Archive for November, 2010

  • Groupon deals are not for everyone>
    Groupon deals are not for everyone
    There have been so many success stories of retailers enhancing their businesses by using groupon deals that it is hard to ignore their success stories. . If you are not familiar with groupon, it is a web-based company that ties up with local businesses and sends off daily coupons to its members that can be availed of at these businesses. If members do buy these coupons, they end up getting discounts in the region of 50 to 70% on the regular price, so it’s a win-win situation for these buyers. As for the retailers and businesses, Groupon splits the sales value with them. That generally leaves retailers with something in the region of 20 to 25 cents per dollar of retail. It might sound good on paper, but it only takes a few minutes of digging for you to realize that Groupon, and by extension  [...]
    at November 29th, 2010 at 01:11 am
  • Japanese companies could do with a reshuffle>
    Japanese companies could do with a reshuffle
    Age. It’s a terrible thing and it can do terrible things to you. Take the case of what is arguably the oldest company in the world. Kongo Gumi is a construction firm that operates out of Osaka in Japan. Certain Buddhist shrines that were constructed in 578 AD were said to have been built by them, and 40 generations passed and still a man with the surname Kongo presided over affairs. It was a very familial affair. When you consider the next four firms by age, they are also Japanese companies. And if you were to believe Yasuchika Hasegawa, chief executive of Takeda Pharmaceuticals (a company that was founded in 1781), 20,000 Japanese companies, maybe more, are at least a century old. That’s a lot of age packed into one corporate environment. In a world where companies enter and exit  [...]
    at November 24th, 2010 at 12:11 am
  • Income distribution is skewed>
    Income distribution is skewed
    The year was 1915, the place the University of Wisconsin. A statistician named Willford King had released a publication that was lengthily titled ‘The Wealth and Income of the People of the United States’. It was the single most comprehensive study of its kind conducted till date and the results of that study were enlightening, to say the least. The United States was overtaking Britain as the wealthiest nation in the world, if you were to believe it. But more in-depth information about the economy was not yet available off hand. That’s not because King lacked the will. It was simply because the government wouldn’t collect any such data until the 1930′s. That was a disappointment since one of King’s aims was to show that there was an equitable income distribution  [...]
    at November 22nd, 2010 at 01:11 am
  • Movie business isn’t just all glamor>
    Movie business isn’t just all glamor
    Jimmy Maynard had taken a close look at the movie business some years back, and what he saw was best described as “encouraging”. Companies were folding, credit lines were being squeezed and talent was cheaper than before thanks to a labor war that was driving down prices. All said and done, it was an excellent time to invest in the movie theater business and it brought a smile to his face. Maynard is not alone. Several investors much like him circled like vultures as studios started to scale back their investments, leaving a lacuna for people like Maynard to step up to the plate and hit one out of the park. For Maynard, it made perfect sense as he has “always made a living by buying or buying in when things are bad”. Just how bad is Maynard talking about? I’ve got a name for you,  [...]
    at November 17th, 2010 at 05:11 am
  • Troubled Assets Relief Program rumbles back into life>
    Troubled Assets Relief Program rumbles back into life
    It is perhaps the single most stale joke spouted by opponents of the Troubled Assets Relief Program; it’s acronym might be TARP, but what it really is a trap. They probably imagine that Admiral Ackbar is saying that when imagining it in their heads, but all of that is besides the point, really. What is more to the point, however, is the fact that the single largest fire in the history of Wall Street is about to rumble to life again. One investment company has actually gone so far as to call it “the Great Liquidation”. It has been two years since the White House came running to the rescue of Wall Street, buckets of cash in hand and bailed them out. And what incredibly large buckets they were; hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money was poured into all of these bad investments.  [...]
    at November 15th, 2010 at 01:11 am
  • US public debt needs the stimulus, but questions about austerity linger>
    US public debt needs the stimulus, but questions about austerity linger
    It is incredible when you think about it. The United States has not yet been taken to task for the sheer size of US public debt by the more vigilant among us. Indeed, stimulus policies seem here to stay for the time being. Many prominent economic minds of our generation, such as Nouriel Roubini and Paul Krugman, support these financial stimulus moves, at least in the short haul. This is in some ways a good thing for nations with as huge a debt burden as the USA, since pulling out of offering these stimulus measures might end up being the catalyst for a downward deflationary spiral and that word investors and the public at large has come to fear, a double-dip recession. The only thing anyone likes double-dipped is their ice cream, of this I’m sure. However, to look at the stimulus and  [...]
    at November 10th, 2010 at 12:11 am
  • American economy a bit zombie-like>
    American economy a bit zombie-like
    By all accounts, the American economy is a bit unhealthy as of now. Pick an economic indicator, any indicator. Third quarter GDP is at 2%, this figure released just before Halloween and causing quite a fright. Unemployment and personal consumption figures aren’t exactly stellar either, and any gains effected by the GDP were set off by net imports and sharply outdone by the increase in inventories. Consumption figures have been alright, but nowhere near what it should be and the savings rate too has fallen, presenting a picture that is not rosy at all. In a sense, the American economy is a bit like a zombie right now; it’s the walking dead, ambling along in a mindless haze. In a normal, well-balanced economy, consumption and GDP is locked in a sweet, sweet tango while savings is  [...]
    at November 3rd, 2010 at 05:11 am
  • Mortgages and foreclosures are bringing the house down>
    Mortgages and foreclosures are bringing the house down
    Michael Marsden stumped up the cash somehow to pay off the bank for his home in Michigan, a four room cabin that he wanted to make his own for the longest time ever. He had every intention of fixing it up so his son could enjoy it just as he would himself. What should have been the beginning of a dream instead quickly metamorphosed into a nightmare as the property was foreclosed on and the locks were changed before Marsden could so much as raise an eyebrow in amazement and wonder what was going on. The mortgages and foreclosures machinery was in full swing. Danielle Robinson faces not much of a different situation. She is facing the grim prospect of foreclosure proceedings over in Colorado, this after her mortgage company encouraged her to go ahead and skip a payment entirely. This came right  [...]
    at November 1st, 2010 at 03:11 am