Ed’s Daily Notes for August 6th   6 comments

eMarketer: Digital Set to Surpass TV in Time Spent with US Media

Average time spent with digital media per day will surpass TV viewing time for the first time this year, according to eMarketer’s latest estimate of media consumption among US adults.

The average adult will spend over 5 hours per day online, on nonvoice mobile activities or with other digital media this year, eMarketer estimates, compared to 4 hours and 31 minutes watching television. Daily TV time will actually be down slightly this year, while digital media consumption will be up 15.8%.

The most significant growth area is on mobile. Adults will spend an average of 2 hours and 21 minutes per day on nonvoice mobile activities, including mobile internet usage on phones and tablets—longer than they will spend online on desktop and laptop computers, and nearly an hour more than they spent on mobile last year.

This makes the following story curious:

Washington Post: Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon

The Washington Post Co. agreed Monday to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations.

Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.

The good news for Amazon investors:

Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will get a new, still undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without the newspaper.

I don’t know what Bezos is thinking, but let him take on this cash-bleeder himself. I suspect this is a vanity purchase.

Bloomberg: McDonald’s Franchisees Go Rogue With Meetings

Bad news for McDonald’s investors:

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), already struggling to sell burgers in the U.S., now must contend with a brewing franchisee revolt.

Store operators say the company, looking to improve its bottom line, is increasingly charging them too much to operate their restaurants — including rent, remodeling and fees for training and software. The rising costs are making franchisees, who operate almost 90 percent of the chain’s more than 14,100 U.S. locations, less likely to open new restaurants and refurbish them, potentially constraining sales.

Unless you are a long-term holder of McDonald’s stock, I would avoid it for the time being. If you are looking to buy it, wait awhile and a better opportunity should be coming.

Fox News: Obama to urge Congress in speech to shutter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Long overdue:

President Obama will urge Congress to shutter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-giants bailed out by the government in 2008, as part of a strategy to buffer taxpayers from future housing market downturns.

In a speech Tuesday in Phoenix, Obama will call for transitioning the business model of Fannie and Freddie into a system where “private capital must be wiped out before the government pays on any form of catastrophic guarantee,” a senior administration official said.


Posted August 6, 2013 by edmcgon in News, Politics

6 responses to “Ed’s Daily Notes for August 6th

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  1. Meredith Whitney is beginning to look like per municipal bond default prediction may be correct.


    Chicago sees pension crisis drawing near

    The New York Times

    “But a crushing problem lurks beneath the signs of economic recovery in Chicago: one of the most poorly funded pension systems among the nation’s major cities.”

    “The pension fund for retired Chicago teachers stands at risk of collapse. The city’s four funds for other retired city workers are short by $19.5 billion. At least one of the funds is in peril of running out of money in less than a decade. And starting in 2015, the city will be required by the state to make far larger contributions to the funds, which could leave it hundreds of millions of dollars in the red — as much as it would cost to pay 4,300 police officers to patrol the streets for a year.”

    “In Springfield, which, like Chicago, is controlled by Democrats, leaders have clashed over how best to cut costs of the plans — a notion that pits the lawmakers against labor unions, which have traditionally been allies.”

    • Remember when everyone used to bash Whitney for that prediction? I guess she gets the last laugh…

    • I’m waiting for this moment to come to Europe too. This is a problem for the whole western world. I don’t think I will have a pension later, I do not think there will be the money for something like that.

      • plas,
        While I do think it is almost inevitable the western world will demolish itself financially, it is possible that you and I won’t live long enough to see it. We can hope.

      • While that is indeed possibele for people of your age, the chance is a lot smaller for my generation (I’m 32). Countries here are burning really fast through their cash. 2-3% of GDP short is about the new normal here in Europe – that’s not lasting forever. Don’t forget pensions here are funded with the younger people working for it – governments haven’t saved for pensions later. Private savings are becoming more popular, but the most of people your age here have almost no private pension funds. And we have in Europe an even worse age-demographic than you have in the USA. How long will my generation work for people who don’t want to work (not much 55+ here at work), burnt through the money in the 70’s till now and demanding a lot?
        Our pension-system is a HUUUUUUGE ponzi-schema, which can implode véry fast.
        But it is indeed possibele I’ll die early because of disease or war, I don’t exclude those.

        And you have to ask yourself this: what will happen with your standard of living when the USD is not the world currency anymore and all those dollars are coming back home? What if all the Euros come home (which are less, but still …)

      • The real question is how will they spin the fix for it? The basis of the financial system is fiction anyways so they just need to alter the basis without screwing up the rest of the system. This could actually go on forever as they keep inflating the currency and pulling different tricks. As long as people with money can stay ahead of inflation on their returns, they won’t scream too much. The poor and middle classes tend to get hurt the most. At some point that will become a serious issue.

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