After two days, I’ve realised two things:
- I have a tendency to ramble;
- Rambling takes a long time.
Today, I’m going to try something different with the format. This is meant to be short and sharp.
The key points I picked up in the News today:
- The world is still very excited about Facebook’s upcoming IPO (Initial Public Offering – the first sale of its shares). Morgan Stanley is the lead underwriter (which generally means that they advise on the listing, undertake to buy some of the shares if any remains unsold, and earn plenty of fees for their Corporate Finance division). And CNBC is suggesting that if you want to get in on the action now (the IPO will take a while to put together), then you can invest in already-listed companies that have strong Facebook links – excuse the pun. http://www.cnbc.com/id/46227274
- However, Facebook will not be conquering China any time soon, thanks to its very strong views on public versus private opinion. And let’s be honest – they have a point. FB is hardly private. http://www.cnbc.com/id/46227275 From what I can tell, this list should be updated to include Syria (where FB is a leading cause of death), most of Africa (what’s the point if there’s no internet) and blackberry users in general (ditto).
- The US election year wrangling continues, with a Republican House of Congress voting through a federal workers wage freeze. There is now concern that a Democrat Senate will stop the bill. http://www.cnbc.com/id/46229310 Republicans for the Rich, Democrats for the Down-trodden. I just want to join the #WinningSide. The point is that your average federal worker apparently earns more than their counterpart in the private sector.
- The Democrats struck back with the Buffett Rule to tax the Rich. The Republicans are having a field day with comments like “Obama’s last desperate attempt to distract from his disastrous economic policies” and “we’ll focus on a tax policy that creates jobs, not soundbites”. Snap*. http://www.cnbc.com/id/46223615 Observation: the Bush administration never started a war or anything that drove defence spending repeatedly through the debt ceiling. Or anything.
- What is it with these Greek Prime Ministers that keep going back to parliament to seek backing for Key Bailout Reforms? Ai. Just step up to the plate and take the fall if it all goes horribly wrong. I’m kidding – I know it’s necessary. But it is very frustrating to watch the arguments that take place. Every Greek politician has a fervently held opinion, and he voices it in public to the point where he can no longer retract it. Then personal pride is at stake, and the issue takes on way more emotion that it should. http://www.cnbc.com/id/46216184
- The US banks are supporting the Republicans. Obviously. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-01/romney-sees-surge-in-wall-street-donations-as-obama-s-decline.html
- Former Credit-Suisse employees have plead guilty to charges of falsifying data. In order to increase their year-end bonuses. Incentives – it’s all about incentives. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-01/credit-suisse-worker-surrenders-to-fbi-as-prosecutors-said-to-plan-charges.html
- Analysts at Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, UBS, RBS and Societe Generale are reversing their negative positions of emerging markets. Apparently, they “had it wrong, but it’s not too late”. Sometimes, the analyst consensus is wrong. Shout-out to JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup for calling it right. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-01/global-strategists-abandoning-bearish-views-after-missing-rally.html
- This article is awesome: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-02/just-fill-the-darn-potholes-we-ll-do-the-rest-caroline-baum.html
That’s all for now, folks.