November 2, 2009 Stock Market Recap

So we had another session with wild intraday swings that were opposite the dollar. Unlike other recent sessions with those type of swings, this session resulted in a stalemate. Indeed, bulls and bears could claim victory today. The bulls can rejoice that they were able to defend last week's lows. But the bears can point to the failed morning rally on the back of pretty good economic data. Given the oversold nature of the market we could have easily seen a 2 or 3% gain on the day.

My outlook is basically the same as it was yesterday. The danger of an oversold rally is a little less now that the stochastics are starting to rise. I think that if the market can't make any progress beyond today's range by Wednesday's close (post-Fed decision) it will be open season for shorting. The market would just have gone sideways and relieved the oversold condition. I will be paying close attention to the S&P 500's 50-day moving average. It was a cap on today's rally and could very well continue to be resistance.

Trend Table

No changes for a change

TrendNasdaqS&P 500Russell 2000

(+) Indicates an upward reclassification today
(-) Indicates a downward reclassification today
Lat Indicates a Lateral trend

*** I'm simply using the indices' relations to their 200, 50 and 10-day moving averages to tell me the long, intermediate and short-term trends, respectively.

Siguler Guff Deal Boosts BNY’s Distressed, Emerging Markets Business

BNY Mellon Asset Management has taken a 20% interest in Siguler Guff & Co., a private equity firm that manages funds of funds and direct buyout funds. The deal formalizes an existing alliance between the two parties whereby BNY Mellon distributes Siguler Guff’s service offerings globally. Siguler Guff is also adviser to the fund-of-funds business previously managed by WestLB Mellon Asset Management, a joint venture between Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and WestLB AG.

The transaction makes sense for both parties. BNY Mellon expands its exposure to investment in distressed assets, emerging markets and small-cap buyouts – areas that have seen significant investor interest despite the economic recession.

Siguler Guff’s fund-of-funds approach also brings “many more opportunities than a single manager” can offer, said Ronald P. O’Hanley, chief executive of BNY Mellon Asset Management. “They know how to pick managers.” For its part, Siguler Guff gets to expand its potential limited partner base by tapping into BNY Mellon’s clients; it is also able to leverage BNY Mellon’s team of equity research analysts and vast network of asset managers, said George Siguler, founding partner of Siguler Guff.

Many of the factors at play here had also driven some previous marriages between big banks and private equity outfits – nearly all of which happened before the credit crunch in the summer of 2007. Back then, Deutsche Bank bought a stake in now-defunct investment adviser Aldus Equity. Morgan Stanley purchased a portion of distressed investor Avenue Capital Group. Barclays PLC bought into NGP Energy Capital Management, and Nomura Holdings Inc. took a piece of hedge fund and private equity fund operator Fortress Investment Group LLC ahead of that firm’s initial public offering. In one outright acquisition, Amvescap PLC - now known as Invesco Ltd. - purchased turnaround and buyout firm WL Ross & Co.

Those deals had a variety of outcomes. Deutsche Bank’s investment in Aldus Equity went awry after Aldus collapsed after founding partner Saul Meyer was indicted earlier this year for his involvement in the New York pay-to-play scandal. WL Ross’ affiliation with Invesco turned out to be a big plus for activities such as its participation in the Public-Private Investment Program.

Siguler said the deal with BNY Mellon is different. Fortress and Avenue operate more as hedge funds, he said. BNY Mellon’s minority investment is different from Invesco’s outright acquisition of WL Ross, and Siguler Guff wasn’t involved in anything whatsoever like the things that got Aldus into trouble.

“I hate to use any of these [deals] as comparison,” Siguler said.

But BNY Mellon’s O’Hanley said he thinks more private equity shops, especially those investing in emerging market funds and smallcap buyout funds, will be bought as asset managers seek to diversify.

Also, now may be a good time to buy stakes in private equity shops as the asset class is not nearly as hot as it used to be, meaning attractive valuation. (Both O’Hanley and Siguler declined to disclose financial terms of the deal.) Private equity firms “are now out of favor,” O’Hanley said.

Deals Drive U.S. Stocks; New Record in Gold

U.S. stocks gained after two large deals supported trading in stocks. Railroad and industrial stocks closed higher after Burlington and Black & Decker agreed to be acquired. Gold surged to a record after the Reserve Bank of India acquired 200 tons from the IMF.

India Buys Gold; Sensex Drops 3%

Stocks in Mumbai fell sharply after Reliance Communications and Hindalco Industries reported weak earnings. India purchased 200 tons of gold from the IMF at $6.7 billion. The gold holding is still only 5% of its foreign reserves that total $285.5 billion.

ConvergEx Completes Cogent Consulting Purchase

ConvergEx, a New York-based provider of global agency brokerage and investment technology solutions, has completed its acquisition of the assets of Cogent Consulting LLC, a software development firm specializing in advanced commission management. No financial terms were disclosed. ConvergEx was formed in 2006 by GTCR Golder-Rauner, which combined Eze Castle Software and the institutional brokerage business of Bank of New York.


ConvergEx, a leading provider of investment and execution technology solutions to institutional clients worldwide, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of the assets of Cogent Consulting LLC, the industry’s leading software development firm specializing in advanced commission management solutions for institutional money managers and broker-dealers.

With the addition of Cogent’s powerful research evaluation technologies, ConvergEx now offers a complete suite of neutral, anonymous and transparent services that encompasses every step of the commission management process from broker vote to third-party payment.

“We are delighted to welcome all the employees of Cogent to the ConvergEx family,” said Joseph M. Velli, chairman and chief executive officer of ConvergEx. “Their many talents and industry expertise makes them a natural fit to ConvergEx, where our purpose is to continually offer innovative solutions and technologies for an ever-changing financial landscape.”

“Since announcing this deal, we have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback we have received from our clients,” said John Meserve, executive managing director of ConvergEx. “It is clear that this solution fills a significant need and gives our clients a suite of products that is truly unique in the marketplace.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About ConvergEx

BNY ConvergEx Group, LLC provides investment and execution technology solutions to institutional clients worldwide. The Company provides a full array of leading technologies and an integrated platform of performance-driven, global trading capabilities. BNY ConvergEx Group is comprised of the following businesses: BNY ConvergEx Execution Solutions LLC (member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC), LiquidPoint, LLC (member CBOE/SIPC); Eze Castle Transaction Services LLC (member FINRA/SIPC); Westminster Research Associates LLC (member FINRA/SIPC); G-Trade Services LLC (member FINRA/SIPC); Eze Castle Software LLC, and ConvergEx Research Solutions LLC, of which Jaywalk and Cogent Consulting are divisions. Additional information is available at


Tiger Infrastructure Partners Launches

Tiger Infrastructure Partners has launched as a new infrastructure private equity firm, with a focus on mid-market opportunities in North America and in Europe. It will be led by Emil Henry, former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury who most recently ran Lehman Brothers’ infrastructure private equity business.


Tiger Management, Julian Robertson and Emil W. Henry, Jr. announced today the formation of Tiger Infrastructure Partners LP, an infrastructure private equity firm. The firm will focus on managing investments in North American and European middle-market infrastructure.

The firm will be headed by Mr. Henry, previously global head of Lehman Brothers infrastructure private equity business, and prior to that, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Tiger Infrastructure Partners will focus primarily on private sector infrastructure businesses in the energy and power, water, waste, transportation, and communications sectors.

Mr. Henry explained, “There are many small and medium-sized infrastructure businesses that are outside the focus of larger infrastructure investors and strategic buyers. With the credit market dislocation and diminished role of debt capital providers, we believe many of these businesses’ growth prospects are constrained by their capital needs. We seek to fill that gap.”

Since returning capital to Tiger fund investors in 2000, Mr. Robertson has used his investment expertise to evaluate and back other firms, including those that invest in alternative assets.

Mr. Robertson said, “We see a long-term opportunity for investing in infrastructure projects on a global basis and believe the middle market is underserved and less competitive. ”

The members of Tiger Infrastructure Partners previously worked together under Mr. Henry’s leadership as members of Lehman Brothers’ infrastructure private equity business. The investment team includes Leanne Bell, previously of GE Energy Financial Services; Marc Blair, previously of Lehman Brothers Private Equity and Natural Resources Group; Alessandro Boninsegna, previously of Lehman Brothers Private Equity; Pascal Casavecchia, previously of Lehman Brothers Private Equity and the Carlyle Group; and Adam Emmert, previously of Highstar Capital. The firm has offices in New York and London.


Bo Yaghmaie Joins Cooley Godward

Bo Yaghmaie has joined the New York office of law firm Cooley Godward Kronish LLP as head of the office’s business and technology practice group. He previously headed the national venture capital practice for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.


Cooley Godward Kronish LLP announced today that Babak (Bo) Yaghmaie has joined the firm. Yaghmaie, who headed the national Venture Capital practice at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, will be resident in New York where he will lead the office’s Business and Technology practice group.

“Bo is one of the East Coast’s top technology lawyers and a regarded leader in Silicon Alley,” said Joe Conroy, Cooley’s chief executive officer. “As a preeminent national law firm for technology, life sciences and clean technology companies and their investors, Bo expands our leadership in New York in these areas, where we see key opportunities to grow. We enthusiastically welcome him to Cooley.”

Yaghmaie has been involved in many of the leading corporate and financing technology transactions in the New York area and regularly represents numerous venture backed companies and venture capital funds. He was recognized in 2008 and 2009 by Chambers USA as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers,” and was top-ranked in 2009 by Legal 500.

Yaghmaie’s practice focuses on the representation of private and publicly-held emerging growth high technology and life sciences companies. He also counsels leading investment banks and venture capital funds, with a particular focus on private placements and venture financings, public offerings of equity securities and mergers and acquisitions.

About Cooley Godward Kronish LLP

Cooley Godward Kronish’s 650 attorneys have an entrepreneurial spirit and deep, substantive experience, and are committed to solving clients’ most challenging legal matters.  From small companies with big ideas to international enterprises with diverse legal needs, Cooley has the breadth of legal resources to enable companies of all sizes to seize opportunities in today’s global marketplace.  The Firm represents clients across a broad array of dynamic industry sectors, including technology, life sciences, clean tech, real estate, financial services, retail and energy.

The Firm has full-service offices in major business and technology centers nationwide: Palo Alto, CA, New York, NY, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, Reston, VA, Broomfield, CO, Washington, DC, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA.


General Catalyst Backs DataLogix

DataLogix (fka NextActionTM), a Westminster, Colo.-based provider of multi-channel marketing, data and analytics solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of recap funding from General Catalyst Partners. The recap round will cash out existing backer Wolf Ventures, while Sequel Ventures will roll over at least part of its equity.

NextActionTM, the leader in multi-channel marketing, data and analytics, today announced it has closed on a large private equity investment from General Catalyst Partners and entrepreneur Rob Gierkink. The company will be rebranded as DataLogix, maintaining its retail targeting product suite under the NextAction DirectTM label, and its digital ad network and data platform under the Affiniti Digital™ brand.

“Partnering with Rob and the GC team provides us with the capital and industry expertise to pursue our vision of creating the world’s best cross-channel data platform for direct and brand marketers,” said Eric Roza, President of DataLogix. “Rob has built and sold three of the largest loyalty companies in the world, and his knowledge of the grocery and CPG space will be a great complement to our expertise in data, predictive analytics and online advertising.”

Rob Gierkink has spent more than twenty years working with supermarkets and other retailers as well as companies in the consumer packaged goods industry. He co-founded companies that launched the largest loyalty programs in the United Kingdom (Nectar), Canada (Air Miles) and Holland (Air Miles). Today these programs have over 25 million households actively participating and the underlying companies have created nearly a billion dollars of shareholder value for their investors. Gierkink will continue to serve as Chairman and CEO of DataLogix, and Roza will become its President. George Bell from General Catalyst Partners and Tim Connor from Sequel Venture Partners, NextAction’s current lead investor, will join the DataLogix Board.

“Marketers spend over a billion dollars every day in the United States to flood consumers with messages, and yet most messages are delivered based on antiquated targeting techniques resulting in marketing irrelevance,” said George Bell, Managing Director of General Catalyst Partners. Bell, the former CEO of Upromise, Excite and Excite@Home, brings extensive experience in digital sales and marketing. “DataLogix has done something that no other company in the United States has been able to do; they have aggregated 8 billion purchase transactions across 110MM households, integrated that with a number of other best-in-breed data sources, and created a delivery platform to enable both offline and online targeting using that data.”

“We believe the NextAction Direct database and Affiniti Real-World Data PlatformTM will dramatically improve the relationship between marketers and their consumers by leveraging real-world purchase insight to deliver marketing relevance and effectiveness,” said Rob Gierkink. “In addition to the consumer information we have today, we will continue to work hard to bring in other great data sources and thus enhance our effectiveness for multi-channel retailers and brand marketers.”

About DataLogix™

DataLogix, a privately-held company based in Westminster, Colorado, provides data and technology-driven solutions for leading direct marketers and brand advertisers to increase the effectiveness of customer acquisition, retention and branding programs across online and traditional channels. Its product-lines include NextAction DirectTM, the largest database of SKU-Level consumer purchasing behavior, and Affiniti DigitalTM, the leading online ad platform for Real-World DataTM. For more information, please visit:

About General Catalyst Partners

General Catalyst Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building the technology-based companies that will lead innovation and transform industries. Founded in 2000, General Catalyst Partners leverages its principals’ extensive operational, business development and technological expertise to provide portfolio companies with a catalyst for success through business-building and partnership development assistance. General Catalyst is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit:

About Sequel Venture Partners

Sequel Venture Partners, based in Boulder, Colorado, provides venture funding for early stage technology businesses. Sequel manages $400 million in capital, and specializes in Healthcare, Internet and Enterprise IT, Clean Technology and Internet based services. For more information please visit:


Bayer CropScience Completes Athenix Purchase

Bayer CropScience has completed its acquisition of Athenix Inc., a Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based developer of products and technologies for agricultural and industrial applications like biofuels. The deal is valued at $365 million, plus up to $35 million in additional earn-out payments. Athenix has raised more than $40 million in VC funding, from firms like Hunt Ventures, Intersouth Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.


Bayer CropScience announced today the completion of its purchase of Athenix Corp., a privately-held independent biotechnology company headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. The company was purchased for USD 365 Million (about EUR 250 million). Further cash payments based upon the achievement of certain development milestones may amount up to USD 35 million (about EUR 24 million).

The acquisition of Athenix and its innovative technology platform significantly boosts Bayer CropScience´s ability to make available to growers worldwide novel technology and complete agricultural solutions. Athenix has an extensive herbicide tolerance and insect control trait development platform. The company has the largest collection of Bt genes in the industry – genes that are crucial for insect resistance of plants. Athenix is working on nematode resistance as well, a field where current chemical options are limited. Additionally, the company has a valuable collection of proprietary microbes that will provide a long-term source of novel and commercially important genes for future trait development.

Bayer CropScience is currently already pursuing a total of 56 BioScience research projects involving six crops. The acquisition bolsters this research and development (R&D)-pipeline and the trait platform of Bayer CropScience. Athenix complements the fast growing BioScience business of Bayer CropScience by significantly extending its R&D-presence in North America. Athenix employs some of the world’s leading researchers in the agricultural biotech industry and has a workforce of about 65 employees who have extensive expertise in commercial gene discovery, commercial trait generation, and product development.

The acquisition will allow Bayer CropScience to strengthen its attractiveness as a partner to other stakeholders in the seed business worldwide. It will generate additional trait fee income beyond the income streams from Bayer CropScience`s current trait technology due to license agreements with major agricultural companies. Bayer CropScience already expects the combined sales potential of its four most important licensing agreements, which will bear fruit in the coming years, to exceed EUR 500 million – and Athenix will add further to this revenue stream from the middle of next decade.

“We are investing heavily in our BioScience business to strengthen our position in the global seeds and traits market”, said Professor Friedrich Berschauer, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience. “Within the last year, we have announced business expansions involving three new state-of-the-art research and development facilities in the United States and Canada. Athenix is a leading independent plant biotechnology company. The acquisition of Athenix therefore underpins this expansion, and allows Bayer CropScience to further expand its strong research and development capacity in North America, the most important seed technology market of the world.”

“We are pleased to become part of Bayer CropScience, a global agribusiness leader that is fundamentally driven by the spirit and practice of innovation. The combined talents and capabilities of Bayer CropScience and Athenix will serve to accelerate the market introduction of highly innovative new products for farmers worldwide that will directly address the global demand for superior agricultural productivity,” said Mike Koziel, Chief Executive Officer for Athenix.

About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.4 billion (2008), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of more than 18,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

About Athenix Corp.
Athenix, founded in 2001, is a leading biotechnology company that develops novel products and technologies for agricultural and industrial applications. Athenix has established an outstanding intellectual property portfolio and market access ability around enhanced plants, microbes, genes, enzymes, and processes with emphasis on two major markets: 1) novel agricultural traits for growers such as insect resistance, nematode resistance, herbicide tolerance, and their use for the crop production industry; and 2) the discovery of genes and proteins for use in the sustainable chemical industry. For more information visit


peHUB Second Opinion 11.2

Now Hiring: Meredith Whitney (Fierce Finance)

Unpopular: PE-backed companies wanting to IPO have an uphill battle, including, “not least a wary public that won’t be keen to take on companies whose owners have a reputation for piling on debt and asset-stripping.” (WSJ)

Op-Eds: Nouriel Roubini writes for the FT that the “mother of all carry trades faces an inevitable bust.” (FT)

Lawyer-y Stuff: The Place Of Private Equity In The Investment World, as told by Sean Hill of Proskauer Rose. (Metro Corp Counsel)

Mea Culpa? Once again, Jim Cramer got it very, very wrong. Merely four weeks ago, Mad Money host and founder Jim Cramer said he would buy CIT. (Seeking Alpha)

New Funds, New Terms: John Lovering, has relaunched with a new name and onus on letting limited partners have their say on how their money is invested. (Alt Assets)

The Deal talks to Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley:

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Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas: A floating resort city

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) reports Q3 earnings results Tuesday, hence I'll await those results before re-evaluating the stock, but today we'll take a moment to highlight a high-profile addition to its fleet: the Oasis of the Seas -- the world's largest oceanliner.

Five times larger than the SS Titanic -- 225,282 gross tons and 1,181 feet in length versus Titanic's 46,328 gross tons and 830 feet in length -- the $1.5 billion Oasis will perhaps represent the world's largest and elaborate floating city, in terms of creature comforts (U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers can carry more people, but no, the U.S. Navy does not offer as lavish accommodations nor as much per-person space for military personnel).

Continue reading Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas: A floating resort city

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas: A floating resort city originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 02 Nov 2009 18:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Blackstone Buyng Mall Stakes for $195 Million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) is to buy stakes in two of Glimcher Realty Trust’s (GRT.N) malls for around $195 million in cash and debt, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the news. The paper said that under the terms of the deal, Blackstone would pay about $39 million in cash and $75 million in assumed debt for a share of the 1.4-million-square-foot Lloyd Center mall in Portland, Oregon.

The paper said it will also pay about $27 million in cash and assume about $54 million in debt for its stake in the 1.1-million-square-foot WestShore Plaza mall in Tampa, Florida.

Blackstone, which has a huge real estate portfolio, said in September it was starting to see attractive opportunities in real estate again, after waiting on the sidelines for deals since 2007.

It said at the time it had $12 billion of capital to invest in real estate, and planned to ratchet up the number of deals.

Later that month, it struck a deal to buy a 50 percent stake in City of London office complex Broadgate, one of London’s largest office landmarks, from British Land (BLND.L).


Black & Decker, Burlington Northern Surge

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation led gainers in the S&P 500 index with a rise of 28.4%. Black & Decker surges 25% after it agrees to be acquired by Stanley Works. Banks declined after UBS reported wider than expected loss. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp guides higher earnings.

Wet harvest causes grain prices to rise 7.7%. Should we buy our Wheaties now?

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We've had wet weather in the Midwest during the harvest season, resulting in higher grain prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a report on wholesale crop prices paid to farmers. Let's look at some prices:

  • Corn rose 29 cents per bushel to $3.54
  • Wheat jumped 8 cents per bushel to $4.56
  • Soybeans dropped 1 cent per bushel to $9.74
  • Wholesale milk prices jumped 7.1% in October to $1.19 per gallon. Milk prices, however are down 22% from last year.

Continue reading Wet harvest causes grain prices to rise 7.7%. Should we buy our Wheaties now?

Wet harvest causes grain prices to rise 7.7%. Should we buy our Wheaties now? originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 02 Nov 2009 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wal-Mart shares are dead money — so where is it headed?

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) wants to sell you everything it possibly can. Need funeral arrangements? The world's largest retailer wants to help. $4 prescription drugs? It has you covered. In fact, it's hard to think of any product category that Wal-Mart does not seem at least a little covered with. For good reason, too: Wal-Mart has tapped out much of the short-term growth by virtue of it being almost everywhere in the U.S. and selling everything you can possibly think of.

Continue reading Wal-Mart shares are dead money -- so where is it headed?

Wal-Mart shares are dead money -- so where is it headed? originally appeared on BloggingStocks on Mon, 02 Nov 2009 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Black & Decker’s Power Tool: Cold Hard Cash

What drove Stanley Work’s $4.5 billion acquisition of Black & Decker?

It’s possible that Stanley wanted to scoop up Black & Decker, the brand name tool company, because its sees some hope on the horizon for buzz saws and drills as the housing market improves.

But even with home sales starting to stabilize, a full recovery could be years away. With record amounts of excessive housing supply, home construction and the remodeling activity — which are at the core of Black & Decker’s sales — are likely to remain depressed for the foreseeable future.

The most attractive asset in Black & Decker’s tool box may not be the tools, but the company’s cash supply.

The company grew its cash supply to $800 million in the third quarter, up $564 million from the previous quarter, Deutsche Bank analyst Nishu Sood said in a recent research note.

As the WSJ pointed out today, U.S companies are hoarding the highest levels of cash in past 40 years, to protect against another leg down in the economy. Stanley Works may be able to increase its own cash cushion as it rides out the uncertain times.

The combined balance sheets of the two companies will help them weather to storm until a housing recovery can take root. A similar cash-hoarding strategy prompted home builders Pulte Homes Inc. and Centex Corp. to combine forces in April.

While the near term outlook is uncertain, the long term prospects for remodeling are strong. Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies estimates that average spending on the do-it-yourself home improvement – which is at the core of Black & Decker’s business — will increase to $3,100 in 2015 from $2,500 in 2005. (Harvard adjusts the number for inflation).

This may be a do-it-yourself deal, but the companies got some help from bankers. Deutsche Bank and Goldman advised Stanley and JP Morgan advised Black & Decker.

Streaming Beatles Tunes For Free? MP3s For 25 Cents? Who The Heck Is

Send lawyers, guns and money.

Well, this can’t possibly last.

As the U.K.-based Telegraph notes today, a web site called is offering MP3 tracks at a measly 25 cents apiece - including what appears to be the entire catalog from the Beatles, music that so far has not been available from Apple (AAPL) iTunes or other online music sites. The Beatles albums, including the newly issued remastered versions, are also available for streaming - for free. As I write this, I’m streaming Abbey Road.

The Telegraph reports that EMI and Apple Corps, which control the rights to the Beatles music, have not given permission for the tracks to be sold, and that they were looking into the situation. The story says the site is offering over 500 Beatles tracks. BlueBeat is a unit of a company called Media Rights Technologies, which is based in Santa Cruz, California. Media Rights says on its Web site that it offers “content distribution-enabling solutions for DVDs, CDs, streaming media and downloadable digital media products.”

According to the Media Rights web site, the CEO of the company is Hank Risan; it says he is the founder of, an online museum of musical instruments; Risan is listed as co-founder of the company along with COO Bianca Soros.

I’ve left the company messages seeking comment; if and when they respond, I’ll provide an update.

: The site also has some other music not on iTunes, include albums from AC/DC, Garth Brooks and Kid Rock. You can hear - and - buy - Highway To Hell
from AC/DC on, for instance, but you can’t get it from iTunes.

Fiscal stimulus package’s primary flaw: it was too small

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New York Times (NYSE: NYT) columnist Paul Krugman argues quite persuasively that the major problem with the fiscal stimulus package was that it was too small, given the financial crisis and the large economic crater the accompanying, pronounced recession created.

Further, the fiscal stimulus' many benefits -- including substantial job retention in essential public services such as education -- are harder to see and not likely to translate into too much political gain for President Obama and Congressional Democrats, he said. That's consistent with a political science axiom -- often repeated by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts -- that "Congress gets little credit or benefit for averting something." Indeed, retained jobs are hard to see, and the fact that a local public school system is is still operating with as many teachers is an accomplishment, but one that most American voters will take for granted, and not give Democrats credit for.

Continue reading Fiscal stimulus package's primary flaw: it was too small

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