The debate continues on the merger of XM (XMSR ) and Sirius (SIRI ) Satellite Radio as the case again comes before the Senate Committee on Commerce for round four since its original proposition in February. Opponents argue that the merger will create a monopoly, leaving a sole provider for satellite service to consumers. This, they argue, will lead to increased prices and decreased content. Advocates argue that the merger is necessary in order to compete against other technologies, including terrestrial radio, MP3 players, CD/DVD etc. The inference is that the battle between the two small companies for the limited audience is splitting the market and preventing its advance against the other technologies.
Romesco sauce is simply an almond, garlic, and roasted pepper-scented puree that hails from Catalan, in the northeastern part of Spain along the Mediterranean coast. It’s a classic. [Editor's Note: A vegan classic.] You can spread it on grilled bread, use it as a dip for roasted or grilled vegetables, or eat it right from the spoon.–Kim O’Donnel
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Google (GOOG - $312.08) stock has lost over 40 percent since July. In the last earnings call, the search engine company's management expressed optimism on coming advertising revenue, but that message did not support the stock price. Not even its partnership with NBC Universal helped to convince investors.
Reports out of Washington indicate that the Bush administration is about to give the American people a parting, one-finger salute by rewriting a wide range of federal rules in an effort to block product-safety lawsuits.
In 1956, a mathematician by the name of George A. Miller came up with the magical number seven. Plus or minus two digits, seven numbers are about the most humans are capable of processing. Perhaps this is why phone numbers are seven digits long.
Yields on tax-exempt money market funds have shot up in the last two weeks due to massive withdrawals from tax-exempt municipal market funds. At an average seven-day annualized yield of 5%, these money market funds are offering the highest yielding short investments since the 1980’s.
Photo: law_keven, Creative Commons, Flickr
There was enough money to bail out negligent bankers and Wall Street, but another program – to protect Americans from pharmaceutical, environmental and pesticide contaminants in meat, milk, dairy and eggs – was discontinued recently due to lack of funding.
When Mercury, the planetary energy of communication and movement turns retrograde* for three weeks usually three times a year, financial markets tend to act unpredictably as choppy and volatile conditions prevail.
Whenever I get into a conversation about socially responsible investing, the other person usually says, "Do people really care about socially responsible stocks? Don’t people just care about making money?"
Despite all the doom and gloom seen over the last year, the S&P 500 index is still looking expensive. At Friday's close the benchmark index traded at a Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of 24.30, much higher than the 17.17 ratio seen a year ago when the downturn started. FYI - the long term average P/E ratio for the S&P 500 is around 15. With some commentators proclaiming that we are facing the greatest crisis since the Great Depression, why do stocks remain expensive?
We also discovered a culture of abuse and promiscuity in the RIK program. Several staff admitted to illegal drug use as well as illicit sexual encounters. Alcohol abuse appears to have been a problem when RIK staff socialized with industry. Sexual relationships with prohibited sources cannot, by definition, be arms-length.
Photo: djprybyl, Creative Commons, Flickr
If we go back in time to pre-Civil War era United States, we would see a country that is a 180 degrees different than the United States in 2008. The powerful, upper crust of society was dominated by the large plantation owners and slavery was a legal and accepted practice. Wealth was mostly created in agriculture and Wall Street was largely unregulated and but a pittance of what it is today. Leading up to the outset of the Civil War, our country became as divided as it would ever be. The war itself forever altered how U.S. policy is formulated. The Union Army was victorious, slavery was abolished, and America took a huge step forward.
"Housing finance in the U.S. has long depended on the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," writes Stephanie H. Giroux, TD Ameritrade's Chief Investment Strategist. "These mortgage lending giants were created by Congress in 1938 and 1970 to support the housing market, and currently hold $5.4 trillion of the roughly $12 trillion U.S. mortgage market. Over the past four quarters, Fannie and Freddie have posted losses totaling roughly $14 billion, as mortgage foreclosure rates continue to climb in the U.S.
The government’s intervention will result in the largest federal bailout in U.S. history, which is intended “to meet the objectives of market stability, mortgage availability and taxpayer protection," said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson."
Even though he is a right wing cheerleader who is always eager to politicize every stock market jitter, while wearing his pinstripe suit and pinkie ring, I have to take my hat off to CNBC's Larry Kudlow. He has always had the guts to take a contrarian stance. Lately though, he seems to have lost his marbles. "I don't want to do a Lehman analysis on this program," said Larry, eager to skip the bad news and move on to the miracle of Sarah Palin. "It's too darn boring!" With all due respect to Larry, Lehman's demise might be the biggest story yet.
Photo: Jamais Cascio, Creative Commons, Flickr
Wall Street hides behind complexity, casing too many suckers to buy complex assets that they don't understand. The sub-prime fiasco offers an excellent example: Very few people understood the instruments they were trading, but no one wanted to look stupid while the good times kept rolling. Now they do after $500 billion in credit write downs, with more to come. Similarly, Freddie and Fannie had exceedingly complicated business models, and both shares now trade below $1.
With water, or the lack thereof, becoming the hottest new topic since global warming, the nearly waterless washing machine by Xeros Ltd (a private company out of Leeds, England) looks to take the appliance industry by storm.
With green investing becoming more popular, many people are looking for ways to diversify into green holdings -- and even diversify within their green holdings. One way to do this is with green funds and indexes. And a green fund that is doing fairly well, considering the stock market performance over the past year, is the Green Century Balanced Fund (GCBLX). GCBLX chooses from stocks and bonds from environmentally companies, according to the fund's objective.