All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent. It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume. This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.
We always keep a weather eye on the state of retail investing in the U.S. There is, of course, the old saw that this batch of buyers doesn’t get involved until the top; therefore, it makes sense to see if they are getting too “Bulled up”. Then there is the fact that retail “Cult” stocks can hold premium valuations far longer than those without such sponsorship.
Collapse is not an event, it is a process.
"Cook also told these millennials, 'Don't shrink from risk.' That's a musty old standard for commencement addresses: Find your passion, follow your dreams, take some risks, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. It cannot be lost among the most discerning grads that these commencement tips are coming from a generation that left them with crushing student debt, a wobbly job market, unaffordable real estate and cities increasingly ablaze."
Can you imagine, say, Steve Jobs allocating 30% of Apple's profits - - forever - - to a given charitable cause?
The music industry was the first entertainment business to confront the digital transition, although, as Goldman notes, it was not exactly a willing pioneer... It wasn’t until 2004 when Apple iTunes debuted that consumers grew more and more primed to free music; and after a small bump in sales in 2004 from the launch of iTunes, the declines resumed as the double whammy of album unbundling and a 30% wholesale price cut took its toll. From 2004 to 2014, US music unit and dollar sales declined cumulatively by another 50%, erasing US$5 bn in annual sales.
Many activists are clamoring for a higher minimum wage. That's an admirable goal, but is that where the worst problem is? Even at the abysmally low wages of the present moment, we still have 938,000 people being turned away from McDonald's because there aren't enough McJobs. The real problem is the lack of meaningful work. In a world of machines and social alienation, meaningful work is as scarce as water in the drought-stricken California Central Valley.
Innovative, successful companies are formed due to almost astronomically-unlikely pairings of the right people, at the right time, in the right place. And that place isn't going to be Startup Castle. Promise.
Less than two years ago, the number of smartphone shipments in China soared by roughly 100% year over year, rising over 80 million for the first time. Fast forward to Q1 of 2015 when according to IDC, the Chinese smartphone market - the largest in the world since 2011 when it overtook the US - has not only reached maturity but is now also fully saturated and as a result smartphone shipments suffered their first Y/Y decline, dropping 4.3% on an annual basis. As IDC notes, "this is the first time in six years that the China smartphone market declined YoY as the market continues to mature." Worse, on a quarter over quarter basis, the market contracted 8% on the back of a large inventory buildup at the end of last year.
Elon Musk, Silicon Valley’s poster-boy genius replacement for the late Steve Jobs, rolled out his PowerWall battery last week with Star Wars style fanfare, doing his bit to promote and support the delusional thinking that grips a nation unable to escape the toils of techno-grandiosity. The main delusion: that we can “solve” the problems of techno-industrial society with more and better technology. The denizens of Silicon Valley are crazy about the Tesla. There is no greater status trinket in Northern California, where the fog of delusion cloaks the road to the future.
In 2003, Kevin Flanagan was an information technology employee at Bank of America. They told him he was being replaced with foreign labor, and he was ordered to train his replacement. After he completed his assignment, he was laid off. Then he went to the parking lot and shot himself. That's "free trade."
The picture of this very old telephone reminds of our “esteemed” Federal Reserve. They really seem incapable of any modern thought. Their parallels to, and fears of, the Great Depression [Former Chair Bernanke], seem to drive 2009-2015 monetary policy. It reminds me of incredibly stale thinking... sort of like their incredibly stale personalities. I suppose it’s a good match for them but not for the citizens of the world subjected to their currently ineffective and intellectually lazy policies... rooted in very ancient [just like most of them] history.
GE stock is down almost 13% over the last 7 years, and this is with record shares being taken off the market. However, Jeff Immelt thinks he has a solution for this problem after 15 years at the helm of GE.
Back in April 2013, Apple shocked the world when in a dramatic U-turn to Steve Jobs beliefs, it announced what was "the largest single share repurchase authorization in history" when it boosted its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from $10 billion. Today, GE did its best to match this number, when it reported that as part of a massive business restructuring, it announced a "new Board authorization of up to $50B buyback." This is how it will fund it.