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  • While the BlackBerry Torch (RIMM -2.5%) is clearly not the revolutionary leap RIM proclaims, it does adequately address previous devices' shortcomings, and John Paczkowski says that may do the trick: "The company says fresh, but familiar is the goal to which it aspires. The Torch is that, and it will likely be a hit with die-hard Blackberry users."  [View news story]
    I agree that it will be "good". The problem is I think RIM needed to come out with something "awesome", and this seems to me to be short of "awesome". I'm not predicting imminent death or anything like that, but I don't think it will stem the tide against Apple or Android. We'll see whether it is even on par with what Microsoft and Palm release, I'm guessing not.

    I'm not a BB hater, I still use a Bold. But I'm thinking hard about that Samsung Epic if the keyboard is good enough...
    Aug 3, 2010. 06:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • McDonald’s Benefits More From Franchises Than From Its Own Restaurants [View article]
    This is something that ebbs back and forth. I used to be in the management consulting business (yeah, I know, haha) and at that time, the opposite situation was the case -- multi unit fast food retailers were making lots more on company owned stores and were on a mission to buy out franchisees.
    Jul 28, 2010. 04:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The bleak financial picture of city and county governments may mean job losses approaching 500K this year and next, according to a new report, with a majority of the cuts in public safety and public works.  [View news story]
    The reality is that the reason they are in trouble is that they ALWAYS ramp up their spending to the highwater tax revenues, as if they could never go down.
    Jul 27, 2010. 06:09 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Real Estate Bubble Didn't Mess With Texas [View article]
    Plausible theory. I was house shopping during the boom years in San Antonio TX. While most prices were sane, in the higher end, established neighborhoods (with limited supply and no room to grow) the prices were a bit nutty (not California nutty, but still nutty).

    But speaking to the strength of TX, the nutty prices only got slightly less nutty during the crisis.
    Jul 27, 2010. 11:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facing bankruptcy, Maywood, Calif., is outsourcing all its municipal work - cops, street repair workers, school crossing guards - to private firms and neighboring governments. Residents of the nearby town of Bell may want to seek a similar path upon learning that their city manager makes $800K and police chief $450K in annual salaries.  [View news story]
    They have very powerful unions and make a living out of getting politicians to go along with these things. Effing pigs.
    Jul 20, 2010. 05:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Facing bankruptcy, Maywood, Calif., is outsourcing all its municipal work - cops, street repair workers, school crossing guards - to private firms and neighboring governments. Residents of the nearby town of Bell may want to seek a similar path upon learning that their city manager makes $800K and police chief $450K in annual salaries.  [View news story]
    "If that's a number people choke on, maybe I'm in the wrong business," city manager Robert Rizzo was quoted in saying when asked about his annual salary.

    -- good point, he could make more money in less legal forms of extortion
    Jul 20, 2010. 05:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Weimar-Style Inflation Is Not in Our Future [View article]
    Author -- thank you for some sanity. There have been a couple of other good SA articles exploring the environment and root causes for Weimar and Zimbabwe. They just don't apply to the US and would require some extraordinary new events, especially of the political variety.

    I think the more likely outcome, when inflation strikes, is high inflation (like the 3 years in the US post WWII) -- it will be seen as a necessity to pay down the country's enormous debts. But true, out of control, hyperinflation? Nah.
    Jul 19, 2010. 12:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Overblown iPhone Antenna Problem [View article]
    Holding my Blackberry 7000 (one of the devices he called out) and calling BS on Steve's main line of defense.

    I also got a kick out of InfoWeek's "research" (or is that "apologia") on the same topic, I noticed that they specifically called out that there were similar problems with degrated reception if you held competing phones... on the bottom or the top of the phone. I have NEVER done that with my phone. Human/computer interaction is about testing RELEVANT user scenarios -- and that's where Apple failed.
    Jul 16, 2010. 03:39 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Illinois successfully sells $900M in taxable municipal bonds, despite weak tax revenue, persistent fiscal problems and gaping pension hole. Foreign buyers were particularly interested in the bonds; "If someone is a non-U.S. investor, and they are thinking Greece versus the state of Illinois, they might want Illinois."  [View news story]
    LOL. Was that the road show pitch that Illinois used?

    "we're not yet quite as bad as Greece"
    Jul 14, 2010. 05:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • No, don't let Goldman be Goldman (GS) - that should be the whole point of financial reform, Wallace Turbeville says. "Wall Street’s attention must turn away from churning derivatives on existing products and instruments and toward growth of the economy and jobs. If more government intervention is needed to force this turn, so be it."  [View news story]
    That didn't seem to go so well in 2008. I also didn't see too many of those chest pumping macho capitalist champions being willing to go out of business, like they deserved (nor did that many senior executives even lose their jobs).

    So if we're going to socialize losses, I'm in favor of restricting some freedoms in order to prevent any massive crash.
    Jul 13, 2010. 03:45 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The "pouting pundits of pessimism" are misreading and overreacting to economic data yet again, Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein say. Let's get real: This is not 1932.  [View news story]
    And if we eat the recently retired, it will solve the biggest forthcoming entitlement deficits! I'm liking this more and more (of course, if I'm not going to get eaten).
    Jul 7, 2010. 09:13 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Standard Chartered tells clients to prepare for a 30% drop in property prices in China's largest cities. Ken Rogoff foresees a "collapse" in China's property market that will hit the country's banking system.  [View news story]
    Excellent points. Also, China has a ton of capital to shore up any problems with its banks. I wouldn't go around shorting Chinese banks based soley upon this analyst's particular thesis.
    Jul 7, 2010. 11:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Financial reform would not have occurred without a concerted effort to demonize Goldman Sachs (GS), but William Cohan says the time has come to lay off the firm and to let Goldman be Goldman - to allow it to relinquish its status as a bank holding company and free itself of the most restrictive provisions of the new law.  [View news story]
    So just to the tactics at hand -- allow Goldman to seize bank holding status for survival enjoying all the benefits of said status; but let it give it up to avoid any "bothersome restrictions" once the threat to survival is gone.

    Yeah, sounds fair.
    Jul 7, 2010. 11:16 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GE says the blunt language reportedly used by CEO Jeffrey Immelt to describe China and the Obama administration doesn't reflect the company's views. Among other things, Immelt expressed concern that new regulation would hinder a "tepid" U.S. recovery and complained about a "terrible" national mood.  [View news story]
    Maybe he's about to be McChrystalled
    Jul 1, 2010. 05:08 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No Signs of Acute Distress in the Bond Market [View article]
    ^ shhh. Scottie is trying to tell you that all is well
    Jun 30, 2010. 07:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment