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  • Microsoft: The Era Of $99 Windows Tablets Is Here [View article]
    Almost two years ago before Christmas, around the corner at the mall from the packed Apple store was a nearly deserted Microsoft kiosk with an attendant demonstrating Surface tablets. Nice-enough product but their fatal problem was the price set at iPad levels. Ballmer never understood that the world has changed since Microsoft could impose it's latest products on it's dominant captive customer base in the 1990's and that his amazingly continual product flops were largely responsible.

    Under CEO Nadella, Microsoft may finally be getting it, as these $99 tablets demonstrate. Disseminating the Microsoft brand now requires attractive pricing and given their still-massive cash cow software business, they still have a chance to retain relevance and grow despite a decade-plus series of disastrous arrogance and mistakes that would have destroyed almost any other business anywhere.
    Sep 17 03:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Time To Get Out Of eBay [View article]
    Ebay's upper management under CEO John Donahoe has always been fast to milk the quick buck exploiting it's users under the cable company model rather than primarily via disruptive innovations that are of new and genuine service to customers. This is their business model, honed on first-mover status with the naturally fast-growing cash cow of their online marketplace and then Paypal built on millions of captive Ebay sellers.

    They never fast or moved beyond simply snatching the quick buck nor has the reputation of that company evolved past a destructive feature on 60 Minutes on Paypal's senseless arrogance in harming some of it's customers' careers and finances. This is a treatment Ebay issues with impunity to it's small sellers with which Apple among others, need not associate. And which leaves Ebay and Paypal soon likely to eat the dust of more large and aggressive competitors who find ways to profit through innovation and service more than by exploitation.
    Sep 15 01:23 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Good Times, Bad Times [View article]
    Yet another point right on target in these articles. ZIRP has enabled a fracking boom to become the largest single percentage of US capex at one third despite stagnant revenues. While often cited as a great benefit, expanding interest rates and imploding consumer economics in the West may show the extent of even this economically beneficial oil boom to have been mainly another CB-engineered bubble when enough bills become due and rollovers at eventual higher interest rates become unfeasible.

    The American consumer cannot come to the rescue anymore given the extended low- and underemployment feature of this "recovery," and given the profit incentive by recipients of the "wealth effect" of policies that continue the economic strangulation of privately-employed Main Street without signs of actual recovery, their "best case" is to continue "slowly boiling the frog" of vanishing and debt-sodden middle class America until there is insufficient memory or energy among them to expect more than a government check or crumbs from the table of the rich.
    Sep 15 08:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: eBay - Down 6% Since The Apple Pay Announcement, And This Is Just The Beginning [View article]
    "Here is how it applies to ebay: 20% of the customers (your small-scale sellers who sell their attic junk) caused 80% of the problems."

    Alibaba has done well enough with small sellers to come rise from nowhere to becoming larger than Ebay in a very short time. Having a snooty attitude and policies that equate small sellers with lousy sellers is an unproductive stance whose results are shown by Ebay's consistently laggard results during John Donahoe's tenure as CEO.
    Sep 12 10:28 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wall Street Breakfast: EU Places New Sanctions On Russia, U.S. To Follow [View article]
    "A smarter move would be to just lower the tax rate (For all)."

    Exactly. Low tax/regulation enterprise zones to revitalize blighted areas were a policy sometimes used in the 1980's but have been consigned to the Memory Hole because they are too broad-based to facilitate mutual back-scratching for special favors for one-off deals like Tesla's and many other large interests.

    Obviously low taxes and regulations stimulate private enterprise but our stupendously wasteful and corrupt representatives are just not interested in a true American recovery that would leave them and their cronies out of the loop.
    Sep 12 08:22 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Friday---When Bubblevision Misses The Epic Failure Of The US Labor Market [View article]
    Tack - "The data suggests a huge pool of unfilled jobs due to lack of qualifications. If and until the work force is altered to offer needed skills, they can send out resumes until the cows come home."

    Multinational and TBTF corporations are well-versed in adhering to the letter of laws and requirements including those of employment, and their political stooges in government have no problem looking the other way when skilled employment slots are crafted to screen out qualified American employees in favor of cheaper immigrants. Americans who make it to final stages of actual interviews can be disposed of there.

    Just another competitive advantage major corporations and the well-heeled enjoy gaming the system since they are increasingly the only game in town vs. Main Street when it comes to buying the friendship of our political "representatives."
    Sep 11 12:13 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Friday---When Bubblevision Misses The Epic Failure Of The US Labor Market [View article]
    Tack - "...because of that massive excess capacity, the new capital for that support can be created without inspiring much inflation. Now, of course, if we approach full capacity, then the ballgame will be entirely different..."

    Since Western labor markets have rarely been slacker yet financial paper has never been bid higher, it seems the recoveryless recovery our fixers have hit upon may be the perfect solution. They can print to the moon, provide endless profits for financialism yet never reach Main Street with a recovery. It works! at least until someone questions the taxpayer and Federal Reserve balance sheets.
    Sep 11 09:14 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jobs Friday---When Bubblevision Misses The Epic Failure Of The US Labor Market [View article]
    After this latest edition of Mr. Stockman's truth-telling about the emperor's new recovery, "the fixers have everything under control" SA crowd that always buys the dips and slams any criticism of the Enronesque accounting fraud "recovery" that has consumed the entire sovereign balance sheets of the West will recommence ridiculing all who don't share their delusional confidence in the fruits of this, the greatest ponzi of all time.
    Sep 10 08:19 PM | 25 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: eBay - Down 6% Since The Apple Pay Announcement, And This Is Just The Beginning [View article]
    Ebay CEO John Donahoe has spent his tenure managing the steep relative decline of the Ebay marketplace cash cow through relentless small seller-unfriendly rules and maximized fees while touting Paypal as Ebay's future.

    Putting all his eggs in the Paypal basket which grew largely via millions of captive Ebay sellers is not proving wise now at all. Competitors as smart and potent as Google, Apple, Visa and Mastercard which are just getting started in online payments, may prove as capable of eating Ebay's lunch as Amazon and Alibaba have in internet commerce given the slow-footed, greedy and unimaginative upper management Ebay has demonstrated under John Donahoe.
    Sep 10 03:10 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The World Financial System Is Rife With 'Stimulus' Junkies [View article]
    "Economic growth of 4% is essential to stop this. The free market alone cannot generate this and divide the spoils."

    This is no longer possible in the IOUSA where free markets and real price discovery have been supplanted by crony capitalism, financialism, legalism and excess government which have created conditions where no amount of debt thrown at these corrupt and bloated interests has been able to generate more than 3% tops coming out of a deep economic downturn, which has never happened here before. And these results are padded with statistics that measure inflation as growth and a tailwind of an historic oil boom and gas glut.

    But it sure has been a fun party buying the dips!
    Sep 5 10:25 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The World Financial System Is Rife With 'Stimulus' Junkies [View article]
    No doubt Pampano Frog figures that if it hasn't rained in a long time, it never will. And that you can never go wrong buying the dips.
    Sep 5 10:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Secular Stagnation Or The Cusp Of A Boom? [View article]
    "In a highly competitive, capitalist system, high profit margins do not persist; they are competed away."

    And financial sector profits have risen to represent an unprecedented portion of these systemically elevated corporate profits, restored to their glory by the policies and bailouts provided by the government and the Federal Reserve post-2008 Wall Street meltdown.

    Given the order of magnitude increase in the size of government and the additional order of magnitude of influence it wields via astronomical increases in regulations with associated kickbacks, coerced settlements, public - "private" career revolving doors and the growth of crony capitalism generally since the Great Depression, parasitism has never been more profitable and yet more costly to the US. Especially if decreased American innovation resulting from the increased overreach of the dead hand of government and crony capitalists causes a permanent loss of economic dynamism and of innovations that are as significant as the invention of the chocolate chip cookie was in 1930.
    Sep 2 11:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fed Replaces The Unemployment Rate [View article]
    Thanks for the update on our public and quasi-public servants' latest gimmicks and distortions of reality intended to heap praise on the "bartender economy" that has resulted from $trillions of taxpayer debt and printed dollars whose lousy pay and weak worker leverage they actually favor since it keeps the only inflation they really fear and avoid - earnings gains for labor - hopelessly in check.
    Aug 26 08:21 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 8 Reasons Why A New Global Financial Crisis Could Be On The Way [View article]
    Michael Clark - Please allow me to suggest to you Sibelius Symphony #4. He was Finnish and you can actually hear the isolation of long winters he spent in a cabin writing, in that piece of music especially. Long ideas with many active flurries interspersed, and an incredible sense of isolation and varied emotions in often subdued but alive, powerful and oddly beautiful music.
    Aug 25 06:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 8 Reasons Why A New Global Financial Crisis Could Be On The Way [View article]
    "How is it other people's money? The oil fields are nationalized and belong to all people."

    Clarification: When the oil money runs out, they will need to dig deeper into someone's pockets to keep socialism funded. There is always less amity and comraderie when taxes are raised on hard-working citizens to replace a windfall that permitted transfer payments and entitlements to bloat further than they would have otherwise.
    Aug 24 06:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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