Post Tagged with: "Technology"

The so-called new economy and the disintermediation of the rent seekers

The so-called new economy and the disintermediation of the rent seekers

The so-called new economy is about disintermediation. That’s what it has always been touted as. And I think there’s validity to this. It’s interesting to see how incumbents deal with this disintermediation, especially when they have government-regulated markets. A perfect example is Airbnb. The company just closed a $500 million round of funding that values the enterprise at $10 billion. […]

Read more ›
Dealing with confirmation bias in macro analysis at market turning points

Dealing with confirmation bias in macro analysis at market turning points

My macro view for most of the global economy is upbeat. My only downbeat views concern deceleration of growth in emerging markets and froth in capital markets. But in the main, market and economic momentum is up and to the right. The natural path is progress. Or at least it has been for the last couple hundred years. In that vein, I see the US in a middling upturn, Europe in an improving recovery and China in a softish landing due to loss socialization. But if you read my daily analysis, it is full of worry and in-depth coverage of downside risks. For some of you, it can be confusing. You’re saying to yourself, “I thought you were upbeat about this.”

Read more ›
Amazon’s new TV streaming strategy reinforces its incremental approach

Amazon’s new TV streaming strategy reinforces its incremental approach

Amazon. It is a highly-valued stock in the equities market – one that many point to as proof of a burgeoning technology stock bubble in the US. But for all the controversy over valuation, it is undeniable that Amazon is a big force in the Internet. In my view, it may be more powerful than Google, Apple, or Microsoft in […]

Read more ›
Economic and market themes: 2014-03-21

Economic and market themes: 2014-03-21

Sanctions because of the Crimean crisis have had less economic impact than private portfolio preference shifts. However, as Ukraine moves into the EU sphere, further actions against Ukraine could be more far-reaching. China has moved toward stimulus to avoid a hard landing Signs are abundant that risk assets are overpriced and that de-risking is in order Wage and job growth […]

Read more ›
Walbucks: Bitcoin for Walmart

Walbucks: Bitcoin for Walmart

This post is about three different topics, Bitcoin and e-Payments, the Minimum Wage, and consumer spending and Walmart. There has been a lot of discussion about all three and I believe I have an innovative way to attack all three issues that will satisfy most reasonable people. The idea is simply to for Walmart to conduct a de facto minimum wage increase of all of its minimum wage workers’ salary by giving them extra salary in e-payments usable only at Walmart and transferable securely via a payment algorithm similar to Bitcoin’s.

Read more ›
Apple’s profit falls again in Q1 2014 on record revenue

Apple’s profit falls again in Q1 2014 on record revenue

Like last quarter, Apple set another record for revenue in its first quarter of 2014. However, margins at Apple have receded, turning year-on-year profit comparisons negative for yet another quarter. Earnings per share are up because of stock buybacks. But Apple shares fell 8% after the earnings were released. Apple continues to try to maintain margins as high as possible without sacrificing share. This strategy means contraction in the Americas. But Apple is betting on Asia for growth.

Read more ›
The deflationary forces of online shopping

The deflationary forces of online shopping

This past holiday sales season was weak for a number of retailers in the US. But, discounting was the culprit rather than poor demand by consumers. I see retail sales holding up but a shake out in retail is sure to come as the deflationary forces of internet price discovery put margin pressure on everyone.

Read more ›
Privacy and the ubiquity of embedded technology

Privacy and the ubiquity of embedded technology

Yesterday, Google announced that it would buy privately-held Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. This was Google’s second largest acquisition ever. Nest is a smart thermostat and smoke alarm-maker which promises to give Google a leg up in the fast expanding home automation market. But the acquisition also highlights the degree to which communications technology is now embedded in ordinary devices. The benefit is convenience. The risk is privacy.

Read more ›
Why T-Mobile’s John Legere will continue to shake up the telecom industry

Why T-Mobile’s John Legere will continue to shake up the telecom industry

I have developed a great respect for T-Mobile as a wild card in the mobile space. Their actions as the smallest of the 4 major US mobile carriers are having implications both in terms of telecom pricing and revenue models and in terms of handset subsidies and net margins. The net benefit will accrue to customers. The question is whether a Sprint takeover ends this dynamic and what impact it will have on share prices in the space. Thoughts below

Read more ›
Bitcoins, Dollars and Renminbi: Strong Bitcoin interest in China

Bitcoins, Dollars and Renminbi: Strong Bitcoin interest in China

Reports indicate strong Bitcoin interest in China. BTC, the China-based Bitcoin exchange accounts (trading a third of all Bitcoin transactions, while China may account to close to half of the daily turnover, according to some internet reports) at an estimated 200k Bitcoins a day.

Read more ›
Apple’s profit falls in Q4 2013 on record revenue

Apple’s profit falls in Q4 2013 on record revenue

Apple set another record for revenue in its fourth quarter of 2013 according to its latest earnings. However, margins at Apple have receded such that profit fell for yet another quarter. Overall, Apple’s strategy now seems to be geared toward maintaining margins as high as possible without sacrificing too much share. It will be a difficult proposition despite Apple’s stellar execution.

Read more ›
On the Microsoft – Nokia merger

On the Microsoft – Nokia merger

I have been saying for two years now that Nokia is toast because it has hitched its wagon to an also-ran in the smartphone race. The only out for the company is a takeover by Microsoft and now this is done. Will it work though?

Read more ›