June 2011 archive

Bernanke puts the ball in someone else’s court

Last Tuesday, Fed Chairman Bernanke gave a speech at an international monetary conference in Atlanta. Financial markets reacted negatively. But most of the speech simply quoted statistics that are already well-known to anyone who follows such matters.  In short, the economic recovery is not strong, jobs growth is weak, consumer confidence is not strong, and …

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HP TouchPad vs the iPad 2: And Fight!

HP recently announced that their Touchpad tablet computer will be available for order on June 19, with prices identical to a similarly configured iPad 2. Sales of the TouchPad will be looked at closely as the answer to a very big question: Did HP make a mistake paying 1.2 billion dollars for Palm?  Palm’s share …

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Shapiro’s veiled threat to the accounting profession

Ultimately, the SEC has the ability to (at least indirectly) change accounting standards, and change the standard setters. So, when Mary Shapiro, the SEC Chairperson, starts to make even veiled threats, it quickly gets accountants’ attention. In a speech on May 25, 2010, Shapiro said: At the SEC, we have heard from investors that they …

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Microsoft Shows Windows 8 Hardware

Right behind the first public showing of the future Windows 8 at the D9 conference, Microsoft’s attention swung across the Pacific to Taiwan and the Computex Trade Show.  Because of the proximity of China’s huge electronics manufacturing base, Computex has been the most hardware-centric of trade shows. It was the place to show whether the next generation …

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The Worst Example of Executive Data Security Ever?

Fabrice Tourre of Goldman Sachs has the distinction of being the only person sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for fraud in selling mortgage backed securities. While that may remain his primary claim to fame (thanks to a  front-page article in the New York Times), there may be a secondary distinction added: the worst handling of …

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Professor Diamond Just Doesn’t Get It

Peter A. Diamond is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was nominated by President Obama to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Directors. In an op-ed piece in the New York Times this morning, Professor Diamond announced his withdrawal of his candidacy. In doing so, he blamed Republican Senators …

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Microsoft Teases Windows 8

Microsoft released a preview video of a working prototype of the next version of Windows, currently called Windows 8.  I believe that name will stick since the last Windows with a name ‘Vista’ has a bad rep not shared by Windows 7. In addition, Microsoft held a live demonstration of Windows 8 at the all things …

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What statistics can tell us about the ditching of L.A.'s "Gold Card Desk"

Most never even knew what the “Gold Card Desk” was before it was abolished last week, not even in Los Angeles where it inhabited for the last 20 years.    The “Gold Card Desk” is an esoteric service that allows Los Angles city government officials to fast track parking citation reviews that they receive.  A plastic parking bureau Gold Card was distributed to …

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What statistics can tell us about the ditching of L.A.’s “Gold Card Desk”

Most never even knew what the “Gold Card Desk” was before it was abolished last week, not even in Los Angeles where it inhabited for the last 20 years.    The “Gold Card Desk” is an esoteric service that allows Los Angles city government officials to fast track parking citation reviews that they receive.  A plastic parking bureau Gold Card was distributed to …

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Software no longer subject to California sales tax

In mid-May 2011, the California Supreme Court denied the State Board of Equalization’s petition for review of the Court of Appeal decision in Nortel Networks, Inc. v. State Board of Equalization (Case no. B21341, filed January 11, 2011). The Nortel case has broad implications for California’s taxation of software. The amount charged for intangible personal …

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