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Walmart, A CEO Fired

It's About Time: Walmart Unexpectedly Fires U.S. CEO Bill Simon: "My worries about Walmart persist.  There are some profound questions that need to be answered.  Is Walmart too mature and too bureaucratic to be molded into a new model? Can store associates be retrained? Can stores become leaders again through innovative creative store managers? Greg Foran has an opportunity to show he is an inspired leader with creative skills.  But the opportunity will not last long as Walmart, and all of today's leading retailers, are being challenged by new entrants into the market place and by the Internet.  These challengers are relentless in their drive to offer great values, timely relevant fashions, and speedy, free shipping."

Jeffrey Gundlach, Interest Rates

Jeffrey Gundlach On Rates - Business Insider: "..."It's really hard for me to identify why rates should go higher," said Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Funds. In a phone call with Business Insider, Gundlach reiterated his expectation for the 10-year yield to trade between 2.2% and 2.8%, with the risk that it goes below 2.2%...."

The Royal Mail Mispricing Fiasco

Don't blame the government bureaucrats--it's on the banks that handled the IPO--Goldman Sachs, UBS, Barclays and Merrill Lynch, with Investec, Nomura and RBC Europe as lead managers, and Lazard who advised the UK government--

Governments Make Lousy Traders - Bloomberg View: "... The real question is how did these banks and the brilliant people who work at them get the IPO pricing so wrong? Every newly public company -- along with investors who buy the shares -- wants to see the stock rise after it starts trading. But to misjudge the potential for appreciation by a factor of almost 50 percent in less than a year after the offering demands some kind of explanation... The Business Committee has made a decent effort at providing one. "Fear of failure and poor quality advice led to a significant underestimate of the demand for Royal Mail shares," the committee said in a statement... Royal Mail was the biggest share sale in Europe since April 2011, when Glencore Xstrata raised $10 billion. Maybe it's understandable that after such an extended period of time with not much to practice on there was a fear of failure. It's the second part of the committee's accusation -- the chastising of Cable -- that should receive more attention because it is largely misplaced.... That's why all those shiny investment banks were hired -- for their alleged deal-making expertise. In the nine months leading up to the Royal Mail sale, Goldman alone handled more than 200 deals worth $440 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg; the other three bookrunners shared almost a trillion dollars of business in almost 400 transactions. They, not Cable, should be taken to task for the "significant value" that the committee says U.K. taxpayers missed out on."

Is High-Frequency Trading Fair? (video)

Is High-Frequency Trading Fair to Everyone?: Video - Bloomberg:
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Hain Celestial Group CEO Irwin Simon, Charles Griffin Intelligence's Philip Segal and Bloomberg's Keri Geiger debate whether high-frequency trading is fair to everyone. They speak with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg, June 17, 2014)

Fear of Equities, Cash is King

Fear of Equities Drives More Investors to Cash - ". . . . He suggested cash could be a safety net for some. For others it could be money held in reserve for a future market decline. Still, Mr. Clemons sees continued value in holding cash, even though it neither grows nor offers a return like other assets. “If you believe future volatility will increase, the option value of cash increases and outpaces the return on a money market fund,” he said. “It’s a little theoretical, but it represents potential buying power.” Yet he drew a line at 50 percent of a portfolio in cash because of the impact that even moderate inflation would have on that money. At 2 percent inflation, for example, $1 million would be the equivalent of $615,000 in 25 years. Whatever the outcome, for Ms. Duncan, investors clinging to cash around the world confirmed her belief about the magnitude of the psychological effect of the financial crisis. “We are accustomed to thinking about other crises like the dot-com crash,” she said. “In this case investors haven’t come back because they were painfully affected by the financial crisis. It’s interesting to see if the buy high/sell low pattern comes into play in a couple of years.” Until then, the mattresses may stay stuffed."

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