20120701-181242.jpgGood morning

The headlines:

  1. McDonalds’s new strategy involves chicken not beef.

    Link: cashew teriyaki chicken salads?!

    Don Thomson is the new CEO, and he’s identified a “tremendous opportunity” in the 160-item recipe book*.

    This “tremendous opportunity” sounds a lot like chicken-is-cheaper-than-beef and either we-can-make-our-product-cheaper-and-sell-more or we-can-make-more-profit-off-each-item.

    It’s probably not that chicken is “perceived to be healthier”. I’m not sure that I would go that far. No.

    *McDonalds apparently has a recipe for cashew teriyaki salad with chicken. I’m both in awe and a little scared.

  2. Dell buys Quest for $2.4 billion.

    Link: “the mysterious bidder”.

    This ends a bidding war with Insight Venture Partners**.

    The failed bidders had originally come in at $23 a share. Dell eventually came out with $28. Dell won. 

    Quest’s software is all about administering databases and servers, and backing up information, and recovering it when you’ve lost it. According to an analyst of technology stocks, this plays into Dell’s sweet spot.

    I don’t know about “sweet spots”. But I do think that Dell is all about notebooks and lap-tops. And I see a lot of people around me opting for Apple Macs or Asus ones***, when they’re not opting for tablets.

    In fact, the last time I used a Dell lap top was when it was supplied to me by my employer.

    And if you want to make yourself a bit indispensable to the corporates, you need to get in there with their database software. Even if you really really want to go Mac…

    If your corporation runs incompatible software on its servers, then you just don’t.

    **Of interest to no one but analysts of technology stocks.

    ***Those new Asus notebooks look WELL classy.

  3. South Africa’s manufacturing index contracts.

    Link: PMI drops below 50.

    The PMI**** dropped to a “ten-month low” of 48.2. Kagiso Tiso Holdings, the compiler of the SA numbers, says that this is due to weaker external demand and “a sustained and worsening slowdown in domestic demand”.

    ****Purchasing Managers Index – indicator of manufacturing health; a reading below 50 is widely accepted as an indication that the economy is in recession.

  4. Barclays CEO Robert Diamond won’t resign.

    Link: Even as Marcus Agius does.

    Mr Diamond says that he has the “full support” of directors. That, and he has the Chairman, Mr Agius*****, taking the fall.

    Everyone else****** doesn’t expect him to last.

    Interestingly, the news that came out yesterday is that Barclays was “under the impression” that it was lowering its rate submissions “on the instruction of the Bank of England”.


    Luckily, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said that it was all a misunderstanding that got miscommunicated down the chain of command. And then they blamed Diamond for the misunderstanding and the miscommunication.

    So the Central Bank is in the clear.

    Ha ha ha ha,

    *****Is “Marcus Agius” not the most high-brow name you’ve ever seen on a living person? I mean – a true caricature of the Etonian-Oxfordian-House-of-Lordsian aristocrat.

    ******The analysts in the banking sector

  5. The BRICs are priced for economic meltdown.

    Link: I think that suggests that they’re going cheap?

    Yes. That’s exactly what it suggests.

    The question to be asked is: “are the BRICs on the point of economic meltdown?”

    The answer is: “No”.

    Because they’re not Europe. And because they’re not as reliant on the US and Europe as they once were.

    In fact – some people suggest that the reason that the US and Europe are in such trouble is because they can’t pass on their problems to the emerging markets this time. I’m not sure of the exact construction of the theory – but it made sense when I heard it.

    And that’s probably for another post.

  6. Microsoft has a $6.2 billion write-down.

    Link: tell them to testify in front of Congress.

    That’s almost their entire investment in the online advertising firm AQuantive Inc.

    Apparently, Microsoft is struggling to “turn it around”.

  7. Apple denied emergency bid to stop sales of HTC phones in the US.

    Link: just be happy that you banned Samsung.

    More alleged patent-infringement. Apple is serious.

That’s all for now.
Have a good day.