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  • Monday's Earnings War: The Battle For The Soul Of McDonald's  [View article]
    I'm not sure McDonald's has an actual soul, but as long as they can make it cheaper and more convenient to eat at McDonald's than to cook nutritious meals at home, there will always be a new crop of glassy eyed obese children to keep the profits flowing. Whatever food costs you, it costs McDonald's less. Especially when their scientists/nutritionists work diligently to produce the latest flavor enhancements to add to their calorific offerings.
    Jul 22, 2012. 03:19 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rupert Murdoch has resigned from the boards of a number of News Corp. (NWS) units, including News International, whose British newspapers have been embroiled in a long-running hacking scandal. The "corporate housecleaning exercise" comes ahead of the proposed split of News Corp. into two, and could reignite speculation that the company may sell the papers.   [View news story]
    This is all a sham. Resigning from the board while still controlling his network of propaganda, means nothing. He will go down as one of the greatest liars of our time.
    Jul 22, 2012. 03:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Smartphone - A Good Idea  [View article]
    Esekia, how did you read the article you linked to and come to the conclusion that same day shipping is anything but a rumor or at best a writer over at's idea of what AMZN should or might do? Read it again.

    I suppose someone should write an article about how if "Power Options" writes an article about this but is honest enough to call it a rumor and someone named Andres Cardinal posits the same idea at Motley Fool it suddenly gains credence and is next to a sure thing. I also liked Cardinal's recent article entitled "Facebook Could Explode After This Move." Gotta give it to have lots of articles on what stocks are going to revolutionize and change forever and whatnot and make their paying subscribers rich.

    Why not write an article about the fact that AMZN finally saw the writing on the wall and started caving on the sales tax issue? It's patently unfair that brick and mortar retailers have to tax their sales and Amazon does not. It's not rocket science and even an army of lawyers won't win in the end. The most probable reason they surrendered in California is that their researchers told them that their ballot initiative was hitting some strong headwinds.

    While nothing is impossible, one additional possibility is that someone has to come up with a way to convince folks that AMZN truly does have something up their sleeve and can conjure up their next act. Otherwise it might become apparent that the company's stock is grossly overpriced and the fundamentals have been deteriorating rather than improving. It's not nice to notice that the company's earnings are expected to come in at half what they came in at two years ago, but that's progress for you.
    Jul 20, 2012. 05:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon Smartphone - A Good Idea  [View article]
    It's hard to take an article seriously that posits mostly on "rumors" and then offers and option strategy when the title of the article is "Amazon Smartphone--A good idea."

    If I were an AMZN stockholder the last thing I would want them to do is enter another crowded market where margins are going to be razor thin. The truth is that AMZN doesn't have a clue as to how to profitably employ their enormous cash flow. The next step appears to be a movement from vertical integration to horizontal. That would make them move them more towards conglomerate status and a more appropriate valuation would be to move towards a lower P/E than pure growth would warrant. After all, producing widgets isn't really an exciting growth story.

    As to this outlandish same day delivery rumor, I haven't heard many more absurd ideas floating around out there. What is AMZN going to do, build hundreds of additional fulfillment centers and stock them with thousands of products? Are they going to somehow get FedEx and/or UPS to ship them for free on the same day or are they going to buy fleets of delivery trucks and aircraft to accomplish this. Candidate for the goofiest idea presented as a serious possibility yet.
    Jul 18, 2012. 03:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia (NOK) slashes the price of its flagship Lumia 900 phone by half in the U.S., barely a quarter after its introduction - though it's not clear whether Nokia or partner AT&T (T) will take the bigger hit. Quick price drops aren't unprecedented, but NOK (with market cap now down more than 95% from its tech-boom peak) is under scrutiny after a lackluster Lumia rollout.   [View news story]
    This is terrible news for Nokia, but not so bad for consumers. Will people buy brand X at a fraction of the cost of what the coolest kids on the block are paying for their phones? I think yes. Will the Lumia be grossly inferior? I think not. Will the phone stop working if Nokia goes belly up. Again, I think not. It certainly looks bad for Nokia, but there may be more to this story than a distressed company acting in desperation.
    Jul 15, 2012. 05:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • If you think Jamie Dimon (JPM) can't end up like Barclays' Bob Diamond, think again, says Jonathan Weil. The fact that JPMorgan only decided on Thursday to restate Q1 results shows that Dimon still hadn't grasped how internal controls are failing him and the company.   [View news story]

    What you say sounds nice in theory. In the real world, history has taught us that players who break the rules seeking to make a killing in the markets usually become desperate when losses begin piling up. The next act is to double down to get even. When things continue to worsen, said gambler usually makes even more desperate bets in an attempt to cover up their mistakes/crimes. Las Vegas was built on the reliability of such behavior.
    Jul 14, 2012. 04:23 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Traders Did It!  [View article]
    You make a good point.

    Actually I moved my account to Schwab in 1981. I still contend it was much easier to do well if you had the intellectual capacity in an up or down market before the advent of black box algorithms and other models that are indifferent to company name, fundamentals or common sense. The liquidity they add is more than outweighed by the carnage they create in a euphoric, panicked or jittery market. The departure of informed individual investors hasn't been offset by the advent of mega-mutual funds.

    The stock market is now dumbed down to the point where price discovery is in the hands of institutions that make their money by collecting fees and commissions and are nearly indifferent to intelligent valuations.
    Jul 13, 2012. 04:22 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Traders Did It!  [View article]
    I respectfully disagree that conventional banking is a fundamentally bad business. I've worked all over that landscape...back shop, marketing, and management, but that was years ago.

    Credit standards were strict and deals that intuitively made all the sense in the world were turned down because credit managers with decades of experience under their belts knew to always expect the unexpected.

    Your experience with a business start up makes the argument for good banks rather than against them. It would flat out be bad business to loan to an entity without the required equity, cash flow and time in business to demonstrate credit worthiness. Of course you had to personally guarantee the loan, but by doing so, you were establishing a relationship with that bank that could grow with your success. At the point your business became an established reliable customer, other banks would come calling and the power shifted to you. You could negotiate for the best terms available for your business profile.

    I also had the unpleasant experience of working for a rapacious lender who was willing to make loans to less than stellar credits. Rates were outrageously high and any loan had to be collateralized from 150% and up. Those businesses had a high risk profile that required that sort of lender for deals to get done.

    I'm a bit confused. Should the government back loans that prudent bankers won't touch? Perhaps. But the fact remains, most start ups fail. Certain types of businesses fail at an extremely high rate. Banking when done old style is both an honorable and profitable enterprise.
    Jul 13, 2012. 03:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Traders Did It!  [View article]
    Yes, computers gaming the market have helped, haven't they? Looking back at my trading records I wonder why it was so much easier to make money when discount commissions were $19.99 and liquid stocks carried an eight bid/ask spread than it is now that the spread is a penny or two.

    Your argument is a joke.
    Jul 13, 2012. 01:31 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Traders Did It!  [View article]
    Bank of America called Countrywide an investment. What a deal they got on that one!
    Jul 13, 2012. 12:30 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Traders Did It!  [View article]
    The "all" you speak of have lost faith in our markets and would rather put their money into Certificates of Deposit. Yes of course the man on the street can and does own mutual fund shares, while an invisible hand takes its commissions come rain or shine and performing in line with the market is the norm. This article is spot on. Who wants to compete against super computers and big time manipulators when our economy is already in shambles?
    Jul 13, 2012. 12:25 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Traders Did It!  [View article]
    And Rupert Murdoch has played an important part in the destruction of journalistic integrity around the world. He's the equivalent of J. Edgar Hoover in his later years, but with an agenda. While he may have been temporarily caught in a wringer lately, there aren't many in this world who would dare to take this man on. He has more power than any one man should have in shaping public opinion and he shamelessly abuses it.
    Jul 13, 2012. 12:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple And The Overseas Tax Showdown  [View article]
    The effective US corporate tax rate last year was at a 40 year low of 12.1% for 2011.
    Jul 12, 2012. 10:28 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple And The Overseas Tax Showdown  [View article]
    Why keep trumpeting this 35% tax rate when companies like General Electric, Paccar, FedEx, Corning, Wells Fargo, Honeywell International, Dupont, Verizon, Baxter International, Boeing, Mattel and a host of other US Corporations paid no taxes over a period of three years? These guys write the tax codes and their dupes are more than happy to pick up the mantra of stop picking on poor helpless corporate giants.
    Jul 12, 2012. 10:23 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple And The Overseas Tax Showdown  [View article]
    Message from earth. US citizens are required to pay taxes on income from abroad. Give us the same treatment as corporations (we all know that corporations are people) so the we can invest in and maintain all our accounts offshore to avoid taxes.

    Corporations are accountable to their shareholders. Aside from all the PR rhetoric, they are neither patriotic or concerned with what is good for America. They wrote the laws that allow them to avoid taxes--domestically they usually run to any state that offers lower taxes or cheaper labor and the race to the bottom continues. Each whore lowering their price to turn a trick and flimflam the public into believing that subsidizing jobs by adding to the ordinary taxpayer load is really good for America. Isn't working so well right now.

    It might be instructive to review how well off the citizenry are when oligarchs rule. That is how the pendulum has swung, so all you wannabe plutocrats enjoy your dreams of endless wealth while America burns. You are all true patriots. The politicians you hate are you, because its your money that buys them.
    Jul 12, 2012. 08:09 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment