Jim Probasco, Benzinga: Nokia sold its handset business to Microsoft. What it did not sell was its patents. And Nokia has a bunch of them. The reason? Income. Patents are like gold. And if there is one thing Nokia knows, it’s how to mine “patent” gold.
By Farah Halime, Cairo: The CEO of Egypt’s biggest construction company, Orascom, signaled that the firm is “exploring its legal options” with regards to its $1 billion tax settlement with the Morsi administration. If the decision is overturned, it would be a symbolic victory for the business tycoons who have laid low since the end of the Mubarak era.
By Rory Johnston: Oil prices are at a six-month high, and no one knows what will happen in Syria nor how it will affect oil prices in the coming weeks. However, the recent spike in oil prices also reflects fundamental supply factors: Libya, a major regional producer, has seen its production completely collapse over the past month.
The Big Shift: Chinese, Russians Replace People From (Formerly) Rich Countries As Big Spenders At Parisian Airports
In Paris, “Chinese” has a new meaning: money. This phenomenon shows up by the busload at luxury retailers where sales staff say a few words of bad Mandarin, instead of bad English, in hawking overpriced handbags and glittery baubles. Now Aéroports de Paris has put a number on it. A glimmer of hope for France, though perhaps of the wrong kind.
By Don Quijones: Spain’s government plumbed new depths of political chicanery and incompetence this week when it openly admitted that it had tampered with evidence in the Bárcenas affair, a corruption case implicating many of its senior ministers.
By Dennis Miller: These days, unless you are a government employee, there is a 97% chance you will not retire with a pension. Instead, you have some sort of IRA or 401(k) and other personal savings that you will need to supplement those measly Social Security checks. We have all been thrust into the job of managing our own personal pension funds.
David Stockman: How KKR Stripped The Beds In America’s Largest Hospital Chain With Some Help From Bubbles Ben
“Bernanke’s maniacal money printing after the Lehman event catalyzed a virtual stampede back into the very same risk-asset classes which had been reduced to smoldering ruins,” David Stockman writes. It produced the craziest junk-bond binge of all times, allowing the mega-buyouts from before the crisis to survive and pay rich fees to the LBO lords.
By Alex Daley, Chief Technology Investment Strategist: One set of investors assumes near-demigod status; people speak of them with a mix of reverence, fear, and giddiness. I'm talking about the legends of Sand Hill Road: VCs like Kleiner Perkins partner Tom Perkins. Fly in the ointment: For limited partners, the return isn’t exciting. But there’s a better option.
Germany’s industrial conglomerates and the vibrant Mittelstand (privately held enterprises that were world leaders in their niche until the Chinese came along), decorated with real wage declines since the heyday of Reunification... all have been bandied about as economic model for troubled, if unenthusiastic Eurozone countries. But there is a darker side.
By Robert M. Cutler of Oilprice.com: As the US has yet again delayed a decision on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline designed to take the hydrocarbon product of Alberta's oil sands to the Gulf Coast, Canada pushes ahead with a strategic plan for a pipeline infrastructure to the Pacific Coast.
It would be ridiculous if it weren’t so sad: Facing exploding budget deficits and an uncircumnavigable mountain of debt over twice the size of the economy – Japan’s two largest economic problems – the government in its blind devotion to the religion of Abenomics screams, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
By Michael Lombardi, MBA for Profit Confidential: Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew, wrote Congress that it should extend the debt ceiling “well before any risk of default becomes imminent.” Will Congress raise the debt ceiling again? Since 1960, it has raised it 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents.
By Jeff Clark, Senior Precious Metals Analyst, Casey Research: For many primary gold producers, Q2 2013 was a breathtakingly bad quarter. It wasn't so much the massive drop in earnings many reported—those had been, for the most part, expected—but the so-called "impairment charges" announced.
German Election Finally Gets Messy: “Euro Is More Than A Currency” And Greece “Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed In”
No debacle is allowed to interfere with Chancellor Merkel’s efforts to hang on to her job, and debacles get swept under the rug at least until after the elections on September 22. Every time uppity opposition voices stir up some controversy, it’s brushed off, denied, ridiculed, or minimized – and it has worked admirably well so far. But suddenly there’s Greece again.
By James Burgess, of OilPrice.com. Big oil discoveries should make a company more attractive and cover up higher drilling expenses. Now a study shows that the right adjectives in a press release about oil discoveries play a huge role in their impact on stock prices.
These wildly optimistic estimates of earnings growth that analysts work on so studiously by copying and pasting what companies tell them, or by doing channel checks and poking around the industry, and that companies have to exceed at all costs “on an adjusted basis?” Well, they have been shrinking for 2013 – but only after reality forced them down.
They’re at it again! Originally created by Congress in 2007, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program provided low-cost government loans that were subsidized, and then in part eaten as we now know, by hapless and strung-out American taxpayers. In 2011, it was left behind as dead, but now the government wants to bring that zombie back.
By Philippe Casey of OilPrice.com: The US shale revolution is leaving its marks. In 2009, the US surpassed Russia as the world’s largest producer of natural gas. In May, production exceeded imports for the first time in 16 years. In 2020, the US might overtake Saudi Arabia as the top oil-producing nation. But there aren’t enough pipelines in place to handle it.
Stocks: “Drastic Correlation Between Printing and Pumping” – And What It means When The Printing Ends
The Fed’s taper “may not be smooth,” explained Bank of England deputy governor Charles Bean at the central-banker shindig in Jackson Hole. He was referring to the currencies, bonds, and stocks of emerging-market economies such as Brazil, Indonesia, and India that have gotten massacred.
By Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner: Durable goods data was shockingly bad. For a change, the seasonally adjusted data wasn’t misleading. The actual data, not seasonally adjusted, was just as bad. After backing out inflation, real durable goods orders continue to trend down – though we keep hearing BS about that US "manufacturing renaissance."