Posts Tagged ‘Warren Buffett’

Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The US unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in April with employers adding some 223,000 jobs, a rebound much need for the economy and markets alike, with the Dow and other gauges staging a strong rally; the blue chips closed up 1.5 percent on Friday alone and 0.9 percent for the week to end at 18,199, just shy of a record for both the average and S&P 500 index. The Fed is still expected to hold back on raising rates although tightening expected at sometime this year.

Elsewhere:

  • Prime Minister David Cameron of the Conservative party surprisingly and overwhelming surged to victory in the polls last week, giving the Tories big support in government;
  • From the Scottish National Party, 20-year Mhairi Black wins a Labour seat to become the youngest member of Parliament since 1667;
  • US appeals court found that the NSA program of collecting the phone records of millions of Americans is illegal;
  • Al Jazeera America remained part of the news cycle instead of contributing to it when the operations announced that it was replacing its chief executive who had served in that role since the network launched two years ago, the recent in a line of departures with one saying on the way out that a “culture of fear” existed in the newsroom -- blaming part of that feeling on the ousted CEO; more to come no doubt;
  • Third Point founder Dan Loeb found himself in the spotlight again when the hedge-fund chief took aim at Warren Buffett saying there was a “disconnect” between the investor’s words and actions in a rare “chewing out” (WSJ) at the popular SALT conference in Las Vegas;
  • ESPN decided not to renew Bill Simmons contract, but outspoken columnist and analysts kept silent; and
  • Deflategate re-inflated.

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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The unrest in Baltimore continued to lead the news last week and through the weekend with six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died in custody from spinal injuries; the speed and breadth of the prosecutor’s official charges were somewhat of a surprise amid quick debate on whether this was a rushed judgment.  A story no doubt that will remain a media focus for some time.

Elsewhere:

  • Warren Buffett held his annual meeting over the weekend and received more ink than usual because the event marked his 50 years at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway;
  • Tesla announced plans to launch batteries for business and domestic use, a news items that received various degrees of media play with FTWeekend placing the story as its lead in its US editions on Saturday;
  • Social-media companies like LinkedIn, Twitter and Yelp were unliked by investors last week and took a hit in the market amid disappointing financial results; Twitter was the victim of pretty negative tweets, in fact, after results were posted early forcing a halt in trading at one point;
  • Copy That and Pretty Cool: Lowe’s introduced 3-D scanning and printing services (or poetically also known as additive manufacturing) at one of its stores in Mountain View, Calif.;
  • The Dow ended a pretty volatile week down 0.3 percent following a rally Friday that saw the average close at 18,024;
  • The co-founder of Weight Watchers died, an obit that received front-page attention at The New York Times;
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge produced an heiress, the first princess in 25 years and fourth in line for the throne;
  • American Pharoah won the Derby; and
  • #MayPac happened and happened bigger and better for Mayweather in one of the richest sporting events ever. No doubt #TBE.

LatAm Gaze:

  • The New York Times published an interesting editorial analyzing the state of Puerto Rico’s finances
  • Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro on Worker’s Day this week raised his country’s minimum wage by 30% to try offsetting the nation’s high inflation growth, which some experts say could reach triple digits this year
  • March unemployment in Colombia posted its lowest monthly figure in 15 years
  • New data show that Uruguayan banks in 2014 invested over 10% less domestically than the year prior
  • The IMF this week projected 2015 economic growth in Central and Latin America will slow for the 5th consecutive year
  • Chilean volcano Calbuco erupted this week for the 3rd time in eight days, leading to another evacuation in the region. End of Story
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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

The best news story of the week was literally otherworldly when a robot of sorts made the first-ever landing on a comet and beamed back pictures to mere mortals on Earth, thanks to the French.  Other otherworldly events starred Kim Kardashian (but not even going there #breaktheinternet).

Elsewhere:

  • President Obama signed a “landmark” agreement with China last week to reduce greenhouse gas pollution;
  • Warren Buffett buys Duracell;
  • Oil trades below $75 a gallon;
  • Goldman names 78 to partner, the second-smallest class on record since going public 15 years ago;
  • Hasbro acquisition talks of DreamWorks breakdown;
  • Halliburton in talks to buy Baker Hughes in a move no doubt tied to declining oil prices and may be the start of more consolidation;
  • Stocks continued to make record highs with the Dow gaining 0.4 percent on the week to end at 17,634;
  • High Art:  Sotheby’s and Christie’s staged fall auctions in what has been called the “hottest two weeks ever in art history,” selling more than $2 billion in works with headlines focused on Warhol’s and Steve Cohen’s $101 million purchase of a Giacometti sculpture; and
  • Low Art: Duck Dynasty may hit the Great White Way as a musical. End of Story
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Ace GreenbergA little over a month ago, Wall Street lost a legend. Alan (Ace) Greenberg, who led Bear Stearns Cos. as CEO from 1978 to 1993 and served as chairman until 2001, passed away. Since his death there have been a multitude of tributes, all of them spelling out one nuance or another that made Greenberg so special. Together those tributes create a composite that illustrates Ace Greenberg’s unique brand. Now, as summer comes to an end, Bear Stearns alum Russell Sherman shares with Institutional Investor his thoughts on why that brand won’t fade any time soon.

I used to joke that Ace Greenberg probably saved five years’ worth of time over the course of his life because he never said hello or good-bye on a phone call. You would pick up and he would just start talking. And when he was done, there would be a click and silence. Unfortunately, on July 25 the proverbial phone went silent again. Ace died at the age of 86.

Despite his get-to-the-point demeanor, Ace was widely considered to be one of the most thoughtful and generous guys on the Street — and one of the most savvy.

These days CEOs and executives talk about the importance of building their brands. Who are they? What do they stand for? How can they share their thoughts with the world? But few executives had as good a brand as Ace Greenberg did, and he made it look easy.

Ace’s brand was multifaceted.

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No Comments » Written on September 10th, 2014 by
Categories: From the News
Tags: , , ,

The Week Unpeeled

Amid a backdrop of ongoing investigations in motives and scope of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers and the NRA annual convention, the US economy showed ongoing signs of moderate growth with the jobs report showing the unemployment rate declining to 7.5 percent in April and non-farm payroll adding 165,000, better than expectations.  That news propelled the Dow to a record high, closing up 143 points on Friday at 14,973, briefly topping 15,000.

Elsewhere:

  • The disaster at a Bangladeshi apparel factory is forcing manufacturers to reconsider their productions and brand images tied to poor workplace safety conditions/records, with Disney already pulling out of the country; No doubt consumers will become a different type of label conscious as where clothes are made;
  • Warren Buffett hosted its annual investor hoopla, curious to see what he says about his recent buying spree in newspapers; Meanwhile, Berskhire’s profits jumped 51 percent;
  • While circulation has been on the decline for most US newspapers, circulation rose at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times for the six months ended March 31, because of digital subscribers: WSJ held onto its rank as largest daily with average weekday circulation at 2.4 million and NYT at 1.9 million, with a Sunday total of 2.3 million;
  • JC Penney launched a big ad/digital campaign after its downfall and CEO shuffle, in a mea culpa of “It’s No Secret,” illustrating on some levels admit errors upfront;
  • Apple sold $17 billion in corporate bonds, the largest deal in history that was met with strong investor demand;
  • Making front-page headlines nearly everywhere, NBA player Jason Collins comes out as the first major league sports player (during Tony Awards announcements week, no less!); and
  • Favorite Orb wins the Kentucky Derby. End of Story
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