It seemed like a good idea at the time. When J. C. Penney hired former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson in late 2011, pretty much everyone agreed that things could only get better for the struggling department store chain. The man’s track record spoke for itself—he worked for Apple, for God’s sake! What could go wrong? Read More
Up & Down the Street
It’s easy to hate bankers these days. The latest outrage? According to a March 2 article in The New York Times, the financial services giant JPMorgan Chase encourages its so-called private client advisers to suggest in-house investment products to its well-heeled clientele. The gall! And this was no thinly reported story, either. The Times got its scoop from Read More
In the ocean of money that is Wall Street, things come in waves. Consider the first big merger wave of the modern era: in 1965, there were 2,000 M&A transactions on the U.S. In 1969, at the height of the go-go years, there were more than 6,000. And then in 1974, the number dropped back Read More
When David Einhorn, the poker-playing hedge fund superstar, decides to publicly take on a company whose stock he owns (or has shorted), he usually gets results. Once you establish a reputation for astute calls on Wall Street—Mr. Einhorn’s most famous being his bearish call on Lehman in the spring of 2008—the lemmings can’t help but Read More
When you’re learning a new language, the best sign that you’ve got a lock on it is when it’s in your dreams. It’s a pretty sure thing, then, that many among us have used the new language of “i
Phone” or “iPad” while asleep—because we all speak Apple now. Investors, too. But whereas Read More
Did you hear the news about Sears last Monday? Of course you didn’t. You’re not stuck in 1975, after all, so why would you absorb any news about the company? But this was worth a listen; it was pretty compelling stuff.
Here’s the gist: on January 7, Sears Holdings announced that Louis J. Read More
Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives. Is that show even on TV anymore? And if it is, are Bo and Hope still together? (Note to self: ask Mom.) Meanwhile, on to another long-running melodrama, the madcap saga we call the market. Where will the Street lead us in 2013? Read More
I’m sure you heard the big news about Apple last week.
What? The bottom fell out of the company’s stock, you say? Nearly $52 a share—almost 9 percent—to $533?
That wasn’t what I was referring to. I meant to point you instead to a report from ABC News that revealed that the number of parents Read More
If you’re a fan of magic, one of the most enjoyable evenings available in New York City is a wonderful little show put on by one Steve Cohen out of a suite at the Waldorf Astoria several evenings a week. Mr. Cohen, known as “the millionaires’ magician,” thrills with sleight of hand and a witty banter that evokes the old-school parlor magicians of yore. But the highlight of his show is a segment in which he tells members of the audience things about themselves that he really shouldn’t know. Go see for yourself; it’s mind-boggling. Mr. Cohen has made quite a career out of his talent—he even had a special on the History Channel last week—but he may be in the wrong line of work.
See, there’s another man named Steve Cohen who has also made quite a career out of seemingly knowing things he shouldn’t know. Call him “the billionnaire magician.” Read More
Sometimes, sheer absurdity can be a beautiful thing to watch. Like Karl Rove on Fox News on election night. Or Will Arnett in pretty much any role he’s ever played. Or the behavior of Netflix stock over the past few weeks. After a year in which NFLX has Ping-Ponged between $53 and $133, it was suddenly—and absurdly—a safe haven in the midst of a post-Obama-re-election market meltdown. Apple may be taking over the world, but Netflix stock rose 2.5 percent to $78 last week while that of the Cupertino juggernaut fell by more than 5 percent. In hopes of getting by email spam filters and pesky copy editors, I will pose the resultant question as simply and cleanly as I can: WTF?
It’s been quite a month for shareholders of the DVD rental and online video streaming service. Read More