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  • A trio of Senators plan to push a federal law enabling all 50 states to collect sales tax on internet purchases. The bill looks to leapfrog the state-by-state battle waged by online sellers such as AMZN, OSTK, and EBAY to deliver a national plan. Sponsors Senators Richard Durbin, Lamar Alexander, and Michael Enzi say the bill will exempt sellers with annual sales of $500K or less from collecting state sale tax. [View news story]
    USA "feodal" stucture is not its strenght but its major weakness that results in major waste of resources. No other country can afford to support 50 govrenments but the US can. Of course, americans don't see it because they never saw anything else. hardly anyone ever travels.
    I agree that national sales tax will not fly because will enver agree to simplify their tax structure and the way it is now, it is pretty much impossible to comply.
    A project to implement a comprehensive tax solution will cost you about 10-20 million dollars , plus about 100-500K a year in ongoing support. This is the cost of the feodal state.
    Nov 10 11:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on H-P's (HPQ) decision to keep the PC business: It's all about costs that would be involved in surgically extracting the Personal Systems Group, not to mention some scale economies that give H-P leverage with suppliers like Intel (INTC) and AMD, among others, when it comes to the server business. HPQ now +0.4% AH.  [View news story]
    Long-term it would be better actually to split PC business. HP is a collection of disparate businesses, that are poorly integrated and there is no focus on what each business needs to do to succeed. So, depending on what upper management knows it is PCs, or printers, or software, or service or enterprise that do well, but never all of them do well at the same time.
    Oct 27 05:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Democrats yesterday presented a $3T deficit-reduction program to the "super committee" that is deciding how to reduce U.S. debt by $1.2T, Reuters reports. Half the package is spending cuts and the other half tax hikes, which almost guarantees that it'll never fly.
     [View news story]
    Well, if included all spending in the budget, it would've been easier to cut it. How you can cut something that is not in the budget but ios a real expense - wars, continuous bailouts for GSEs and such,.
    I imagine there are some real saving from the ending Iraq war but it is off balance sheet.
    First, bring all govenment spending on balance sheet. Only then we can discuss the cuts in a meangful way. Otherwise, it is too easy to hide something you don't want to cut.
    Oct 27 01:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Warren Buffett isn’t the only rich guy who wants higher taxes on the rich. A new survey finds 68% of millionaires support raising taxes on those with $1M or more in income. The result surprises Spectrem Group's George Walper: "I thought that among this group there would be a feeling of 'why doesn’t he keep his nose out of it'... The reality is maybe it has to be done."  [View news story]
    May be they understand that they can only keep their wealth as long as unwashed masses have bread and circuses?
    Oct 27 01:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • File under when regulators need regulators: The SEC alleges FINRA altered documents in a Kansas City office prior to handing them over to the agency, ordering the regulator to hire an independent consultant to "improve policies." It's not the first time FINRA fudged docs - according to the SEC - but marks the third occurrence in 8 years.  [View news story]
    It is not FINRA. It is people. Hold the perpetrators accountable .
    Oct 27 01:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • File under another beef against banks: A report from the Atlanta Fed examines the issue of the unintended side effects of personal data collection by banks and payment providers with a surprising result. Economists conclude that not only is data over-collected, but it's also not protected well enough. "As more and more of that data is assembled and it becomes more and more extensive, it becomes a [broad] target for theft."  [View news story]
    Yep, tried applying for a mortgage lately? You have to provide full documentation on all your accounts and assets, with the account numbers and statements, And SSN and paystabs and drivers license.
    Oct 26 04:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The "MoMo Massacre" resembles a classic slasher pic, writes Kid Dynamite, where the characters get killed off one by one. Starting with OPEN and RIMM, continuing through to GMCR, FSLR, and NFLX, and now AMZN. We know how the sequels go, so those remaining - AAPL, CMG, PCLN - don't go outside to check on that odd noise.  [View news story]
    May be not AAPL. But what about LULU? CRM just got whacked also.
    Oct 26 01:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • For some reason, this guy can move markets. (CRM -4.8%) slides after Whitney Tilson tells CNBC he's short the stock in size. Valuation is the key reason he says, arguing the stock could drop 75%.  [View news story]
    Couldn't have happened to a more deserving momo stock.
    There are so many air pockets in this stock, it will probably go straight to 100 from here.
    Oct 26 01:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The White House reveals details of its student loan relief plan a day ahead of Pres. Obama's announcement. Monthly payments for some students will be reduced to 10% of discretionary income, debt balances will be forgiven after 20 years of payments, and some students can consolidate their loans with government loans into a single payment with a reduced interest rate.  [View news story]
    > The mass MBA-ization of America is part of the problem, not part of the solution. We have thrown more than enough business, marketing, and finance at the economy over the last few decades and look where it has gotten us. Trust me, if you crank out engineers all over the place, there will still be more than enough deal-wheelers and paper-pushers itching to make money by putting them to work.

    I think the roots are in the pay scale. If you are an engineer, you make 80-100K. But a paper-pusher, i.e. people manager with skills that used to be current 20-30 years ago make 150K. Why pay managers more than very killed individuals whoa ctually produce? In my career I had many managers whose impat on the bottom line of the company was actually negative due to their incompetence and waste of the productive workers time. Before you can do anything it has to be approved by management, so you spend hours and hours educating and convincing those managers why it is a right thing to do. Yet, by next month they already forgotten it all because they don't have professional depth and cannot memorize what they don't understand.
    As a result, I always look for middle-size companies with lean management structure. This is where I can proiduce the most and prove my worth as an IT professional.
    I guess, it sounds similar to what I hear about school teachers and adminsitrators dynamics.

    The saving grace in this whole conundrum is that in a recession the paper-pushers get laid off first since they don't produce anything. And then many cannot find a job because they don't have any skills. Intrestingly, eveyrone thinks they can be an effective managers and therefore there is oversupply of managers.
    Oct 26 10:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did CNBC's Carl Quintanilla actually make Michael Moore look like a genius? "The Dow is up 95, and that's what we cover on this network. Do you own any equities...?" Moore says no: "It's your job not just to report that the Dow is up 95 [but] to go in there and find out what's really happening... who's dividing this pie up so that the 1% get the majority of it. That's really the story."  [View news story]
    I would say Europe countries are more equitable because they rely less on private debt on more on public tax money to "level the field". The provide free college education, free healthcare, public transportation, maternity leave, free childcare, which all make much easier to smooth down up and downs for the middle class. the expenses I listed are easily 30% of my budget. So, I don't think high European taxes such a burden when you getso many things financed through taxes. US could do many of these things as well but instead it choses to spend about 30% of its budget on military and wars.
    Emerging markets are not equatable at all, because there the situation is more similar to the US - wild west capitalism, eat or be eaten sort of thing .
    Compared to Russia, where I am from, US is a land of opportunity and there is not a single excuse for being poor. I think the poverty in the US steams from the fact that there isn't much downside in being poor. You still have food and shelter. In Russia you could easily die from hunger or cold, so it gets your survival instincts in the higher gear.
    Oct 26 10:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Paul Farrell pens his most apocalyptic vision yet of U.S. and global decline, as denial and greedy addictions render us unable to deal with the biggest bubble ever: an exploding population that could hit 10B by 2050. "Already too many people in our world. Adding too many more every day. Not enough resources." Among his solutions: "Rapid and wholly voluntary reductions of fertility."  [View news story]
    They are huddled because they cannot afford to build and maintain roads and buy cars. So, they have to use public transportation. It wouldn't hure US to get a little bit more "huddled" and stop wasting its resources as much )). It you live close to your familyb they can help with childcare and such. If you don't then you have to pay someone a wage (and taxes on top of it and paperwork) to do that,
    Oct 26 10:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Panera Bread (PNRA) is trading up after hours as its Q3 easily beats estimates. Earnings leapt 27% on higher sales and better operating margins, with revenue and same-store sales growth all beating projections. The company also raises its FY11 EPS outlook for the year to $4.63 - $4.65 per share, and ups growth estimates to 4.5% - 5%. Shares +10% AH.  [View news story]
    It is hard to get excited about a restaurant company. CMG is another darling. I am guessing the rise in the sales is due to their lower price range compared to regular restaursnts. Kind of a Target effect. Do you remember times when Target stock was hot?
    Oct 25 07:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More on F5 Networks (FFIV): Q3 beats estimates on a 24% jump in Y/Y revenue, fueled by rising sales in Japan and the Asia Pacific region. Product sales, which make up a majority of the company's business, were up 20%, an increase the company said in part reflected strong demand for its new mid-range Viprion 2400 and 4400, which exceeded expectations. Shares +8% AH.  [View news story]
    This is a crazy market. Miss by a few cents, stock is 20% down, beat by a few cents, stock is 10% up.
    Oct 25 05:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite collapsing consumer confidence, “consumer spending has continued to expand at a decent pace,” Deutsche Bank says. Retail sales were up 7.9% Y/Y last month, and unit motor-vehicle sales are at the fastest pace since April. The risk is that waning confidence could feed on itself, encouraging more consumers to cut back whether they need to or not.  [View news story]
    With 4% inflation it is not that impressive.
    Oct 25 05:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why can't companies find the employees they need? Failings in the U.S. education system or other external factors usually get blamed. But companies deserve a lot of the blame themselves because many don't do training any more or allow people any time to grow into a job, Peter Cappelli writes.  [View news story]
    3-5 years is usually the norm while you are under 35.
    Listen, my company at the time - HP paid for my MBA and finance degrees. I worked for them 5 years. I would've stayed longer but the management was completely incompetent, just a bunch of 'yes' men. I am an honest person. I want to do what is right, they wouldn't let me because they didn't want to rock the ship. I eventually left because my ethics didn't allow me to stay. But they did pay something like 60K for my MBA.
    How long does it take to get positve ROI on 60-80K (the cost of a modern day degee)? I think it is about 5 years. But circumstances change. It is a rarity these days to work at a same job for more than 5 years.
    It is from both employee and employer perspectives. Take the same HP, again - they have regular every 6 months layoffs or at least they had once I was there. There can be no loyalty with constant layoffs beng the norm in today's economy.
    Oct 25 01:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment