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Coca-Cola’s Earnings Surge

Filed in acquisitions, Coca Cola, earnings, EPS, New Gold, o, revenue, Spot Gold by on February 10, 2011 0 Comments
Coca-Cola’s Earnings Surge

Filed under: Earnings Reports , Coca-Cola (KO) , PepsiCo (PEP) Last year, Coca-Cola ( KO ) acquired Coca-Cola Enterprises’ North American bottling operations. In addition, volume in North America rose 3%, excluding acquisitions and the currency impacts. These two factors gave the company an outstanding quarter. The company has taken market share from its rival PepsiCo ( PEP ). Coca-Cola reported Wednesday earnings of $5.77 billion, or $2.46 a share, up from $1.54, or 66 cents per share, a year ago, according to The Wall Street Journal . Excluding benefits from bottling acquisition, earnings were 72 cents a share. Revenues increased 40% to $10.5 billion, and were up 45% excluding currency impacts. Gross margins fell to 59.2% from 64.7%. Continue reading Coca-Cola’s Earnings Surge Coca-Cola’s Earnings Surge originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 10 Feb 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

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A Self-Employed Carpenter’s Thoughts on the Future

The world is changing. Currently, as a nation, we have a large and well-trained section of our work force dedicated to residential construction. Unemployment within the construction industry now exceeds 20%. That number takes into account only workers getting unemployment compensation. There are also many self-employed individuals, ineligible for unemployment compensation, who have simply run out of customers and work. That is the bad news. Now the worse news: Not only are those jobs not coming back, but the construction industry will continue to diminish for the foreseeable future. The real estate glut is not on hold; it is over. Waiting for its return is similar to waiting for next the big surge in typewriters, 35mm cameras, and home phones. Why are the construction jobs not coming back? There are three main reasons, the first of which is inflation. Decades of credit expansion and the recent printing of money (quantitative easing) have increased the overall volume of our fiat currency: dollars. Therefore, the value of each dollar unit has been reduced, causing prices to rise. This results in increased costs in construction of new homes. Higher new construction costs make staying in and repairing older structures, or renting, more attractive. The second reason is fuel costs. Living rurally and working in urban areas is becoming very expensive. Reasons one and two will keep an increasing number of younger workers and couples living and renting closer to work. Why take the financial and mobility risks associated with homeownership? The third reason is we are broke. Who are “we”? Western civilization, comprised mainly of the U.S. and Europe. Consider this…there are gold and silver coins and bullion: actual wealth storage vehicles. There are paper dollars: temporary wealth storage vehicles. And there are also trillions of “dollars” represented as pixels on screens in accounting software programs. When I say that we are broke it is because I don’t believe those pixel dollars represent anything. All of the wealth supposedly held in those pixels does not exist. It is a classic Ponzi scheme. If you go today and convert your pixels to actual dollars, everything is just fine. But if 10% of us go today and try to convert our pixels into dollars, the banks will shut down…Why? Because the money doesn’t exist. There is no actual wealth stored in any of those pixels. Spain and Portugal may require financial bailouts in 2011. Part of the fallout from the Greek financial crisis last year was the creation of a eurozone bailout fund of $1.01 trillion. That fund could be used to assist Spain and Portugal if necessary. Where did that $1.01 trillion come from? Was it removed from another sector of Europe’s economy? Supplied in gold bullion to EU headquarters in The Hague? Removed from the savings accounts of earnest Europeans? No, none of those could supply …

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Blinder Understates Cost of Carbon Tax

Filed in AMAG, BP, deflation, economy, job creation, lead, Lear, New Gold, o, Spot Gold by on February 4, 2011 0 Comments

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal , Alan Blinder listed numerous alleged benefits of a phased-in carbon tax. Out of his entire column, he devoted a single sentence to the possible downside of his plan when he wrote, “No one likes to pay higher taxes.” A more balanced assessment shows that a carbon tax presents very real dangers, even if we rely on the same economic analysis that so enthralled Blinder. Spurring Innovation through Higher Taxes? Here’s Blinder explaining the economic benefits of a carbon tax that starts out low, but will eventually become quite steep: “Once America’s entrepreneurs and corporate executives see lucrative opportunities from carbon-saving devices and technologies, they will start investing right away — and in ways that make the most economic sense. I don’t know whether all this innovation will lead to 80% of our electricity being generated by clean energy sources in 2035, which is the president’s goal. But I can hardly wait to witness the outpouring of ideas it would unleash. The next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are waiting in the wings to make themselves rich by helping the environment.” We should also be clear that Blinder’s argument for job creation does not rely on the “negative externalities” of carbon emissions. Earlier in the piece, he made a list of the “few nice side effects” that would result from a carbon tax: “reducing our trade deficit, making our economy more efficient, ameliorating global warming …” Because he puts global warming at third in the list, we see that there is nothing peculiar to greenhouse gases behind his main argument for job creation. No, Blinder is making the simple observation that if the government imposes artificial costs on the…

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Why Paul Krugman Is Wrong on the Austrians

The Austrians on Capital In contrast to mainstream macro models, which either do not possess capital at all or at best denote it as a homogenous stock of size “K,” Austrian theory explicitly treats the capital structure of the economy as a complex assortment of different tools, equipment, machinery, inventories, and other goods in process. Much of the Austrian perspective is dependent on this rich view of the economy’s capital structure, and mainstream economists miss out on many of the Austrian insights when they make the “convenient” assumption that the economy has one good. (Krugman will be glad to know that yes, I can spell all this out in a formal model — and one that referee Paul Samuelson grudgingly signed off on.) Krugman and other Keynesians stress the primacy of demand: they keep pointing out that the owner of an electronics store, say, won’t have the incentive to hire more workers, and buy more inventory, if he doesn’t expect consumers will show up with money to spend on new TVs or laptops. But Austrians point out that demand per se is hardly the whole story: Regardless of how many green pieces of paper the customers have, or how much credit the store can get from the bank, it will be physically impossible for the electronics store to fill the shelves with new TVs and laptops unless the manufacturers of those items have already produced them. And in turn, the manufacturers can’t magically create TVs and laptops merely because the demand for their products picks up; they rely on other sectors in the economy having done the prior preparation as well, such as mining the necessary metals, assembling the proper amount of tractor trailers needed to ship the goods from the factory, and so on. These observations may strike some as trivial, not worthy of the consideration of serious economists. But that’s only because normally, a market economy “spontaneously” solves this tremendous coordination problem through prices and the corresponding signals of profit and loss. If someone had to centrally plan an entire economy from scratch, there would be all sorts of bottlenecks and waste — as actual experience has shown. Without the guidance of market prices, we wouldn’t observe a smoothly functioning economy, where natural resources move down the chain of production — from mining to processing to manufacturing to wholesale to retail — as neatly depicted in macro textbooks. Instead, we would see a chaotic muddle where the various interlocking processes didn’t dovetail. There would be too many hammers and not enough nails, too much perishable food and not enough refrigerated railroad cars to deliver it, and so on. The Austrians on Interest When it comes to explaining the coordinating function of market prices, Austrians assign a very important role to interest rates, for they steer …

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Yahoo! Still Trying to Play Catch Up

Yahoo! Still Trying to Play Catch Up

Filed under: Earnings Reports , Forecasts , Internet , Yahoo! (YHOO) Yahoo is still trying to play catch up. Helped by cost cuts, Yahoo! ( YHOO ) posted late Tuesday fourth quarter income of $312 million, or 24 cents a share, more than double last year’s income of $153 million, or 11 cents a share, according to the Wall Street Journal . Revenue fell 12% to $1.53 billion from $1.73 billion. Net revenue, which excludes commissions paid to partners, fell 4% in the quarter to $1.22 billion from $1.26 billion in the year ago period. Excluding the Microsoft ( MSFT ) impact and certain divestitures, revenue grew by 2% in the quarter. Continue reading Yahoo! Still Trying to Play Catch Up Yahoo! Still Trying to Play Catch Up originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Wed, 26 Jan 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

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In Praise of Anarchy

Filed in AMAG, BP, deflation, Lear, o, Spot Gold, ubs, US Dollar by on January 24, 2011 0 Comments

Left alone, good people tend to do good things. And, when unobstructed by coercion, force, violence or any other tool employed by the state in order to foster and maintain a more “responsible,” “socially conscious” citizenship, most people tend toward being good people…all on their very own. Nowhere was this sentiment better expressed during the past few weeks than in the flood-stricken state of Queensland, Australia (and, more lately, in the state of Victoria, to Queensland’s south). The rains that inundated an area the size of France and Germany (combined!) across the Sunshine State wrought havoc and destruction upon its people. Lives were lost, property damaged and industry crippled. When the worst of Mother Nature’s wrath had subsided, Queensland residents were left with a monumental clean up. To their credit, these individuals, in the face of near-immeasurable disaster, performed admirably. They did what came naturally. Contrary to the patriotic rally cries of politicians, they didn’t do what Queenslanders do; they did what good people do. And it was beautiful. The general feeling was perhaps best summed up by Wally “The King” Lewis, a retired national football hero, who spent the last week of his holidays helping his fellow Brisbane residents prepare sandbags and to bail rising flood waters out of their homes. (It is worth pointing out here that, for many Australians, there is no higher office to be attained in the land than that of venerated sporting legend.) Speaking to National Nine News from the waterlogged front yard of a neighbor – whom he had never met – Wally said, “If someone’s doing it tough, I think it’s the right thing to do to put the hand up and ask them if they want any help.” The interviewer then turned his microphone to another volunteer. “What was your reaction when Wally Lewis turned up?” Typifying the laid back disposition of the crowd, the young man casually replied, “[Laughs] Yeah, I was a little surprised but…you know…people help out. It’s all good.” The Australian people appeared to be perilously close to discovering something very important about themselves; something, perhaps, they’ve always known; an instinctual tendency toward human solidarity, the natural urge to help a neighbor in distress, to lend a hand; in short, to volunteer. Alas, barely had the first piece of debris been cleared away when the media, as it typically does, lost sight of the bigger picture. Alongside inspirational stories of non-violent, voluntary cooperation, the local papers turned their attention to the state’s role in the cleanup. Should the state and federal governments remain focused on returning “their” budgets to surplus, or should they deploy funds to assist those in need of help? In other words, how “best” should the state spend its citizens’ money…as if the only just, honest option had not already expired on point of expropriation in the first place? [The answer, in other words, is not to steal it.] While sifting through the news …

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China Signs a Deal to Buy Soybeans from U.S. Companies

Filed in New Gold, o, Spot Gold by on January 21, 2011 0 Comments
China Signs a Deal to Buy Soybeans from U.S. Companies

Filed under: China , Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) , Agriculture , Bunge Ltd. (BG) Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, Wang Chao, led a business delegation that signed agreements with grain companies to buy just over 3 million tons of soybeans from the U.S., Reuters reported . The U.S. trading companies involved in the $1.8 billion deal are Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland ( ADM ) and Bunge ( BG ). No details about price and delivery were given. When dealing with state-run companies, there is a protocol that must be followed. In this case, a government official, Chao, was present to sign off the deal with the two state-run grain companies allowed to import agricultural products into China. Continue reading China Signs a Deal to Buy Soybeans from U.S. Companies China Signs a Deal to Buy Soybeans from U.S. Companies originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Morgan Stanley’s Profit Rose 35%

Morgan Stanley’s Profit Rose 35%

Filed under: Earnings Reports , Industry , Citigroup Inc. (C) , JPMorgan Chase (JPM) , Goldman Sachs Group (GS) , Morgan Stanley (MS) Bank earnings are coming in mixed. A few days ago, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ) reported its profit was up 47%. Then, Goldman Sachs ( GS ) reported earnings were down 52%. And on Wednesday, we got a stellar performance by Morgan Stanley ( MS ). The Wall Street Journal reports that Morgan Stanley’s profits were up 35% to $867 million, up from $460 million a year ago. Earnings jumped to 41 cents per share from 29 cents per share. Net revenue jumped 14% to $7.81 billion. Analysts at Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 35 cents a share on $7.35 billion. Continue reading Morgan Stanley’s Profit Rose 35% Morgan Stanley’s Profit Rose 35% originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Thu, 20 Jan 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Spree Killers, the Second Amendment, and Those Damned Guns

Filed in BP, deflation, Gold, Lear, o, obama, Progressive, silver, Spot Gold, target, Uncategorized by on January 15, 2011 0 Comments
Spree Killers, the Second Amendment, and Those Damned Guns

Looks like the First Amendment is safe for now…sorta… The Second, however, is in the hot seat again. Everyone is cottoning onto the fact that Jared Loughner was just a nut. Political affiliation is questionable or just plain negligible. It’s getting too hard to blame the limited government and anti-government rhetoric. Even Obama rose above political divisiveness on this one. So now that free speech is no longer being blamed, it’s time to turn our attention back to those damned guns. Loughner would very likely have ended up attacking people no matter which books he had read. The man had already made his psychotic break from morality… But if only guns weren’t available, comes the cry! Then these psychopaths couldn’t do as much harm as they do… A reader sent this: “Gary, “You write, “‘Gun-ownership supporters are getting the usual flack.’ “And so they should. “The time is ripe for the repeal of the Second Amendment. “In Australia 10 years or so ago, we had a psycho gun down a dozen people with an automatic rifle. “The government brought in sweeping powers to reduce the number of guns and make access to guns extremely difficult. “We’re a safer community because of it. Lunatics can’t get access to any gun, let alone the Arnie type. “The guns any of the people who were killed or injured the other day were not sufficient to protect them. They never were. “We didn’t need the guns in the days of the Wild West. It just encouraged thugs, criminals, and lunatics on horses to run amok. Hollywood’s glamorization of the Wild West has jaundiced our view of this mayhem. “We don’t need them now. It still just encourages thugs, criminals and lunatics to run amok killing and injuring innocent people. “Do you carry a gun?” Not right now. But I do have access to cars and knives… Consider Japan, where no one has a gun, yet insane people occasionally kill several strangers en masse with a simple kitchen knife…or with the combination of a vehicle and a dagger. In 2001 in Ikeda, Japan, eight children were killed and 15 people injured in Japan’s worst school tragedy when a middle-aged man with a history of mental illness went on a stabbing rampage at an elementary…

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Mass Killing Was Insanity, Not Politics

Filed in BP, deflation, democrats, Ford, Gold, Lear, New Gold, o, Spot Gold, target, US Dollar by on January 12, 2011 0 Comments
Mass Killing Was Insanity, Not Politics

It’s not the Second Amendment I’m worried about right now, but the First. According to popular opinion it was a combination of the two that got six people killed and left Rep. Gifford in critical condition. Gun-ownership supporters are getting the usual flack after Jared Lee Loughner used a gun to kill six people and injure fourteen others. But the political environment is such that a bunch of other groups are getting smeared for having ever opened their mouths… Libertarians, conservatives, Tea Party members, advocates of small governments of every stripe, anyone who’s ever criticized the government too vigorously…They’re being told to “tone it down a bit.” The complaint from lovers of the state is that we’ve gotten too vicious, that all the strong words have finally led to someone taking extreme measures. Never mind that the shooter was a just a lone nut whose main concern with government was that it was using mind control. One does not list the Communist Manifesto or Mein Kampf in one’s top ten list if one is for smaller government. In fact, anyone who thinks these books belong in the same list as We the Living — a warning against the dangers of communism — cannot be thinking too clearly. And it seems that Loughner wasn’t thinking too clearly at all. In fact, he seems to have had all the usual earmarks of the mentally unbalanced who occasionally pop up and kill somebody famous or slaughter innocents in a fast food joint or from atop a tower. Jared Lee Loughner didn’t kill and injure all those people because he listened to Sarah Palin…or because he loved liberty. He did it because he was a murderous lunatic. Never ones to let a disaster or tragedy go to waste, lawmakers immediately got to work on legislation to curb liberty a little bit more. The Left immediately went on the offensive and claimed that this was all Sarah Palin’s fault. They claimed she practically instructed the mentally unstable among us to start shooting Democrats…that with their charged rhetoric the Right had been fostering a political atmosphere ripe for violence. The Right immediately went on the defensive. They pointed out that…

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Verizon Finally Gets the iPhone

Filed in Apple, o, Spot Gold, Sprint, ubs by on January 9, 2011 0 Comments
Verizon Finally Gets the iPhone

Filed under: Competitive Strategy , Google (GOOG) , Apple Inc (AAPL) , AT and T (T) , Sprint Nextel Corp (S) , Verizon Communications (VZ) , iPhone The battle among iPhone carriers is fierce. Apple’s ( AAPL ) iPhone is the prized device. AT&T ( T ), Verizon’s ( VZ ) rival, has had the an exclusive hold on the iPhone. Verizon has been trying to play catch up. Now that Verizon will have the iPhone, the playing field will change dramatically. Verizon, with about 93 million subscribers, could grab an estimated 10 million new subscribers with the iPhone, as reported by the Wall Street Journal . The move is also a big boost for Apple. Apple has been feeling the pressure from Google ( GOOG ), with its Android system. Android phones passed the iPhone in sales in the second quarter. This move to Verizon will open up a new expanded base for Apple. Continue reading Verizon Finally Gets the iPhone Verizon Finally Gets the iPhone originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Sun, 09 Jan 2011 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Skype to Acquire Qik with Mobile Streaming Video

Filed in Apple, lead, New Gold, o, public-offering, South African Gold, Spot Gold by on January 7, 2011 0 Comments
Skype to Acquire Qik with Mobile Streaming Video

Filed under: Deals , Competitive Strategy , Apple Inc (AAPL) , Sony Corp ADR (SNE) , Smartphones , Initial Public Offerings The market for streaming video calling is exploding. An estimated 13.2 million people worldwide will make video calls this year, up 400% from last year. By 2015, it is estimated that 155.1 million calls will use streaming videos. Skype is a leader in low-cost phone calls. Calls to other people who have Skype are usually free. Now Skype is offering video calling for as low as $8.99 per month, with up to 10 people on the same call. Skype accounts for 25% of international calling traffic, up from 13% in 2009. Continue reading Skype to Acquire Qik with Mobile Streaming Video Skype to Acquire Qik with Mobile Streaming Video originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Fri, 07 Jan 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink | Email this | Comments

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