Last 10-er of the week: These are the 10 most interesting things I spotted today.

Bottom Lines Buoy Rebound Hopes: Though Profits Are Still Weak, Cost Cuts, Overseas Demand Help Many Companies Find Footing (WSJ)• CNBC Viewership Down 28% (ZeroHedge)  According to Nielsen, CNBC has lost 28% of viewers year over year.  I will have more on this next week . . .

Bankers’ Bonuses Beat Earnings as Industry Imploded The nation’s nine largest banks handed out $32.6 billion in bonuses last year even as they ran up more than $81 billion in losses and accepted billions of dollars in emergency federal aid, New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo says in a report released Thursday. (Washington Post)  see also It’s Still Good To Be A Banker (The Atlantic)

The Great Recession is Over! Long Live the Ordinary Recession . . . (The Big Picture) I try not to do this, but damn, that was a good hedline

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies (MacroMan) Misrepresentation in corporate earnings statements is rife; according to S&P, of the 197 SPX companies to report this quarter, only a quarter have actually earned the number reported in the headlines. Fully 63.5% stuffed “one-off” or “extraordinary” items in their income statements, while only 24 of the 197 had reported earnings that were higher than headline operating earnings.• Former Tres Secy Hank Paulson Joins Electric-Car Startup As Advisor (Green Car Reports)

Spinning in the Grave: The three biggest reasons music magazines are dying: Readership’s down, advertising’s down, the old guard has been slow in adapting to the Internet. (Slate)

eBay May Shut Skype Over Licensing Dispute

Artist Sues Random House Over Use Of Wall St Bull Image The artist who created Wall Street’s famed “Charging Bull” statue sued Random House and the authors of a recently released book on the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers over their use of an image of the bull.  (Dow Jones)  Wait, you mean you can’t do that . . . ?

• By now, you likely have seen the JK Wedding Entrance Dance (if not watch the video, it is charming). But you probably have not yet seen what happens 6 months later:  JK Divorce Entrance Dance.

Enjoy your weekend!

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

59 Responses to “10 Links (Friday Edition)”

  1. jeff in indy says:

    ah, yes, the Divorce Entrance Dance. that’s the one where the guy walks in backwards, bent over, balancing a jar of KY on his back and a sign that says, “please, be gentle…”

  2. Wes Schott says:

    JK Divorce Entrance Dance – quite nice

    here are a couple of links i was reading today…

    First two on HFT

    http://blogs.reuters.com/commentaries/2009/07/30/wall-street-meets-the-matrix/

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/whoa-glitch-hft

    ..and of course, one for the Giant Vampire Squid

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/former-goldman-managing-director-how-you-finance-goldman-sachs%E2%80%99-profits

  3. Wes Schott says:

    Charging Bull

    “Sculptor Arturo Di Modica”…” was inspired by the 1987 stock market crash to create the bull, investing about $360,000 of his own money in the project” “is auctioning his famous piece to the highest bidder, a newspaper reported Monday” December 20, 2004

    “The Charging Bull” made its startling debut outside the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 15, 1989. Mr. Di Modica installed it overnight, without permits, as a tribute to America’s rebound from the 1987 stock market crash. It was quickly hauled away. Six days later, however, it was temporarily relocated in Bowling Green by Henry J. Stern, who was then the parks commissioner.

    http://wirednewyork.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-5508.html

  4. dead hobo says:

    BR noted:

    By now, you likely have seen the JK Wedding Entrance Dance (if not watch the video, it is charming).

    reply:
    ———-
    I always cry at weddings. That was beautiful.

  5. alfred e says:

    Here’s a link I posted on another thread about how AIG is playing a shell game with state auditors shuttling assets from state to state in time for state audits. And they are being sued by CA for it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/business/31aig.html?th&emc=th

    Hard to believe that here in good old straight-laced protestant ethic BananAmerica that conduct will go unpunished.

    But it will.

    Thanks BSO. For the transparency and return of ethics to business and government.

    Business as usual.

  6. drjwtaylor says:

    If you want to really understand what is happening to our economy, what caused it, and what is likely to come next, you can find the answer is very understandable English in our new book, The Great Recession Conspiracy. You can find it at http://www.scribd.com/doc/16864582/The-Great-Recession-Conspiracy for $4.95. It is also available as a Kindle book.

    When you finish the book, you can head to http://thegreatrecessionconspiracy.blogspot.com where you can read updates and vent your own opinions.

    And by the way, we use the word Conspiracy for a very, very specific reason, but you can make up your own mind. All we do is present the facts. No opinions, just checkable facts.

    James W. Taylor DBA
    David Zetland PhD

  7. gordo365 says:

    Quick question for the big picture collective brain – anybody seen any estimates about how many insurance industry jobs will be created by laws that mandate coverage?

    Logic – take tax payer money and give it to people to buy new cars. Rationalization – save/create jobs through higher demand.

    Won’t forcing a step function increase in demand for health insurance have a much larger impact on insurance industry employment?

    How much?

    Gordo

  8. willid3 says:

    http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jul2009/db20090731_542047.htm

    not sure that its the of the recession.

    but to paraphrase some one from pre WW2

    its at best the end of the beginning

  9. bergsten says:

    My excellent research team informs me that there’s an article about the wedding bunch in People magazine (“I” thought this was what Used Car Salespersons mating looked like, but I was wrong).

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20293629,00.html

    Also, I’m told that the music is by one Chris Brown, who (allegedly) beat up his girlfriend in public.
    Kind of spoils the romance, doesn’t it?

    p.s. Like Monty Python’s British Public School Play Sketch, “Do you three boys take these two girls to be your seven brides?”, I’m having a hard time reconciling BR’s list into ten distinct links.

    Have a nice weekend, all.

  10. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “Also, I’m told that the music is by one Chris Brown, who (allegedly) beat up his girlfriend in public.”

    Ha! Ironic, ain’t it? But then again, since this led to divorce like so many others, maybe it isn’t. Maybe it’s more like foreshadowing. Hmmm

  11. Daffyorbugs says:

    Bought QQQQ Aug 40 puts

  12. bergsten says:

    Why music magazines are dying:

    1. “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” — Elvis Costello (?)

    2. They aren’t music magazines. Rolling Stone is about politics. Others are about fashion. And they are all just bound advertising. Even if they WERE about music, see reason #1.

  13. John says:

    Gordo365,

    You asked “Won’t forcing a step function increase in demand for health insurance have a much larger impact on insurance industry employment?” The short answer is Maybe, but one must also determine the net overall effect.

    You wrote “take tax payer money and give it to people to buy new cars” in order to “save/create jobs through higher demand”. The logic is deeply flawed as it contains severe negative repercussions and the goal is meaningless. Jobs are a means to an end, not the end itself. Productive growth is the goal and everything else (jobs, etc.) flows from that.

    Please read “Economics in One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt. At the very least, please read Part One: The Lesson.

    http://jim.com/econ/

  14. The Curmudgeon says:

    John, bite your tongue. Jobs are what you give people in order to get them to vote for you. Silly economics lessons.

  15. rohnin says:

    “The Great Recession is Over! Long Live the Ordinary Recession . . . ” is a great title. I’ll have to start using that one.

  16. contrabandista13 says:

    Let’s play a game….. Let’s call it “Where’s the Bubble”.

    Have a great weekend everyone,

    Econolicious

  17. John says:

    Curmudgeon,

    Yeah, you’re right. I forgot that the political class is the center of the universe, our masters, and the source of all our goodness. Silly me.

  18. Lionel says:

    Has everyone seen this video of Sound of Music popping up in the middle of the Antwerp train station? I found it strangely enjoyable.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYAUazLI9k

  19. Wes Schott says:

    Peter Schiff says,

    “The recession is over; long live the depression!”

    http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/schiff/2009/0731.html

  20. Mike in Nola says:

    Re: JK

    The problem was, the wedding was done performed by a woman so it didn’t count.

  21. Pat G. says:

    And this from a pragmatic, ideologue:

    http://news.goldseek.com/EuroCapital/1249066543.php

  22. gordo365 says:

    John,

    Thanks for the link. I’ve read that Henry Hazlitt material and frequently refer to the broken window fallacy when cogitating over beers with friends. If you have posted the link before – thank you.

    I agree that the car program is flawed – and really just pulls forward next quarter/year’s demand. The “logic” is what was used to sell the program.

    I think forward 30 years to the discussion I’ll have with my kids “when you were a baby, we hawked your future earnings to encourage people to buy more stuff”. Pathetic.

    Gordo.

  23. Tom K says:

    Here’s a link to the crack smokers at NPR:

    Economic Recovery Looks Likely, But In What Form?
    The latest GDP numbers may signal a pronounced “V-shaped” rebound, rather than a drawn-out “U.”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111418358

    “The latest numbers could point to a pronounced “V-shaped” type of rebound rather than the less-desirable, drawn-out “U,” says Alan Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price in Baltimore. No recovery at all would looks like an “L.””

  24. Mike in Nola says:

    A link I had posted last year, for those who believe history might rhyme:

    The treacherous nature of bear market rallies
    http://www.ameinfo.com/16529.html

    The 1929-30 bear market rally = 48%

    LB bottom to today recent high (995-667)/667 = 49%

  25. investorinpa says:

    I have to admit, Peter Schiff in written form makes a LOT of sense..sometimes on TV he spouts on and off about subject matter, but he is pretty good at expressing his point of view in written form. To wit:

    The recently passed “cash for clunkers” program (currently on-hold, as it ran out of funding in one week) is a perfect example of how government policy can make the economy worse. By incentivizing Americans to destroy fully paid-for cars so they can go deeper into debt buying brand new ones, the government weakens an already crippled economy. The last thing we want to do is subsidize Americans to go deeper into debt by buying more stuff. Don’t they realize that is precisely the behavior that got us into this mess?

  26. Mike in Nola says:

    investorinpa:

    point is to pump the GDP for the next couple of quarters so they can proclaim the end of the recession. Like the Chinese incentivising this year, it’s only stealing sales from future years.

  27. call me ahab says:

    investorinpa-

    I agree- I like Peter Schiff’s analysis- sometimes seems a bit shrill on TV- but he definitely makes a lot of sense-

    that America wants people to spend should come as no surprise- they are trying to right the ship- and that requires consumption- whether by borrowing or from savings- it’s all about the here and now- not what is sustainable or desirable in the future- that is why there is a $4500 car allowance and an $8,000 home purchase allowance- regardless that it will only steal from future sales

    as Bush said- and as Obama follows suit- “go out and buy something”

  28. Pat G. says:

    This is a blueprint of what is happening here now and what will eventuate because of it, WHEN the U.S. people have had enough. Goodbye Democrats and Republicans…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aUffUxJoGLts

  29. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “I think forward 30 years to the discussion I’ll have with my kids “when you were a baby, we hawked your future earnings to encourage people to buy more stuff”. Pathetic.”

    Amen. It’s beyond ridiculous and yet the economists try to make it sound perfectly reasonable and necessary using macroeconomicspeak that they learn in school. Common sense need not apply.

  30. call me ahab says:

    Karen- are you ar0und??? take a breather from the Margarita’s and let me know if you sold QID before the closing bell today or held it over the weekend-

    interested to hear your take on why you sold or held over the weekend-

    good call by the way- since it reversed and ended in the red

  31. call me ahab says:

    on my previous post above- to be clear- nasdaq reversed and ended in the red- don’t want to confuse anyone

  32. alfred e says:

    AHab: I hear you. But I would say that consumption returning to previous levels ain’t gonna happen.

    Is it gonna pickup? How does consumption increase with the given job cutting, hour cutting, and asset depreciation going on?

    Not to mention expectations.

    I suppose, people can be lulled back to sleep with the equity asset boost going on. But I think not. Unless we all go to work for luxury yacht builders. But they don’t pay very well. I don’t suspect all that many of our hard-core middle class consumers are into equities very deeply.

  33. call me ahab says:

    alfred e-

    dude- wasn’t endorsing the USG play on increasing consumption- but that is what they want desperately- therefore incentives to achieve that end- at least in the near term- unfortunately that induced purchase today- is the purchase not happening a few months down the road-

    the car companies fell into the same trap- with incentives- to the point that people wouldn’t buy until it was zero % interest or thousands in cash back-

    my hope is that everyone will get off the hamster wheel- because discretionary consumption to find happiness is truly a road to nowhere- more to life than that my friend

  34. alfred e says:

    Ahab: Gotcha. We’re on the same page. Thanks

  35. Mike in Nola says:

    And now for something completely different

    Intel trying to convince people it’s time to upgrade:

    http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/07/intel-talks-windows-7-stimulus-and-global-it-demand.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

    My guess is that it juiced its earnings by stuffing the pipeline and will take a big hit if sales of the end products don’t pick up.

    One problem it may face is that business may have less incentive to upgrade hardware after Windows 7 comes out as if runs pretty well on older hardware, certainly better than Vista. I had built an XP machine for my wife 3 years ago. Low spec. Onle 1 gig ram. I put Vista on it so she could learn it for work, but it’s fairly slow and balky and some of the drivers aint quite right. Installed the Windows 7 Release candidate. Went right on, found all the hardware and installed drivers and runs better than XP did. Not good news for the upgrade program.

  36. Mike in Nola says:

    DB president says bad loans are the next wave of the crise.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aUKAk1bKBVl8

  37. Mike in Nola says:

    I suppose I shouldn’t be typing in bed :)

  38. Mar says:

    I’ve been lurking here for awhile and just registered to make comments – please be kind, at least for a few days!

    I was listening to an investing program last night on WCBM in Baltimore. It’s one of those hours where the hosts have basically bought the hour to plug their services. These shows are normally all rah-rah-rah, although the two men who host this hour are much more pragmatic. They had a guest on last night – wish I knew his name – who very matter-of-factly stated that this is a bubble, it is not sustainable under the current circumstances, etc. He pointed out that companies that are reporting profits did so by firing people and they are going to have difficulty making a profit in the next few quarters because you can only fire so many people without closing the business. He also talked about the false unemployment numbers (since those who have used up all their benefits aren’t included in the statistics anymore), the recent bond sales and how interest rates will be increasing, etc. He was very much in the “you’ve made a profit in the market recently and it’s probably time to get out or at least take your profits and probably some of your investment as well”. It was very interesting and refreshing to hear such talk on an investment/financial show.

  39. Mar says:

    Onlooker from Troy, I couldn’t agree more. I look at my teenage daughter and her friends and can’t believe what we as a country are doing to them.

    I’m not very good or consistent at any type of journaling, so I don’t try but for the last year or so I’ve been putting financial and some political articles in binders so I can remember who said what when and how much trust I should put in what they say. Simply put, I don’t see why I should trust most of the people calling an end to the recession now when these are the same idiots that said we weren’t in a recession and weren’t heading for one last year. I’ll trust those who got it right, like Schiff.

  40. Mannwich says:

    This doesn’t look too green shooty for Alabama.

    In every part of Jefferson County — Alabama’s most populous county and its main economic engine — government managers have been scrambling to prepare for Saturday, when two-thirds of county employees eligible for layoffs — up to 1,400 — will be lost in an effort to stave off financial ruin.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/01/us/01alabama.html?_r=1&hp

  41. karen says:

    ahab, i am around right now.. kept all.. my reasoning is that, unlike me, the markets are a bit top heavy at the moment.. and it is ugly outside in the real world. that’s not true at all. my reasoning was the candles.. i see a turn in most every long chart i look at..

  42. alfred e says:

    @karen: Looks we’re the only ones hangin aroun right now.

    I got back late or I would have loaded up some music.

    Went to a free outdoor concert last night of the local swing band, Satin Love Orchestra. They are extremely good. Good musicians. Good entertainers. Large ensemble with four vocalists that can solo or mix and match with each other very well. Wen to find them on youtube. They are there, but they should not be with those clips. Very, very poorly engineered. What were they thinking. Maybe I’ll do a quick check of their site fora a link more representative.

    They’re doin’ it again end of August in a park near where I live.

    Tomorrow, I plan to hit the Whiteaker Block Party which is in a funky area where the mayor of Eugene and most every other hippy in town reside. Four or five stages, with four or five groups performing per stage.

    Eugene is loaded with musicians and music. We are moving int0 the heavy season with lots of festivities every weekend. Very much like Austin. Perhaps a touch better.

    And the Oregon Bach Festival is still goin on as well.

  43. alfred e says:

    Here is the Satin Love Orchestra site.

    Check out the audios. Not the videos. I have no idea what they were thinking.

    http://satinloveorchestra.com/news.php

  44. call me ahab says:

    alfred e-

    thanks for sharing- quite the throwback- reminds me of highschool

  45. alfred e says:

    ahab: What? Are you up late or up early? Though you were on the east coast.

  46. call me ahab says:

    I am east my man- DC- still up- 1:00 AM- but not for long-

    catch you later in the AM

  47. investorinpa says:

    If anyone has read Harry S. Dent’s book on this being the Great Depression Ahead, you’ll be surprised to see that so far, his predictions are stunningly accurate. Much like the much maligned Dick Bove, both of these guys seem to be putting their prior bad prognostications behind them and are putting together good calls. Just sayin…

  48. VennData says:

    Larry Kudlow’s ratings have dropped 46% at CNBC (with the network as a whole off 28%.)

    I estimate that’s – coincidentally – just about how much people lost who listened to his “investment advice.”

  49. Mike in Nola says:

    My wife had to be to work for 5am, so I got the benefit of seeing some infomercials.

    Slickest was Better Trades, http://www.bettertrades.com , featuring ex-Cowboy coach Jimmy Johnson as their spokesman. Seems like he should have enough money not to have to stoop to something like this.

    It was a half hour of repeating clips of not very sophisticated people looking at computer screens and smiling, along with testimonials from really clueless looking people who had made tens of thousands in a few hours and hundreds of thousands in a year, plus the obligatory scenes of yachts and big houses, all just there for the taking.

    Binged it and came up with some letters to ripoffreports.com. Looks like they charge $3k for the class and another $6k for software.

    I bet that some of the volatility we’ve seen is aimed a fleecing these poor people of whatever capital they have left after paying for this crap. I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard for a good programmer at GS or somewhere similar to figure out the system they are selling and create a program manipulate the market to send false signals scoop up free money from these victims. Who knows, maybe the people selling the progam are passing the info on how to defeat it onto business assoociates in return for a cut. Who would know?

    One has to be proud of living in a country where such things can be sold for years without consequences. I suppose in 30-40 years there will be books talking about these schemes just like the histories of the 1920′s talk about the tip sheets and pools of that era.

  50. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Mike

    The Onion piece is hilarious, and so spot on. I’m with you on this whole Apple love fest thing. I just can’t stomach the fad following, emotional, must-have, fashion slave crap that surrounds it all. Anymore than I buy into or care about any other mindless fashion following B.S. People are truly lemmings, easily manipulated.

  51. Mike in Nola says:

    Onlooker:

    I think the past month in the market is a good example.

  52. AmenRa says:

    @Mike in Nola

    Bettertrades actually tries to teach you about the market and different trading strategies. It’s like an intro to trading. If you know nothing it’s a good place to start. Now what you afterwards is entirely up to you. Most of the info in their software can be found online for free (if you know where to look).

  53. cvienne says:

    @AmenRa

    Hey Amen…I was meaning to ask you…What are you referring to on the 3LB monthly?

  54. AmenRa says:

    @ cvienne

    Threee line break. It’s a another Japanese candlestick technique. you can read about it in “Beyond Candlesticks” by Steve Nison. It’s used to determine the whether or not there is a trend in place.

  55. AmenRa says:

    @ cvienne

    Threee line break. It’s a another Japanese candlestick technique. you can read about it in “Beyond Candlesticks” by Steve Nison. It’s used to determine the whether or not there is a trend in place.

    The trend forms first on the daily, then the weekly and finally the monthly.