Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Morning

US Stock futures are pointing to a moderately higher open, perhaps following the lead of European indexes. Foreign shares are up in part due to a South Korean report that it's economy grew at the fastest pace in seven years.

More transparency is needed with municipal finance, and the "less then financially literate" officials running these operations on behalf of taxpayers.
“I thought they were money markets that were just paying more,” Calvanese said in an interview. “Nobody ever used the term ‘CDO,’ and I am not sure I would have known what that was anyway.” Such financial mistakes, often enabled by public officials’ lack of disclosure and accountability for almost 90 percent of government financings in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market, are costing U.S. taxpayers as much as $6 billion a year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg in more than a dozen states.

NYTimes is skeptical about a Comcast-NBC Universal deal.

We haven’t seen anything quite like it since the merger of Time Warner and AOL. And that turned out well, right? Jeffrey Bewkes, the chief executive of Time Warner and a major competitor to both Comcast and NBC Universal, has seen this movie before and is glad his company is not the star this time. Ever since he took over the company, he’s been busy trying to undo the merger, spinning off the cable division of the company and planning to do the same with AOL. “Somebody has finally noticed that these things don’t work out so well,” Mr. Bewkes said at a media conference this month, according to Peter Kafka, of the blog Media Memo at AllThingsD. “We love to see our competitors taking risks.

Economist Andrew Smithers sees 40% downside for the S&P500.

“Quantitative easing has set off another sharp, and so far containable asset bubble,” Smithers said. “But if it gets too high and starts to come down then we’ll go straight back” into recession. The economist said that he stopped buying equities in the 1990s because ofexpensive valuations and began purchasing them again only for a brief period during the lows of the current crisis.

Google's Android operating system is encroaching big time on Microsoft's Windows Mobile clients.

Cellphone makers that have used Windows Mobile to run their top-of-the-line smartphones — including Samsung, LG, Kyocera, Sony Ericsson — are now also making Android devices. Twelve Android handsets have been announced this year, with dozens more expected next year. Motorola has dropped Windows Mobile from its line entirely in a switch to Android. HTC, a major cellphone maker, expects half its phones sold this year to run Android. Dell is using Android for its entry into the cellphone market.

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