What is News Worthy

  • Malone's Magic shines on Pandora!
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  • Can MSNBC shake the Liberal media under Comcast and take over?
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  • Not another investigation!
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  • Did May deal a good hand to Merkel?
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  • Bill Gross: without German Umbrella just another Economist trying to get attention?
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  • Qatar and $12B in orders after Saudi Mega deals in Defense Spend: A new business Model?

Re-inventing America!

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Silicon Valley Vibes!

  • Elon Musk Line: Car mover underground in Hollywood!
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  • Would you allow Siri to drive you around?
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  • Google Ventures : the hidden gold mine? From curing death to scissoring and splicing genes?
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  • GS Warriors : Is Oakland ready to be part of High Tech bubble?
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  • Did Ford Make a big mistake by changing their tradional CEO?
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  • Killing Uber Management: Is it a Mistake which will burst the bubble?

FANG News:

  • What ever happened to House of Cards: Its not even 7 seasons
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  • Mother of all AI? Lets Fix SIRI before leaping too high!
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  • Under steady Republican policies - will American Advertising spend go down?
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  • If Waymo is $70 Billion should Uber be $200B?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Looks like the First 100 Days..May be till November?

First One Hundred days of Mr Obama's administration was like a bullet train running through Washington with no destination in sight.

From Policy changes to Political maneuvering it was very carefully orchestrated to balance Wall Street sentiments and Main Street Populist needs.

From Bail outs of Financial Institution to expanding entitlements to the common - no stopping the political punishments waiting from the administration to those who stood in the way of reforms - as some veterans leave politics for good while others jump back on the wall to see the fever before punging back again!

Then the Healthcare stalemate and the 100 day burn out was trending towards the usual Washington redericks and politicking!

Till now!

Now that the Healthcare reform is muscled through with minimal political damage and still a long stretch before November- it looks like the Obama Administration is off to another healthy clip!

From Financial reforms to Educational changes are appearing with much more vigor!

Not to juggle just a couple - as the new Drilling and exploration in the home front after 20 plus years of going dry!

It certainly looks like "Vintage" Obama working the changes while the campaign trail for November is just beginning!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mr Gasparino and his following!

A couple of years ago - this story would have taken the money managers and news reporters drooling for replay - like the Apple story!

When Mr Gasparino was with CNBC he WAS the go to man for anything inside stroy on Wall Street!

Financial Whatever CNBC rating maching relied solely on Mr Gasparino!

In his new assignment with FOX - his news - though as NewsWorthy as they were before - are finding itself in the trash bin like every other WSJ embraced Fox Business News!

Now that could be an opportunity!

Today the story was the usual culprit - Goldman Sachs and their money making capability and their about to conclude quarter!

According to Mr Gasparino - Goldman hit it out of the Park! Now this is not an easy one to digest for Mr Gasparino - who is normaly critical of Goldman and their covetted alumni- including Mr Paulson - who refuese to talk to Mr Gasparino!

But Goldman reversed its early morning advance and dropped over 3 dors from the high!

May be it was Mr Volcker's meeting with the White House & their staff was weighing in every one's mind - but still -

With the Weekend coverage and a positive mention in Barrons - this apears to be a very good opportunity - Once again to load up on Goldman Sachs!

It

Is China hiding its holding?

China has been in the story from every directions!

Economic recovery to Selling Nukes!

Currency manipulations to dumping US Treasury!

Labor abuse to censorship!

While they seem to be new 800 pound Gorilla in the export driven economy with a ton of American papers- they seem to be silently diversifying their reserves - As the street speaks!

Or is it possible that they are hiding their holdings - by moving the exposure to Chinese owned and managed funds from outside China?

Looking at the relationship between Washington & Beijing - reading between the lines after scarping all the noise - it certainly appears that way!

Both policy makers and politicians alike from both the countries understand why they are wedded to their hips and don't want this to break- atleast till that point in time when the global economy is a real corporate Mecca and not a political gambling!

Is it Newsworthy? The CNBC Standard??

Monday Wall Street Journal speculates on What has been the hottest company in Technology - Apple!

CNBC picks up the wire and runs with the Story!

The normally loud Fast Company gang which is very Apple friendly - this is a REAL HOT story!

Go through the WSJ story - the usual speculation with no credible backing from any of Apple spokes person- the usual storyline from folks at Infinite Loop in Cupertino!

The tape loves the replay on CNBC - And that's good enough for CNBC folks to identify a news worthy piece when it airs it!

Every 10 minutes - their Silicon Valley chief Mr Goldman - is all over it - I mean all over the WSJ article!

From Analysts to Chief executives : The same story!

Every company that is remotely associated with this story has changed directions on this over play by Mr Goldman and his able team at CNBC!

Apple inches closer to Microsoft!

Verizon inches closer to Apple!

RIM scratching its PALM!

While AT&T thinking of their over paying customers ditching?

And the folks at FOX scratching their head - as CNBC runs through their (WSJ - a new member in the NEWS Corp fold) tabloid like story over and over and over and....and keeping the loyal Apple viewers and analysts alike to their reporters!

From Mr Gross to Mr Greenspan!

Started by Mr El Erian a few months back...joined voicefully by Mr Gross and finally their buddy & colleague Mr Greenspan explained it all on Bloomberg!

Yes the German company's PIMCO is at it again bad mouthing and jaw boning the treasury market to gain power and money!

They have succeeded in the past! More than once and rather consistently!

And ofcourse they do not have a stellar performance during the Obama time and the Chicago team! They got slapped a few times and the Economic team of Mr Obamahas been quick in the past shut them up!

And then there was the Greasy experience when even Mr Gross underestimated the Euro impications of a structurally weak union and currency!

Can they succeed this time around?

Given the short experience we have about the Obama administration and the agressive and vidicaative Mr Summers with the matured Mr Geithner- it should pass as spring gives way to Summer and the economic overhang from the higher interest rate should fade and give way to better employment number going into the holiday season towards the end of the year!

Breaking the Rimm, Finally?

Rumours about Apple, Again!

And this time around it is rattling the entire smartphone market!

From Chipmakers to Wireless providers!

And Mr Gates.....looking behind at Mr Jobs!

Simplicity & Elegance- trailing in volume but made up in quality!

What else can be made - well right from a mass market voice phone to all the way to ...much much more than its current version.

Very Well then - how far? well for starters - just a quick sprint past Microsoft's capitalisation- not a big feat given they are only $60 dollars from where Apple is - given the events between iPad and iPhone refresh to iPhone may be Verizon - well it might quickly surpass everyone above and might be crowned the most valuable company in the country by Thankgiving!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Google - An infrastructure play?

Google in the recent few months has been in the headlines acting as a proxy to the Obama administration trying to break the Great Wall of China!

Berlin Wall is history! Can Google and the likes are a new form of Reaganism trying to break the barriers between nations and politicians in bringing prosperity to humanity globally?

From innovation to productivity generations after generations have come to accept some form of rule and authority - from Authoritarian to democratically elected politicians - and every other form in between.

For the first time - might be a change of guard , if not a final but appears like a beginning , a Corporate giant in the making is standing for freedom and the cause of the common.

At the outset it appears like one of those politically motivated and ill timed war. Looking deeper into the implications and what this could mean historically given what is happening in the Medium of transaction and the financial industry - one couldn't ignore the fact that we are squarely looking at a new form of revolution that could lead to a new order and governance- if not in the Now but sure is an indication of what to come in the decades ahead.

In the meanwhile - this could be an opportunity for Investors to capitalize on Google shares and its potential to more than double in the next few years.

Rationalities for Google are several fold-

a commoditized advertisement spending making it easier for every budget from under a dollar to sky high limits to participate

a cash participation without the overhead of distribution making it easier for any skill level and resource to participate in the cash

Bing or no bing - one major element that people forget is the infrastructure that Google is building that could dwarf anyone's comprehension.

It is not just the technology that makes Google what they are today- it is the cost of entry and the barrier has been raised multiple fold by building the most complicated and scalable infrastructure. Which will take a real visionary to keep expanding the processing , storing and streaming capabilities...in addition to having the bandwidth to serve globally to any corner of the world irrespective of the volume of data with almost zero latency.

With every possible application that can be used using cloud - is being converted into an affordable application available for free to end user.

Looking at the past financial disaster - Google is one of the few that managed to retain its revenue base- showing how compelling their value proposition to their customer base.

Also looking at the last couple of quarters - the transition of Advertisement dollar from traditional media to net based campaigns is accelerating even amongst the traditional industries. From Automobiles to pharmaceuticals companies are increasing their budget to the net. In the next couple of years - it is clear that the exodus to net is a given and that will dramatically increase the size of the Google pie.

Given its current revenue base and market capitalisation - it is clear that it can peak out at $700B - which appears like a ridiculous target looking at its current base. Barring any economic melt down - Google is on its way to achieve it and it will be very evident in its upcoming Q1 numbers - which will be the first real quarter after the Financial Whatever!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A peek at the parking lots in Silicon Valley!

It was a week day- early afternoon!

A little after a typical late lunch Silicon Valley style in Palo Alto- Driving into the Stanford Shopping center was a little neck to neck traffic!

Drive around the mall looking for a spot - not so easy!

This is not a strange day - seems to be the symptoms these days in Silicon Valley!

Malls , Restaurants and strip malls- all the same story! After a couple of years of so so traffic in the malls and shopping centers- as the stock market climbs and the fortunes of high tech employees closely tied to the stock options - it appear we are seeing the second coming of Silicon Valley companies.

Unlike the dot com bubble when the market and cities were littered with worthless option papers and shut down companies- this time around the fortunes are more evident in looking at the war chest of cash in the tech companies - revenue seems to be leap frogging from a much higher level- companies racing past 10-20 Billion in revenue at a healthy 20-30 percent organic growth seems not so much of a head turner.

Unlike the IPO boom of the Frank Quattron era - we are seeing more and more companies staying put and far from Wall Street!

As the world relies more and more on technological break throughs for a daily embracement in everyday lifestyles- it is clear that Silicon Valley, as it integrates itself globally - is booming once again. And unlike the past era boom - this time around cash rich and cautiously optimistic!

A break for Goldman?

In the middle of another Wall street scandal and shenanigans! This time it is in the Muni Bonds...

Every institute that is who is who is named..And guess what Goldman is missing!

After two years of being on the not to envy list on every single occasion from Capital Hill to cross roads in Athens- Goldman finally misses a list which at the initial check appears to include everyone from Lehman to Citi and even the blue touch J P Morgan!

Lets Listen to Mr G!

Mr Greenspan may be a little rusty to the Press and in popularity taking a major blame for the recent Financial Whatever- which happened a full couple of years after he handed over the torch!

However he DID warn a full 6 months ahead of the then pending Recession...the language not so subtle like during his Fed days but in black and white and simple language!

From Irrational Exuberance to Statistical Illusions - Mr Greenspan has always been right on the look ahead!

His latest view in an interview on Bloomberg calls for a new term optimism and a long term bleak outlook given the debt situation.

The opportunistic bet is to be Bullish in the market near term and try to have protection on the long term. Unless ofcourse we believe in topline growth to the US Economic expansion by manufacturing export driven by utility and technology disruptions to existing process and IPs- which is a real possibility given where we are in available product sets and innovation in the pipeline.

Another Greasy deal in Europe!

Growing up is not so easy especially when the grown ups are intimidating!

Final score is less stellar than the grinning face of Mr Pappa on closing a deal with IMF and EU. Is it a new trend in the market influenced in the borderline of blackmailing and moral hazard?

From Bond Vigilantes to Sovereign manipulations and blackmailing...it is a new order emerging which paves a rocky road but a certain path to an eventual change in the medium of transaction.

It is not if ...it is what , how and when!

From Caterpillar to ATT...Joining the Tea Party?

Healthcare and Obamacare is still in its infancy and the ink is yet to find its dry spell!

Obamanomics and Obamacare seems to be squarely on the cross-wires of Mr Owens , Caterpillar's Chief!

While the graveyard was being littered with economic casualties, Mr Owens slapped Mr Obama during his ambitious visit to Caterpillar on the heel of Mr Owens laying off 10,000 of its workers. As a shareholder, yes it was a feel good moment and might even give a bounty full of gold coins to Mr Owens for the layoffs...and not his immediate slamming of Obamacare on the eve of passing the Healthcare reform.

Soon to follow Mr Owens is our Dear fellow from John Deere and ATT.

Is this a mere coincidence or a political gambit on the heals of Tea party folks stirring anger all over the country on the Obamacare?

It is good to see Caterpillar more than double from this blogs earlier assessment of Caterpillars opportunity in the middle of Financial Whatever...and we still fell it is the most opportune company and is the best investment for any economic expansion- from its products and cost structure..however it will be prudent for Mr Owens to focus internally and leave the politicising to the Tea Party and those FOXy folks!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not So Soon...Says Mr Trichet!

Pass the Buck-et Said Ms Merkel to IMF!

USA, Dollar & those Damn Yanks! May be short sighted?

Mr Sarkozy whining for a while and hiding behind the Walls of Ms Merkel looking across the ocean from that Lady of Liberty to light some fire?

Euro is ambitious- yet written with the wrong agenda!

Dollar - To Replace or Not To?
Torching those Olympians might not be the answer when you have to look abroad for the bucket to be filled with Dollars! A weak Euro is still good for the strong and leaving the weak wondering about solidarity!

Mr Trichet is right to insist on staying away from IMF - a Dollar and a proxy for those Yankees! If Euro is to be!

Is Duetche Mark and Francs are far from reality? Is Ms Merkel right in dragging Mr Sarkozy to rattle the ECB who have become very powerful under Mr Trichet who has become larger than life who failed to make the final run for the Gold during the recent Financial Whatever- which could have brought Europe to its knees along with Euro while letting the Dollar and the Yanks be crowned for now and letting the D-day wait for awhile! As the power centers of Europe moved away from Germany & France and circled around Brussels- it is time to rethink!

May be re-ink the deal- while Mr Trichet would like to leave a legacy behind and might be right in his IMF aversion - but given Dr Merkel's Intellectual interpretation of the recent Financial Whatever- it might be a disaster not to IMF!

For the time being the market obviously not too happy with some kind of Bail-out for Greece - thus acting as a EU backstop like the Mr Bernenke Put for those Wall Street Gamblers - this game is not over before the fat lady sings!

And as Mr Trichet joins Mr Greenspan after a glorious time only to be smeared at the goal post- Dollar will enjoy its second coming!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Loadup German and Euro companies!

Economy around the globe is getting on a stable footing even as the Euro Zone politicians manage to keep the spotlight on their less stellar behaviour on solidarity!

As the weaker currency and a solid backing behind Dollar is giving a good opportunity to start cherry picking some of the European companies which rely heavily on export. With India and China hitting on all cylinders, Japan seems to have escaped the Toyota disaster.

With US economy looking at a brighter future- the export oriented multi-nationals from Europe will start showing stelar growth to their bottom line and their stock performance will be better than most markets.

American Corporate Borrowing cheaper!

A year old rally and the fading memory from the Financial Whatever!

As Europe falters in soul searching US Dollar and American Policy Makers - both political and otherwise are capitalising and cherishing the moment!

American corporations are seeing their credibility increasing as the debt market softens its hold on liquidity.

As the first quarter ends we are seeing the corporate borrowing cheaper than US Government!

Now that is very solid for old age companies - the Industrial complex- will see their incentive to expand with low cost capital is a boon for the Economy.

With Technology booming and Financials holding up well and looking at a brighter future- and the Industrial joining the party- thats more than half of the economy it is clear that American Economy is fully functional and ready for a sustained growth.

Blackberry to Silicon Valley!

American Politics and Policies have seen influences from Industrial pioneers to Wall Street mavericks!

From New York to Detroit!

From JP Morgans to Rockefellers!

From Standard Oil to General Motors!

From Domestic policies to Foreigh relations!

When Mr Obama stormed into Whitehouse with a broad smile on one side and a blackberry on the other....it was more that an symbolic indication of where Technlogy is headed.

Move over Detroit and New York!

A kid is in town- Silicon Valley!

From Chuck Phillips to Eric Schmidt- we are seeing more and more Silicon Valley executives circling Washington.

From Carly Fiorina to Meg Whitman are climbing the political ladders which used to be littered by Wall Street moghuls and Industrial pioneers!

Technology and Internet has been ubiquitous and omni present these days and seen in every corners of our life....and Finally Washington and Main street will be feeling the power and force of the people from Technology - from policies to politics!

Walking with a White cord dangling...!

Yes ....iPod, iTouch, iPhone...and the white cord revolution!

Pin stripe , Starched White with Power ties! And the white cord around the neck!

From Wall street to Main street the love grows and Yet....

Tried the i-generations of products and have read and written eagerly about every move by Apple and Steve Jobs!

Still have always resisted the temptations of Apple and disciplined to use products with suitable applicability for my usage!

However it hasn't stopped me from walking into an Apple shop or their presence in places in retails shops from Frys to BestBuy!

As Apple slowly expands its presence in more and more main stream retail as it starts to embrace the mass market...albeit slowly...I drifted into an Apple setup in a Best Buy shop recently!

From its Air to all-in-ones...it is mesmerising and captivating....practicality might be one thing ...but usability and elegance its unbelievable!

Imitation might be the ultimate compliment...but capability to duplicate and offer with Apple's finesse seeps to be a totally different story.

Touch screens from competition seems to be blotchy and sticky at best!

May be not this time...but it was very clear eventually I will fall for it too!

Yes Every one is just a bite away from Apple!

Healthcare and the Obama train!

Finally its here!

The Obamacare and the Political Juggernaut.

It is the socially responsible thing to do! It is a good starter...can it use this as a platform to reaally offer affordale healthcare with no quality compromise.

It is very clear that law of the land is scent marking Washington and policy makers based on the size of the economic contribution to the GDP. From Energy to Healthcare to Wall Street- a dollar spent is a dollar earned!

The political will of the Obama administration is going where no administration in the past have gone!

Public participation visibly is missing contradicting polls and pundits.

There is no anger!

There is no jubiliation!

Outside Washington and the party players and power houses!

Hopefully the Policy makers will do the right thing after having found a way to pass a platform from which real change can be made to bring innovation and cost control to the masses!

Dividends and IPOs!

IPO maret is slowly warming up!

Dividends are going up! Even Starbucks changing its hearts on its dividend policy!

Looks like the corporate world is gaining confidence. With over a Trillion dollar in cash - American Economy could sustain its recent traction and continue to establish a steady growth with employment market expanding in the next few months..And Santa might have lot of work come Christmas

Who would have Thunk? Who-ro??

Not too long ago across the ocean seven seas and seven mountains there was a budding Prince...oh Well who are we kidding?

An Ambitious project, A skyhigh charter with Swiss cheese holes!en

For a while it all appeared too good to be true. And then there where skeptics..fading behind the Dollar bashing and a near melt down possibility of the currency.

Mr Trichet appeared invincible shoeing in casually and forcefully into the legendary Mr Greenspan's! Euro zone and their Monetary policy makers looked headed for the victory lap with Dollar and Yen dusted in the closet.

From the Political will of a few came the single currency monetary union- the near winning medal came through smoke and mirror Monetary independence.

And then Mr Trichet is not to be...the King Maker yet to be crowned!

In the middle of a close to being called a disaster...the Political will of a few from may be a couple- is arranging the funeral of Euro and the voice of MR Trichet echoing from his grave! The vultures circling with the crumbling walls of power in Brussels sprouting al over the ruins of Olympian village and spreading like wild fire!

Can Trichet?

Will Sarkozy?

Should Ms Merkel?

May be Browning the currency with some Tea break?

It is in every one's interest to have a strong balance of power in the capital market and the free market global economy. A vacuum that will be left behind , if Euro were to lose its footing, could and will be easily filled in by a more manipulated currencies - leaving the fragile economies to the hands of a few powerful and wreck less.

Yes it is tough to be black mailed by a runaway train wreck from Greece and Mr Pappa needs to shut his mouth for the sake of saving his country men! It is easy to blame Ms Merkel for all this mess..but Pappa seems to be demanding his rightful guarantee for being fiscally irresponsible?

Yes it is moment to slap the hand to prevent a repeat from others!

Yes Euro could be seen and manipulated for ever if Greece and the likes are allowed to get away.

But this is not the moment to demonstrate strength for punishment but this is the time to bow and step aside to take a breather and regroup- Yes the battle of Greek will be lost ...but the War for Euro and Euro zone solidarity could still be won with MS MErkel and Mr Trichet working hand in hand.

Maybe, Just Maybe....Ms Merkel will and Mr Trichet could!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is Microsoft Agressive and smart to buy MySpace!

Mr Balmer - here is an opportunity that is better than any Microsoft has looked at in the past in terms of opportunity!

Yes with a foot inside FaceBook it might look like a mute move - however this will give the unbeleivable platform that can be bundled with XbOx Live & other Microsoft Cloud offering which will leapfrog what a social platform can offer compared to whaat Facebook and Twitter can do in a decade.

This will make Microsoft the most compelling player in Technology ONC AGAIN- Is Mr Balmer capable of stepping into an area where they have had a tough time comprehending the landscape?

I Hope so - atleast for the sake of innovation and competition which is needed in this burgeoning space more than any other that we have seen in all areas of technology!

Fedex and the state of Global Economy!

Headine numbers nad reports are impressive!

Whats even more interesting is Fedex re-intating its benefits and compensation tripped away during the Financil Whatever!

Looks like the early sign of growth in employment and economic expansion. One lesson that is gaining more and more traction is that the global integration of Financial market might provide an opportunity to force a Financial catastrophy but is very difficult to derail a expanding capitalistic prosperity when there are 6 billion people growing more and more towards a united cause of prosperity!

Ms Merkel 's dilemma - To Greece or not?

Talking aboout shifting priorities-

On the one hand Ms Merkel is pushing for Euro EXPEL & on the other hand back out of a Euro Bailout for Greece forcing an IMF bailout!

Can Euro be an exclusive club keeping them when they prosper and expelling the poor when they falter?

Moves like these might be difficult to maintain credibility of Euro zone solidarity and force a gradual deterioration of ECB and the council. REcently the policy shifts are red-eyed and bullyed by the politicians and not much from the policy makers.

When the chief of Greece toured global power houses of politics including WhiteHouse - it wasnt apparent that the Greeks and their politicians care for their fiscal mistakes and were squarely forcing their inadeuacies and lack of capabilities on the Financial shenanighans of Wall street.

With Ms Merkel pushing Greece to IMF and still contemplating an EU equivalent for IMF - it makes it a hard sell to support Euro other than to profit from the speculative powers of money - whether they outlaw Derivatives or not

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Apple's Shelf Life is Finite!

iPad and the euphoria surrounding a new category ( or is it a category Killer?) is still warm and flowing!

Apple ended the week with a Strong & ambitious statement of limiting 2 iPads per order for an upcoming release which is a couple of weeks out.

The stock finished with week a with a strong push towards being the most valuable company in America - a shade behind Microsoft and Exxon!

Apple announced - for the first time - a headline grabbing Bonus for its Number 2 man - Mr Cook $22 Million for the most admired company on a winning streak is pittens compared to Silicon Valley & Wall Street bonuses by a mile of not more. What strikes as more alarming is the reason given - shoeing in for Jobs during his absence!!

Apple finished the previous quarter with a $50 Billion run rate and Mr Jobs was vocal in claiming the number one pot in Wireless category!

Apple keeps gaining leadership role and position in every category it enters- from mobile smart phone to digitized music.

With over $40 Billion in cash and piling ton of it from every category every month - may be only Goldman , Exxon and Microsoft ahead of it , Mr Jobs made a bold may be borderline arrogance style - no cash for shareholders now when asked bout buy back or dividends!

Every one of these are enviable and proud at the same time.

Looking at the past - historic behaviors of companies and leaders - one thing that is evident is - these are symptoms of hitting the top and Apple might have reached similar stage in its flashy and admirable life.

Not for its innovation and potential to growth - but for maintaining a ring around its head!

Symptoms of what could go against the grain:

Smart Phone and iPhone is still a growing segment - however a very very small portion of the mobile market. iPhone and American consumers are enjoying the benefits of Apple's innovation at the expense of ATT. The cost of using iPhone is 3 - 4 times more than an average mobile user and ever 10 times compared to a global mobile user. Sooner or later that will be normalised and the subsidy will vanish compressing the sky high margins for Apple.

iPad - headed in the same direction with adding expensive mobile access for an Internet access - which has a very limited user base as most of the user base will be existing Apple users - and it will add a huge burden to their already burgeoning iPhone bills- without the equipment subsidy - beyond the initial fancy demand coming from Mac-heads that are proud have white cords dangling from their neck while walking - it should find a place next to iTV! Unless ofcourse Apple finds another carrier to subsidize the device and hide the access under a different category - which it can and could extend its capability to make money!

iMusic - looking at the lack of innovation and new category or a meg star - the initial conversion of analogue to digital music market will reach a stable and mature state faster than the initial Numbers suggest bringing a thud to the growth.

Some of the leader's arrogant move from Mr Jobs and Apple in the last few quarter's also suggest that Apple might be fumbling into its origin - making the same mistakes which made Apple 1.0 not so successful and lost a decade before Jobs 2.0 and Apple 2.0 bulldozed the innovation machine beyond Imagination into reality and success.

Some mistakes which could turn out costly for Apple are -

1. Telling consumers what they NEED vs offering what they WANT

2. Relying more on third party subsidy for margins and growth

3. Bullying industries and shareholders alike.

Some symptoms and actions are:

Blatantly keeping Adobe and their products out of their popular offerings and making arrogant statements about them.

Forcing its leadership mach to bump the eBooks pricing by over 40% forcing a price increase to a rapidly growing eReadership

Forcing proprietary technology on third party developers at the same time marginalizing the software margins and taking the pricing power from the developers

Looking at the current capitalization - it appears quite reasonable at 3x Sales and even more attractive PE ratio compared to its growth rate. However f we remove the subsidy premium built into the revenue and profit - it looks alarmingly high and shocking.

It is obviously a mistake to count Mr Jobs and Apple out of anything and betting against them - however given where the company is and how far it can go - if they do not make changes to it business practices apple 3.0 might have to wait for Apple 4.0!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Super Monday - From Policies to Politics!

After over two years of week-end huddles, during the Financial Whatever, trying to be ready for a surprise Monday for both bail outs and policy changes - From Wall Street to Washington is preparing for a Very Partisan and dramatic shift in American History.

The Financial Reforms and the Health Care Bills - Two major overhaul of how Americans conduct their business life and personal life is headed for the finish line.

If done right this could pave the way for the next Economic leadership for American Corporation!

Leaving Politicians and Policy makers to Washington and letting Main Street to Wall Street to focus on building innovation and products!

With so much riding on these two Policy shifts coming from Washington - the market might have a hard time to digest if the policies themselves are not presented gently and non-intrusively.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What can California learn from eBay?

California is facing a huge fiscal problem which the Terminator is struggling to cope with.

Not the same as Silver screen - Mr Schwartzenegger would say!

Unlike the last go around this time the election in California is flooded with Silicon Valley money. Campaigns tat are flooded with innovation and technology. The ones that stands out the most is the chase for the Republican nomination for the Governor post!

Ms Whitman - claims her eBay experience and her contribution to eBay and Technology will help in rebuilding debt ridden California!

TVs in California are flooded with her campaign messages with eBay all over it! And not to mention the money going after the negative campaigns!

But , But Ms Whitman like lot of Internet innovation rode the wave- Granted we need to give Madam Whitman for steering eBay after it got off to the races- for the most part it was on cruise control with no significant competition or economic problems!

However before she bailed out of eBay - Ms Whitman did not leave eBay in an envious position- Revenue was slumping , profits eroding & the user community was revolting at Ms Whitman's move to make the company grow from a saturated revenue base!

And ofcours ended up wasting a ton of money on a loser - SKYPE - that too after paying Billions of dollars - for a close to zero revenue generator eBay and Ms Whitman till gave total control to the Skype owners/founders- which after Ms Whitman bailed out of eBay - the people who inherited eBay Management had to do an expensive cleanup!

Ms Whitman does not have the experience to turn around and clean up messy organisations - however she has record to prove that she can leave behind a California State of fiscal and business chaos behind and eBay is a warm example of that.

Republicans have already made a major mistake in the Democratic state by allowing a liberal Ms Schwartzenegger steal a Republican seat...it will be difficult to win the election if they endorse Ms Whitman - whose experience is hard to convince the public that she wont repeat a eBay - And California cannot afford an eBay!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cisco and its Product announcement Fiasco!

Cisco is no Apple! And Chambers is far from doing a Jobs to the market!

Cisco announcing another version of their product - whose Previous version has an installed base of 5000 and 300 customers in a $2 Billion market - with such a hype - changing the way we know Internet and all these BS- is a real shame!

Please save the Apple envy till you change the market!

Yes Cisco is a great company with a great market share and a lot of cash ...but it is a real shame to see Mr Chambers and Cisco do a number like the one today!

Hope they will let their technology speak and leave the fan fare to Mr Jobs and Apple!

Greasy Olympian chief & Ms Merkel divert attention!

The Finance Minister and Prime Minister from Greece wind down their road trip in White House- Mr Papandreou the theme seems to be dual in nature.

Even as the Prime Minister blame the Wall Street speculators for the Greek problem and calls for White House to join Him in fighting the evil force- the Finance Minister lends an Olive Branch to Wall Street by supporting Goldman Sachs.

Ms Merkel for her part - keeps diverting the attention to Speculators and keeps pounding the table for International Unity to fight the "Speculators"...

Yes there is need for tighter controls on how these derivatives are used to manage and manipulate global finance- it is hardly the reason for the problem faced by Greece and the rest of Europe.

While Germany benefit from the European Union and Ms Merkel would like to enjoy the benefits at the expense of the weaker economies - The Germans would obviously like to reduce there exposure and investment to continue the benefits of the EU! And obviously any distraction in way of blaming the speculators for the problem faced due to the structural inadequacies of Euro and its lopsided benefits derived by Germany and may be a couple of stronger economies- would extend the life of this flawed relationship and Euro for a bit longer and will continue to attract speculators and investors alike to enjoy managing/manipulating the sentiments to reap rewards for a foreseeable future!

Pulling it from the Greece's Mouth...!

Kudos to MS Erin Burnett and CNBC - they asked the most important question tht cn be aasked which will put to rest the cloud hanging over Goldman Sachs and Wall Street practices.

Greece's Finance Minister clearly stated that blaming Goldman for a transaction that was blamed for the current Greece Financial Problem will be stretching and that the transaction in question was done under the laws that was present at that time.

From Ms Merkel to Mr Volcker have been vocal in blaming everything from Euro problem to Greece's financial disaster on Goldman Sachs and their rule book in the derivatives market.

Whether this will remove all European problem - thats another question - however this should be a good beginning to start looking ahead for a better Goldma Sachs performance.

Toyota's Ghost in the machine!

Just when we thought the PR team had this under control...The Ghost s BACK!

With the latest run away Prius on the Freeway hitting the airwaves it appear it will be a while before Toyota can put this episode behind unless they come out clean and does something dramatic in how they handle the problem and address the fixes....Lets Hope for the sake of consumers and shareholders alike that Toyota will redefine the way Japanese companies address consumer concerns and may be change the Management style to become a true global enterprise and redefine Japan 2.0 for the real world!

Cisco Kid stealing An Apple Moment!

Cisco has become synonymous with Internet!

Cisco has become the defacto standard for setting standards in empowering employees!

Cisco has refined compensation practies of Technology ompanies for ever!

Cisco after having done these and more has always been a top dog in Silicon Valley for the time it has been around- the last couple of decades!!

Having lost its Mojo to the likes of Apple & Google is looking at Facebook and Twitter and the likes to push it even further down the pecking order in Silicon Valley and the mind share of the buyers mind!

From iPads to Cellphones to home appliances and consumer electronics - they use and abuse the gears of Cisco - Yet they seldom get mentioned these days!

So - Mr Chambers with his Apple moment today s redidining the Internet with the hope of regaining the mindshare of wallstreet and buyers alike!

With a sudden increase in its acquisitions in the alst couple of years - and with no competition in sight - this could be a turning moment for Cisco customers and shareholders alike!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The OLD Apple is showing colors AGAIN!

After a decade of innovation and execution revoving around conusmers and customers the successfull Apple is slowly showing its old self which outsmarted rivals in techological break throughs and ideas but failed to excite beyond a handful of elites!

Usability and slickness centered around Apple innovations.

Offering what customers could associate with on a day to day basis.

A Sony with elegance

A Microsoft with reliability

An Intel with Pinache

A Ferrari with affordability

Consumers and critics have almost forgotten how Apple was in its original form, the first decade- Offering what customers SHOULD USE and not what Customers Wanted!

The second coming of Mr Jobs and Apple saw a wise team centering innovation and technology around customers- breath taking ease and elegance and made them fall in love with the half bitten apple! Feeling prowd to have that White cord dangle in an otherwise sober personalities!

But looking more and more at the new products and innovations - iBook and iPad, it looks like Apple might be slowly turning and might be ready to show its old self -

With iBook - Strong armed in pushing for a HIGER prices n the eBooks a near 40% jump to consumers....could have a backlash! Is Apple forgeting waht made iTunes popular? Not the service but the pricing!

With iPad - Bulldozing on an industry so used to Adobe platforms on most of the Web developments and making blackholes popup in Apple mobile devices? Might be good for Apple Technology but not for consumers!

Apple in its Second Life has shown effectiveness in learning from customer messages and changing quickly - unlike the Newton days Apple...

Are these Old Apple Strategies here to stay?

Are consumers , beyond the White cord Danglers , willing to be bull dozed again?

Given History and Time - The answers is NO!

Hope Apple learns and listens to their customers!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Financial Reforms and V@#k-er Rule!

Financial Reforms under the Obama Watch and may be the last major initiative by a Washington Powerhouse - Senator Dodd appears close to being inked with bipartisan support!

It seems to address all the polished and sophisticated items that we have been hearing a lot during the last two odd years-

- Transparency

- Consumer Protection Agency

- Too Big to Fail

Interestingly a newcomer to this club "the V@#k-er Rule" has been conspicuously missing - which bodes well for the Financial Institutes & Wall Street. Contrary to popular opinion , in the yin-yang of capitalism , it is the Fixed Income players who play God and play havoc to the free market , dictating what policy makers and common man alike should and should not do n not Mr Blan-kenstein and their Wall Street Buddies.

If the final version passes in its current form Goldman Sachs and the likes will benefit tremendously which will help in putting the economy back on its track.

If this passes it will also support the Obama Quickstop program even though the Whitehouse power politicians talk otherwise and appear beating up Wallstreet

The New Washington & Playing the Market Sentiment!

From Greenspan Put to Bernanke Floor we have come to manage the market to directly & indirectly support the expectations.

Now under the Obama Administration we are seeing a new & agressive Expectation Management.

The latest Snowstorm and the Obama Quickstop Plan agressively propogated that the now effect will be pretty damaging to the unemployment report.

Well ahead of the real report the market has been set on track to expect a pretty bad number-

Good Strategy & it worked very well!

Is Obama Quickstop the New Greenspan Put or the Bernanke Put? If it is then the Market will be bouyant & we can see a nice boost in the near term till the economy cn stand on its own!



High Noon Summer Perpetual Spring / Fall New Normal ..3-5 years!

IMF & Germany

Confidence in teh numbers - PIMCO & others

Thursday, March 4, 2010

As the pandits would say....lights are on in the Citi!

A very Articulate , confident and convincing at the Hill!

Citi under Mr Pandit has been taking the beeting from reporters and analysts alike through out this Financial Whatever!

Heavy hitters in the Investment communities have started warming up to the emerging Citi and its global brand and how Mr Pandit could possibly make it a multi-bagger for the once in a life time opportunity through its common!

And today listening to Mr Pandit's testimony it is very clear the tide is changing and it is ready to emerge as a Global Banking Force once again.

Weakening Japanese Yen in cards?

The case for a Weakening Yen -

Japan becoming a less attractive destination compared to China and India

Japanese companies lagging behind in Innovation in the Internet age losing their strongholds to companies like Apple

The Toyota Recall seems to put more than a quality dent in the Automaker - it is slowly raising questions about the Japanese style of Management and customer care

Not to mention the Aging Japanese population which is forced to rely more and more for the export market

And ofcourse low rates and near zero rate financing is not just a Japan syndrome.

With Toyota not fading to the background might force not just Toyota but the Japanese government to do something more dramatic to keep customers flocking to the Japan Brand.

As one of the step Yen Will be forced to weaken significantly from its current levels.

"Pay for Procedure!"

Healthcare mess and a stalemate in Washington!

Lobbyists arming the senators and congressman alike with ammunition to fight for their corporate loyalists!

Everyone sensitive to be frank & open on addressing the real problem - As the House speaker said

Accessiblity

Affordability &

Accountability

This needs to apply to every participant in the system includent the beneficiary-ala consumer!

What we havent adressed is the OPEN market competition which compress the pay packages & the premiums for healthcare alike.

For the first time we are hearing politicians & policimakers , who have distanced themselves in addressing the underlying root caue for the cost runup , are finally braving themselves- the catch phrase - "Pay for proedure" needs to be changed!

Now this is just the beginning and might take a whole lot mre to make healthcare affordable & accessible - not to mention accountable!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rolling Stones & the Golden Squid!

Media business and music world is still struggling with the modern version of human entertainment!

Selling painted bodysuite by Sports Illustrated to politicians womanizing by TVs and publishers alike havent really spurred much of enthusiasm in this internet enabled population...

From Unintended acceleration to late night talkshow street fights dont seem to stick longer..

From Mr summers to Ms Merkel the Golden mantra for their inadequate policies GS has been a boon with an intended acceleration toward financial reforms and market regulations - yet failing to gin much traction..

But, But not the Golden boys and their Greecy business tactics!!

Yes Mr Blank-enstein ala God - May be the Wall Street Version -and His abode Goldman Sachs seems to attract media attention and main street anger and gives incapable policy makers and politicians enough ammunition to garner followers!

We have seen New York Times go after GS with minded focus - maybe to get shareholder attention? And Fox Business News with its newly acquired asset - Mr Gasparino from CNBC doing the same to create an audience....From Wall Street Journal to Financial Times try and do some investigative journalism

Now a these we an understand..

But, But - Rolling Stones on Golden Squid and the Goldman Boys and practies....? Its like Playboy writing on Faith and Religion for intellectual masturbation! And all media giving them an airplay and wasting ink on reproduction?

May be , Just May we have reached the bottom in this Goldman Sach dog and pony show and it should start fding to the background!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pounding the British is not an Olympian task!

After milking the Germans with the Greecy practice the market movers look to London for another Golden triump!

With the British Pound losing over 25% in this crisis and the value still headed South is it safe to bet against the Brits?

With Modern Economics of Global monetray system still misunderstood by politicians and policy makers alike - it is hardly the time to bet against the English - the master mind of the monetary system that is widely practiced globally!

What Mr Soros failed to do - the rest of the gang may find it even more difficult to achieve - however it might give a temporary opportunity to benefit from the wild swing that the currency market will produce.

Healthcare: Pay for Results & not for procedures - Mr Buffet

Indeed a loaded statement from Mr Buffet on health care practices in America.

Politicians and Practice leaders are tongue tied when it comes to medical compensation and practices are everyone is affected & close to those who provide them the care & are obviously nervous to take an objective view into the healthcare reform.

Everyone talks about healthcare cost running out of control & trying to slice the bread with the wrong end of the knife.

And Mr Buffet in a CNBC interview on healthcare reform made the most profound statement anyone has made till date - A loaded statement which if paid attention to in Washington we will have an affordable and practical healthcare solutions and open up the multi-trillion dollar industry for REAL COMPETITION like every other industry making the cost of services affordable and driven by market pressures!
Slowing to Smell....!

After going through several blogs I came to the conclusion that it is very difficult to write about your day to day life!

Fascinating to see how creative people are and how so many people around the world are able to choose a variety of topic and pour their heart out and paint something so wonderful- full of life and color!

Need Humor! Need Depth and more than anything need perspective! I found it is easy to write about something substantial in which a person is well versed in. It made me think - I went around the last few days looking around and paying attention to everything from nature to relationships!

Now curiosity started posing a question - what is more important to writing? Chosing a topic or having the patience to research and articulate about the impressions that every day events brings to a person?

I thought I will try this every day! For 30 Days!

Impulsive and spontaneous
!

No research - just type as the feelings flow and as the words can portray! Thanks to the Blackberry - now I can try doing that the moment the urge happens without waiting!

As I was deciding on this I found myself in a shop - decided to pull my Blackberry and type what I saw around me...so begins my first piece.

PS. Since Blog has major restricitons on how many posting and what kind of flexibility one can have using the standard template I will try to find a work around using a couple of gadgets to display a couple of days posting at any given time till I figure out a way to display the history!

To avoid dilution of this site I have moved the experiment to another blog under

http://dailylifesigns.blogspot.com

The following is a sample on content with no photos- the Daily Life Signs posting will be more of a pictorial experience!






Walking around a woman's shop!

Looking at the colors in a woman's shop is like peeking into a kaleidoscope. However, one doesn't have to change to feel the vibrant mood.

Amazing styles and fascinating fashion! Trying to coordinate gives the several option that is needed to meet the day to day lifestyles of varying moods and differing ages.

Age appropriate colors! Shades for fading moods!

Bold red!

Sober red!

Flashy red!

Bland red!

Blood Red!

Romantic Red!

Decisions! Decisions! and Decisions!

Deciding the color at the time of shopping gives the option to choose and refine to the various rainbow moods that a person possibly can go through in a fast paced connected world!

Sizes and fits to match every form and need.

Having a choice helps in refinement!

And helps!

In Decisions! Decisions and Decisions!

Startup Wisdom!

May be there is a reason they want a Money Man to run the venture- but the following tip will save a buck or two! This will list a couple of grey hairs to keep!

  • Success is contageous- start it immediately!
  • Share the Vision but not Leadership!
  • Smart money is great - but Lucky Money is even better. Get some!
  • Being passionate is essential - but only after motivation to make money.
  • Establish the TRUE Pecking Order!
  • Let Sales be part of your core strategy- everything else can be bought!
  • If you havent done Selling START DOING IT NOW!

Building your 2nd Million!

Skip the first million and go straight to the second- as the first one is the most difficult one to bring home! The second one can be as tough as the first one but is never tougher than the first one! You can make money - working - investing in stocks/etc - real-estate - starting a business - others Choose your area of interest first as this will help you identify the opportunity and make you easily motivated to work on the 2nd million!

Not in any particular Order!

  • First lets know the facts: 1) Your work life is 40 something years (even at conservative estimate) so lets make sure we plan that Properly
  • 2) Lets identify opportunity to make money with out too much effort- living for Today is Good but lets not lose today's free money in the process like - benefits, tax breaks, sale,coupons,etc
  • 3) Lets not try to make ALL THE MONEY in the same way! Lets break the objective into smaller chunks and assign different ways to make them individually
  • 4) Put the 1st Million in Auto-pilot and set a 10 Years plus Time table
  • Convince yourself that you need the Money
  • Set a time line to achieve the goal.

Relationships - Learning to enjoy them!

Do we retain relationships? Expectations out of frienships vary from society to society & age group to age group. How long do we carry them? Some of them bring fond memories- and some not so pleasant! Here you can expect to see nuggets from my experiences and analysis!

Family & Friends: We spend less time with family than with friends- yet we feel more comfortable with family than friends- Why? Is it because we dont have expectations with family members but we have some on friends?

Allowing the other person to finish their train of thought builds a very long lasting relationship - as it makes you understand the other persons point of view fully & also to respond being aware making even an opposing point of view reasonable.


  • Cherry Pick your arguments - Left or Right Brained!
  • Make every encounter a transaction - this will make leaving baggages behind easy!
  • Qualify the type of relationship - however strange it might be
  • Chasing friendship is not always helpful as it leads to compromise.
  • Family circles - define it and accept it whether you like it or not!
  • Its ok to do different activities with different people!
Prof Dr Peik A Monie's Corner

  • if being number two is not enough go to a lower market
  • .
  • proceeds from a street dog dont bark
  • .
  • shooting the papparazi dont break cameras

DIGITAL IRIS - An inexcusable view of the photograpic world!

Let me see if I can add a few lines every week highlighting my 2 cents on photography- my experiences and desires

Things that make good photos -

- excellent and expensive set of lenses; in this digital era spend less on the body and keep investing in the high end lenses as the lenses will not lose value and the body is still under construction!

- accessories and the right tripod; never underestimate your advantage with a tripod

- plan & choose the subject and the location

- know your subject well!

- look and follow the calendars; simple things like a night with a Full moon- we dont realise that it does not happen every day - if you narrow it to the summer when the sky is still blue - I guess it becomes a couple of times a year- and if you factor n the location and your availability at that location and time...so Knowing the calendar and season helps for a good but not so common picture

- Take some luck with you!

  • Print and Enlarge Some Too
  • Delete Bad Pictures from Storage
  • Isolate Subject's color
  • Assess various profile
  • Add a subject to the frame
  • Take Nature after rain - they look better
  • Transparent Objects like flowers have creative effect with light behind them
  • If you want to enjoy the trip - leave the camera behind!
  • Define the subject for the shoot out trip
  • Take a survey trip before the real shoot out
  • Learn & Buy the Best Tripod
  • Always take a handy utility camera
  • Use Multiple exposure & shots in action oriented moments- this will help you pick the ideal snap - as even a fraction of a second makes a HUGE difference in photos.
  • Know your camers settings!
  • Understand Shutter Lag
  • Understand the camera shakes

AfterMarket Pulse- The boring Services Industry!

Keeping it inefficient is good for every one- A success story and why it will be restricted to a handful in the services Industry- A serious look at the Service Industry and my views on improving them. As a society we have accepted that everything breaks down and needs periodic maintenance. We are willing to pay both money and time to accomodate such services. What we have not done is define what is the service level that is needed for every such incident. From household appliances to industrial equipments we are forced to accept the cost and quality that the market offers. In such a sellers market room for mediocracy is enormous- giving way for opportunities. Yes predicatability is not always easy when it comes to failure or repair - or for that matter to identify what is wrong once the item is broke as it is not always possible to run the equipment ot see what is going wrong! And there are companies that can afford stupidity & those that cannot- if you want to change choose wisely!

  • Three steps: 1) Localize Failure 2) Response to Events 3) Time to Life
  • Inter-dependency at a higer level accelerates return
  • Resposiveness is rewarding - even if it is just to show on site of event!
  • Failure Prevention is difficult - yet possible
  • Know your Industry problems: Inventory, Turn time, Forecasting Failure, Estimating Cost, Finding Talent, Automation tools
  • Know your industry Practices- Swapping parts, using refurbished items, penalty
  • Define Quality of service
  • Attract talent - as service industry does not attract fresh talents
  • Innovote service packages

About Me

Seen me go through cycles driven by Age, Money, Deception, Affection, Success, Failure, Fear- etc. The current cycle puts me in a middle aged bucket with sculpted bitterness trying to tame it to embrace the sweet crime of success and affection.