Apple

Why Apple’s Launch Event Was "Creepy As Hell"

The Apple Launch is a closed circle of fawning sycophants, thrilled with gimmicks, adapted to computers, programmed, a throng of identical authentic individuals chained to their machines and congratulating themselves on being ‘connected,’ led by a human that resembles a robot. Two hours of watching the Apple Launch actually made the Manson Family seem homey.

Goldman Defends Apple Following Underwhelming Product Announcements But Another Problem Emerges

Of course, with Goldman's desk making millions in commissions executing AAPL's weekly, if not daily, buyback orders, the last thing Goldman would dare to do is issue a report that angers Tim Cook. But another problem may be emerging for AAPL: China. As a reminder, China recently became the biggest end-market for iPhone demand and any hints this may be jeopardized could have severe repercussions on the stock price.  Which is why we paid particular attention to the report overnight from China's finance ministry, which accused a China unit of Apple of underpaying taxes in 2013 by 452 million yuan ($71 million), "which comes as China toughens its stance on tax payments by foreign firms."

Frontrunning: September 10

  • Compare: S&P 500 Futures Advance After U.S. Stocks Ignored Global Rally (BBG)
  • And contrast: Global Stock Rally Grinds to a Halt (BBG)
  • And be very confused: Global Stocks Lower on U.S. Interest Rate Uncertainty (WSJ)
  • Hilsenrath: Fed Wavers on September Rate Rise (WSJ)
  • Time for more QE: Abe Adviser Says Next Month Good Opportunity for BOJ Easing (BBG)
  • Brazil downgraded to junk rating by S&P, deepening woes (Reuters)
  • Kiwi dollar tumbles after New Zealand cuts interest rates (Reuters)

Have We Reached Peak Apple?

Technological change often comes faster than what the people in it’s thrall can predict. It wasn’t that long ago when you and everyone else you knew were probably using AOL Instant Messenger, around the same time that dude, you were getting a Dell. Then one day you weren’t. Blackberrys used to be so popular that “to bbm” someone made it into the dictionary, but then the devices all but disappeared. These inflection points are seldom based on the companies failing their customers, but rather because consumers simply moved on.

CyberWar & The False Comfort Of Mutually Assured Destruction

As an investor, you have enough to be concerned about just taking into account factors like inflation, deflation, Fed policy and the overall state of the economy. Now you have another major threat looming – financial warfare, enabled by cyberattacks and force multipliers. What can you do to preserve wealth when these cyberfinancial wars break out? The key is to have some portion of your total assets invested in nondigital assets that cannot be hacked, wiped out or disrupted by financial warfare. The time to take defensive action by acquiring some non-digital assets is now.

Whither The Economy?

The great problem with corporate capitalism is that publicly owned companies have short time horizons. As a consequence of the short-sightedness of reformers and Congress, the annual salaries of top executives were capped at $1 million. Amounts in excess are not deductible for the company as an expense. The exception is “performance-related” pay, which has no limit. The result is that the major part of executive pay comes in the form of performance bonuses. Performance means a rise in the price of the company’s shares. The gains in executive bonuses and shareholder capital gains were achieved by destroying the economic prospects of millions of Americans and by reducing the growth potential of the US economy. In the long-run this means the demise of the US as a world power...

The Season Of The Glitch (Or "Why Retail Investors Have No Chance")

Thousands of investors with stop-loss orders on their ETFs saw those positions crushed in the first 30 minutes of trading last Monday, August 24th. Seeing a price blow right through your stop is perhaps the worst experience in all of investing because it seems like such a betrayal. “Hey, isn’t this what a smart investor is supposed to do? What do you mean there was no liquidity at my stop? What do you mean I got filled $5 below my stop? Wait… now the price is back above my stop! Is this for real?” Welcome to the Big Leagues of Investing Pain.

Frontrunning: September 3

  • U.S. Treasury's Lew says China will be held accountable on currency (Reuters) ... but not Japan
  • Bank of Japan Not Convinced of Need for Further Easing (WSJ)
  • Stocks Advance With Commodities on Signs of European Revival (BBG)
  • IMF Says China Slowdown, Other Risks Threaten Global Outlook (WSJ)
  • Xi Says China No Threat, Announces Military Cuts at Parade (BBG)
  • China holds massive military parade, to cut troop levels by 300,000 (Reuters)
  • Migrants leave Budapest for Austrian frontier; pressure builds for EU action (Reuters)