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Posts tagged ‘Microsoft’

Irish Economy 2012: Exports body names Google, Ireland’s top exporter — for believers in fairytales?

By Finfacts Team

Irish Economy 2012: The Irish Exporters
 (IEA) today launched its annual publication, the ‘Top 250
Exporting Companies in Ireland.’  Internet giant Google has been named as
Ireland’s largest exporter with export turnover
having increased by 55% from €6.5bn in last year’s listing to €10.1bn in
the current year (from the 2010 accounts).  The IEA says the Irish operation is
now Google’s largest outside of the US, and employs staff from 40 different
countries. However, the UK is Google’s biggest overseas market and advertising
generated there, as well as in other countries, is booked in Ireland for tax
purposes. Google UK has a payroll of about 1,000 servicing customers in its
market and it reported a loss in 2010. The IEA says: ‘Ireland’s position as a
global services export hub is boosted by internet companies,’ but this is the realm of fairytales. The outsize data dictated by tax strategies of
companies such as Microsoft, Facebook and so on, does not even provide an
additional  tax benefit for Ireland.

full article at source: http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1024613.shtml

Comment :

Another example of fairy tales on the Irish economic growth !When we see multi corporate companies paying their share of taxes we might then get some extra cash to fund our public services .Apparently Google doesnt like paying taxes to anybody including the Irish Government. (see link below)

Facebook IPO Is Bubble Redux?

By Staff report

A global frenzy buzzes now like so many angry bumblebees. At any moment, a company started in a dormitory just eight years ago will sell promoted common shares to the investing public and become the hottest technology diva ever. Unusual animal movements have preceded extraordinary natural disasters—might they also mark onset of man-made financial mayhem? Hundreds of millions of us like using Facebook. At first blush the features and benefits seem a compelling bargain. But as far as investors in this offering are concerned, are valuation levels for Facebook’s Class A common shares supported by realistic hope or by artful hype? – Washington Times

Dominant Social Theme: Now that Facebook is worth US$ 100 billion, where’s the next hot deal?

Free-Market Analysis: Frankly, we’ve been surprised by the lack of articles doubting Facebook’s US$ 100 billion valuation.

This article in the Washington Times, written yesterday, is about the closest we could come, recently, in the mainstream media.

We’ve been frank about our perception of what Facebook is – a creation in part of American Intel, which evidently and obviously has a stake in utilizing the data that Facebook “mines.”

For this reason we have described Facebook as lacking a business model, which is odd for a company that was just valued at US$ 100 billion.

Where is this business model?

Google provides a service – a search algorithm. Microsoft provides computer software.  Apple provides innovative and beautiful software.

We had the same nagging skepticism when it came to Yahoo. One day, not so long ago, we realized that whatever Yahoo had been, it wasn’t that now. We couldn’t define, in fact ,what Yahoo was – and others seem to feel the same way. Yahoo is on a long skid down.

full article at source: http://www.thedailybell.com/3902/Facebook-IPO-Is-Bubble-Redux

Comment :

Personally I would wait for the dust to settle and then short this obvious vastly overpriced stock. Anybody investing in this Tripe should have their heads examined .

New IMF Report Calls for Replacing U.S. Dollar

by Jerry Robinson

Good morning friends! In the news this morning: the IMF calls for dollar replacement, Egypt protests intensify, mortgage rates hit 10-month high and more…

IMF increases calls for alternative to U.S. Dollar… A new report issued by the IMF on Thursday is calling for Special Drawing Rights (SDR’s) as a potential, yet viable, replacement of the U.S. Dollar’s role as the global reserve currency. The report promotes the use of SDR’s as a way to correct global imbalances and to shore up the global financial system… Read full report (PDF) here

Egypt On Fire… Yesterday, word on the street was that Mubarak would step down… Instead, Mubarak stood defiant refusing to leave office early… VP Suleiman (the CIA’s man in Cairo) was placed “in charge” as Mubarak retained his title as President? Confusion abounds… President Obama agitated… White House in disarray… Today, Denmark’s prime minister becomes first EU leader to call for Mubarak’s resignation…

“Farewell Friday”… Muslim Brotherhood maintains hard line demanding Mubarak’s immediate resignation… Iran’s Ahmadinejad praises protesters as they herald new Islamic Middle East… Protesters vow biggest demonstrations to date… “Put the regime on trial…” and “Death to Israel…”


Global financial markets on edge as investors had anticipated resignation…

Overnight, Chinese markets were up. European market lower and U.S. futures point to a lower open…

Nokia, Microsoft seek to rival Apple, Google… The world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, Nokia, has announced a partnership with Microsoft to challenge Apple and Google’s dominance in the growing smartphone market… Nokia will use Microsoft’s Windows as its primary software platform… Nokia down big as investors perceive weakness… Microsoft perceived as winner… But can NokiaMicrosoft out-innovate Apple… or Google?

R.I.P. – FNMA, FMCC… The Treasury Department will release a report today outlining three possible solutions for getting the Federal government out of the mortgage business… at least partially…

On the chopping block… the two problematic GSE’s, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…

Proposed solutions: 1) No govt. role in housing, except agencies like the FHA

2) Government support for mortgages, but only in times of crisis

3) A continual role for the Federal govt. in housing, except through GSE’s…

The mortgage debacle has entangled the Federal government and now they are seeking a way out… JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has called the two GSE’s “the biggest disasters of all time.” No easy answers and the government is not saying which “solution” is best… yet.

U.S. mortgage rates reach 10-month high… As the U.S. housing market attempts to crawl out of the ditch, here come higher mortgage rates… This week, the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose to 5.05 percent… Average 15- year rate at 4.29 percent… Fixed mortgages continue rising along with the increasing 10-year bond yields.

Concerns include demand reduction and reduced home affordability… Interesting, however, as 5% mortgage rates are historically low and in more “normal” times would be considered excellent…Not so in this fragile environment.

Fed Governor Warsh Resigns… QE2 opponent, Federal Reserve Board Governor Kevin Warsh, announced his resignation from the seven-member board yesterday after voicing concerns over the Fed’s big market interventions… His departure, scheduled for March 31, will leave just two Bush appointees on the Board… Obama will appoint Warsh’s replacement…

Warsh has been a forceful internal advocate for ending the Fed’s excessive quantitative easing… With his absence, Bernanke will face much less internal resistance…

Also in the news…

1) The CBO Director tells Congress that Obamacare will reduce employment by 800,000 workers…

2) Feeling the pinch from higher costs for wheat, corn, sugar and other commodities, Kraft warns higher prices on the way…

3) As the losses mount, the U.S. Postal Service warns of default…

4) Is Twitter worth $10 billion?

5) Rep. Ron Paul calls QE2 a “total failure,” except for those folks who work on Wall Street.” Watch video here

Finally… Think that you can’t afford a home in the tropics… Vacation homes in exotic spots are on sale… Beach and sun for less than $1 million…

Why So Serious?… It’s time to laugh a little.

“Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is a husband.” -Anonymous

“Christina Aguilera is bouncing back from her Super Bowl appearance by singing at the Grammys. She’ll be accompanied by a full orchestra and 135 teleprompters.” –Conan O’Brien

“The problem in Egypt is that so many government officials are rich and the people are poor. I think it’s a pyramid scheme.” –Jay Leno

Jerry Robinson – FTMDaily.com


The debt crisis in Europe makes the U.S. economy look strong by comparison

For all the losses facing Europeans this year, investors from the region who bought U.S. stocks as the euro weakened are getting the best returns in a decade.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 23 percent this year when translated to euros, the most since the currency was formed in 1999 and almost double the 13 percent gain for Americans, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Buying the Nikkei 225 Stock Average in Tokyo produced a 20 percent increase for Europeans, compared with a 2.5 percent loss when priced in yen, the data show.

Record budget deficits and bailouts of Greece and Ireland sent the European currency down 8.4 percent in 2010, boosting winnings for anyone converting dollar-denominated investments back into euros. Concern about further declines may spur more overseas investment in 2011, according to Dirk Pattyn at Degroof Fund Management Co. in Brussels, whose U.S. fund gave European investors a 24 percent return this year.

“The focus is still the debt problem in Europe, and many clients might be looking at the U.S. as a first alternative,” said Pattyn, who held Chevron Corp. and Microsoft Corp. among $33 billion in investments at his company this year. “It’s been an excellent year for U.S. investors in Europe. You have the currency that added a lot, and also you had the performance of the underlying index.”

Most Since 2007

Investors outside the U.S. purchased American stocks at an annual pace of $146 billion in the third quarter, on course for the biggest annual gain since 2007, data from the Federal Reserve show. Europeans bought a net $18.3 billion of U.S. stocks in September, the most since May 2007, just as credit markets started to freeze, the data show.

While the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 Index slipped 3.5 percent this year up to the end of last week, traders in the 16 nations that share the single European currency made an average 29 percent by investing in 62 non-euro nations tracked by Bloomberg.

The Euro Stoxx 50 slid 1.4 percent at 8:40 a.m. in London today, while futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent.

The euro’s retreat against the dollar this year has been the biggest since 2005 even as the U.S. deficit swelled to a record in February and the unemployment rate rose to seven-month high of 9.8 percent in November, according to Bloomberg data.

“We were expecting a good performance of the U.S. market. What we didn’t expect is that the dollar would be as strong as it has been,” said Paris-based Hubert Goye, who helps oversee $707 billion for BNP Paribas Investment Partners. “Given the budget situation in the U.S., given the fact that the economy was not extremely strong, there were many reasons why the dollar could remain under pressure.”

Boosting Returns

Goye’s Actions USA fund rose 28 percent in euros this year and 17 percent in dollars, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Currency movements boosted his return from holding shares of Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. to 68 percent and doubled the value of his investment in Norwalk, Connecticut- based Priceline.com Inc.

Chevron in San Ramon, California, the second-biggest U.S. energy company, has gained 18 percent this year, the equivalent of 29 percent in euros. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft’s 7.2 percent drop turns into a 1.5 percent rally when the largest software maker is priced in Europe’s currency.

The debt crisis in Europe has made the U.S. economy look strong by comparison. Surging borrowing costs in the region’s so-called peripheral nations forced the European Union to lead bailouts of Greece and Ireland for a combined 195 billion euros ($256 billion). Greece’s ASE Index has plunged 34 percent this year and Spain’s IBEX 35 has tumbled 14 percent, the worst performances among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg.

‘Flight to Safety’

“It has been a flight-to-safety trade from Europe to the U.S.,” said Jason Brady, a managing director at Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which oversees more than $72 billion. “They will continue to move their money out of the less well-capitalized countries of Europe and the U.S. is still considered one of the safer places to invest.”

Moody’s Investors Service cut Ireland’s credit rating five levels on Dec. 17, put Greece on review for a potential downgrade, and said Dec. 15 that Spain’s ranking was at risk. Fitch Ratings trimmed Portugal’s rating to A+ on Dec. 23, citing concern about government financing and the country’s banks. In contrast, Moody’s said last month the U.S.’s top Aaa rating won’t be under pressure this year or next.

‘Nice Situation’

“We’ve seen quite a nice situation due to the credit crisis,” said Henrik Drusebjerg, a senior strategist at Nordea Investment Management, which oversees $76 billion in Copenhagen, where the Danish krone has declined 8.7 percent against the dollar in 2010. “Equities have done very nicely, partly because the reporting season was much better than expected.”

Denmark’s benchmark OMX Copenhagen 20 Index soared 36 percent this year, the best performance among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg.

Profit for companies in the S&P 500 rose 42 percent in the third quarter, with 79 percent of members beating analyst estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, 57 percent of firms topped predictions, the data show.

Bearish Call

As concern about Europe’s debt crisis deepens, the euro may slide to $1.18 by the third quarter from $1.31 at the end of last week, according to Stephen Hull, head of global foreign- exchange strategy at Morgan Stanley in London, who has the second-most bearish call among 46 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Investors should buy the dollar and sell the euro because governments in the monetary union don’t want a strong currency, the New York-based bank wrote in a Dec. 9 report.

The survey’s consensus suggests the euro will finish 2011 little changed from last week. Nordea’s Drusebjerg said the European currency may find support if the region’s governments present a “sensible” strategy to tackle their budget deficits.

Betting on dollar-denominated assets has “been fairly good in 2010, but it’s a theme you should be careful about,” he said.

This year’s gain for the S&P 500 in euros would be the highest since the 39 percent return in 1999, according to Bloomberg data. Euro-based investors that have held money in S&P 500 shares since the start of 2000 are worse off than their U.S. counterparts, having lost 34 percent compared with the Americans’ 14 percent decline.

Bullish on Franc

In addition to winning from moves against the dollar this year, investors based in the euro area have benefitted from the common currency’s 18 percent depreciation against the yen and 12 percent slide versus Sweden’s krona. The euro’s losses are helping boost the value of the Swiss franc. Options traders are more bullish on the franc for the next three months than any major currency except the yen, Bloomberg data show.

A 22 percent gain by the OMX Stockholm 30 Index, the second-best performing gauge in 2010 among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg, translated into a 39 percent surge for euro-region investors. The currency effect makes the Swedish benchmark gauge the best-performing developed-market index worldwide when measured in euros, overtaking Denmark’s Copenhagen 20.

Pattyn at Degroof Fund Management says the U.S. may keep luring European investors, even without help from currency fluctuations, because it has faster economic growth.

“We do still have a positive view on U.S. investment,” said the fund manager. “With the returns this year, I can believe our European clients are quite happy.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Xydias in London at axydias@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net; David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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