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  • The GOP says the White House is demanding $1.6T in tax increases up front as part of any budget deal, reports the WSJ. The White House also wants the payroll tax credit to continue and a "permanent" increase in the debt limit. [View news story]
    And the GOP will talk tough ... and completely "cave" on everyone of the Democratic demands.

    There are NO leaders in Washington. Just short-sighted, looking out for themselves egomaniacs and their enablers and the "special interests" (from every imaginable corner of spending).

    Whatever happened to "temporarily raising the deficit"?

    Why wasn't that ENOUGH?

    Isn't the government PIE *large enough* already?

    Won't SOMEONE find some efficiencies within EXISTING spending, versus demanding MORE TO SPEND?

    The answers are simple: NO.

    And there is NO accountability, either. Nothing.
    Nov 29 05:10 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Marissa Mayer has given birth to a boy, her husband tweets. Mayer, who took over as Yahoo's (YHOO) CEO in July, has said she'll take a maternity leave of only a few weeks, and plans to "work throughout it." Update: Yahoo says Mayer will return to the company after 1-2 weeks. [View news story]
    Mayer is an egomaniac ... I mean, c'mon, you're 7 months pregnant and take on the job of SAVING YAHOO, and now you're going to "work throughout" your maternity leave ... to prove what, exactly? That you're an egomaniac? That you're a superwoman at business, in addition to being a superwoman in rooty-tooty SFO social life?

    Just give it up, Yahoo employees.

    You continue to get paychecks only because it gives Ms. Mayer satisfaction to do so. It's her world ... unlike Yahoo customers (who've abandoned it), you must live in it.
    Oct 1 12:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What does Google have up its sleeve with its self-driving car concept that's drawing quite a buzz after a test run in Silicon Valley came off smoothly? If tech writers reading the tea leaves are correct, the company might be delving into same-day delivery for online purchases. If driverless Google cars start delivering packages on a broad scale, UPS and FedEx (FDX) are sure to take a bit of notice - but the real target of Google's dreamy plan could be online juggernaut Amazon (AMZN). [View news story]
    Why is Google testing self-driving cars? WHY NOT, that's why. They are PRINTING MONEY through AdWords, which allows the team of Page, Brin and Schmidt -- who control the thing -- to do really ANYTHING THEY WANT.

    Self-driving cars may be really cool, and maybe there's a Nobel Prize or something in their future ... but HOW IS THIS CORE TO GOOGLE'S MISSION IN SEARCH AND WEB activities?

    It's NOT. "Same-day delivery"? Oh, really SeekingAlpha.com? That's the "method behind the madness"?

    The whole thing is LUNACY. If HP was doing this right now, Meg Whitman would be CRUCIFIED. But, FastCompany and AllThingdsD think it's "cool", so lot's and lot's of happy talk.

    Meanwhile, it's a waste of FOCUS away from contextually related areas that Google SHOULD BE focused upon instead.
    Oct 29 01:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors (GM -0.4%) disputes a published estimate from Reuters claiming that the automaker loses $49K per Chevrolet Volt. At issue is if development costs of the program should be divided across the lifetime volume of Volts or the current number sold. [View news story]
    Well, maybe they are ... and you're certainly correct that you need to have a long-tail perspective for major new capital intensive investments, or no new R&D would ever be pursued, right?

    But Reuters was clearly putting a rosy flourish to their point ... at such low sales volumes, and with no major impetus on the horizon to change that, GM's VOLT program is a FINANCIAL LOSER.

    And, how do you count on "other electric vehicles" on this SPECIFIC "technology cycle"??! The technology will CHANGE, as it is oft to do -- especially in electric car category -- forcing GM to scrap its current tech.
    Sep 10 12:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What does Google have up its sleeve with its self-driving car concept that's drawing quite a buzz after a test run in Silicon Valley came off smoothly? If tech writers reading the tea leaves are correct, the company might be delving into same-day delivery for online purchases. If driverless Google cars start delivering packages on a broad scale, UPS and FedEx (FDX) are sure to take a bit of notice - but the real target of Google's dreamy plan could be online juggernaut Amazon (AMZN). [View news story]
    ... nice discussion. But I am unconvinced. Driverless cars, en masse, on our roadways driving side-by-side with human driven cars? Not very likely within next 5 years.

    And it won't be technology that makes it not possible ... it will be MOTOROLA sucking away Google's spare change, and the (unmonetized) shift to mobile undermining Google AdWords cash cow. There you go right there.
    Oct 29 03:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • More on Nike-Lance Armstrong: The former world-class athlete's resignation from the Lance Armstrong Foundation could bolster the chances that Nike (NKE +0.3%) sticks with its Livestrong brand of clothing and shoes. More than just a sideshow for Nike, the flareup over Armstrong's doping has forced the company to strongly deny an accusation it bribed an exec with a governing cycling body $500K to cover up a positive drug test. [View news story]
    Or justice -- versus the strawman term "vendetta" -- being served, however delayed. And it doesn't matter that it's not in a court room; this private organization has it's own rules, and Lance has been governed (and judged within) them.
    Oct 19 11:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Iran has formulated a plan codenamed "Muddy Waters" to block oil traffic in the Strait of Hormuz by steering a tanker onto rocks and causing a massive oil spill, Der Spiegel reports. Iran's co-operation would be needed to clean the spill, as would a temporary lifting of the embargo on the country. The speculation comes as the EU considers tougher sanctions on Iran, which has reiterated an offer to suspend domestic production of medium-enriched uranium. [View news story]
    Real tough words coming from a nobody, trolling online and "leading" by sitting at home in his underwear. I'm sure you're contributing a lot to our economy, too ... likely a deadbeat unemployment benefit 47-percenter, too.
    Oct 15 12:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Iran has formulated a plan codenamed "Muddy Waters" to block oil traffic in the Strait of Hormuz by steering a tanker onto rocks and causing a massive oil spill, Der Spiegel reports. Iran's co-operation would be needed to clean the spill, as would a temporary lifting of the embargo on the country. The speculation comes as the EU considers tougher sanctions on Iran, which has reiterated an offer to suspend domestic production of medium-enriched uranium. [View news story]
    You're so upset with Obama, why let facts get in the way of the delusion, right? "[Obama] want(s) the Iranian dictators to thrive."

    Huh?

    The economic sanctions are bringing Iran to its knees and the point where it is contemplating insanity -- like creating a massive oil spill disaster.

    I guess nothing short of "bombing Iran" -- and then occupying it (with our broken down military, which your "LONG" position in defense contractors wouldn't benefit too much from, right?) -- is your prescription, right?

    Romney/Ryan, were they in office TODAY, would TAKE THE SAME COURSE as OBAMA. Campaign rhetoric be damned.
    Oct 15 10:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Marissa Mayer reportedly told Yahoo (YHOO) employees at today's all-hands meeting the company will have a strong mobile position by 2015 (mobile is a clear weak spot right now), and will only approve projects capable of obtaining 100M users or $100M in revenue. She also claimed Yahoo, which just agreed to return $3.65B to shareholders, will make more "acqui-hires" to reel in engineering talent. Few details were apparently given about individual products, and none about layoff plans. (CFO change) Update: Kara Swisher has more details. [View news story]
    And I reportedly told colleagues, upon hearing Mayer's comments ... "Yawnnn".

    Yahoo is finished. It serves as 1-2 year plaything, a vehicle for Ms. Mayer and her Bay Area social friends and certain connected Stanford alumni. Sure, AdAge will play it up with puff pieces, and Kara Swisher at AllThingsD will sweat and analyze every possible strategic move, but it will all add up to a whole bunch of ... nothing.
    Sep 25 06:34 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P does its best to put in a bottom for J.C. Penney (JCP -2.6%) cutting it to B+ with negative outlook from BB- . "J.C. Penney remains weak, resulting in a meaningful deterioration of credit protection metrics ... the new pricing and merchandise strategy will cause further disruptions to operations." The stock hit a 2-year low today.  [View news story]
    I've withheld judgment. I'm not a typical JCP customer, but with small children, it IS the place to go to find socks, underwear, leggings, etc for the 6 and under set.

    The Dadeland location illustrates a real-time case study for the brand, if it choose to listen. Dadeland Mall, at one point in the last ten years, annually had the highest sales per square foot of any closed mall in the United States. While much was to affluent segments, the presence of JCP as one of five "anchor" stores (the others being Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, an enormous 3 story Macy's clothing-only store, and an entirely separate Macy's "Home Furnishings" store) presented an interesting paradox. Its customers were the large Latino/Cuban/South American families and other lower income groups, with a dash of "Old Miami" who liked the decidedly down-market merchandise, merchandising and pricing.

    Now, it's all been given a fresh coat of lipstick, with colorful "picture frames" hanging all over the place (coded to the month), and complex marketing messages about "Our best sales prices, now until they're gone, the 1st and 3rd Fridays (?) of the Month" pasted on windows and elevator doors and within the empty (devoid of customers, not merchandise) aisles.

    JCP's new marketing shoots way over the heads of 90% of its shoppers, at least at this location, which had to previously be among its highest grossing stores. And its SO OBVIOUS to even a transient visitor like me -- how is it not to the management?

    Where do they go from here? How do you put THIS genie back into the bottle?
    Jul 11 03:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Bank of Greece says four of the country's core banks need a €27.5B capital boost, while the capital needs for all Greek commercial banks were estimated in May 2012 at €40.5B. The strategic assessment identified the four “core banks”, as the following: National Bank of Greece (NBG -0.2%), Eurobank (EGFEY.PK), Alpha Bank (ALBKY.PK), Piraeus Bank (BPIRY.PK), which are all eligible for recapitalization using program funds. [View news story]
    This show not "good". It is tedious and, oh, such a fraud.
    Dec 27 04:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) might be joining the same-day delivery battle: hungry to gain ground against Amazon (AMZN), the retail giant is testing a same-day service that relies on its stores, costs users $10, and features a 4-hour window. Google, eBay, and many small online retailers are also experimenting with same-day, in spite of the logistics and cost challenges. Amazon remains coy about the extent of its ambitions. "How much time are you saving by not going to the store? People want it now, they want it fast," says an eBay spokeswoman. [View news story]
    I somewhat (respectfully) disagree.

    It's one thing to deliver a pizza -- itself a repeatable process, involving no more than a handful of "skus". Its quite something else to pull inventory from shelves, potentially among tens of thousands of skus, and to do it with any kind of QA/QC and to do that and DELIVER it by vehicle within 4 hours, and to do it at any kind of scale.

    This is going nowhere. Press reports notwithstanding, it cannot be done cost and price effectively at any kind of scale for it to be material. And if it is not material ... then why do it at all?
    Dec 27 04:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Early results suggest a weak holiday season for retailers, with MasterCard's SpendingPulse reporting sales just 0.7% higher than a year ago. "It's a lost season," says the group's Michael McNamera. Not too surprising, major discounting was common in the days leading up to the holiday, and even greater bargains are expected after. [View news story]
    Ya. Right. "New economic and financial system." A-ha.
    Dec 26 02:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Early results suggest a weak holiday season for retailers, with MasterCard's SpendingPulse reporting sales just 0.7% higher than a year ago. "It's a lost season," says the group's Michael McNamera. Not too surprising, major discounting was common in the days leading up to the holiday, and even greater bargains are expected after. [View news story]
    OK, but it's still an overreaction to call it a "loss". Besides, it's also much more complicated than looking at the industry overall, projecting out a 0.7% increase (prone to significant revision), and not cherrypicking clear winners and losers, who skew the numbers either way. Sears and JC Penney no doubt SUCKED, but Macy's and Walmart probably rocked. Finally, these businesses continue to suck costs out of their models, and the e-commerce transactions are probably offsetting weaknesses at stores (broadly).
    Dec 26 09:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Groupon (GRPN) -3.3% AH after a company spokesman tells Bloomberg Andrew Mason won't be replaced as CEO over the near-term. Between today's AH move and Tuesday's, the Street has made its feelings on the matter pretty clear. Groupon held a board meeting today. (Mason's remarks[View news story]
    Know anyone who *still owns* GRPN from the IPO?

    I'd like to LOL in their faces (and I'm not normally so mean spirited).
    Nov 29 05:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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