Friday, June 22, 2012

The New Zombies at Oracle courtesy of Larry Ellison

"700 people reached out to me from Oracle, wanting to know, 'if you hear of anything' to let them know. People are leaving in droves."

"Lots of top [sales] reps want to cash out and leave and most have, going to Salesforce, VMware, Microsoft, SAP, etc. People don't leave great companies. They leave poor management and leadership. I thought I would retire at Oracle. Loved it! Oracle is a great company that lost its focus on their people and brought in a leader that doesn't balance out the strong-minded Larry Ellison."
"Charles Phillips was the Wall Street guy that developed an acquisition strategy which propelled Oracle through the last tough time. Mark Hurd isn't a counter balance. He's like gas on the fire."

Oracle Insider

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peter Thiel is Open For Business

Peter Thiel opens Mithril Capital Management with a $402 million fund

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and early stage investor in Facebook, has opened up a new venture capital fund based in San Francisco.

Mithril Capital will seek growth opportunities — these will be start-ups that have already received venture funding and are looking achieve significant growth during the next stage.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zimbabwe, billions and hyperinflation

In general people from Zimbabwe are a happy people. One reason is the country has no shortage of available money. Money makes many people happy.

However, the people of Zimbabwe occasionally get unhappy when the price of eggs and other food items go up and up and up some more.

One of the main reasons why prices are high and why there are so many happy and unhappy billionaires in Zimbabwe is because of inflation. Hyperinflation to be exact. Poor execution of monetary policy is a root cause (what central bank, they say!).

The moral of the Zimbabwe macroeconomic story is that, at times, money cannot buy you happiness even among a country of billionaires.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Allen Stanford gets 110 years in the big house

Allen Stanford sentenced to 110 years in prison

(Reuters) - Former billionaire Allen Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison on Thursday for running a $7 billion scheme in which he stole money from his investors to finance an extravagant lifestyle in the Caribbean.

Sir Allen & Me: An Insider's Look at R. Allen Stanford and the Island of Antigua

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Larry Ellison, a billion dollar hit man

Larry Ellison (chairman of Oracle and #6 on Forbes' 2012 top 10 billionaires) said it this way in a recent deposition: “I … had nothing to do for 15 minutes, so I drafted a press release."

Next came the stuff hitting the fan. Next came the lawsuit.

Now we have everybody going to court. Again.

Read about the amazing story::: How Larry Ellison’s Jury Box Email Could Cost HP Billions

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Warren Buffett flips and flops, again

Warren Buffett's Jiu-Jitsu 

Jiu-jitsu "is a martial art, martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting." (Wikipedia)

Warren Buffett dazzles the MSNBC crowd 

As we all know, on a weekly basis, and for years, Warren Buffett has been able to dazzle, out talk and persuade a very gullible (and economically challenged) audience at MSNBC (and elsewhere) on a number of very crazy notions over the years.

This has been, and he has been very successful for the most part.

Warren Buffett attempts to dazzle Washington D.C.'s Economic Club

This week, Warren attempted to sell his usual propaganda to a wider (more sophisticated?) audience.

He attempted to set the record straight, Warren-style.

He attempted to dazzle them with facts.

He attempted a retreat to the middle ground.

Listen to this stuff!

"I support certain Republicans. Actually this year I gave money to a Republican congressman." 

[Federal Election Commission data shows that Virginia Republican Scott Rigell a donation of $2,500 from Warren Himself; although that is somewhat less than the $70,000 he has given to help re-elect President Obama].

Warren Buffett drinks his own home-brewed Kool-Aid 

 "We're not smarter than the people in 1930, we don't worker harder than the people in 1930, we just have a system that works and has been working since 1776 and will keep working."

Monday, June 4, 2012

T. Boone Pickens just stunted on me heavy

Canadian Raper Drake replies to T. Boone Pickens

Raper musician Drake, with over 7 million Twitter followers, tweets: "The first million is the hardest."

T. Boone Pickens, the social plugin guy that he is, replies: "The first billion is a helluva lot harder." Punk. (Ok, so, he didn't actually say "punk" but it sounded like he wanted to).

Drake, with over 7 million more Twitter followers than "T. Booner", shows how quickly he learns, respects and admires the new rules of the financial game and tweets back: "@boonepickens just stunted on me heavy"

So there you have it. Just another example of the economic benefits accruing from NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement): the free flow of goods, services and miscellaneous financial thoughts.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Has Mark Cuban Hedged His Facebook Position?

Has Mark Cuban Hedged His Facebook Position?

There are five (correct) answers to this question. They are (in no particular order):
a. who knows?
b. he'd be stupid if he wasn't
d. Yep, he's gotta to be
e. Yes, his silence (no posts or tweets) on this means only one thing
First, let's take a look at Mark Cuban's current (disclosed) Facebook position---
(Long) 150,000 shares; average cost per share $32.49; total cost $4,873,500
Based on a 6/1/12 FB close at $27.72, Cuban looks like he is sitting on a net (paper) loss of $715,500.

Do we begin to worry and feel sorry for Mark Cuban and his Facebook trade? No, because we only can see his paper loss. No, because he already told us this is a trade, not a long term investment. No, because with an original FB position of nearly $5 million, he has a vested interest in monitoring trade. No, because Mark Cuban doesn't like to lose money. No, because Mark Cuban isn't stupid.

Back in 1995 Mark Cuban and partner created, a multimedia company. Years later they sold the company to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in 1999. But, Cuban then owned restricted Yahoo! stock that was locked up. Cuban was at risk owning (temporarily) illiquid Yahoo stock. Cuban was at substantial risk. Cuban didn't want to accept that risk. Mark Cuban wanted to transfer that risk to the options market. So, Cuban says he "hedged my stock with synthetic indexes, in case the market cratered in the six months before I could hedge my actual Yahoo shares. It cost me $20 million, but I protected what I had." (Fast Company, September 30, 2002).

In January 2000, Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks, NBA franchise.

In May 2012, Cuban bought a little under $5 million of Facebook stock.

Mark Cuban is hedged.