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  • "Iceland's luck was that it did not qualify for a bailout," says Asgeir Jonsson, describing a country that - contrary to Ireland - refused to put the debt of its banks on the backs of citizens. A quick collapse ensued, but now the country is back borrowing on international markets (at 3%), returned to growth, and with a solid banking system.  [View news story]
    Iceland would not be able to do what it did if it was in the Eurozone.
    Jun 16 09:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Google (GOOG) increasingly considers Facebook a mortal threat: "The company that controls the traffic gets the power and the money... Social networks drive an ever increasing share of traffic on the internet, and that traffic is power and money." The threat is to Google's standing as the central internet company "that everyone gravitates around."  [View news story]
    I find it funny that people complain about Google's privacy issues when they voluntarily vomit everything about themselves onto Facebook.
    Apr 22 11:56 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple (AAPL) accuses Samsung (SSNLF.PK) of violating several patents and trademarks, but Samsung officials suspect Apple has violated the Japanese firm’s wireless technology patents instead. "Apple is one of our key buyers of semiconductors and display panels. However, we have no choice but to respond strongly this time," Samsung says.  [View news story]
    Samsung is Korean ...
    Apr 19 08:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has Google Taken Its Eye Off Its Core Search Business? [View article]
    Who cares about China? Google would do better to strengthen its business in other developing markets such as Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa than to return to China. There are plenty of people in those places that need/want what Google offers, too, and these markets could/will grow as fast as China. Competing against China Inc. is a loser's game in the long run, and Google was smart to get out when it did.
    Apr 18 10:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The House votes 235-193 to pass the Ryan plan that would cut federal spending by ~$6T and overhaul Medicare and Medicaid. All Democrats voted against; four Republicans opposed, including Ron Paul. The Senate is expected to come up with a much different budget plan in the coming weeks.  [View news story]
    I wondered if the Ryan budget was what seniors were hoping for when they voted overwhelmingly Republican during the 2010 election.

    Now would be a good time for them to shout "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!"
    Apr 15 03:17 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Google's (GOOG) unnerving spending spike prompts a rare downgrade, as Citigroup drops shares to Hold and cuts its price target to $650 from $750. No less than eight brokerages lower price targets. BofA Merrill Lynch is more forgiving, maintaining its $750 target based partly on anticipation of a "strong Android Christmas" for new mobile devices. GOOG -5.5% premarket.  [View news story]
    I drop Citigroup from Sell to Fecal Material.
    Apr 15 09:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Spending cuts not expected to dent $1.5T deficit [View article]
    I remember, from last year's coverage, that teabaggers were decidedly an older demographic. They held up nonsensical signs about who knows what and demanded that the government get its hands off their Medicare. Hmmm.

    I hope that one day, I'll see them put their money where their ignorant mouths are and really do something to help the deficit. Let's see them hold a Medicare card burning party. Let's see them refuse Social Security for the good of their grandchildren. I'm not holding my breath. They are too selfish and hypocritical to do anything that truly makes a difference.
    Apr 12 10:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Worry About the Potential Closure of the Federal Government [View article]
    I do not absolve Clinton for signing the repeal, and that remains a black mark on his record. I only highlight your (un)intentional exclusion of any Republicans from the repeal effort. Clinton signed the repeal, but the genesis of such a wholesale breakdown of regulatory structure could only have originated from a Reagan Republican.

    You already made the tired Community Reinvestment Act argument in your with your McDonald's comment. What do you say to the fact that the majority of the subprime loans were written by unregulated independent mortgage lenders--not entities regulated under the CRA?

    No one forced lenders to make bad loans. Lenders wrote loans, collected the fees, and passed on the risk by selling the loans to investors who believed that real estate prices would never fall again. They were more than happy to make bad loans--no government arm twisting necessary.

    I did not give anyone a free pass. I merely stated the fact that Libya is small beans compared with Iraq. Care to dispute it?
    Apr 8 03:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Don't Worry About the Potential Closure of the Federal Government [View article]
    1. Clinton repealed Glass-Steagal, but Gramm wrote the bill. Regardless, your comment shows why some people consider Clinton to be the best Republican president since Eisenhower.

    2. The sophisticated party in a loan trasaction is the lender. Anyone can apply for a loan--the lender is responsible for separating the wheat from the chaff. No one forced WaMu to lend to hand out money to anyone with a pulse. One cannot blame the government for a complete abdication of corporate responsibility.

    3. I assume you use quotation marks around "war" because Congress never issued a formal declaration. Anyway, Libya is small beans compared with Iraq.
    Apr 8 02:12 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Merger Mania: The Hidden Risks in Cheap Blue Chip Technology Stocks [View article]
    "High priced, but inexpensive" is not an oxymoron. "High priced" refers to price per share, while "inexpensive" refers to the P/E ratio. Conversely, a $5 stock with a P/E of 100 would be low priced and expensive.
    Apr 7 03:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chinese Government Going After Google? [View article]
    The idea that a company needs to succeed in China in order to thrive is ridiculous. In fact, given the utter lack of intellectual property protection (more likely state-sponsored corporate espionage), why would any company want to do business there? There are five billion other people in the world to whom it can sell its products.

    Let's see Baidu do anything meaningful outside of China.
    Apr 5 03:08 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Brazil's push to oust VALE CEO Agnelli reflects a troubling trend in which developing countries try to reassert control and get their hands on the massive profits of formerly state-owned commodity producers. Petrobas (PBR) has been a target of government meddling as well.  [View news story]
    Brazil's government has to balance making Brazil attractive for foreign investment with ensuring that a portion of profits generated by the country's mineral wealth benefits the local population. Much of the wealth redistributed from commodity companies will help 1) industrial companies as Brazil continues to build and modernize and 2) consumer-based companies as the rapidly-growing middle class spends more. Don't feel too sorry for Vale and Petrobras--they, and their shareholders, will continue to make money hand over fist.

    If you do not like what is happening to Vale and Petrobras, feel free to sell your shares or to not purchase them at all. The government would appreciate you helping to reduce the flood of investment dollars into Brazil, which has driven up inflation and the value of the Real.

    Anyway, regardless of government intervention, Petrobras will, one day, be larger and more important than Exxon and Chevron combined.

    Flame away.
    Mar 25 12:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Comparing Heavyweight Tech Titans: Why Intel Is a Better Investment Than IBM [View article]
    1. PCs (and servers) are not going away. Mobile devices are more convenient for simple tasks, but there are many things that they are simply not equipped to do. I like using my iPad a lot more than my PC, but I still need the PC.

    2. There are legions of people around the world who do not have PCs. Growth in PCs will likely be slower than growth in mobile devices, but there will be growth.

    3. I'm betting that Intel will eventually figure it out either through R&D or by acquisition. Once it does, it will eventually command an outsized, if not dominant share in the market. Why? That's just what Intel does.

    4. Cloud computing is supposed to be a high-growth area, which would increase demand for servers. Intel is dominant here, and will remain dominant even as IBM and HP take share.

    In conclusion, Intel will definitely be part of the future. Meanwhile, enjoy the high dividend yield and low PEG ratio.
    Feb 23 01:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Comparing Heavyweight Tech Titans: Why Intel Is a Better Investment Than IBM [View article]
    Wyeth cost 9X more than McAfee. Pfizer buying Wyeth would be like Intel buying Qualcomm.
    Feb 22 09:37 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Visa: Netflix's Future [View article]
    Can't Comcast "magically" go directly to the comsumer? Before it split itself into two companies, Time Warner could go directly to the consumer as well. Disney and Apple are natural allies due to Jobs' influence at DIS.

    I see two scenarios, which other commenters have touched upon:

    1. Streaming isn't difficult, and Netflix does not have any special claim to the infrastructure. If Netflix is making so much money, why are the content generators signing their profits away to Netflix on the cheap? Just because Starz signed a bad deal does not mean that Disney, Time Warner, Sony, Comcast, Discovery, NewsCorp, etc., etc. will follow suit. Consumers may get angry if the content producers cut Netflix out, as it is a convenient aggregator. However, consumers will continue watch what they want to watch, and if they like their shows enough, they will even sign up with multiple content producers if something like Hulu does not work out. Content generators saw what Apple did to the recording industry, and they are loathe to let Netflix dominate their industry. Basically, to survive, Netflix would have beg the content generators to let them play. Good luck with that one.

    2. If, for some reason, the content producers do not stream themselves, companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are sure to (eventually) defeat Netflix. These companies have the financial wherewithal to 1) offer content generators deals that make Netflix's "huge checks" look like pocket change and 2) undercut Netflix's prices. In other words, they have the ability to be better middlemen than Netflix. Apple and Google are Netflix partners now, but I doubt these partnerships will last forever (or even a few years).

    Can you make an argument as to why either one of these scenarios will not happen?
    Feb 7 04:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment