The Next Bubble?

Posted by on Oct 21, 2010 in Blog

Apple and IBM’s figures have done very nicely this week, thank you very much. What’s going on?

There’s a bit of a bubble going on. And, as with railways, cars and the Internet, it’s about picking your product – as some are going to go horribly wrong.

My friend Cody Willard is obsessed with Apps. He has a point – check out his blogs on them. The cleverest people I know are inventing and investing in Apps. This year around 250 million people will buy a smartphone, up from 150 million last year. Projections are for a billion sold in less than a decade.

We’re in a down economy, money can be made in technology, but it’s about picking the right type so you’re not caught in a bubble. Now where’s the new Google/Facebook…?!

The Miners Rescue: Randoms – GET OFF THE BANDWAGON

Posted by on Oct 15, 2010 in Blog

I shed a tear or two over the Chilean miners I saw being rescued this week. A billion people were transfixed by an amazing story of hope.

However, it being the modern world, people immediately started trying to attach their agendas to the bandwagon. Michael Moore on Larry King was cringe worthy. And although I’m anything but a tea party fan, Chris Matthews was utterly inappropriate.

And that’s before you get to the companies seemingly having a great time exploiting the crisis for their commercial ends. Oakley sunglasses. UPS. The list goes on.

It feels tawdry, tainting something that is pure. I know it was inevitable. But I’m going to try and keep cynicism at bay and hang on to the emotions that hit me on those first few shots of the happy ending of this humbling, incredible, story.

Breast Foot Forward

Posted by on Oct 14, 2010 in Blog

It’s Breast Cancer awareness month and it’s a cause that is very close to my heart – as it is to so many families touched by the disease. I write about it for MSN here:

Gridlock: Not A Good Thing (Long Term) For Anyone

Posted by on Oct 13, 2010 in Blog

Apparently Wall Street would quite like gridlock in Congress.

Short term, maybe. Long term, I’m not sure gridlock is going to help Wall Street. I’ve said it before, for the market to head upwards in a sustained fashion, it will require sustained doses of good news, something that logically, surely, can’t be on the cards?

For yes, the “d” word again. The US federal deficit, running at 10% of GDP, needs to be dealt with it. And a gridlocked congress is barely going to be able to get to grips with anything, let alone such a tough topic as that. Which long term, doesn’t bode well for anyone.

Call For A Foreclosure Moratorium – For Once, I’m With The Banks

Posted by on Oct 12, 2010 in Blog

There’s a growing call for a national moratorium on foreclosures, although at present the White House is standing strong and is opposed to one.

To me, this is the right course of action. You can’t at this present time throw even more uncertainty into the fragile housing market. You also have to keep in mind that there are valid foreclosures that should go forward.

But you say, people losing their homes is a tragedy – what do I know? Well, of course it’s a tragedy. But I was always taught, always thought, that part of being American was all about personal responsibility. The deal with the bank, although it may be doing a deal with the devil, is that you take out a mortgage, you keep up with your repayments or your bank gets the house. That’s the devil’s security so it will continue to lend money to others. It’s the rules.

The housing market is causing pain at the moment and I’m afraid we’re going to have to see more pain before it gets better. The government is there to see big picture – and it would benefit the US more for the government to do nothing – to allow the market to tank and then figure out its own recovery.

Because I’ve also been taught that’s what Americans do. Recover.

Biden: You’re Dull?

Posted by on Oct 9, 2010 in Blog

Biden informed a Democratic audience he was addressing in Wisconsin this week that they were dull.

It got a laugh. (Although my first instinct with politicians is: leave comedy to the comedians).

However, there is a more serious point here. The Democratic leadership is having difficulties in energising their supporters. The Republicans, with all their tea partying going on, are at least not lacking in enthusiasm.

It doesn’t bode well for the Democrats next month. Although I’m convinced that Obama will win by a landslide in 2012.

Dow – the only way is up?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2010 in Blog

Well no, of course we all know that the Dow can go up as well as down, however there has been a certain amount of excitement in some quarters about the Dow flirting with the 11k mark.

Yes, stocks are coming off historically strong performances in September. But for the market to head decisively higher again, it will require sustained doses of good news, something I can’t see it getting.

This economic recovery is slow – for every two steps forward there seems to be one and a half back. And there is the looming issue of the US deficit which neither Republican nor Democrat appear to be coming up with a realistic plan to deal with.

The Fed: Really Considering Inflation As A Fix?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2010 in Blog

Apparently the Fed is considering inflation as a fix for the economy.

I think this is All Talk No Trousers – a bit of blustering and posturing going on. The Fed spent the past three decades getting inflation low and keeping it there. Any gain from higher inflation would be temporary.

I suspect this talk is coming from certain quarters to try and push colleagues towards more stimulus. Also, they don’t want the Fed to be seen as out of ammunition, as it would further spook the markets and the economy as a whole.

It’s all about perception, isn’t it…

An Exceptionally Important Vote

Posted by on Oct 6, 2010 in Blog

No, I’m not talking about how you vote in the November Elections – something far more important than that.

Neil Cavuto, whose shows I’m a regular on, has decided he’s going to run for President. You get to vote who his VP is – and I made the shortlist.

Since this is going to be the only shortlist where I ever feature alongside Rupert Murdoch, please vote for me at:

The fact that Cavuto is about as likely to run for President as I am to discover my mother actually gave birth to me on American soil is beside the point!

Airline Fees: The Only Way Is Up

Posted by on Sep 28, 2010 in Blog

US airline fees are increasing – some by more than 50% since a year ago.

Unfortunately this is no big surprise. Baggage fees etc. are here to stay. During the past decade, the global airline industry has collectively lost almost $50 billion, so America has looked to the airlines that have made money.

Leader of the pack is the European based RyanAir, which has turned itself from a tiny regional airline into a serious power player. In the past 10 years it has generated net profits in 9 of those years and in the last financial year earned $431 million. It was of course RyanAir with its charismatic Michael O’Leary at the helm who introduced the concept of so many of these fees. He’s now all for bringing in a standing cabin and charging for use of the toilet.

And you thought airline travel was going down the toilet? It has only just begun…!