A few weeks ago, Ticketmaster and Live Nation agreed to merge in principle. I say in principle because such a deal must pass anti-trust scrutiny before being consummated. And therein lies the rub and focus of this post. If you are a concert goer of any frequency, you will recognize the Ticketmaster name immediately. Live Nation is a more recent name with a storied history. A quick ‘how we got here’ is in order.
At one point I intended to do a post about extended warranties. You know when you walk into Best Buy, Future Shop, or Circuit City (in nómine patris et fílii et spíritus sancti) and finally settle on a DVD player or laptop and then the sales guy does everything but threaten a loved one with grievous injury unless you buy an extended warranty. Yeah. Those things. I’ve always been highly skeptical of their value. The desperation with which sales people push them and the occasional spiteful service you get when you refuse the warranty further adds to my skepticism. Read more »
I’ve not lived in Canada for 8 years (4 in Seattle and 4 in Korea). I returned March 2008. Even though it’s coming up on about a year I’ve been living in my native country, I keep stumbling on new things. The most pleasant discovery was taxes were a lot better in Canada. The GST (Canada’s version of the VAT) and Federal and Provincial rates had been lowered in my absence. My take home pay, the percentage I get to keep, was actually pretty close to my take home percentage in Seattle (a state without a state income tax). Canadians are always regaled with stories about how much lower taxes are in the USA but they usually don’t realize things like state and even civic taxes take a chunk. And then they don’t realize deductions for social security and medicare take a considerable larger bite than our deductions for Canada Pension Plan and Unemployment Insurance. Read more »
I am fond of quoting Warren Buffett, so get used to it. He once said something you have probably read here in the past that goes “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out”. By this he is referring to business models that can’t swim when the water gets rough. It also applies to frauds. As we discussed at length, Madoff’s scheme unfolded when too many people wanted their money at the same time. Read more »
A lot of premature predictions have been made about the end of Moore’s Law. Most of them have been proven wrong as the result of clever engineering. But clever engineering can’t defeat the laws of physics and we’re almost there. The economic constraints on Moore’s Law are just as looming although the current technology roadmap takes us past 2022. My purpose here is not to predict when Moore’s Law will end. Instead, I’d like to discuss the technical and economic constraints and their consequences as the end game approaches. Read more »
Here’s the dilemma:
You go to a restaurant. The overall service is terrible. Your food was late or the potatoes in your rappie pie were undercooked. The dishes were poorly washed. The washroom was a disaster. The waiter him/herself did nothing overtly wrong. Your ruined dining experience was not directly attributable to gross waiter negligence. Read more »
As longer time readers may remember, I like to read the Wall Street Journal at night. Hey, the news was old since it hit my doorstep, so reading it at night is fine by me. In fact, I consider the WSJ the official paper of record here at the TLRB.
Well, the page one headline today is “Market Pans Bank Rescue Plan”, which we discussed yesterday in “Oh Tim“. This is where I found the quote of the day. One Ethan Harris, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital said
“This is the shock and ugh plan.”
I thought that was just about perfect. I suppose it was intended for dry finance types like myself, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t find it funny. It made my day though.
I’ll be honest here: I spent a good part of today trying to figure out what is going through Tim Geithner’s head and I have no idea. To great fanfare he announced the Treasury’s new plan of attack against this crisis but the only change I detected was that is should be larger and more transparent. Well thank you Captain Obvious. Really, this is your great plan Mr. Geithner?
According to the speech’s text, it is a three-pronged strategy very short on detail. Has Tim learned nothing from watching the crisis unfold: empty speeches make the matter worse. Just ask Hank. Read more »
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