Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The 1% talks back

At a recent investors conference held in New York earlier this month, the 1% had a chance to talk back and educate the 99% about various things economic and financial.

One of the billionaire educators attending was Home Depot Inc. co-founder Bernard Marcus. Bernard said a number of things, including making the case for fighting back and not allowing the 99% to set the economic agenda.

Mr Marcus also said: “Who gives a crap about some imbecile? Are you kidding me?”

Time to pick up some paint at Home Depot?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Donald Trump Claims Independence

Donald Trump claims he is worth $7 billion.

Forbes says it is more like $2.9 billion (#128 on the Forbes 400 list).

Now Donald Trump is no longer a registered Republican in the state of New York. He is now a registered independent.

When asked if this is an opening for a potential run for the White House, his spokesman said no. The Donald fully expects to endorse a GOP candidate.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ralph Lauren: A sick dog of a stock for the holiday's

Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) continues to look for hope and economic signs of life on the NYSE, with the stock down over 4% over the past month of trading. Analysts are asking questions about how the company can continue to stay anywhere near its 52-week high of $164 amid dismal personal consumption data and awful economic news from Europe daily.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Zynga: Just another billion dollar 2011 IPO washout

The buzz on Wall Street last week was supposed to be the latest social gaming stock designed to put money in your pocket.

It didn't buzz.

Sorry gaming investors. Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA), the latest billion-dollar IPO launched at $10 and gradually just faded away. (It is beginning this week on the big fade as well). Happy holidays, gaming investors.

One site headlined: "Zynga Stock Falls 5% as Retail Investors Get Sandbagged." Yeah, sandbagged is the polite term.

Why is this happening to IPO's? It is simple, really. Companies such as Zynga (and Facebook) take advantage of “D round” financing. Their prices have already been bid up and maxed out by investors during this very late round of private equity financing. Sorry noobie gaming investors suckers.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Next Class Warfare Target: The Waltons

Just in time for the 2011 Holiday Season, we have another opportunity to ponder more class inequality questions.

This time courtesy of Jeffrey Mark Goldberg, activist writer of The Atlantic.

Jeff, after spending some time reading some old issues of Forbes magazine, points out that six members of the Walton family (the original owners of WalMart) have more wealth than the bottom 30 % of Americans. Shocking. Is this still legal in America?
In 2007, according to the labor economist Sylvia Allegretto, the six Walton family members on the Forbes 400 had a net worth equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans. bottom 30 percent of all Americans. The Waltons are now collectively worth about $93 billion, according to Forbes.
So, what is the point here, Jeffrey?

Well, once again class, because next year is a presidential election year, we will hear and read this refrain over and over again.

Also, it is now so very, very cool to compare 99% with 1%. Statistically or politically.

If you have the time to research who Jeffrey Mark Goldberg exactly is (on Wikipedia, for instance), you'll find:
In 2007, he was hired by David G. Bradley to write for The Atlantic. Bradley had tried to convince Goldberg to come work for The Atlantic for nearly two years, and was finally successful after renting ponies for Goldberg's children
So there we have it. We all have our price. For some it is millions or billions. For Jeffrey Mark Goldberg, we  discover he can be bribed with ponies.

Oh, and BTW, it looks as if Walmart has some good values on flat-screen televisions this week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Game On In Russia: Billionaire to take on Putin

It is JUMP BALL ball in Russia for the 2012 presidential election.

It looks like Nets basketball team owner Mikhail Prokhorov vs. Vladmir Putin.

The Russian billionaire tycoon and world sports fan said he will run against Vladimir Putin in next year's presidential election. 
"These past two-and-a-half months, my colleagues and I have been quietly and calmly working to build an infrastructure that will allow us to gather two million signatures."
Orlando Magic basketball star Dwight Howard could not be reached for comment by your Think Billion$ blog.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Forbes Likes (+1) HP

The Think Billion$ blog, once again, is with or ahead of the curve with its thinking on HP (NYSE: HPQ), the Palo Alto, California computer company.

Forever remaining skeptical on most business stories from The Economist, Think Billion$ thought the socialist business magazine went a little over the top with its recent denouncement of Meg Whitman (The Economist Hates both Meg Whitman and HP).

Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes and Silicon Valley insider, understands the dynamics of HP differently (Whitman Is Not Jobs, But HP Is a Buy. Forbes, December 19, 2011, p. 40):

"Even if you remain skeptical about Whitman, HP is a buy on the price. Consider that IBM and HP have comparable revenue numbers, yet IBM is worth $220 billion. Warren Buffett plopped $10.7 billion into IBM at this valuation. HP is worth $56 billion. It's dirt cheap. For all of HP's problems, the company still generates about $10 billion a year in free cash flow. A modest multiplier of ten times cash flow would get HP to $100 billion."

The Think Billions blog continues to wish Meg Whitman well at HP.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bill Gates Likes (+1) Communists

Those awake in the world over the past couple of decades know and understand that the People's Republic of China has been one of the world's worst serial polluters in the history of mankind.

Microsoft co-founder, and Think Billions VBF, Bill Gates believes he has a solution.

The billionaire software guru says he is in discussions with China to jointly develop a new kind of nuclear reactor.

Yes, you read that correctly. Bill Gates. China. Communists. Nuclear Energy.

At a talk this week at China's Ministry of Science & Technology, Gates said: "The idea is to be very low cost, very safe and generate very little waste."

Gates backs Washington-based TerraPower, which is developing a nuclear reactor that can run on depleted uranium. He says he is thinking about tossing perhaps as much as a billion dollars into R&D over the next couple of years.

Bill Gates Likes (+1) Communists.

We know that China Likes (+1) Bill Gates. Since the country has been using Microsoft software largely on a freeware basis over many, many years.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is still working on that security flaw

Private photos belonging to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg were revealed as a result of a recent glitch in the system used to report inappropriate images on the social network. They got attention after being uploaded to an album on photo-sharing service Imgur.

(Mr. Sunshine) Warren Buffett goes solar

Despite being rocked by scandal and corruption industry-wide (see: George Kaiser: Oil Magnate and Crony Capitalist) billionaire Warren Buffett has decided to take a shot at the solar industry.

Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings utility has agreed to buy the $2 billion Topaz project in Southern California, thus, branching into solar power after the industry has been battered by poor stock market performance.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Leon Cooperman bottom fishes with RIM

Ex-Goldman Sachs honcho, and current Omega Advisors hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman has taken a bullish position on RIM - Research in Motion. [RIM is down 73% YTD 2011]

Our Think Billions research department has yet to determine if old' Leon Cooperman owns a cell phone or knows how to spell smartphone or even thinks that RIM is still IN MOTION.

"RIM could rise again when it finally gets its new QNX operating system. It’s still got a hell of a user base. “We think the new operating system is constructive,” Cooperman told CNBC. “RIM has over 70 million users. … There is tremendous intellectual property and the possibility they could resurrect themselves and go on a better track. We took a speculative position.”