Wall Street shenanigans

Yakuza: ‘We Have To Evolve Our Business Model’

“And we have to improve our image,” said Masatoshi Kumagai, one of the bosses of the Japanese yakuza, in an interview with French reporters. Yakuza are on decline, he said, and if they don’t change their business model, they might cease to exist.

Dear Ben, Please Print us More Money

We want you to prop up the stock market. Everybody knows it’s a Ponzi scheme that will collapse without your support. You don’t want us to end up like Bernie Madoff’s clients. No, Ben, we love Ponzi schemes. We get in early and get out before they collapse. That’s why we’re rich. The bad thing is that they sometimes collapse before we can get out. But you’ve bailed us out twice in the last couple of years….

Schizophrenia in the Housing Market

Everyone and his dog reported the numbers on housing starts—up 14.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000, the highest since January, plus or minus 10%. So that’s good, right?

Beyond Silly Metrics

Now that the hullabaloo around IBM’s 2Q11 earnings report is receding into the background, it’s time to have a gander at the only number on our corporate financial statements that is still a somewhat reliable indicator of actual earnings due stockholders. And it’s not what you think.

The M&A Typhoon

Another day, another series of mergers and acquisitions. Among the most prominent today: Carl Icahn’s offer to acquire Clorox Co. and BHP Billiton’s takeover of Petrohawk Energy Corp. The frenzy is blowing across the country with considerable violence. And just like the last typhoon before the financial crisis, it will leave behind massive job destruction.