Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

Blankfein – Bigger than Jesus!

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As reported here yesterday, the CEOs of three investment banks, including, of course, Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein, decided to give the most powerful leader in the world a big ol' F.U. by blowing off their scheduled meeting. The bankers that did show up made a patronizing gesture of getting there via Amtrak, personal cars, and other middle-class modes of transportation. I'm surprised one of these zillionaires didn't take Greyhound, just to show he's just like us reg'lar folks.

Blankfein et. al.'s excuse of "inclement weather" made it even more insulting, since there was just a little fog in the air. Wow. That takes some serious chutzpah, Lloyd. You better hope there isn't another time in the Obama administration that you need the man's help.

Anyway, it made the front page of the New York Times' business section:



Short Circuit (By Fayssoux)

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Last week, Kroger was absolutely crushed for missing
numbers, despite its well deserved status as a “best in breed” retailer in the supermarket
category.  Today, Best Buy is missing on
some dimensions (same store sales results are underwhelming in light of the general
strength of electronics and the elimination of Circuit City
as a competitor). It is down 4% or so pre-market.  There is a great deal of optimism built into
the prices for best-in-class retailers. 
Kroger and Best Buy are showing how fast that optimism can drain out
when reality proves modestly worse than expectations.  There is a disconnect between what it is
going on in malls and what is priced in retail stocks, imho.

On a separate note, Best Buy highlighted weakness in gaming,
movies and music (versus strengths in notebook computers and flat panel TVs).  Gaming companies have been weak; it will be
interesting to see if the markets connect the dots and push them down
further.  This is not a consumer category that is
going to come back strong in my opinion, given changes in behavior (migration online
and away form stand-alone devices)