YoTM sees what YOLO is doing and is coming in guns blazing. Read more »
The object of the game (“Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”) is to get rich and famous and involves an animated Kim saying things like “You’re a natural in front of the camera” for a successful photo-shoot and telling you you suck for not hitting on someone’s animated boyfriend. We live in a world in which Morgan Stanley economists think a two-letter app is genius and guys in Silicon Valley pour hundreds of millions into one-letter apps, so, really, sky’s the limit. [Fashionista]
the 'yo' concept
“…the more I think about it, the more I like the ‘yo’ concept. And it’s not because of the app’s latest feature: you can send a ‘yo’ to the username ‘worldcup’ to receive a ‘yo’ (and nothing else) anytime a team scores a goal. Rather, it’s because I’ve always thought that there is beauty in simplicity. I’m a minimalist. I like to sit in my scarcely furnished study with white-washed walls while I write this comment. I hate Christmas decorations. When on a vacation, I like to sit on the shore and stare at the sea in the summer, or climb up a cold, white mountain silently on skis in the winter. I loved to read the late Barton Biggs’s simple but beautiful prose about investing. Life is full of complexity –family, friends, work, politics, financial markets, the global economy. Coping with complexity requires filtering, sorting, reduction, concentration and, at least sometimes, simplification. Sometimes, a simple ‘yo’ can say and mean more to your ‘contacts’ than all the babble.” [BI, earlier]
The app, called Yo, lets people say “Yo” to their friends. Tap a name on the app’s list of contacts, and a text notification saying “Yo” pops up on the recipient’s smartphone, along with a recorded voice shouting the syllable. The idea is simple. It may turn out to be a dud. But $1 million has already been staked on its success. Or Arbel, the chief executive of Yo, said on Wednesday that he had raised that seven-figure sum from a group of angel investors led by Moshe Hogeg, the chief executive of an image-sharing app called Mobli. Yo has so much potential, Mr. Arbel said, that last week he left his job as the chief technology officer of Stox, a stock trading platform he helped start last year, and moved to San Francisco from Tel Aviv to work on Yo full-time. “People think it’s just an app that says ‘Yo.’ But it’s really not,” Mr. Arbel said. “We like to call it context-based messaging. You understand by the context what is being said.” [Dealbook]
The Times and the Journal today are pretty excited by the new high yield bubble and I guess? What is the deal with high-yield yields being not as high as high-yield yields have been in the past, yield-wise? The answer may be giddiness:*
“In a yield-starved world, high-yield bonds are right now the only game in town,” said Les Levi, a managing director at the investment bank North Sea Partners. “The market is giddy.”
How giddy? 5.375% giddy, that’s how giddy:
The $700 million bond Nuance Communications sold last week looks like a textbook high yield deal, except it doesn’t have the yield. … Underwriter Barclays managed to squeeze 5.375% yield out of the fund managers who bought the eight-year deal. That’s almost half the 9.55% average of Barclays US Corporate high yield index since 2002 and is right above the 5.1% average yield of the bank’s investment grade bond index over the same time period. The average interest rate – or coupon – on new junk bonds over the past 30 years has been 11%, according to Thomson Reuters. …
But the top determinant of high yield bond performance, the default rate, is headed the other way. The trailing twelve-month default rate rose to 2.7% in July from 2% at the end of 2011, according to Standard & Poor’s. The rating agency expects defaults to hit 3.7% by this time next year, within hailing distance of the 4.5% 30-year average for speculative-grade bonds.
Here’s a perfect sentence to draw the ire of gold bugs: “But like paper money, gold is worth only what people believe it is worth, and because of this, it is sometimes referred to as the barbarous relic.” Look at all the buttons it presses: comparing gold to paper money! Saying that its value is just as much a convention – or, if you prefer, a “Ponzi scheme” – as that of fiat money! Using “barbarous relic” non-ironically!
That gem comes from a column last night by the Times’s Deal Professor Steven Davidoff, who set out to comprehensively annoy the Ron Paul crowd by arguing that U.S. regulators and exchanges should act to restrict leverage and limit holdings of gold because the metal is in a speculative bubble. The evidence for this includes that hedge-and-speculation demand has doubled in the last two years while industrial-and-jewelry demand is actually down, suggesting that gold is not so much trading on fundamentals. The recommendations:
Yet if regulators are going to stop the next bubble, they will need to act aggressively. Of course, they shouldn’t act in every circumstance, but when we see volatility and speculation as is the case of gold, acting to curb these forces through limiting leverage in cooperation with international regulators would be a prudent course. This would ensure that if a crash does come, it does not have aftereffects on banks and other institutions. Even if the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is hesitant to take such steps, it could, as an initial foray, take to the media to try to “talk down” the speculation.
For our own safety we’re not going to weigh in on whether gold is overpriced or underpriced, or on whether current gold demand is driven by (1) sensible concerns about inflation on the part of savvy investors or (2) Glenn-Beck-driven survivalist freakouts by financially illiterate retail buyers.* We’ll just point out that, if you’re going to have a bubble, this is a really sweet one to have.
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“I expect gold to double. At least to double,” says Adam Gold, a Brooklyn filmmaker, who’s at the East Village bar Arlo and Esme, mingling at a meet up event with fellow supporters of Texas congressman Ron Paul. Paul is a big fan of gold and believes ever since the U.S. went off the gold standard in the 1970s, the government has been able to print money “out of thin air,” eroding the value of the dollar. Adam Gold invests in the yellow metal through a broker, who holds it on the filmmaker’s behalf in vaults around the country. “I’m not yet to the point, although I may well get there, where I actually physically hold the gold in a safe in my apartment,” Gold says. Cris Rodriguez, on the other hand, does keep his gold nearby, at an undisclosed location. The 29-year-old NYU graduate, who works in music production, says every three months he scrapes together enough money to buy coins directly from gold dealers in Manhattan. “I don’t have a tremendous amount of money to invest but I’d rather start off as a base owning the physical gold,” Rodriguez says. [WNYC via DI]