Can the Euro disappear?

I keep hearing economists and analyst debating about the future of the Euro and one thing always strikes me – they never take into consideration the psychological factor attached to changing your national currency.
Of course most of the people commenting are americans and for them abandoning their currency is simply inconceivable. The Dollar is king and will remain that way, there is no question.
For most of the people in the 17 countries that participated in the currency change it was a really really big deal. Abandoning your currency is like giving up part of your national sovereignty, it’s a serious business, certainly not something that can be debated casually like we can witness it almost daily.

For the last 60 years most of european politicians have been working at building Europe, often having to fight the public opinion to make progress. Adopting the Euro was a major major achievement, logistically of course but even more psychologically.
10 years later the public has accepted this idea, it’s certainly not something that will be undo casually because of economical issues.

Maybe one country can leave the Euro but I simply cannot conceive that European leaders will let the Euro disappear. There are many many other steps before this happens. Of course nobody want to take those steps because they are painful (talk to the greek about that) but they will happen before we see the Euro disappear.

Shame on Nielsen

I guess we can all agree that he core business of a company like Nielsen is to compile, analyze and present numbers. So, how can they explain this chart.

Screen shot 2012 07 13 at 11 48 24 am1

Nothing really overly complicated here, this is a chart of the market share of the different actors of the US cellphone market.
The problem is that the chart does not matches the numbers, really not at all. Android should have 50% of the area and the area dedicated to RIM is almost as large as the one allocated to RIM.
The correct chart looks like that and you can clearly notice the difference.

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So, shame on Nielsen for presenting this chart in a completely misleading way. It’s their business to crunch numbers, can we still trust them to do that?

Source:9to5mac

JPMorgan vs Microsoft

What do they have in common? Apparently not much except that they recently announced some big losses.
In JPMorgan’s case, it is the result of some very bad investments that went unnoticed. I guess that kind of things happen when you are in the investment business.
For Microsoft it’s the result of an investment made 5 hers ago in an internet advertising company.
JPMorgan has estimated the amount of money lost between $2B and $4B.
Microsoft did even better with a write off over $6B.

What really got me thinking is that in the case of JPMorgan the story really made a very big deal. So big that the CEO had to appear in from of congress twice.
Strangely enough Microsoft misfortune went pretty much unnoticed even if it’s much larger. Why that?
In both cases the losses are the end result of bad investments, so why should they be considered differently.
Microsoft has consistently lost money on every internet venture they got involved into. Their online division has already lost more than $5B (that was before the last announcement). If Microsoft online businesses were independent startups they would have been forced to shutdown a long time ago because no venture capitalist would accept to loose that much money. Still, does not matter. Nobody cares.

Quite striking, especially if you put the two events in perspective.

So tired of Facebook

No I’m not talking about the stock, I’m talking about the service.

It’s pretty clear now that the stock found its price (at least for now) around $32 and the next step will be July 26th with the earnings.

What bothers me is really the service itself. Every time I try to go there and change some settings it takes me forever and it is so frustrating. I know I know, it is by design. They don’t want you to change settings (they are too good at doing it for you anyway). It is simple you may take control of the way the services function, so it’s better to not make it simple.

Anyhow even the service itself has become much more complicated than it used to be. You have a bunch of new tools, lists everywhere, pages, groups, apps. I really think it starts to suffer from pilling up additions on top of enhancements and upgrades. that starts to hurt the quality and the usability.

So for now I decided to stay away. I disconnected the automatic posting of tweets and blog posts. If you want to follow me, do it on twitter or subscribe to this blog.

The trend is not good on Facebook in my opinion.

Noise

There is currently a lot of noise around Apple with supposedly bad consequences for the company. The main source of noise is the condition of manufacturing of Apple products in China.

People are outraged (supposedly) by the work conditions in foxconn factories. I see that mostly as noise without significant repercussions.

A few supporting facts:

- conditions at Foxconn are overall better than in most chinese factories. Salaries are higher, infrastructures are better.

- workers line up like crazy to get a job there, they are certainly not forced to work there.

What people don’t realize is that working conditions in China are nowhere close to what we see in developed countries. That’s why there is so much manufacturing done there. That’s also why the american market is flooded with cheap chinese made items. And let’s face it, those same american shoppers who are supposedly outraged by those working conditions would never give up the availability of those cheap items they so much enjoy buying!

Time to stop the hypocrite outrage.

BareStock get a home

Even if the company has been in business for a few months, we simply had no presence on the internet. this oversight is fixed now.

In those pages we will discuss investment opportunities and analyses about investing in stocks. Our focus is on technology companies. Our staff has a special background and knowledge of the technology industry and can analyze and pick the best investments in that field.

We will also discuss trading stocks and options on those stocks as it is a powerful way to boost your return (not without risks).

This blog welcomes all discussions around those topics.

Of course we will have a special attention for the mother of all technology companies – Apple.