Oooh, I’m shocked! Shocked to find anti-competitive behavior in the radio industry! (Your winnings, sir.)
Forbers takes a swipe at it:
“For decades the radio industry has crushed incipient competitors by wielding raw political muscle and arguments that are at once apocalyptic and apocryphal. Radio station owners, who formed the National Association of Broadcasters in 1923, have won laws and regulations that have banned, crippled or massively delayed every major new competitive technology since the first threat emerged in 1934: FM radio.
In 1945 many AM incumbents, ostensibly concerned that interference related to sunspots might endanger their rivals in FM, encouraged the feds to uproot the FM dial and move it to a higher frequency band. This rendered half a million FM radios useless and forced the nation’s FM stations to start over. A congressional investigation in 1948 found that the interference fears were bogus and that a Federal Communications Commission report had been conveniently altered to disguise that fact. Too late–the shift helped inferior AM technology remain dominant for the next 25 years. The coda: In 1954 the inventor of FM radio, Edwin Armstrong, frustrated by repeated setbacks and all but bankrupt, penned a suicide note to his wife and leapt out the window of his 13th-floor apartment.
Fifty years later radio’s old guard has been as effective at thwarting the digital threat. Existing stations thrive on an array of perks won by radio operators, including free use of the airwaves (XM and Sirius, by contrast, had to pay almost $200 million combined for their spectrum) and an exclusive exemption from paying royalties to performers. But the NAB’s real forte has been in the modes of attack and delay, persuading regulators and Congress to impose daunting restraints on the satellite rivals and stalling their debut for the better part of a decade.”
A good article worth the read if this subject matter interests you. And, it helps to explain why music and broadcast executives’ first instincts are usually so awful — their bad behavior has a rich — and surprisngly successful history.
As we noted last November, oil prices were approaching resistance at $32.25. As we noted, “if prices pop over that level, you could see a clear run towards $36-38.”
So now we read that a Wall Street legend avoided our good (and free!) advice:
“Hedge funds started a year ago by a leading investment strategist, Barton M. Biggs, have been stung by losses this year, partly because of a bearish bet on the price of oil at a time when the commodity’s prices are setting records.
Mr. Biggs, for nearly three decades a strategist at Morgan Stanley, set up his investment firm, Traxis Partners, in June 2003 with two other longtime Morgan employees. He now manages around $2 billion in assets. Mr. Biggs, 71, joined an exodus of scores of prominent Wall Street executives over the last few years who started hedge funds – portfolios managed on behalf of wealthy investors and institutions like pension funds.
Mr. Biggs’s funds were down more than 7 percent this year through July, net of fees, according to a letter to Traxis investors. A majority of the losses came in July, as the price of oil soared. Yesterday, crude oil for September delivery settled at a record $48.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures prices have climbed more than $10 a barrel since the end of June.
In all seriousness, I rarely would want to be on the other side of a bet from Mr. Biggs. And, I expect that right here is where we should see some sort of topping action in Oil.
But that doesn’t mean we are going back to the mid-30s anytime soon; I’d be happy with low 40s.
Here’s an additional excerpt: