GM Seeks Shift to 401(k) Pensions for New Employees (Bloomberg)
It's almost stunning to us that the auto industry is just now getting into these things called 401(k)s, as possible alternatives to traditional pensions. It would seem as though a lot of problems facing the companies and the workers would never have come up if this had been the model to being with (invest your own damn money), although then again, there's probably a nice analogy to Social Security and the whole private accounts debate. That seems about right: Detroit automakers and the US government as the two institutions staggeringly behind the times. Oh, apparently the NFL is having pension problems too.
Apple Picks Deutsche Telekom for IPhone in Germany (Bloomberg)
Steve Jobs is big in Europe. Well, at least he's trying to get big in Europe as he does a European tour in support of his latest album. Deutsche Telekom is the latest operator to win the iPhone derby, gaining the exclusive right to sell the thing in Germany. Also, if you're looking for a nice contrarian take on the iPhone from someone who knows their stuff, do read: Steve Jobs Takes The Jedi Mind Trick Roadshow To The UK.
New Push Into China by N.B.A. (NYT)
Keep saying it to yourself: Our cultural exports will reverse the trade deficit. Case in point, the NBA is quickly working to establish a subsidiary in China, having hired an ex-Microsoft exec to deal with things like winning TV approval and opening up new stadiums. It's a huge growth market for China, which has hundreds of millions of basketball fans and players, according to the league. Then again, the most popular NBA player in China is probably Yao Ming, who's Chinese. So even the stuff we're exporting to China is actually just a repackaged 'made in China' item.
Rate cut sends oil to fresh highs (BBC)
Oil prices hit fresh highs following the fed rate cut, with traders possibly operating on the assumption that the dollar continue its aggressive tumble. Seems pretty logical. That's the nice thing about living in New York. Your portfolio jumped a couple percent yesterday, but you don't have to drive. Sucks for the suckers that drive a lot but don't own stock.
Tough Times Ahead For The Web? (A VC)
Fred 'A VC' Wilson, New York's most well-known venture capitalist, muses on the economy and the potential for a downturn. Wilson, of course, has been through this all before, having rode the highs and lows of the boom/bust early this century. So, as someone who has a feel for these things, his viewpoint probably merits some attention.
Shares Finish Strongly Higher As Fed Cut Renews Risk Appetite (WSJ)
It's definitely amazing what 50 basis points can do. It wasn't just US markets surging on the surprise double cut, but markets around the world picked up the baton. The Nikkei was even stronger than the Dow, gaining 3.71% (probably because they know so well what an economy dependent on rate cuts can look like.... okay), while Korea climbed 3.5%. The Hang Seng, in Hong Kong, was up by 4%, hitting a new all-time high. Interestingly, Shanghai slipped slightly, further emphasizing the fact that Shanghai is its own bubble (not that kind of bubble, the real kind of bubble).
The Tyranny of the Market (Marginal Revolution)
Tyler Cowen reviews a new book called 'The Tyranny of the Market', which, as you can probably surmise, alleges that the market offers no better choices than any other model, because it caters to the majority. Pretty silly, particularly if your alternative is some sort of central planning. Anyway, Cowen's a lot more charitable to it than we'd be.
Rupe: Free Is Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose (and Everything to Gain?) (All Things D)
Not sure if you heard, but yesterday at Goldman Sachs' Communacopia conference, Rupert Murdoch suggested that he was likely to take down the paywall at WSJ.com. Between this and the end of TimesSelect, it would appear that walls are tumbling down everywhere you look. Rupe's rationale is pretty simple: give up some marginal incremental revenue from online subscribers and see a huge increase in readership and search engine traffic -- duh.
Porn Netflix (WantedList) Buys Indie Netflix (Greencine) (Alarm:Clock)
Interesting, the Netflix of porn has bought out the Netflix of indies. Why doesn't Netflix just get into both of these businesses though? Then again, do people still watch porn on DVDs?