduled to arrive and ask her to read to you the source of each letter and then only eat lunch.

    You will run to an expensive lawyer and pay about $45,000 in legal fees for research, advice, phone conferences and travel. You will even ponder a preemptive divorce or legal separation with your spouse taking the bulk of the assets so as to leave you with as little as possible to lose. Except your lawyer will advise you that is unlikely to work as a defense of your assets.

    You will wonder the benefit of taking such a stand vs. the economic harm you might suffer even if you win ( and economic suicide if you lose) and quickly conclude that you don't want to ever speak up against the industry or any specific company again.

    Don't ask me how I know. I again reiterate that this is just a fair warning of my speculation of what you can expect and has nothing to do with Herbalife. People with deep pockets who can afford expensive lawyers like Mr. Ackman should play this game not people who count their money in single millions.
    Jul 14 12:42 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BP, Anadarko may face billions in fines after court ruling [View news story]
    Shakedown continues until every Democratic party apparatchik has built his dacha. Short BP....
    Jun 4 07:46 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Herbalife plunges on DOJ/FBI probe report [View news story]
    Yes, every criminal wishes that the FBI notifies them when a criminal investigation is launched. "Hi Bob the conman, this is the friendly neighborhood FBI agent speaking, we intend to start a criminal investigation of you. We'll keep you updated with a daily progress report every day. Heck, we will even tell you where we have wiretaps, and whom we interview etc"

    Really??
    Apr 11 09:34 PM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Bubble In Blue Chips - Part 1 [View article]
    Nice article. I agree completely with you. Can't invest long at these valuations. Can't invest short as the euphoria will last longer than my money. In almost all cash right now, which gives me heartburn as the bandit Bernanke keeps printing evermore of it.

    gold is too driven by demand in India. Not one of the structural problems such as never ending welfare, bloated public sector, labor laws, high taxes etc in europe has been resolved. Europe is being funded by the ECB which is printing money to buy soveriegn bonds both directly and via various fraudulent arms length mechanisms. one day we will see hyper inflation in Europe in the not too distant future.

    China is lying about ALL of their macroeconomic data. India is on track to be a big failed country driven by attempts to install a welfare state without enough of "other people's money"

    Brazil is collapsing under the same socialist banner aided by attempts of the morons in government to pick "champions" and by investing in stuppid infrastructure projects.

    We may also see the pending euro printing hyper inflation in the US (driven by dollar printing) which makes buying stocks a logical choice! I don't believe the Fed will stop the crack cocaine of QE until the dollar starts collapsing and US bond yeild start rising to about 10+ %. Previously the price of oil acted as a constraint against debasing the dollar, now with increasing oil production, that may be weakened.

    Unfortunately the fed idiots do not understand that the long term inflation expectations effect means that years of monetary tightening will be required to regain credibility. It's either going to be a decade of volcker like 17% interest rates driven recession or zimbabwe like dollar strength.

    OK, I will now drink a big bottle of kentucky bourbon after reading this article.
    Oct 18 04:44 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry: Can It Still Explode Higher? [View article]
    I agree with your thesis. However, as a purely defensive move by google and/or Samsung that patent portfolio may have some value (being kept out of Apple's sue happy hands). Also the enterprise and BES value is diminished by the emergence of mobile device management systems from all major parties.

    The larger question is when the unbranded cheap and quiality Android tsunami will strike the US and wipe out Apple's bread and butter. It's not just Blackberry's handset business that is worthless, I believe in a couple of years the same may be true for Apple. Samsung may adapt by selling ever cheaper handsets.

    I'm reminded of a tale we tell in India. Gandhi is invited to the coronation of King George V. Representatives of all the British colonies come and offer gems and other valuable presents. Gandhi offers just a lemon saying "India is a poor country". Enraged, King George V orders the guards to stuff the lemon up Gandhi's rear end. Gandhi is observed to be laughing as they do. Puzzled King George asks "Why are you laughing". Says Gandhi "Well, Jinnah, leader of Pakistan is behind me, and he is bringing you a pineapple"

    Similarly, if Blackberry is a lemon for long investors, Apple may well turn out to be the pineapple when the iPhone sales collapse.
    Aug 25 08:49 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) confirms Ron Johnson is "stepping down and leaving the company." Mike Ullman, who was J.C. Penney's CEO until Nov. 2011, is replacing Johnson as CEO, and has also been elected to the company's board. Investors don't seem crazy about the choice, JCP now just +0.5% AH. (previous) Update (5:33): Shares are now down 4.4% AH. [View news story]
    A nice black eye for Ackman. A CEO who flew each week 2.5 hours each way to California and back to Texas, on the company jet at $42,000 per hour? His commute cost JCP $200,000 per week or $10 million per 50 week year. (JCP reported it as $344,000 per year, most likely based on the cost of a business cost ticket from Texas to California).

    This guy blew $42,000 per hour on the company dime while firing tens of thousands of employees who had no role in his bad decisions. Supporting this male Marie Antoinette makes Ackman really look like a hypocrite when he railed against the Herbalife CEO for ripping off the herbalife distributors.
    Apr 8 05:36 PM | 16 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fisker Automotive, the struggling government-backed hybrid sports car maker, terminates 75% of its staff in what sources said was a last-ditch effort to conserve cash and stave off a potential bankruptcy filing. The company, which raised $1.2B from investors and tapped nearly $200M in government loans, has only around $30M in cash remaining. About 160 workers were fired at a Friday morning meeting at its Anaheim, Calif., headquarters, and were told that the company couldn't afford to give them severance payments. [View news story]
    Not to worry. Al Gore made off like a bandit with my tax money by selling his Fisker stake right after the government gave them hundreds of millions of money looted from me and other politically unconnected suckers.
    Apr 5 09:18 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reuters: iWatch likely to have 2.5" display, enter production in July [View news story]
    I don't think there are 50 million girlfriendless, sideburn toting, 25 year old programmers in the bay area but I may be wrong on this....if there are, I can see them curled up cosily in their bean bag chairs in the 8 person shared loft, on a Saturday evening, happily gazing deep into the iWatch watching their pulse go up as they iMessage each other "Mine is 67, what is yours?". I hear soon they will form a action group to support iMarriage so that they can marry their iPhones at the nearest Apple Store with a 20 year old Genius presiding. There would, of course, be an open iDevice recharge bar for the reception.
    Jun 19 03:59 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing workers approve contract securing new 777X for Seattle [View news story]
    Bad decision by Boeing to offer them another contract. The 777X is going to be plagued by poor workmanship causing enormous loss of goodwill and repair expenses for Boeing. Boeing should have relocated to right to work state.
    Jan 4 08:28 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft senior manager charged with insider trading [View news story]
    how dare someone who doesn't work for a TBTF ibank insider trade?. It's like poaching deer. Everyone knows that it's a capital crime and only the noblemen can hunt deer. ibanks can frontrun, take the other side, manipulate sell side analysts, etc But after all they invite the One to their drawing rooms on fifth avenue and cut him million dollar checks.

    Catching the small fish for show and letting the whales sport freely while auditioning for a job on taxpayer dime, that is what SEC staffers do

    Will I ever see Zuckerberg, sandberg and his underwriterbank minions go to prison for snookering millions of mom and pop investors of literally billions of $ at the Facebook IPO by selectively telling his friends that revenue was slowing. Oh no, no chance of that ever happening...
    Dec 19 03:40 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • UAW veteran headed to GM board [View news story]
    No doubt he will guide GM to award even more unsustainable medical benefits, retirement pensions and jobs banks to the UAW. The UAW doesn't care if they drive GM into bankruptcy again, because they can buy the next politician to give them tax payer money in a lumpsum to fulfil promises made by a "private" company. As sure as eggs are eggs, GM will go bankrupt again. The $5 million the UAW gave to Obama got them $50 billion in taxpayer funds to fund thier retirement pensions and medical benefits. Has to be the greatest ROI ever.

    Meanwhile the waitress in Topeka, Kansas wonders why her 401(k) is so tiny.
    Apr 25 03:01 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Payrolls add 74K in December; UE rate down to 6.7% [View news story]
    Is bad news good news still or now is bad news really bad news?
    Jan 10 08:35 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boeing workers approve contract securing new 777X for Seattle [View news story]
    There's two kinds of poor workmanship, inadvertent and deliberate. The UAW was famous for the second kind. I suspect Boeing will see the second kind too, in coming years, courtesy the IAM.
    Jan 4 10:20 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facebook Target Price Is $5, But More If Zuckerberg Quits [View article]
    I don't believe the author is a bully for stating his opinion against the CEO of a publicly traded company. He states his reasons for doing so. As for his caring about your or anyone "investment circumstance" are you implying before he writes an article on the short side of the opinion, he should check with long holders of the stock? Do you expect the reverse too? This is an investing website and people like me are interested in hearing all sides of the story regardless of whether or not we agree with the author.

    Your post would have been more useful to all of us if you specfically stated WHY you think the author is wrong instead of making it a personal attack upon the author. There is not a single fact or business precept in your post. It's a good idea in the long run to separate emotions and investing.
    Aug 28 01:46 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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