- French government says China backs Lagarde for IMF (Reuters)
- ...but, China has actually not backed Lagarde (WSJ)
- “You Americans Are Funny” — You Start an IMF (Forbes)
- Norquist Emerges as Barrier to U.S. Debt Deal (Bloomberg)
- Scarcity, Usefulness, and Getting an Edge (Hussman)
- Bullard Says Fed May Keep Rates, Balance-Sheet Steady to Assess Economy (Bloomberg)
- For Global Steel Industry, China Poses Guessing Game (WSJ)
- Goldman Finding Third Time a Charm in Russia (Bloomberg)
- Greece Will Accelerate State Asset Sales to Stem Debt Crisis as Bonds Drop (Bloomberg)
- It can go wrong? It will go wrong (WaPo)
Could a masterfully marketed toy run with the big boys at premium prices if the truth were to leak out? Ask iPad buyers this time next year after the next 400 tablets are released on various platforms for much less money sporting that much more functionality.
The recent correction in the commodities markets may be providing Bernake, Geithner and their easy money acolytes with a sense of relief given the relentless run up in prices of raw materials since the announcement of QE back in 2008, but they should not sleep tight just yet. As anyone in the markets will tell you, when any underlying has a price move so vertical in its trajectory it’s bound to face a correction as the smart money, having gotten in for fundamental reasons much earlier along the trend line now wait for the panic buyers or the Johnny-come-lately’s to give the rally that last unsustainable spike to unload their longs and leave the suckers holding $40.00 silver in their purses. So one must step back and take a long view. Although it would appear that those of us who warn that inflation is not just a threat but very much a fact of life now were knee-jerk pontificators jumping on the commodities rally trend for political (read: Fed/Obama bashing) reasons, the analysis is quite sound. Most important, it is methodical not emotional as price surges tend to make investors and analysts from time to time. Here are some facts: even with the inevitable correction in commodities, as of this writing crude oil is 35% more expensive than it was a year ago…advancing with ups and downs along the way from as low as $17.50/bbl in November of 2001 to its current level of over $100/bbl or around a 19% annual appreciation in a decade since the Fed started giving away dollars. Silver 93% Wheat 84% Cotton 100% Coffee 55% Cattle 10% etc etc. Gold is up 22% for the year. More revealing, it is up an astonishing 450% since 2001. In that same decade the USD index against all currencies shed 40% of its value.
Even With Apple’s Successful Launch On Verizon, Google Continues To Increase It’s Lead In The Smarthphone SpaceSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 05/06/2011 11:20 -0500
A amazing as Apple's growth was last quarter during the iPhone release on Verizon's network, Google's Android still gained market share and the two main Android handset vendors doubled and tripled Apple's handset growth. It's fair to say that Android is to Google in 2013 as Windows is to Microsoft in the '90s. Network effect, y'all hear?
The mobile computing field is growing by leaps and bounds bringing the more innovative along with it, while potential casualties are already limping across the battle field before the second round of ammunition has been fired.
AT&T’s Q1 Record Results Show That There Is More Money In Android Than There Ever Was In Apple: How Do You Compete With Less Than Free?Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/20/2011 12:30 -0500
The quarter AT&T loses iPhone exclusivity is the quarter they report record numbers. Why? They started pushing high end Android phones that more than made up for the iPhone loss. You really can't compete with "less than free"!
Remain cognizant that what you are witnessing here is the compression of annual refresh cycles into a MATTER OF WEEKS!!! It was only two weeks ago that Samsung stated it was unhappy with its offering in relation to Apple’s iPad 2 and had to go back to the drawing board. Well, they are to the drawing board and back – 2 weeks later.
Judging from the relative volatility and the extremely wide holdings of this find company with a near cult like following, if price action breaks it will break very hard - and this time there may be fundamental justification for it.
Shouldn’t average profit margins be higher now, as the U.S. economy has transitioned from an industrial (low-margin) economy to a service (higher-margin) economy?
As The Tablet Margin Crunching Parade Marches On, Consumers Benefit From The Cheapest Prices Of The Best ProductsSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 03/14/2011 10:10 -0500
The innovative onslaught and creative destruction of margins in the tablet wars continues. The smart money should wait a few months as these companies slaughter each other to get a tablet. You will probably get more technology than you thought your $190 could ever buy.
As I Have Promised The Tablet Pricing Wars Have Commenced, Targeting Apple’s iPad 2 Which Is Not Even For Sale Yet…Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 03/07/2011 14:07 -0500
Retailers in the UK release the Motorola Xoom at competitive prices and Sam's Club announces pre-orders for the muscular Xoom at $60 BELOW the price of the iPad 2. Apple's flagship mobile product has not even been released yet and its being undercut by more technically more capable competitor, and there are dozens more competitors on tap. Margin compression is inevitable for ALL players involved as this becomes a pricing bloodbath to the benefit of tech consumer.
Steve Jobs Calls End Of the PC, We Call The End Of The Fat Margin Tablet – Including The Pretty iPad, With Proof!Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 03/04/2011 10:36 -0500
The Apple RDF (reality distortion field) is running at full tilt, and the pop tech media serves as an outsourced marketing arm for the firm. Actual reporting of the news, not to mention any real analysis, is simply non-existent. I debunk the following Apple.myths - Supply chain lockup = unassailable pricing, customers prefer iPads over everything else, & iPads perform better. Best of all, I actually take it to the streets to let real people decide the truth once and for all. Oh yeah, & here comes that margin compression countdown in 4 quarters, 3, 2, 1!!!
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor (of Underperformance) Away! – Does Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Still Look Cheap?Submitted by Value Expectations on 03/03/2011 14:51 -0500
Yesterday at Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) live press event in San Francisco, CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the much anticipated second version of the iPad (iPad 2), which will begin shipping March 11th. Despite Jobs’ recent health concerns (he is still on medical leave), the man behind the most innovative technology company in the world right now was determined to unveil the iPad 2 on his own, and looked relatively healthy while doing it according to several attendees, saying that “we’ve been working on this product for awhile, and I didn’t want to miss it.”
The iPad 2 is a very impressive gadget – much like its predecessor – and should push the company further ahead in the tablet race (Apple owns 90% of the tablet market share selling approximately 15 million devices in nine months during 2010), making it that much more difficult for competitors to catch up in the near term. Here are some highlights of the iPad 2:
Google's Android is now the undisputed top selling mobile OS in the world, unseating Research in Motion's Blackberry, Apple's iOS and Nokia's Symbian/MeeGo in record time. Being that Android is essentially a front end to Google's cloud services and apps, does this mean that Google now has (or soon will have) more application reach than Microsoft - the world's largest software company? Pretty good performance for a search engine, eh?
The market limped in to the close today as the dip buyers were somehow distracted by the jump in new claims for unemployment which...