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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You are richer than Zimbabwe: "$217 left in Zimbabwe Coffers"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Beijing smog: When growth trumps life in China #BBC

Beijing smog: When growth trumps life in China

When I wake up in the morning, I pause briefly before opening my curtains, and what I see out of my window is likely to set the tone for the rest of the day.
I am not checking up on the weather. Instead, I want to know exactly how bad the pollution is going to be. On some mornings, it is truly appalling. It is as if the whole city has been turned into a smokers' lounge with a yellowish, nicotine colour staining the sky.
And this month, pollution in Beijing went from bad to... well, dangerous.
Air pollution soared past levels considered hazardous by the World Health Organisation (WHO). A quick disclaimer here - I was actually on the sunny island of Hainan breathing in fresh sea air, when the smog hit the capital.

From Our Own Correspondent

  • Insight and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world
  • Broadcast on Radio 4 and BBC World Service
But back in Beijing, hospitals were overrun by the young and the old, suffering from respiratory problems. People were warned to stay indoors. The capital's streets were unusually quiet.
Sales of air purifiers for homes - as well as face masks - rocketed and some stores simply ran out. Even for a city that is used to pollution, this was an emergency.
After my return to the capital, you could still taste the pollution, you can see it, and for that reason, the authorities can no longer deny it.
For years, they have tried. The government often played down the pollution in the capital, insisting it was merely fog, despite evidence to the contrary that was plain for all to see.
A man wearing a mask walks under the trees during severe pollution on January 23, 2013 in Beijing.

Buffett Buys More Solar But The Big News Is The Crowd Following Him

Buffett Buys More Solar But The Big News Is The Crowd Following Him

  • First a company owned by Warren Buffet’s growing concern, acquired an enormous Sunpower plant in California (link). Worth as much as $2.5 billion this is Buffet’s second big buy in utility scale solar in the western USA. Last year, around the same time the same company bought a FirstSolar power plant for $2B and change (link).
No small thing; this repeat, multi-billion dollar behavior by one of the world’s supposedly smartest investors. Can you see a pattern? How many other energy investments of this scale did the Oracle of Omaha make?
The two solar farms with relatively different technologies – one a so-called thin-film photovoltaic and the other a classic silicon-cell based bit of kit – will fascinate the geeks in the industry as to how they perform over time against their power purchase agreements. But what should fascinate more is how other big money will look for similar deals that happen also to create jobs, boost the sagging US economy and clean the air as they displace demand for dirty fossil-fuel generated juice. (In another blog I might dwell on how the U.S. coal industry is shutting down 3x faster than they could have even imagined a year ago – per this story on NPR).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

$HLF & #Amway Case - Can ANYONE PROVE Herbalife is not any different from Amyway? Nope!

$HLF & #Amway Case - Can ANYONE PROVE Herbalife is not any different from Amyway? Nope!

Results

The FTC stated Amway was not an illegal pyramid scheme since the Amway system is based on retail sales to consumers. Amway has avoided the abuses of pyramid schemes by:
  • not requiring an entry ("headhunting") fee;[3]
  • making product sales a precondition to receiving the performance bonus;[4]
  • requiring the buying back of excessive inventory;[3][4] and
  • requiring that products be sold to retail consumers.[3]
The administrative law judge also found that "Amway is not in business to sell distributorships and is not a pyramid distribution scheme."[5]
In the opinion section of the ruling, Commissioner Robert Pitofsky stated:
Two other Amway rules serve to prevent inventory loading and encourage the sale of Amway products to consumers. The "70 percent rule" provides that "[every] distributor must sell at wholesale and/or retail at least 70% of the total amount of products he bought during a given month in order to receive the Performance Bonus due on all products bought…." This rule prevents the accumulation of inventory at any level. The "10 customer" rule states that "[i]n order to obtain the right to earn Performance Bonuses on the volume of products sold by him to his sponsored distributors during a given month, a sponsoring distributor must make not less than one sale at retail to each of ten different customers that month and produce proof of such sales to his sponsor and Direct Distributor." This rule makes retail selling an essential part of being a distributor. The ALJ found that the buyback rule, the 70-percent rule, and the ten-customer rule are enforced, and that they serve to prevent inventory loading and encourage retailing.
—— 93 F.T.C. 618: Opinion, page 716
The administrative law judge found, and the FTC opinion agreed, that Amway engaged in:
  • resale price maintenance, through explicit agreements on wholesale prices and through practices "designed to insure adherence" to its suggested retail prices even though former explicit agreements on retail prices had been discontinued;[6] and
  • misleading sales and earning claims.[7]
In the Final Order, issued on May 8, 1979, Amway and its representatives were ordered to:
  • cease allocating customers among their distributors;[1]
  • cease retail price fixing;[8]
  • print a specific disclaimer on any suggested retail price list;[8] and
  • cease misrepresenting profits, earnings, or sales; and stop implying other than average results, unless the average results or the percentage of distributors actually reaching those figures is also conspicuously disclosed.[9]

[edit]Later actions

In 1986, Amway agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty in a consent decree for violating the 1979 ruling, after Amway placed ads that represented higher-than-average distributor earnings without stating the actual average results or percentage of distributors who actually met the represented claims.[10]

Apple's Jan. 23 earnings conference call viewed as most important in 10 years $AAPL

CHART OF THE DAY: The Chart That Could Get Andrew Mason Fired $GRPN

Ackman getting desperate already on $HLF Short? Buying up & flooding $GOOG Adwords is a good sign of desperation.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Herbalife Looks Legal, D.A. Davidson’s Ramey Says: Tom Keene $HLF

Herbalife Looks Legal, D.A. Davidson’s Ramey Says: Tom Keene $HLF

There are “15.6 million people practicing this in the U.S. -- one out of every seven households,” he said. “This is a very populist concept.”

$MS Deep Cuts Raise Questions About Morgan Stanley

"Girl Scouts sell cookies on a direct selling basis. Nobody attacks them.” $HLF

"Girl Scouts sell cookies on a direct selling basis. Nobody attacks them.”

$HLF "There is no complensation in a legitimate multi-level marketing company for just recruiting"

$HLF "There is no complensation in a legitimate multi-level marketing company for just recruiting"

$HLF 10:42: CEO Michael Johnson is back at the podium, this time showing a promotional video.

$HLF 10:42: CEO Michael Johnson is back at the podium, this time showing a promotional video.

Walsh accuses Ackman of factual deficiencies and "gross distortions" based on data that's readily available. Warns investors you "may hear more" charges in the future.

Walsh accuses Ackman of factual deficiencies and "gross distortions" based on data that's readily available. Warns investors you "may hear more" charges in the future.
Herbalife CFO John DeSimone takes the floor.

Kellogg School Of Management Professor Wrote A Paper On How Herbalife Is NOT A Pyramid Scheme

$MSFT is it good news that the CEO of Microsoft is focusing more on an NBA team then staying competitive? Nope!

Here’s How Dan Loeb Explained His Herbalife Bet to Investors

$AIG Won’t Join Greenberg Lawsuit

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

$CALL Magicjack Report Link Drastically Driving Down Price 1/9/2013

Ackman Caught With Shorts Down as Loeb Gets Long on Herbalife $HLF

A NYC Judge's Takedown Of Hank Greenberg's First AIG Case Is As Brutal As You Can Imagine $AIG

Senator Elizabeth Warren Is Outraged That AIG Is Considering Suing The US Government

$AIG Why The Board Might Feel It HAS To Sue The Government

$AIG Two More Congressmen Have Totally Flipped Out About A Potential Suit Against The US