Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Why leadership looks weak and wobbly at Uber, Snap and Twitter

 

Why leadership looks weak and wobbly at Uber, Snap and Twitter

Courtesy of John ColleyWarwick Business School, University of Warwick

File 20170613 20145 100n33w

Worawee Meepian/Shutterstock

Silicon Valley has not had a great year for governance, and ride-sharing business Uber has been struggling more than most. The company’s culture has come under sustained attack for macho and sexist elements leading CEO Travis Kalanick to fire staff and hire brand image specialists in a bid to convince the world the company is cleaning up its act.

Now, the Uber board has adopted a series of recommendations designed to address the firm’s culture and practices. Details of the report from former US attorney general Eric Holder, were not initially revealed, but it has already sparked the departure of senior vice-president Emil Michael, an ally of Kalanick. Some reports have suggested Kalanick could be asked to go on leave for a spell himself.

It’s not the only bump in the road. Uber was forced into a costly exit from China where it had spent at least US$2 billion. And Google is now suing them for driverless car patent infringement and the alleged theft of secrets. The business continues to lose money and local competition is strengthening in many of Uber’s markets. Simply put, would Kalanick still be there if he did exert tight control over the privately-held shares and was able to block any uprising?

There have been issues too over at Snap Inc, owner of social network Snapchat. The firm has tried to explain poor performance since it floated its shares by complaining that Facebook is copying everything it does – hardly unusual behaviour in competitive markets. After the float, CEO Evan Spiegel immediately gave himself US$750m of stock and his colleagues the rest of US$2 billion stock, all without qualifying loyalty restrictions.

So what is going on with leadership among the tech elite? This last year, social networks LinkedIn and Twitter, and internet giant Yahoo, have all put themselves up for sale after attracting substantial user traffic which they failed to monetise. Are these also leadership failures?


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How to make sense of the Senate health care bill: 4 essential reads

 

How to make sense of the Senate health care bill: 4 essential reads

Courtesy of Lynne AndersonThe Conversation

File 20170622 13061 z8pclp

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) smiles after he unveiled the Senate health care bill on June 22, 2017. Scott Applewhite/AP

Editor’s note: The following is a roundup of archival stories related to the health care bill presented by Senate Republicans June 22, 2017.

When President Trump ran on a promise to “repeal and replace the disaster that is Obamacare,” he had plenty of support from congressional Republicans. They had tried dozens of times to strike down President Obama’s signature health care law, but so long as Obama was in office, he could block their efforts.

That was then, and this is now an entirely different era.

Stymied previously, the Republican-led Congress and Trump are determined to enact a new health care law. They moved another step closer on June 22, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) unveiled the Senate plan.

While it is a modified version of a plan the House passed in May, the Senate bill retains many of the House bill’s provisions. Republican sponsors and backers say it softens the blow of some of the previous bill’s provisions that could result in people becoming uninsured by extending the period over which the changes would be enacted. Opponents are saying it only extends the time for enacting changes so that senators who will be up for reelection in six years might be spared the ire of voters who have lost their insurance.

Now that the Senate has revealed its plan, we’ve gone back into our archives to identify and explain the key issues of the health care law, including Medicaid expansion, the individual mandate and essential health benefits.

One of the biggies: Medicaid rollback

One of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was the expansion of Medicaid coverage to adults whose incomes are so low that they could not afford to buy insurance. Before expansion, most states’ Medicaid programs paid for insurance coverage for children, disabled adults and seniors’ nursing care.

The federal…
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Government action isn’t enough for climate change. The private sector can cut billions of tons of carbon

 

Government action isn't enough for climate change. The private sector can cut billions of tons of carbon

Courtesy of Michael VandenberghVanderbilt University and Jonathan M. GilliganVanderbilt University

File 20170620 11735 xutxwh

Businesses can make up for inaction on climate by government by investing in energy and fuel efficiency. Walmart/flickr, CC BY-SA

With President Trump’s announcement to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, many other countries around the world – and cities and states within the U.S. – are stepping up their commitments to address climate change.

But one thing is clear: Even if all the remaining participating nations do their part, governments alone can’t substantially reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change.

We’ve studied the role of the private sector in addressing climate change, and we’re convinced that the next stage is going to require more than just political agreement. What is needed is a concerted effort to mobilize private action – not just corporations but also religious and civic organizations, colleges and universities, investors and households – to help narrow the gap that remains after the Paris Agreement.

The Paris gap

Under current policies, global emissions are on a path toward a world with temperatures more than 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial temperatures. The Paris Agreement emphasized the need to keep warming “well below” 2°C and ideally reach a reduction of 1.5°C. The accord includes national pledges to reduce emissions, which are to be updated every five years to move the world closer to the temperature target.

Although the agreement takes a significant first step, without additional steps the world will fall far short of even the more modest goal.

Without faster cuts in the rate of carbon emissions, the chances of severe heat events, like the one in Arizona this week, will go up. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

This is the Paris gap – the difference between the goals of the Paris Agreement and what it will actually achieve over the next decade, even if all countries fully comply with their commitments. …
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Comment by qcmike

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  1. qcmike

    CDNjay 

     

    You are correct on Stansberry Research 







Thrilling Thursday – Nasdaq Makes New Highs, Ethereum Flash Crashes

Wow, what a ride!  

The #2 Crypto-currency, Ethereum had a bit of a flash crash yesterday, trading as low as 0.10 from the high of the day at $317 as a single seller tried to sell $30M worth in what is really an illiquid market.  Even after the first wave reversed, a second wave took the currency down to $130 on even heavier volume than the first, forcing the main exchange, Coinbase, to go offline.    

Even though the "Status ICO" (selling program called an "Initial Coin Offering") is over, there are still a huge number of transactions clogging up the network and the only way to get transactions in is to pay huge fees (which most of the exchanges probably don't want to do). Until it clears out, people are going to be missing ENS auctions, unable to withdraw from many wallets and exchanges, etc.  As noted by Emansipater, one of Reddit's crypto experts:

"Badly designed ICOs, plus selfish and foolish miners = major delays and maybe even substantial losses for everyone else." Judging by the ensuing flash crash, this was an accurate assessment.

Inexperienced traders on amateur exchanges – what could possibly go wrong?  

That's what I like about the Dollar – it hardly ever goes off-line, freezing my assets while it's value goes up and down 99% in a day.  Have I mentioned how much I like CASH!!! lately?  We certainly have tons of CASH!!! in our 4 Member Portfolios and, as noted in this weekend's Portfolio Review, we're very well-balanced but still tilted a little bit bearish as we simply can't endorse the insane valuations that are driving indexes, especially the Nasdaq, to record highs.  

I was on Money Talk last night and we discussed the trade ideas from yesterday's morning Report and I called a bottom on Oil (/CL), which was trading at about $42.50 last night after testing $42 during yesterday's carnage.  That's well below our $44.50 entry but we're sticking
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Most expensive race in House history turns out nearly 58 percent of Georgia district’s voters

 

Most expensive race in House history turns out nearly 58 percent of Georgia district's voters

Courtesy of Jeffrey LazarusGeorgia State University

File 20170621 30211 1ggitxa

Republican candidate for Georgia’s Sixth District congressional seat Karen Handel declares victory with her husband Steve. AP Photo/John Bazemore

I’m a political science professor living in Georgia’s Sixth House district, where Republican Karen Handel eked out a victory of nearly four points over Democrat John Ossoff in a special House election on June 20.

And although I have made a career out of observing and teaching others about politics, I’m just relieved the race is over. The word “ubiquitous” doesn’t begin to describe the special election’s presence.

For months, the district has been flooded with every kind of campaign advocacy imaginable: phone calls, mailers, television commercials, lawn signs and ads showing up on every online platform you can think of. Most households have been receiving multiple phone calls every day and multiple home visits from canvassers every week, and everyone has been exposed to more advertising than they can ever remember seeing. I counted 31 pieces of campaign-related mail in just one week. Some residents are even getting campaign texts on their cellphones.

This is because of the astonishing amount of money spent on the race. A typical competitive House race sees a total of about US$5 million spent, and the previous record for the most expensive House race ever was $20 million. During the Georgia Sixth special election, the two candidates together spent about $33 million, and outside groups added about another $27 million on top of that. That nearly $60 million total represents almost $100 for every man, woman and child who lives in the district. It is the most expensive U.S. House race in the country’s history.

What’s interesting is what all this money and activity did and didn’t do.

The effects of advertising

There is very little evidence that the campaigns helped many people decide whom to vote for. At the start of the race in April, just 5 percent of voters were undecided, and the candidates’ numbers barely moved since. The dozen polls taken over the course of the runoff all showed Ossoff…
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Will Amazon’s Whole Foods deal go the same way as L’Oréal and Body Shop?

 

Will Amazon's Whole Foods deal go the same way as L'Oréal and Body Shop?

Courtesy of Tanusree JainTrinity College Dublin

File 20170621 8977 1qf4cly

EQRoy/Shutterstock

Online retail giant Amazon has made a decisive move into food retail. The acquisition of US grocer Whole Foods, a pioneer in organic, healthy food shopping for well-off consumers, brings together two businesses with contrasting reputations. We’ve been here before. And it didn’t work out well.

Amazon’s mission is to build a place where people can find “anything they might want to buy online”. In the Whole Foods mission statement, however, it promises to “not sell just anything” but to deliver the highest quality that encompasses the greater good. We perhaps shouldn’t judge a deal by highlighting that the corporate PR seems to be at odds, but this discrepancy does raise some profound questions about the purpose of a business and how that purpose is accomplished.

For years, Amazon has been criticised for its business practices. A burnout-inducing work culture, limited focus on recycling and a lack of transparency on sustainability reporting have all come under fire. Compare that to Whole Foods’ value-based culture of caring for worker communities, adoption of responsible recycling and its foray into solar energy. It feels like a strange marriage.

An Amazon distribution centre in Germany. Lukassek/Shutterstock

Trojan horse

In fact, it does bring to mind 2006, when L’Oréal, the corporate beauty giant with a deeply questionable animal testing record, acquired Body Shop, the socially conscious beauty company known for its ethical products and friendly environmental practices. The deal was made through an agreed buyout with Anita Roddick, the founder of Body Shop. Agreements were made that Body Shop would continue to run independently, and Roddick was quoted as saying Body Shop could act as “a Trojan horse” and positively influence the way L'Oréal did business.

However, over time, the lack of a cultural fit between the two companies, and growing competition from other ethical beauty brands,…
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The Millennials May Get Their Mania After All

 

The Millennials May Get Their Mania After All

Courtesy of 

Look: E Trade found a Jesse Eisenberg lookalike to recreate the late-1990’s zeitgeist for a new generation. Today’s twentysomethings were in elementary school the last time speculation was sold to people like this. All it took was Nasdaq 5000 to crank the gears back up again.

Back in the day it was Jackie Chan kicking trades into a laptop and Shaq talking about PE ratios and a tow truck driver who had traded his way into owning a private island. Today it’s this – the new E Trade Baby – now airing everywhere.

The Millennials may get their mania after all.

I actually think it’s cool to see a new generation get involved in markets. Unfortunately, some of them are going to fall for this, and the Snap IPO and whatever other easy money ideas are dangled before them.

Investment manias are a feature of American Capitalism, not a bug. Read the history. No need to get upset about it.





Comment by scottmi

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  1. scottmi

    jabo – I hear ya. meaningful dent in account values because of FTR here too. 







Will We Hold It Wednesday – Nasdaq 5,700 Edition

We're still using the same chart.

Our predicted range for the Nasdaq 100 Futures has been holding since last Monday (6/12) and, as you can see, it's been following our 5% Rule™ perfectly, which is why we were able to call the shorts for our Members in our Live Chat Room at the open, saying:

"2,450 still a good short on /ES, of course and 5,780 on /NQ and we even hit 1,420 on /TF again.  Dow is unprecedented at 21,450+ but below that line will confirm a move lower for the day."

This stuff isn't that hard folks, it's been the same range for 2 weeks and we play it until it breaks.  Notice how if we go long with tight stops at the red line and go short with tight stops at the green lines, we don't get burned too badly but we have several occasions where we make a nice sum of money.  This morning the Nasdaq (/NQ) hit the 5,720 line and that was good for one-day gains of $1,200 per contract along with S&P (/ES) 2,430, which gained $1,000 per contract, Russell 1,396 was good for gains of $120 per contract and Dow 21,400, which was up $250 per contract.  

That's a nice way to start the week and we needed the money to double down on our, so far, wrong-way bet on Oil ($44.50, now $43.50) and Gasoline ($1.42, flat), which we discussed in Monday's Morning Report.    As we expected, the contract rollover caused a sell-off though, if you listen to the TV analysts, you'd think oil was going to $20.  We see the holiday just around the corner AND, much more importantly, Saudi Arabia is taking the state oil company, Saudi Aramco, public and they are trying to get a $2 TRILLION valuation and the logic I laid out for our Members was:

Analysts are chasing all the sheeple out at the lows, methinks – then the Banksters can run in and BUYBUYBUY and take oil up $5 and make their quarter off of one trade.  Don't forget Aramco IPO is coming and every $5


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Zero Hedge

Goldman Finds Most Modern Recessions Were Caused By The Fed

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

One week ago, Deutsche Bank issued a loud warning that as a result of the extended duration of the current expansion...

.... coupled with the collapse in the yield curve...

... and the risk that the Fed could fall behind the inflationary curve as a result of near record low unemployment...

... the risk is growing that the Fed could hike rates right into a recession:

... which makes sense: recall BofA's chart from earlier this year which showed that every tightening episode usually ends with a financial "event."

...

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ValueWalk

So Value Investing Is Not Dead According To Goldman

By The Acquirer's Multiple. Originally published at ValueWalk.

I had to smile when I read this article on Bloomberg titled, Goldman Sachs Mulls the Death of Value Investing.

The article states:

There isn’t much value in value investing these days.

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Insider Scoop

Marveling At Multi-Factor ETFs

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related This Goldman ETF Keeps Growing Getting Smarter About Smart Beta Related ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Bitcoin In Perspective: Bill Gates Worth More, Gold 200 Times More

Courtesy of Mike Shedlock, MishTalk

An interesting article on HowMuch puts the Bitcoin phenomenon into proper perspective.

Google founder Larry Page’s net worth beats bitcoin’s entire market cap. Microsoft founder Bill Gates’s net worth is double Bitcoin.

Please consider The Bitcoin Economy, in Perspective.

Last year, Bitcoin became more stable than gold, and earlier this year, the price of a Bitcoin surpassed that of an ounce of gold for the first time. Currently, all the bitcoin in the world is ...



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Chart School

Russell 2000 at Rising Support

Courtesy of Declan.

There wasn't much to say about today, but the one index which caught my attention was the Russell 2000. The index caught a bounce in demand at the rising trendline and also did enough to recover the 20-day MA. Traders looking for pullback opportunity could take a look at the Russell 2000. Stops on a loss of 1,397.


The Nasdaq is primed for a move to challenge 6,350. Today's doji marks indecision just below 6,250 but if it can push above this price level it would likely trigger a spate of short covering. Technicals hav...

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Biotech

Even though genetic information is available, doctors may be ignoring important clinical clues

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Even though genetic information is available, doctors may be ignoring important clinical clues

Courtesy of Greg HallCase Western Reserve University

Digitized strand of DNA. Mathagraphics/From www.shutterstock.com

With the availability of home genetic testing kits from companies such as “23andMe” and “Ancestry DNA,” more peo...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of June 19th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Mapping The Market

Frontier laid off state Senate president after broadband vote it didn't like

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

Speaking of FTR – not nice people…

Frontier laid off state Senate president after broadband vote it didn’t like

By Arstechnica.com

Broadband provider Frontier Communications recently laid off the West Virginia state Senate president after a vote the company didn't like—and yes, you read that correctly.

West Virginia does not have a full-time legislature, and state lawmakers can supplement their part-time government salaries ($20,000 a year,&...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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Members' Corner

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Interesting discussion of what affects our behavior. 

Description: "How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic — and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors."

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Filmed April 2017 at TED 2017

 

p.s. Roger (on Facebook) saw this talk and recommends the book ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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