As I suggested a few weeks ago, Sprint is going to have a hard time surviving as a standalone company. They reported a $29.5 Billion loss yesterday.
Sprint has been struggling to keep its 53.8 million customers happy. Mr. Hesse said it expected to lose another 1.2 million subscribers this quarter, about the same amount it lost in all of 2007. He said it could lose even more customers in the second quarter.
Those shareholders who think Sprint will be bought by one of the two big boys, Verizon or AT&T, are probably going to be disappointed. If you can win 1 million sprint customers per quarter by doing nothing, why spend the money on a screwed up company.
I’m not too sure we can proud of this record. The U.S. now has 1 out of every 100 adults behind bars.
The United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world. China is second, with 1.5 million people behind bars. The gap is even wider in percentage terms.
Germany imprisons 93 out of every 100,000 people, according to the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College in London. The comparable number for the United States is roughly eight times that, or 750 out of 100,000.
Its hard to argue that Americans are eight times more prone to crime than Germans, so there must be another answer. Read more…
My Annenberg Colleagues John Seeley Brown and Doug Thomas have written a piece for the Harvard Business Review called The Gamer Disposition. Its right in line with some of the ideas we have been working over about the power of cheap collaboration and New Federalism. Its a must read. They identify five qualities of the Gamer Disposition.
They are bottom-line oriented. -Today’s online games have embedded systems of measurement or assessment
They understand the power of diversity-Diversity is essential in the world of the online game.
They thrive on change. -Nothing is constant in a game
They see learning as fun. -For most players, the fun of the game lies in learning how to overcome obstacles
They marinate on the “edge.”-Finally, gamers often explore radical alternatives and innovative strategies for completing tasks, quests, and challenges.
Does playing multiplayer online games prepare you for the work of the future?
Bernanke gave very Dovish testimony before Congress today and the Dollar immediatly fell to it’s lowest ever against the Euro. As I have noted before, everytime the dollar falls the price of Oil goes up, even if the market price of oil in Euros has not moved. This in turn fuels inflation which makes the Fed’s up coming deccision the most dangerous of Bernanke’s tenure. Hold on to your hats because the market has risen on bad news for three days in a row, based on the perception that rates will be cut again. As my friend Vince Farrell of CNBC points out, if interest rates keep falling all the cash on the sidelines has got to go somewhere.
There is also a ton of cash on corporate balance sheets. Witness Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo and yesterdays announcement that IBM has authorized another large share repurchase. Jason Trennert at Strategas notes that cash is at a high not seen in some time. Cash as a percent of total market capitalization is 11% for the S&P 500 (a total of %1.6 trillion!) It was 9% in 1995. Cash as a percent of market cap for the tech sector is a remarkable 24.7% vs 14.2% in 1995. Buybacks and special dividends are likely. Read more…
Now that the final debate is over and Hillary’s “kitchen sink” strategy did not succeed in throwing Barack off stride, it is probably time to look at why both the Clintons and the MSM were so wrong about the race. In my inaugural post in December, I wrote that the Obama campaign was a source of hope for me at a time that I thought America was getting into deep economic and political waters. In early January I suggested that we were entering a new post partisan “Interregnum”:”those hinges in time when the old order is dead, but the new direction has not been determined” and that the Clintons did not understand that the ground was shifting beneath their feet.
Because Mark Penn did not understand this shift in spirit, he thought he could use classic attack politics and for two days in New Hampshire with the tears and the “Iron my Shirt” trick it worked. But you can only cry once and Bill Clinton’s attacks in South Carolina misfired. As late as two days ago, Penn was still playing dirty, releasing the picture of Obama in Somali traditional dress to Drudge–but it didn’t play. Read more…
One of the interesting observations I’ve had over the past few weeks is that no matter where on the political spectrum our readers are, they all believe we have to get off our oil addiction. Some of you have sent me some very cool articles on alternative energy and it now appears that both solar and wind could contribute a lot more to our power needs at a reasonable price. And in keeping with my belief that the solutions to our innovation puzzle will be regional, its obvious that every part of the country has different needs and capabilities. There is no Centralized,Top-down solution to moving away from OPEC. But as the Scientific American states, the potential for these clean energy solutions is vast.
Well-meaning scientists, engineers, economists and politicians have proposed various steps that could slightly reduce fossil-fuel use and emissions. These steps are not enough. The U.S. needs a bold plan to free itself from fossil fuels. Our analysis convinces us that a massive switch to solar power is the logical answer.
Solar energy’s potential is off the chart. The energy in sunlight striking the earth for 40 minutes is equivalent to global energy consumption for a year. Read more…
Some times reporters can be pretty dense. Stephen Labaton of The Times writes a whole article on the FCC Net Neutrality hearing yesterday without once mentioning the elephant in the room. Comcast was caught last month slowing down Bit Torrent, the popular peer to peer web entertainment application. Comcast’s spokesman talked about their “network management”.
“Far from managing our network in a discriminatory way to benefit our own offerings — other than managing our network to make our high-speed Internet service faster and better — our limited network management practices ensure that everyone else’s applications and services, even those that may compete with our services and use P2P protocols, work.
The reason Comcast is blocking P2P is that it uses extensive upstream bandwidth. All cable Internet is architected asymmetrically for 20-1 downstream. They never thought customers would want to send big file upstream. Now they are probably going to have to completely overhaul the way they have built their networks. Of course the whole hearing went on and no one mentioned this fact. Since cable company cap-ex is financed by junk bonds (a market that is in the tank right now), the investment community probably couldn’t handle the news that more capital was going to be needed to keep up with the phone companies.
Jonah Goldberg, the author of Liberal Fascism, has posted a lengthy reply on his blog to my post on his book. Since the National Review, which hosts Jonah’s blog, does not allow citizens to reply on a discussion board (only the elite get talk?), I’ll reply to him here. As Jonah was complementary towards the civility of our discussion here, I want to say at the outset, that I appreciate both his thoroughness and his civility as well. I don’t want to indulge in a point by point refutation of his piece, but rather tackle his big idea, expressed here.
And so here’s my last point and a dire prediction. I would argue – in fact I do argue – that conservative dogma is the great bulwark against fascism or fascistic policies in part because it breaks the historic linkage between activist foreign policy abroad and totalitarian impulses at home.
This totally confuses me. Where have the conservatives helped break the link between Bush’s activist foreign policy and his totalitarian (the Unitary Executive) impulses at home? Read more…
Categories: Barack Obama, Business, California, Defense Policy, Economics, Foreign Policy, Iraq War, Politics Barack Obama, California, Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism, New Federalism, Politics
Which line would you rather be on 8 days before an election?
European Stars won all four acting awards at the Oscars last night. Three of them starred in American movies. Today Hollywood gets more than 50% of its revenue from outside the U.S. So is this just smart business on the part of American producers to cast foreign actors, or is there something about the “edginess” and technical craft of the Europeans that the Academy is responding to?
Categories: Business, Economics, Entertainment, Movies, Television Academy Awards, Daniel Day Lewis, European stars, Javier Bardem, Marion Cotillard, Oscars, Tilda Swinton