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?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Back in the USSR! Kerry and Putin!

First it was a big hearty like smile when shaking hands with Kerry yesterday!


Then a good endorsement for Mr Trump!


And now - white flag to USA! Mr Putin is pen to warmer friendly relationships with USA!


Win Win Win for Russia?

Can Gold Finally succumb to Gravity?

3 Digits has been very solid for Gold! Impossible to fall below $1000!


And that might finally  change. If Gold settles below $1000- then there should be no stopping for till election results are predictable.


It might look like it has come a long way from its peak- but it has gone up a whole lot more than it has come down.







Bubble inside a Unicorn?

WHAO?


Yes - A startup Unicorn creates a VC inside with $80 Million! Purpose is to invest in other startups.


Very creative- doing like Google and other Technology companies -
But being a start up- no matter how solid the revenue base is - its kind of looks silly- other than to say how much power these entities have over return seeking desperate Funds and Hedgies and the likes!


As long as the money is being PLAYED using other peoples money with no transparency - anything is game till it stops!


Abruptly-


till then it makes good headlines and good reading!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Raining Rates!

Looks like the Banks waited for the call by Yellen to be over before raising the one way rates! Prime is up- but they pretty much said that they will not be passing on the savings to the consumers. Net Interest Income does not add up if you pass a nickel or two to those who put their faith in these banks!

I wonder what will happen if a couple of people go to a few banks with placards saying - give me that nickle rate!

Alphabet's "C" Initiative!

Looks like its official.

C is being polished for the U threat! Uber-ific news from what used be Google!

Looks like Google Maps or is it M- after losing out at Uber decided to find its own customer. And it is C for Car - Auto - cannot be Driverless and "d" as California just released its possible guidelines for Driverless car- it has be be driven with a Driver at all times!


Guess Yellen is Spelled S-A-N-T-A!!!

Though the rate was baked- and everything from Oil compex to High yield market ready to pound teh market- Janet Yellen's magic with words and her ability to toy with the reporters- amazing!

Can She be the most mesmerizing Federal Reserve we have seen in its existence?

Certainly more composed than Ben! And more understandable than the Maestro! 

Can Lower Oil Market Kill the Market?

May be some consolidation in the corporate world exposed to debt and high yield debt- but they only get bought or change ownership - moving wealth from one bucket to another.

The market might go sideways - which it has done for over a year- but with so much of liquidity and so few making decisions on where to put the money- unless there is a change of guard influencing the policy makers-

Equity will be king! And that is with or without Oil!

Another day & another Apple Down grade!

Is he the last one?

A big $5 down grade from $155 to $150!

That makes Apple 35% or something like $210 plus billion dollars from where it is now.

Hedging or being brave?

Can Apple really run out of ammunition and lost its MOJO?

Given where we are in the Communication II cycle- the first one was Telecommunication Era - which lasted 100 plus years and several Trillion dollars of wealth creation-

these down grades could only be an opportunity!

So as Mr Cramer would say --  Buy! Buy!! Buy!!!

The New Bond Prince Explains!

CNBC is quick to embrace the new Bond King, atleast according to Forbes, and bring Mr Gundlach on way before the dethroned Mr Gross.

In our usual arrogant opinion He is a Prince till he can dictate terms with the policy makers-

And today in his live interview on CNBC's Fast Money Half Time interview- he does what Mr Cooperman did earlier in the show - Explain!

Yes - Mr Gundlach has been vocal in saying Fed Will not raise rate this year- changing his tune to Fed Should not Raise rate- to the explanation!

Why they would today!!

Well its always better to be a proxy King and manage other people' money!

I am sure we will hear more about this one way or the other in the new year and we will keep watching!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Can Taylor Swift turn the tide?

For Apple-

Its been a while since he had any good happen to Apple- stock wise!

Analyst after analyst go negative but still keep their sky high target numbers- being on both the sides at the same time!

Product , stock buy back - press release - what ever...seems to be having no magic?

Can The Taylor Swift streaming bring some new cheer this Christmas for Apple?


CNN and RNC II

CNN I and CNN II -

May be a little bit too much!

If CNBC was bad- CNN-II was just plain boring!

If you have two sets of debates and a boat load of candidates - and are restricted to 1 or 2 topics- please make them do a Sumo wresting and let the winner be declared based on who does a wedgie successfully!

over and over and over......on the same ...even though it is the most important dialogue and policy matter we are facing-

just a tad too much!

Winner? Looked like Rubio was the better speaker- though Cruz did a better job articulating and fighting- Bush tried hard and Trump was the come from back kid who became his own self in the back half!

The rest also tried and befriended the audience.

The well rehearsed Carly - brought more anger to the table and little less on the policy! Surgeon went a little flat with his comparisons and being a bit comedic here and there!

We really are living in a 40 character impulsive and fleeting moments and running like that - everything from Public policies to elections - and here we are watching a rerun of the 70s also ran soap - we only hope the cord cutting will actually lead to a better format the next tie around!

Howard Stern Stays put: SIRIously?

America saw the softer, gentle side of Howard Stern- on AGT!

Possibly one of the best that could have happened to Howard Stern &  SiriusXM.

A different demographics and a different market- much larger and main stream into the Howard Stern fold and SiriusXM is bound to enjoy the benefit.

Looks like a major break through!

The Week Aliens Invaded: Disney Awakens!

4100 Theaters!

And Disney delivers-

Mickey finally meets its match??

Disney and George Lucas- makes Star Wars - a multi generation saga- will global reach only Mickey and Mini can match!

Ka ching!

And looks like the recent haircut on Disney might given a opportunity- again!

And then He Talks: Valeant CEO

The mystery is over.
Can he?
Will He?
Should He?
Bill Did?
Bill Who?
Oh Yes...that Bill!
And Finally CEO of Valeant broke the silence with a deal- a market moving one with Walgreens and a price break even Touring will sweat!

And CNBC did a good job of playing neutral after trashing pretty much everything from A to Z during the The GREAT SHORT???

Even after Mr Andrew "VRX" Left - left the short and dialed back- Valeant was silent and rightly so for a very long time. Valeant might be the poster boy for price anamoly in the Pharma industry - but it is not an exception.

As long as the Industry behaves and responsibility can be scattered and buried and supported indirectly rampant and flawed system- what the CEO delivered was typical McKinsey Style.

And CNBC listened- it appears so will the rest!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Is it the season?

its been a awhile since we had no anchor product entering the final stretch of the Christmas buying frenzy-

No fancy gadgets- toys- electronics- new sell out starvation campaign- and the retails are struggling even in a low gas market-

From Tiffany's to Macys to WalMarts of the world- same sobbing story: No Growth Low margin- no hopes of rebounding- the only new design in the fashion world is LuLu wannabes at an arm and a leg price.And Nike seems to be the only one cashing on that trend.

Blaming of the warm weather is one way to look at it-

maybe the consumers are just tired of shopping? As they spend more and more time and money on passive activities on electronics making them less butterfly like? And more nerdish in a sort of kind of way - shere shopping takes a back seat?

Is this a major shift in outlook and behavior? As the society moves towards a knowledge based economy- more and more people drift in that direction - if this is what is happening - the retail industry may have to reinvent itself- beyond the multi channel strategy!

Junk Bond Terminologies!

Repricing, Discovery!

Il-liquid, Mispriced asset class

redemption, Closing the Gates

Spill over, contained

expanding spread-

Its amazing how much it takes to bring fire to smoke!

And when you have something that is named JUNK and you are still willing to throw money at them for a few points over a guaranteed , at least as of now, government money- you certainly are stupid and deserve the loss. the unfortunate thing is the real losers are not the one speculating under the name of ETFS, Funds, Fund of Funds, Hedgies, Hedge funds, Mutual funds - what ever name that has not been used in the previous stupid cycles- they still made their money while being stupid as they are only burning money that does not belong to them - and charged for doing so! And they can come back again under a new name!


Micron accelerates consolidation!

Micron Technology and Seagate have been very opportunistic over the last twenty something years- always buying bargains and consolidating their positions- mostly as the market dumps them and gets closer and closer to the bottom.

Now that Micron has made the move  we just have to wait for Seagate to do the same - and we will know it is near bargain basement and time to back up the truck and load them up!

PIMCO Boys!

Looks like its been a while since we have Bill Gross and El Erian ruled the Bond Market and Media. we have barked at their power and fall from grace, if you want to call their toothless status now, by powerful maneuver by Uncle Ben and the gang during and immediately after the Financial crisis- which ultimately made them lose their coveted role at German puppet PIMCO.

Now that we have seen the less than stellar performance by Mr Gross and still being in the sideline El Erian- should be claim victory and say it was PIMCO and their German Parent which was so powerful after all and the individuals just carried the torch on their behalf?

Maybe , Just Maybe- !

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Is Paris and the Deal opens an opportunity?

For Coal?

Given where Coal is today and how all the major companies are doing- it is very easy to assume that Zero is closer than we think.

Then again that seems to be the case for all hard commodities. Given the importance of Coal in energy creation and how hard it is to dig up new mine or replace existing user base with other technology - it will stay here for a very long time and will not go any more than Zero!

If the companies wipe out the share holders with the debt burden they have- it will only show the power players who have been managing this kind of change for over a century and this time is no different.

but the companies and lobbies that channel their power will only make them stronger going forward.

So if you have some spare change put it on Coal as it can buy more than a bag of coal which will be worth a bunde a couple of Christmas from Now


Time Warner : On the bargain basket!

Netflix could be the streaming kind and a Fifty Billion dollar darling in the market- but in a world of expanding display based entertainment- no one has the capability to produce and retain talent and audience like Time Warner.

In its own way it is like a Disney - only different!

The amazing feat of Time Warner is how it converted CNN and Head Line News into an entertainment pipes.  Not to mention how TBS and TNT has become a huge asset to TW. From original shows to reruns- they have pretty much covered all the demographics and their idiosyncrasies.

Is there going to be bump in the road- of course but it only makes it a n opportunity for the franchise lovers.

At the current price - it is a bargain and Netflix could be successful like HBO but it does not eat into TW market - it only expands the over all market as streaming becomes just another delivery mechanism for everyone in the market - its just that more people from more market pay more to have another option.

Ted Cruz: Is RNC establishment making a last minute dash?

Can the Republican party regain the momentum after a long drawn out battle with Trump and the long tail syndrome?

Will Trump go solo?

Suddenly Ted Cruz is surging in polls and even out foxed Trump! Sampling error or a real game changer that can sustain going into the final leg of the primary?

A good speaker with an authoritative attitude- Ted Cruz can hold himself? But America willing to give another Texan the coveted representation again?

Is Apple the New Red?

From target to Best Buy - it appears every one is throwing away an Apple product!
Seems to be so unusual that almost all the products are discounted steeply.

And even Apple seems to be playing their cards in a hap hazard fashion.

First unlike anytime in the past - Apple exiting the un-bundling news comes from a Network CEO interview on CNBC!

And then the Watch II release date comes out 3 months before - and just before the Christmas shopping peaks!

And then the speakers and hump battery release- in an off beat manner followed by an apologetic Cook - giving excuses for the poor design: making it appear they are desperate to hit the numbers this season by throwing anything for any amount????

And the stock refusing to go anywhere even with such a huge Analyst following, Barron's upping their outlook over and over again- and endless stock buyback every quarter that runs into billions??

With a couple of hundred billion dollars and change - and almost sweeping all the profits from the handset market year after year- and everyone including Google almost given up the leadership role to Apple.......? Is this a pause before surge?

How to Spell Grinch? Y-E-L-L-E-N??

It is the season that we all cheer for!

And this time around Grinch will be a little bit early - may be to celebrate? Given how the Junk Market is behaving and throwing everything they can to paint a new face for Janet Yellen - it looks like it won't be just Retail that will be singing the blues?

With the rest of the world hinging on everything from Terrorism to blinded monetary policies - hoping for a miracle to happen this season- Anxiety abound are we looking for Santa or Grinch- the market has to wait another 73 hours to figure that out!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pause, Correction or Shift in attitude?

With the market anxiously waiting on the rate hike next week- the market seems to be taking a hair cut - with most of the catalyst coming from High Yield Bond market and the energy complex. With oil Jan contract expiring - and the OPEC not providing the support needed - can it create more confusion in the Energy complex making the market reeling into a forced liquidation affecting all other markets?

So far Santa seems to be delayed and waiting for the snow to hit the road- as the weeping retailers have written home several times in the past few weeks- may be Janet Yellen will not blink in raising the rate and give a pat in the back to encourage the speculators to turn on their greed just in time for Christmas to keep this a happy season.


Junk Bonds and the Market Mavens

Every few years the fixed income market tries to one up the Federal Reserve- and so far they have always managed to get it!

For over 12 years there was one who managed to bully them and the most of the government Policy makers too- And that person was PIMCO founder and Bond King, the one and only of its kind, Bill Gross.

After losing his crown- intentionally or otherwise- the market tries to fight the Federal Reserve and has failed miserably.

And it is really a shame all it takes is a Hedge Fund with less than a billion dollars to rattle the Market!

We are living in a post Financial crisis(SSSS) with so much of controls and transparencies - and still it takes just a small fund to rattle?? Third Avenue Management - might have the reputation for being the game for a very long period - making money one way or the other....but liquidating $789 Million dollars fund- not even a rounding error for the market in which it is played.

Its either the market is just too fragile given how much it has come up or the people trading this market suffers without a King! Its needs a directional leader who either points or paves the way.

And now we have people like Gundlach who can either weep or whine but not be a King like Gross!


Friday, December 11, 2015

2016 - Can it skip election year history?

Historians have a way to spin 2016- and optimists always have a new theory to say that this time it is different.

And can it be different this time?

With a possible Trump vs Hillary match up - anything goes. Can Trump bring excitement to an otherwise boring primary season- if he does and one really has a chance to look at the resume of Hillary: there is no doubt she has the best experiences in quite a while- actually she is as well deserved as the Senior Bush - and she has been trying hasr for a very long time for this moment!

Does that justify 2016 being a different story for he stock market?

With Interest rates finally waking up and the technology companies staying private forever?

Looking at the components of the DJIA - other than Exxon and Chevron every other old economy company has been battered so much....it looks hard for a correction that could last more than a few hundred and couple of months more...especially now that the high priced Nike is planning to split.

After a ho hum 2015 - one wants 2016 to be a robust one!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Debt Burden on Corporate Indulgences?

With Commodities coming down close to where they were originally dug up from- in such a short period- most of the companies which are used to steady economic up and down cycles - were taken by surprise with the steep accelerated fall of almost all the commodities including oil and gas.

with interest rate slated to finally dig out of from basement - all of a sudden all the debt load from the past few years look mountainous!

Understandable for most of the companies in the affected industries. But one sector which is loaded with cash- is also loaded with debt! Sounds oxy moronic to say this - but yes a boat load of cash on the one hand and a boat load of debt on the other hand!

And that seems to be the case in Technology companies - From Apple to Dell they are neck deep in debt. Yes very low rates- in most cases their dividend yield on common shares are more than the interest they are paying on the debt- but still....

This time the dancing around on the debt floor might be very different from the ones we have seen in the past.

And it must be fun - as all these Technology companies have cash overseas and have pretty much used all their debt to either buy back shares or pay dividend! With both front runners not looking too keen on giving any tax break to bring back the cash- it must be fun!

Ford is the new Unicorn?

Ford and GM has been there and done that- Hertz and Avis are still the force to be reckoned with in rental cars.

Uber- yes its a major source of revenue for many a people from College students to part time workers looking to supplement their income.

Or just for those short trips where a few trips here and there support the stay and indulgences.

So Uberification makes Nomadic life possible and attractive.

Ford in an interview on CNBC - yes they are interested in Uber like market.

If they do succeed their share could be $200 if it has to be valued like Uber and the other Unicorns!!!

Maynard Webb's Turn!

Its not nice to bad mouth Marissa Mayer / Yahoo on the day of her Twins!

So its Maynard Webb's turn- Take responsibility for the mess and do something as the properties that Yahoo has is unique and no other replacement available.






How Low can Oil go?

Its not how low Oil can go- it is how long can it stay there?

Certainly not for very long given what it will take to replace the installed base with some other source for power and energy!

The major oil companies just started cutting their CAPEX- that means it has a long way before they will have to reduce and consolidate before hitting the bottom.

What can trigger the bottom-

- Obviously a Political power change in USA; And given the Republican field of dreams - it doesn't appear to have a very high probability. Then again its only Primary season.

- major disruption in supply: does not look that way either

- Gold faltering and going down precipitously: if ECB and Federal Reserve policy divergence is sustained for a few quarters

- Commodities as an asset class for ETF and Mutual Funds vanish: this could happen in a moment's notice!

Given the support circles of the Energy complex is crumbling under debt load and poor M&A - it should be getting close to bottom and opportunity should be enormous- as OIL is not going anywhere- it is who stay and who folds!

MensWearHouse and Jos A Bank!

May be paying the price for following the foot steps of Ron Johnson and JC Penney!

Sales drom leading to e Share price drop- the loud and clear message is Bring back the Pay for one get 3 back- It is not Honest Abe Pricing strategy that customers want- 

Once the Retail market has convinced and confused the consumers on what is a fair price for the product quality - you can never go back to Honest Pricing!






Black Turtle Neck- Bashing on Theranos CEO!

Not Nineteen anymore - Its 31 now!

No, No...its not the new Adele Sensation!
It is how old the Black Turtle Neck clad CEO Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos is.

Call it a Unicorn or what ever else that comes to your lip - it certainly is the new term used for PRE IPO Privately funded may be a bubble- you can come down on the company, management style, product , revenue model....or what ever else that comes to mind in trying to bring down the Unicorn- but slamming a CEO on her mannerism and her Black Turtle Neck!

From Wall Street Journal to Bloomberg and even the liberal New York Times ( yes it was James Stewart slamming on Ms Holmes on her Black Turtle Neck outfit on CNBC) in the name of Investigative Journalism - the highlight of every piece seems to be that and a wannabe Steve Jobs label.

Please!

Please!

Grow up guys - I am sure we can do better than that especially when you need to pay to read them!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Henry Blodget's Business Insider Goes Mainstream!

Fifteen years ago a youthful HB made history by being part of the exclusive club that pioneered and brought us the the one and only DOT COM ERA and eventually its demise. To be resurrecting vindicating those who predicting the magnitude of what was about to happen-

Fast Forward to the present SV and SA and every where lse in the Uber Economy.....though sidelined from the action...Henry Blodget worked and worked hard to bring a new kind of Media and Research to the market.

Business Insider in its form and factor- is unique and creative and very quick to adapt and change to the need of its audience.

And the present day platform - BI IGNITION brought to the main media some of the most powerful minds and leaders with their look ahead and plans.

some shakers and movers- and others still growing.

But BI - and HB have created something that is very readable and addictive- and very soon should be as influential as Mr Blodget was as an analyst.

Good Job Business Insider and Mr Blodget!

Harry's Razor Blade on Bloomingdale's Xmas List!!

All it takes is a funding a creating sales strategy.

Even a poor man's replacement of Gillete can find its way to the exclusive and expensive list of Bloomingdal'e and Nordstrom's christmas Gift.

Is it the fancy part of the blade or the flashy part of the VC funds that attracts?

Either way - it was interesting to see Harry's razor blade go from Yahoo Page to WSJ's Bloomingdale corner page!

Good Job HARRY! Shame on you Bloomingdale for making Harry's go upscale!

Growing Bond Prince- whines at Interest Rates?

Performance is the best measure - and Jeff Gundlach has done that!
To be a Prince and vie for the King's role.

To be a King one has to make rules and bull doze the players directionally!
And the road for that is still steep and winding and far far away!

So far no one has the capability or will to achieve what Bill Gross managed to do over Bernanke/Paulson/Greenspan and the DC power centers for over 10 years.

Till then Performance and whining will work!

Do we Need Old Economy for the Market to sustain its Rally?

- OPEC and the Oil complex faltering....
- Manufacturing and the Industrial powerhouses sliding what appears to be a long drawn out one
- Commodities in general are finally reaching their place in history!
- Financials making more money by not doing what their businesses are slated to do than by doing what they are supposed to do
- Retail and the consumer not seeing eye to eye....

Yet the Economy and the employment still growing - even if its not at a faster pace.

what gives in?

Yes now most of the analysts and media pundits have started the comparison to the second half of Clinton's second term.

Are we in a similar seventh innings stretch before the final run for the market?

May be - given the set up to the election year: this time could be different(!!!!) if The Clintons continue to enjoy the runway to WhiteHouse!

And DJIA could finally scale and pass 22,000 - The original target we set several years ago!


Du Chemical?? The CEO chair is not even Warm!

How long before you start implementing a new strategy?

Not long- atleast in the case of Du Pont.

Merge in and Spin out?

Looks like Mr Breen found the God Particle!

Du Pont and Dow Chemical will give birth to a new and beautiful particle! God Like which the old generation Ms Kullman had a tough time believing in!

who says one plus one has to be two?

Angela Merkel! YES, YES And YES! POY!

Person Of the Year!

Time crowns the hardworking ...Russian speaking - Globe trotting...well atleast EU trotting leader who walked the streets of Paris when Terrorists screamed at the ears of Democracy and Free speech- who knocked on the doors of Putin with old days East German Charms- yet held her grounds on everything from Economic melt down to moldy Greek Yogurt - Dr Merkel!

A well deserved recognition!

Congrats!

A Few Trillions here and a few Trillions there.....

From an unusual corner!

Connecticut and the Eastern corridors have long lost the attention of the Headline screamers and writers!

And its been a few years since GE and Jeff Immelt started their pilgrimage to Silicon Valley. No one noticed ...not even the usually polite and attentive East Coast Reporters and Editors.

And then the Silicon Valley vibe rubbed off on Mr Immelt and the corridors of GE- Yes he is not talking Industrial Engines or Aerospace engines...not even share buybacks or dividend increase.

And no not another spin out or merge ins.......

Its Technology ...

its not millions or Billions ....its Trillions and and not just one or two....but 8 and 15!

no...no...not in Wall Street Journal or NY Times!

Its in Business Insider....


WHAT???

WHERE??

WHEN???

Yes its on Business Insider- Bezos invested Henry Blodget's puppy!! Yes the same kid from the Internet Bubble fame Analyst!

And now it is attracting enough Views and flames it has started roaming teh traditional Media!

Talking Technology Bubbles - and Jeff says NO!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Copper, Iron, and the heavy commodities .....

If it falls any lower- it might stop hurting on impact!

Can Hollywood become a Multi-Trillion Dollar Market?

From Warner Bros to MGM!

Neflix and the streaming and un-bundling revolution is anchoring YouTube and FaceBook and others to support and pay for more and more of American quality entertainment.

From TV programs to mega budget Hollywood movies- the quality of production and just about everything else that goes in creating the content is several levels superior to everything that is out there outside USA.

With Streaming and affordability of access anywhere and anytime and on any device- and on all platforms is eventually going to make the consumers want more and more quality content.

Even advanced and well funded programs from BBC like Dr Who and TopGear - will millions of global followers- could learn a lot from Hollywood quality-

this expanded reach and affordability will make Hollywood class entertainment - a must to survive in this fast changing market.

Its not Netflix forcing un-bundling- after all Netflix is just a small piece int he overall theme of global entertainment - but Netflix is doing a major impact in how , what and when people are wanting to be entertained.

Is Netflix over valued? That depends on how big they are able to create this market and how much of that they are able to keep!

EU joins the QCOM Bashing band!

when it rains- it Qualcomm Pours!

its been that kind of a day, week, month, year...looks like for ever!
Apple plays tough and even goes solo and in-house!

China slaps and Chinese players just ignored to pay their bills! And Samsung's guardians - learned quickly from China-

And now EU! Poor Nokia - their management should have tried this first!

As Qualcomm keeps falling - the new CEO , if he is still new- must feel that he was havong a great time in his previous position!

Is this the end of QCOM?

Hardly- only an opportunity for those patient investors!

Who Decides What is News Worthy?

Looking specifically at the Financial Networks and News.

There are just 3 Major outlets in US covering real-time the Financial Markets. FBN, CNBC and Bloomberg TV.

Each one caters to a different demographics and Financial audiences. Without getting into who and what forms their viewership - its easy to say that the purpose is same- enhance the investment people knowledge about what is relevant for their investment assets or ideas.

there are thousands of listed companies and a few hundred that are not listed yet important.

but just a few have the ears and eyes of the reporters and producers of the networks and their guests.

looking at the lineups of their guests and the time hoggers it is not clear that the media has any idea what should be news worthy for the investors and their audiences.

An example: it is understandable we are in the middle of a major Technology revolution- yes it has changed from being a productivity play to re-inventing the wheel phase- and yes its great to see Bloomberg and CNBC anchoring out of San Francisco- Bloomberg even replays their live broadcast from Silicon Valley!

And one would think it would give the reporters and producers of these News network what is relevant and who is making hte most impact.

Yet the most glamorous CEO and the company that attracts these networks: Marisa Mayer and Yahoo! Not even yesterday's technology ...Please!

If the purpose is to add value to the investment community - the focus should be more on what is playing a role in the economy and what is changing and fast moving.

If financial media - which is actually affecting the most important thing that influences one's lifestyle- imagine where the other news are!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Is Amazon the most powerful Internet Company?

It could be debatable based on who you ask and what metrics you use.

everyone can argue about its PRIME membership and its ability to monetize it.
one thing that is magical about Amazon is - every person other than those very occasional visitors-
is already logged in or does mind being tracked by Amazon.

Now even Google and Apple does not have that power or ability to do.

And anything they buy from the site is controlled by Amazon - from what they search, see and compare!

This could be even bigger than FaceBook - as FB is still very far from direct buying power of consumers.



Saturday, December 5, 2015

Post Zero ERA!

Finally this Christmas Santa will fulfill the dreams of many hard working savers and retires!

Janet Yellen finally managed to convince everyone that upping the rate from zero is appropriate and good for everyone!

With cash rich companies loaded with debt- from IBM to Apple to every company that has gazillion dollars stashed away in overseas account- this might be a notice!

Maybe not this year or next or even a few more after that....but when the debt comes for redemption they better hope the cash flow is there to either service the new dynamics or have managed to convince Washington to better the tax penalty for he cash stashed abroad!

Inversions, Charities, tax Avoidance.....call what you may?

Bill Gates started this. Moving all his wealth to charitable Organization. Mangaged to convince Warren Buffet to pass his under Bill Gates Umbrella!

And a few more joined independently.

And Mr Z and Facebook hit the media buzz recently with Zuckerberg moving 99% of his FB shares to a charitable LLC.

There was a deviation from what Gates and Buffet did.......Three letter variation.....From
.ORG to .LLC ??

There were a few rumblings from control to intention to tax evasion!

The smart and the rich have started moving their taxable wealth to a Phantom entity under the disguise of Charity and still enjoy the benefits of owning and controlling the wealth without paying any taxes.

A form of inversion? Something like What Valeant has done and what DJIA component Pfizer is planning to do.

In this noise what is missing is- the ability to sell stocks in their company without crashing hte value of the share and perception if the company in the market.

Bill Gates- very soon will own less than 1%- Warren Buffer has started moving his ownership on an annual basis out of Berkshire!!

And with Zuckerberg talking about moving 99% to an LLC- that will be like what happened to GoPRO founder's shares- who moved more than a Billion Dollars worth of shares immediately after IPO and now the company has lost glamor and wealth in the market with the share fall like a rock!

If Mr Z does manage to shift his wealth to a different entity - that will be the biggest rug moved from under the feet of Shareholders without blinking an eye!

Innovators and alpha types have the ability to outsmart anything and everything at will!

Hopefully this is only a misdirected conspiracy theory which will prove to be just that and not more than a fictional narration!

Whole Foods: Not so Whole anymore?

Sooner or later all great things must come to good or average?

Lighting, Placements, Services, Location and Pricing!

It appears that the early expansion - demographics of the cities and neighborhoods could easily digest the Whole Foods Mantra. As expansion started moving into Upper Middle class and Middle class neighborhood- Services and Pricing started hurting the traffic.

A couple of minor things: Food Court - local businesses and eateries: good concept- unfortunately the services and pricing doesn't seem to match the Whole Food concept. Either they are expanding into areas like Silicon Valley where labor market is already tight or juts that Whole Foods Market is not taking the time and effort to train the third party suppliers to live upto the expectation of a high priced establishment.

To be a Nordstrom like in the Food Market- you not only have the look and feel - but also the qualit and service that goes with it.

Granted a few experiences in a few shops in Silicon Valley is not a theory-but looking at the numbers and the growth...it appears this is more than an exception.

Lowering the size nad cost to compete locally in a new umbrella could provide some cushion - but unless they revamp their services and training model in existing stores- this could be a long leg to shave!



Friday, December 4, 2015

Amazon Extending its reach into Transportation-

Buying thousands of Truck Trailers!

And with a gazillion drones and mail Boxes every where it has inserted itself somewhere between its conveyor belts and the drop off location. Whose segment will be carved for Amazon?

FedEx? UPS? USPS?

building this amazing maze of mail boxes in every possible location - Amazon is going where no one has gone before...ability to move anything from anywhere to anywhere. Point to Point movement.

It certainly is not a happy time for FedEx or UPS or DHL even as their rate hiking keeps happening to offset the Amazon business- From $8 for an overnight package it has come all the way to $40 plus for most of the location...and it is slated to go up come January! If FedEx keeps trying this price hike to offset more demanding customers and dump it on the lazy to shop around and mail customers.....there could be a change in management soon....as sooner or later everyone will turn to white truck deliveries even if they don't have a fleet of Drones!

Draghi! Draghi! Dragh! - Part Deux!

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Santa finally appeared in the form of Draghi! Be it a bit early!

What Yellen could not do on two tries- Draghi did manage to do it on TWO TRIES!

And the market finally felt it is on a Bull Run!

Even the bad omen Oil Complex did not do that bad given the scenario.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Global Warming and the IT Corridor! CHENNAI!

The biggest headlines coming out of Paris these days are related to Global Warming! The heart grabber is 2 Degrees and Bangladesh will be submerged in water.

$100 Billion to barter for green revolution and keeping Bangladesh!
The developing world does not want to trust the promises for Green!

What is interesting is the most important City in the IT Globalization/Outsourcing World that we have come to accept in live in the corporate world - is under water! Mostly Nature and partly poor public policies and political environment - the whole city and a handful of neighboring cities are paralyzed and survival is the operative. From local authorities to Central Government agencies are scrambling to keep Chennai afloat till the sky clears for Sun.

This is the Katrina Time for the local authorities.

No power. No Cell. No Net - All people are desperate for is either a life boat or something to float to a dry place.

It appears most of the IT companies have doubled up and moved critical staff to other parts of the country!

Yet the news media in the Western world has gone radio silent!

Is it news worthy? Does it call for a humanitarian deed? Atleast business emergency - when most of the F500 companies have their IT  and support centers in this city of India.

While the world is pushing for Global Warming and a helping hand to the developing world- this is a significant development that is flaring up in Chennai and the Western News Media - barring BBC .....has missed the boat.

Can OPEC rescue the OIL and the commodities complex?

Is it the supply or the demand? Or just that speculators are consumed in Netflix streaming and staying put? With the possibility of election being a non event and the Clintons polishing their manners- does it really matter that OPEC is debating the direction?

who will decide the bottom of the oil and the commodities- almost anything that falls and hurts your feet seem to be going down and  doesn't seem to have an interest in heading the other direction.

With RNC not even debating the possibility of giving a run at the election - are the Energy Complex and the commodities preparing for a long hibernation?

Draghi! Draghi! Draghi!

Euro Strengthens and Dollar Falters!

Global Market and Europe falls.

Cameron Joins the Rest in bombing parade!

Who should get the credit for these? Certainly Draghi comes to the rescue- well almost!

Can Europe and China not join the Japanese Dance? Does Draghi have what it takes make it happen?

atleast for now nobody seems to care about the EU split or the Chinese war with Japan- with the policy divergence across the seven seas- and the hedge funds confused with the pending elections and uncertainty the markets around the world seem to Ho Hum the Ho Ho Ho season!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gold: The last Man standing!

Every commodity from Copper to Coffee are succumbing to gravity!

And so are the companies and countries that are associated with them.

Most of the companies that have relied on debt to run and expand are finding their equity getting almost wiped out.

Seems like a replay of the Clinton Era...when you look at oil its waiting for the last straw- may be this Friday will pave the way for it too?

If Oil breaks below $30 and the interest rate edge higher at the next FOMC meeting- if Gold holds where it is hanging around....it will be a great candidate to Short!

If the so called FANG continue their movement at current pace.....and Clinton's popularity scale new highs be summer- we could see a couple of more players joining the Exclusive clubs like Priceline in the $1000 mark ....and may scale new wealth creation bubble. And Trillion Dollars at marcap may not be a eye popping headliner!

And Gold should touch $500!

Who Pays the Bill?

Bloomberg started it a few years back- Sugar and Calories!

Cigarettes and its pain: both during from paying and later by way of possible drug maintained lifestyle and a less active one is always felt by the person indulging it. The benefits: Profit and Tax collection is enjoyed by the manufacturer and the City, State and Federal government. Over a period of time the number started declining.

With Sugar, salt and Calories - the health effect is felt over a long period: decades in most cases.With advancement in medicine- most of the common effects are easily taken care of by maintenance drugs: Blood Pressure medicines , Diabetes medicine and the likes. As one ages more and more complicated medical needs are easily available. Most of the support needed are taken care of by the insurance system....both private and government. So the seriousness is never felt on a day to day basis by the individuals. As most of the cases are felt at a later stage in life- the medical expenses squarely falls in the shoulders of the government! So when Bloomberg started this initiative to make restaurants display the calories next to the item- it was shocking....atleast to the owners and business managers. As the calories in some of the items were more than the daily recommended amount!

When Calories were displayed- initial shock brought attention to what people ate.....and sooner the prints became deceptive and smaller at the restaurants! However people if not everyone atleast  an increasing number of people have started paying attention to intake of calories.

Supersizing initiative was successfully killed by the industry.

But now following in the same foot steps- NY is introducing a similar display law that will force display the amount in the food item. If this one succeeds as the Calories one and spreads though out the country- it will not only bring down the cost of health care nationally but will also improve the health and lifestyle quality for everyone. With Oprah in Weight Watchers beneficiary...maybe she can endorse such a movement!


Gilead and the Sovaldi Saga!

Pricing and Gouging! In a managed and controlled industry - the pricing power is with someone who has the strongest relationships!

$1000 a pill - has hit the cord of many - from politicians to insurance players!

The consumer who uses them - to treat for the most part is silent! The responsibility to service the need of the pill rests else where- From Government agencies to insurance companies and everyone in between!

With Sovaldi hogging the issues of the healthcare industry- Valeant and Turing Pharma became the eye of the storm with media and speculators having a field day!

Who should take ownership? Beneficiary or the one responsible for the financial commitments!

Another hearing and another media field day- can we resolve this piece meal?

Are there answers that can address the systemic problems?

Maybe- but we are not there yet!
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.