| Ronald Reagan's Economic Legacy By Jane Galt 6/10 9:21pm EDT
When Reagan came into office, top marginal tax rates were, IIRC, around 70%. Only no one actually paid 70%, except for poor people unfortunate enough to win cars on The Price is Right, because the tax code had more loopholes than a sneaker factory. The Effective Tax Rate, otherwise known as What People Actually Pay, wasn't really much different from what it is now.
Can Sun Microsystems Give Away its Servers? By Red Herring 6/3 6:12pm EDT
Sun Microsystems is aiming to sell "more and more services," Marissa Peterson, the company's executive vice president of worldwide operations and network services told a press conference in Shanghai today that hardware will soon be "free" and the company's operating system, Solaris, will go open source soon. "Bill Gates and I agree,” Mr. Schwartz told Reuters, “that within four to five years hardware will be free."
Rodger Riney of Scottrade is Doing a Little Less for Customers By Rick Biggs 6/3 6:39pm EDT
Scottrade's value proposition is roughly 180-degrees opposite that offered by some of its bigger, publicly traded competitors. The company offers zero investment advice, plays down customer segmentation in favor of consistency of execution, and puts up branches in places like strip malls. Could founder and CEO Rodger Riney--the guy in the ads--be on to something here. . . .?
Mitsubishi's Shoddy Assembly Finally Hits the Bottom Line By Mike Pechar 6/3 6:47pm EDT
Within the past week, the prestigious Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced that its vehicle sales for fiscal year 2003 shrunk by more than 33% in Japan and more than 50% in North America. Concurrently, MMC announced its plan to cut 11,000 jobs from the global workforce and to close two manufacturing plants, an engine factory in Australia and a car plant in Okazaki, Japan.
Soul Deadening Job Leads to Urinary Dysfunction By Josh Newman 5/28 10:08pm EDT
I always knew, at some level, that I was a pioneer, not a settler; that I had to mark out new territory, make new things, rather than just expand existing things ever onward and upward. But I didn't realize how much taking a 'real' job would chip away at me. The psychological stress of being an employee, not an employer, weighed on me constantly, manifesting itself in remarkably strange ways.
Pharmacogenomics Will Lead to Efficiency Gains By Alex Tabarrok 5/25 10:45am EDT
Drugs that benefit a minority of the population are sometimes not approved by the FDA because their side-effects for the majority are deemed to outweigh the expected benefits. But if we can identify more clearly who the drugs will benefit and who they will harm, more drugs will be deemed safe and will get through the FDA process. As a further result, the costs of drug development will be reduced.
Straight Escort Finds Acting Gay Better Choice Economically By ST 5/25 1:50pm EDT
If the gay market calls for a higher return on the service (albeit similar not the same as having sex with the opposite gender), so why not do it IF (1) you don't hurt anybody, (2) satisfy your clients completely and (3) both parties have no problems doing it.
Will China Allow for more Outflow of Funds? By Walter Hutchens 5/24 8:53am EDT
A PRC official has said he hopes rules on a qualified domestic institutional investor (QDII) scheme will be released by year end, according to this Dow Jones report. A QDII scheme will let some PRC institutions invest in securities markets other than those on the PRC mainland. That could mean buying securities in Hong Kong, New York or elsewhere.
More Corruption at Tenet Healthcare By Matt Quinn 5/20 8:25pm EDT
In stark contrast to last week's placid shareholder meeting, Tenet's Shareholder Committee is outraged - OUTRAGED! - at the "endless cycle of scandal" at the hospital chain and has threatened to run an ads in the Wall Street Journal detailing the problems. But not so fast! It appears that the threatened negative PR campaign has less to do with actually fixing Tenet than the efforts of the head of the Shareholder Committee to take advantage of the hospital chain's weak state to enrich himself on a real-estate deal.
Interview with Blogger Professor Bainbridge Explains Why All Corporations Are in Delaware By Will Baude 5/19 3:24pm EDT
Why do so many corporations incorporate in Delaware? Should we be worried about this? No, you should not be worried about this at all. Why not? For an extended argument, see my article The Creeping Federalization of Corporate Law. For a shorter version, check out my blog posts Delaware's Dominance and/orVanderbilt Conference: Comments on Bebchuk and Cohen Firms’ Decisions Where to Incorporate.
Is There an Irrational Buyer in the Oil Market? By Arnold Kling 5/19 3:09pm EDT
Maybe the irrational buyer(s) have driven prices above equilibrium levels. If so, then prices may turn around. We do not have to sell our petroleum reserves to drive the price down (although there is a reasonable argument that the reserve is a stupid concept). If we just stop adding to our reserves, that would reduce demand and perhaps cause a decline in price.
Forget Gawker Media, Ghostblogging is the Way to Profit By Tom Mangan 5/18 9:23am EDT
If every celebrity wants a blog in 2006, and writing talent is spread among celebrities in about the same proportion as the general population, there's gonna be huge demand for ghost bloggers -- people who do the writing so the famous people don't have to.
| America's Debt-Fueled Recovery By Karsten 5/16 8:44pm EDT
The recent past has seen the Fed engineer a near-rational bubble in asset prices which has served to push household wealth up past the levels of the stock market bubble. Cheap credit has supported household spending at a time in which incomes have been growing at a snail's pace.
An Analysis of Panera Bread Stock (NASDAQ: PNRA) By Bob 5/17 10:11pm EDT
What do I think? First of all, I do NOT own any shares nor do I have any options or leveraged positions. That being said, PNRA actually looks pretty interesting to me. The valuation is nice with a PEG under 1.0. I would rather have a bit stronger level of same store sales...better than the 1.8% reported. However, with all of the short interest chasing shares, we may just see a nice price rise!
VoIP Takes a Step Back with New York Ruling By Jeff Pulver 5/19 8:35pm EDT
I am quite disappointed to see that New York State decided to apply legacy telephone regulation to Internet based communications while the FCC is in the process of figuring out the right regulatory treatment for VoIP. Between this decision in New York and a pending decision in California, these new developments may lead to the introduction of new regulatory barriers that in fact could slow the adoption of IP Communication services and delay the extraordinary benefits available from such services.
JetBlue Ripoff Leaves its Passengers Stranded By Jared Blank 5/19 8:13pm EDT
JetGreen, a week-old Irish budget carrier has gone out business. Yes, you read that correctly. First they steal JetBlue's name, then they go out of business in a week. Well done.
Is Shrek to Blame for Weaker Retail Sales? By Barry L. Ritholtz 5/27 9:20am EDT
Just for once, JUST ONCE, I'd like to see a mediocre retail report released without some absurd excuse explaining disappointing sales. Today's softer than expected same store sales numbers were rationalized by (brace yourself) the outsized opening of Shrek 2. This despite the fact that retail sales have been softening for the past 2 weeks, and Shrek 2 only opened Thurday evening.
Recording Industry's Accounting Draws Attention By the predicate 5/16 9:11pm EDT
Where does the RIAA get off saying things are bad? Simple -- the numbers IT gives are the shipments being sent out to retailers. That's what they consider "sales" -- not the CDs that actually end up in the hands of consumers. Because the retailers are becoming more efficient, ordering smaller batches of merchandise and avoiding stale product, the RIAA sees orders dropping.
The Long Arm of Sarbanes-Oxley By Mike O'Sullivan 5/17 10:20pm EDT
In late April, Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank introduced a bill to eliminate stock options for executives and directors. Frank's "Executive Stock Option Profit Recapture Act (H.R. 4208)" would achieve this result indirectly by limiting gains on the exercise of options to the lesser of (1) the gain realized on the date of exercise or (2) if the company's stock price declines by a "material amount" within one year following exercise, the gain that would have been realized if the option had been exercised at the end of that one year period.
Self-Interest Drives Companies to Insure the Uninsured By Ian 5/19 5:28pm EDT
A group of Fortune 500 corporations are getting together to offer health insurance to their non-full time workers. What I find most interesting about the move is that it appears to be a direct reaction to the long-term externalities of an uninsured populace: the shifting of costs from the uninsured to the insured.
Fashion Houses Designing Around Hot Tech Toy By The Kid From Kyoto 5/17 6:56pm EDT
Lagerfeld and Fendi have just put out an iPod case that's more like a suitcase. The bag is designed to carry--get this!--12 iPods! Why? Well, naturally, because 40 gigabytes of mp3 files is nothing--YOUHEAR ME--NOTHING! Everyone in the know has got to have on their person or nearby at least!--um ... let's see ... 12 x 40 GB ... um ... at least a whopping 480 GIGABYTES of music! That's an estimated 120,000 tunes.
Those Liars! Nobody Really Knows Where Stocks Will Go By Mark Cuban 5/13 4:43pm EDT
I mean look at the concept of price targets. Someone, analyst, mutual fund manager, whoever will come on and say, “I have a price target for this stock of XXX — which is up 30pct from here.” I see it getting there over the next 6 months. Yeah right. Why can’t we just admit they are pitching a stock and treat it like a trinket on QVC. Wouldn’t it be far more entertaining and honest if while the pitchman touted the product, they put up a Quantity Sold and an interview countdown?
| U.S. Manufacturing Sector is Firing on all Cylinders By James Picerno 6/3 6:19pm EDT
The economy's pessimists have yet another reason to keep a low profile with yesterday's news that a measure of U.S. manufacturing rose for the 12th consecutive month in May, reports the Institute for Supply Management. Manufacturing employment also posted solid growth in May, rising for the seventh straight month, ISM notes. Economists were generally surprised by the bullish report. Indeed, taking an historical view, May's ISM index was near a 20-year high.
Drop in Consumer Sentiment Data Disturbing By The Counterrevolutionary 5/16 8:07pm EDT
With the American consumer getting “tired”, to continue our recovery businesses must begin to spend. And consumer sentiment and business sentiment are related. Business owners must produce goods in the amount that they believe the marketplace can absorb. They use measures of consumer sentiment to gauge future demand. And if the consumer acts gloomy, the businesses will not spend. Without new business spending we are in danger of relapsing into recession.