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  • "Food has been the Achilles' heel of the company," says a Starbucks (SBUX) exec, describing plans to revamp store menus to be healthier and wallet-friendlier. But after trying to sell music, DVDs, coffee machines, and brunch foods, some wonder if Starbucks will ever realize there's nothing wrong with just selling coffee.  [View news story]
    Starbucks does not sell coffee - it sells an image of cafe culture. It should focus on this. Although I agree that for coffee businesses in general, there is nothing wrong with focusing on coffee. Unfortunately for Starbucks, the problem with this business model is that it requires also selling coffee that tastes good.
    Jun 3 10:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware 'Dividend Aristocrats' that Actually Offer Low Yields, No Real Income [View article]
    Dividend Aristocrats are also a good investment because they INCREASE their dividends - not just because of their current yield. As you say, dividend increases promise more dividend income in the future, but they should also produce greater capital gains (dividend increases are often followed by increases in share price). I think this needs to be factored in to the decision to purchase them. In contrast, higher yielding stocks that have a higher payout ratio are i.) not able to invest capital to grow, ii.) in danger of maintaining the dividend in a bad year and iii.) consequently unlikely to increase in value.
    Apr 9 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Big Banking Emperors' New Clothes [View article]
    The changes in regulation sound both reasonable and principled. It is reasonable because there is already a well established measure of liquidity - anything that sells below what you think it is worth does so due to insufficient demand, and is therefore illiquid - and a known value for these assets - just ask the asset holder. It is the principled thing to do because reality is just a code word for "ontological regulation". I don't like mathematics telling me what I can and can't do.

    While I applaud this move, it would be both forward thinking and noble for banks grasp the banner of the free market and extend it to their customers. Bankers of the world: I want a million dollars for a house and have a 10% down payment in the form of 2000 "illiquid" shares of AIG. Contact me if interested.
    Apr 2 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Making Canada Our 51st State Could Make It Easier to Buy American [View article]
    Mar 19 12:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How to Not Pay the AIG Bonuses [View article]
    Why not just allow the bonuses to be paid out, take the subpoenaed list of people who received them, hand it over to the ISR and then let them play getback through audits. Put seven years of these people's stuff in the light of day and the crooked ones are sure to fall.
    Mar 16 04:39 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cramer Grilled on Jon Stewart [View article]
    The issue (and this is repeatedly lost in the commentary on this feud) is the difference between investment and speculation. Buying equities for the long term in good companies is investment. Cramer's theatrical bs is speculation that is driven by the demands of the newscycle.

    To the extent that speculation (in excess) harms a financial system, Cramer is guilty for promoting it. Many of the bubbles we have seen recently would have been much smaller if investors had the benefit of someone to help them take the long perspective.

    On Mar 13 08:40 AM NHFDSQD2 wrote:

    > Typical liberal, blame one guy or network for individual people losing
    > money. Maybe cramers call was late, but he did tell everyone to
    > go mostly to cash somewhere around 9000. The blame lies all around,
    > and if these individual investors are too lazy to do their homework,
    > hopefully this will be lesson learned.
    > There were & are many Financial Gurus who new this market was
    > going to de-leverage & unwind to these levels. The information
    > was in books, the web, etc., you just had to look for it (homework
    > or due diligence for investors.) As stated in a previous post, Cramer
    > is a good place to get into the market and learn some basics, but
    > to lay all of your eggs in his basket is not smart. Do your own
    > due diligence; it's your money, educate yourself.
    > Stewart's shots at Cramer are the equivalent of Santelli blaming
    > only the Poor homeowners for this mess.
    Mar 13 11:07 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Canadian Banks May Be Risk-Averse, But They're Not Immune [View article]
    I agree with your analysis of relative change in unemployment rates, but the analysis of absolute levels may have less meaning. Different governments measure unemployment differently. As I understand it, Canada includes people who are currently not working but have a commitment from a company to start a new job. Also, the US excludes people who are currently suffering from temporary illness. I don;t know if differences like these make a difference - just a general caution about comparing across regions that use different measurement techniques - same goes for other economic figures too
    Mar 11 10:14 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment