Posts Tagged ‘business’

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by @anarchyroll
1/23/2014

The first YouTube video I ever watched was of Ted Kennedy speaking about the importance of net neutrality.  As I learned what net neutrality was through the video, it surprised me someone of Kennedy’s age had any grasp on the concept. But then I realized that net neutrality had nothing to do with technology and everything to do with money and power.  And the Kennedy family knows a lot about money and power.

Net Neutrality means that the internet like highways, an information superhighway if you will.  Highways are built and maintained based on tolls.  Much like internet infrastructure is built, upgraded, and maintained by the monthly bill you get from your internet service provider (ISP for short).  Nothing wrong there. Food, water, shelter, heating all cost money. Net neutrality is NOT about making the internet free of charge.

Net neutrality means that all data on the internet is treated the same. Checking email is the same as binge watching Netflix. Regardless of specific content OR bandwidth usage.  Net neutrality is currently the norm for the internet you and I access from our computers, NOT from our smart phones.

Anti net neutrality advocates aka the telecomm companies and ISPs want all internet to be priced like smart phone internet access aka tiered by usage.

Pro net neutrality advocates aka anyone who isn’t rich as fuck, want to make sure the ISPs and telecoms don’t gain any additional power over the internet and its content. Why? Because absolute power corrupts absolutely.  It is feared/believed that if a tier based charging system will be a floodgate to a labyrinth of tiered charges or a slippery slope.

Like how anti drug advocates say marijuana is a slippery slope to cocaine, heroin, homelessness, prostitution, robbery, prison, and spending $800 to attend an EDM concert.  Pro net neutrality advocates believe tiered service is a slippery slope to customers being price gauged AND denied content. Not only will you be charged for certain amount of usage but you’ll be charged more to access Hulu, OR less depending on what ISP you have. If you have Comcast (who is part owner of Hulu) they might allow Hulu to load faster and cheaper on your computer but charge you more and/or completely block you from accessing Netflix, YouTube, etc.

Ask yourself, do you really believe if net neutrality is taken off the books permanently, will ISPs not charge more for service? Will they not cut deals with certain content providers? Will they not nickel and dime you, me, and every internet user in the world a little bit more every single year? Even more so than they do already that is, how much was your internet and cable bill ten years ago?  Think it’s only increased because of inflation?

The end of net neutrality is literally the end of the internet as we know it. Plain and simple.  This is a fight you can’t choose to ignore. Sign a petition, write a letter, attend a protest.  Because if you ever want to watch cute cat videos for hours at a time again, for what you’re paying now, then net neutrality is for you.

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by @anarchyroll
1/17/2014

Quantitative easing is a hard concept to comprehend and I would not classify it as easy to write about either. I wanted to write an article about the subject in August. I sat down to do my research and gather sources. When I decided to take a break, I saw that I had been reading articles, watching videos, and listening to audio clips on the subject for five hours. And I felt like I had barely scratched the surface of the subject. And I just wanted to write a blog, not a graduate school thesis.

The economic collapse of 2008 and the fallout of it, part of which being quantitative easing, are the fuel for me wanting to write economics articles in simple language.

QE (quantitative easing’s often used abbreviation) is a tool in the monetary policy tool belt of the a country’s central bank. In the case of the QE being used by the United States Federal Reserve Bank (not associated with the federal government) to ease credit flow or encourage lending by banks to small businesses and citizens, buy up government bonds with freshly printed money to keep the financial markets stabilized, and encourage large scale investors to invest in safer more boring assets than riskier/sexier assets (derivatives, credit default swaps).

So the Fed is printing money and buying government debt with it to stop the bleeding, close the wound, and aide in the rehab of the US financial sector and the global economy.

Sounds good right? The central bank of the United States is using their stroke to end a financial crisis and prevent another one…..except…Many signs and indicators are pointing to the economy becoming or already being dependent upon QE, hence the crack analogy/drug metaphor. There are also signs pointing to an asset bubble growing in the debt market. What do both of those last points mean? I’ll explain and expand in part two…

eanda logoby @anarchyroll
December 26, 2013

Why no online sales tax? A 1992 Supreme Court ruling in the case of Quill Corp v. North Dakota where it was ruled a business needed a physical presence (ie office, store, etc) to collect sales tax as opposed to just a paying customer. How was this ruling maintained for two decades? The Direct Marketing Association‘s lobbying on behalf of online behemoths like Amazon and eBay. What could force sales taxes onto online purchases? The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. Who? The bill was sponsored by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. When do you have to start paying taxes on your online purchases? You already do in 24 states. However, surprise surprise there is a loophole and congressional gridlock holding up progress.

States must simplify their sales tax laws in order to make the collection of taxes easy. Apparatus is being provided to states free of cost to help in the transitory process/period. However, a certain political party is objecting to a new tax of any kind being put on the books. I’ll give you one guess which one, hint hint, it’s not the Whigs. In October it appeared as though the machine and momentum were both rolling in the direction of sales tax collection on all internet purchases made in the United States. But never underestimate what congressional obstructionism has the power to not do.

Even if the bill were to pass tomorrow it is already too late for the thousands of brick and mortar stores that shut down and the millions of people who lost their jobs due to being unable to compete in a game rigged against them by a law that protects e retailers created before they existed. There is hope for the future. Small businesses that are better able to adapt to and engage with technology will find that a new era where the internet is a friend and a tool as opposed to a competitor will equal opportunity and prosperity. Now if only they could get small business loans…

eanda logoby @anarchyroll
11/8/13

Twitter went public this week, successfully, take that Facebook! Sure the second day saw a slide of 5.8% but that is barely a drop in the bucket after going up by 73% in its first day of trading.  The lesson is clear, have Patrick Stewart ring the bell during your company’s IPO offering , it’s good luck.

But in all seriousness, TWTR (it’s stock list name) has shown staying and growing power as a company during its first two days as a publicly traded company.  Their IPO isn’t as similar to Facebook as one might think. Facebook had more market value/capital, revenues, and profits than Twitter going into its IPO.  Twitter is still yet to make a profit, which was not the case with Facebook.  So why is its stock performing so well it its infancy?

“We believe that the majority of the world’s 2.4 billion Internet users have great potential to find something or someone on Twitter that they are interested in,” he said. “Because of its critical mass, it should enjoy a competitive advantage for the foreseeable future.” Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities, an investment firm that set the price of Twitter’s stock at $37 per share.

When I saw that quote my eyes popped, because in much simpler language with a more direct tone, that is usually how I pitch Twitter to my friends.  Pick a subject, topic, taste, hobby, or basically any kind of noun and you can find almost an infinite amount of information about it on Twitter.  The example I usually use is music; every musician in every band of every genre of 6every level of popularity along with their record label, fan club, and industry magazines all have the professional and/or personal Twitter accounts.

Understanding the business model of a product that you believe in then buying at a low price and selling at a high price is the corner stone of Warren Buffet’s model of investing. So if you “get” Twitter and have money to invest, buy now. Twitter is not going anywhere, it is as relevant a product as there is in the world.

Twitter’s slice of the social media pie is that it allows you to be anonymous and doesn’t chain you to your immediate friends and family.  Twitter can be used as an ego centric, gossip creating, social status machine like Facebook.  Unlike Facebook however, Twitter can be a legit breaking news source like the Bin Laden killing. It can connect revolutionaries who want to topple a dictator like in Libya.  Twitter can provide actual news and actual information that can have wide reaching effects on the world, not just on one’s social circle.

And that slice of the social media pie is directly correctly to its stock market value, invest accordingly.

eanda logoajclogo1by @anarchyroll
11/7/2013

At some point during the 1970s the tax code in the United States of America was deliberately turned in a complex labyrinth of small typed font, subsections, exemptions, and  industry speak double talk.  It is not a coincidence that from 1970 until now, the infrastructure of the United States has been in consistent decline.  Parallel to this urban decay that all of us have seen that driving through any major metropolitan city has been a rise of gated communities and McMansions, again not a coincidence.

“Between 1946 and 1970, very prosperous years, the highest tax rate for the top earners was never below 70%—even under Dwight Eisenhower, whom no one called a socialist. We have so much deferred maintenance on roads and bridges and tunnels and ports. Money does not have to be raised, and the rich have never been as rich.” Robert Reich in the 10/7/13 issue of TIME magazine.

This is part of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is referring to with their 99% slogan.  The income/wealth of the top 1% is more than the rest of the 99% possess in combined.  There is no one reason why this is the case, however the fact that marginal tax rate for top earners is 39.6% leads one down a rabbit hole of simple math. If the top wage earners in America are playing 30% less in taxes, then what things can’t local, state, and federal government(s) able to do with that missing tax revenue?

Build bridges, pave roads, renovate schools, not have to privatize stuff because of massive budget short falls. Do you know any old people who talk about the good ole days? They’re referring to the years between WWII ending and Vietnam taking a turn for the worse. During that time part of what made things so good was everything felt new, fresh, safe, etc…a direct contributor to that was that local, state, and federal government(s) had money to pay for anything and everything. Police, post offices, highways, homeless shelters, etc, etc, etc, et f’n c…

Ask yourself, why can’t the rich pay more in taxes? Why haven’t they? Why would the rich rather pay lobbyists and politicians money to keep taxes low, rather than just use that money to pay more in taxes?

Innocent bystanders in public places will keep dying due to collapsing infrastructure until they do.  What do you think the breaking point body count is? I have my guesses, but this isn’t a long form piece.

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by @anarchyroll
August 26th, 2013

 

Economics is not complicated, it’s taxing, pun intended. Studying the subject at a novice level reveals that the entire field is nothing more than a simple field purposely hidden under a camouflage tent of complicated sounding language. One must become familiar with these terms because they build upon each other, layer after layer after layer after layer until it is believed that only computer algorithms can be used to do the work of insiders and professionals that are hired by normal people because they just don’t want to think about it. Why? Because the terminology is so complex looking and sounded it makes someone who spends forty hours a week or more working a “normal” “day” job believe that they need someone to do it for them. Putting computers in charge of making trades by the millisecond was not a victory for simplicity either.

 

Studying economics and writing about it is as fun as it sounds, in that there is reward for the time invested, that reward is of course knowledge. There is a flood of knowledge available for consumption in the field  of business and economics, and it is almost too easy for one to drown in it.  I personally do not have a background in economics, I did not formally study it, I have not worked for a hedge fund, a brokerage, in New York trading stocks, or in Chicago trading options. I listened to The Warren Buffet Way on audio book and became fascinated with the field. Several books later I found myself compelled to regularly check websites like Reuters, Business Week, Bloomberg, The Economist, and CNBC so that I could regularly bathe myself in daily economics and market terminology.

 

So what is Excess and Algorithms? It is the business/economics blog for me, @anarchyroll. My other blogs feature my writings on hard news/journalism, pro wrestling/mma, philosophy/spirituality, and sports. I originally wanted each blog to be a separate website, but I got mentally buried in concern of the aesthetics/design of each one and used that as an excuse to procrastinate. So I’m going to start writing and posting content online and go from there. Eventually I would like to combine all five blogs into one website and present the material like a digital newspaper/magazine akin to VICE, Uproxx, and Kinja.

 

I am passionate about each subject I blog about and aspire to be a professional reporter/writer of. I received my bachelor’s degree in media communications from Northeastern Illinois University this past May. I want to make sure that I am applying what I have learned, that I am keeping my writing skills sharp, that I am staying productive as a person, and that I am working towards my overall goal achievement desires. Writing about economics truly tests me as a writer. Presenting the information in an easy to read manner for anyone regardless of education level is difficult and time consuming. Researching the articles takes hours and sometimes days.

 

I will be writing an article on quantitative easing in the coming week. I started doing research and before I knew it five hours had gone by and all I had was a thesis statement. This both exhausted and excited me, because I knew that I was challenging myself as a writer. Writing about wrestling/mma is easy for me. Writing about sports and philosophy are both easy for me. Writing about hard news as a journalist isn’t easy but isn’t hard because I have so much formal training in it. Writing about economics is as challenging as investing. I hope to learn as much about the investment world as I learn about myself as a writer. I will be buying the knowledge and information with my time and energy, then selling it to you at a discounted rate of a thousand words or less. Fair trade?