Opening Bell: 11.16.07

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Starbucks Shares Fall After Reduced Profit and Sales Forecasts (Bloomberg)
This is worrisome. The icon of bobo icons... the ultimate aspirational, not-quite quasi hip establishment has finally run aground. Sure, it's had hiccoughs before. Like last summer when it complained that long lines from the heat were hurting business, but the big problem there was just too much demand. No such excuses this time for the 'bux. In Frankfurter trading, shares slipped 7 percent, and it wouldn't be a surprise to us if the market were dragged down in sympathy today.
Inflation Was Tame in October (NYT)
Other than oil or anything that we'd have to import, inflation wasn't bad in july, so that's good news. Guess this makes it easier for Bernanke to do another cut without having to worry that he's going to hurt the dollar or cause inflation or anything painful like that.
Betting an Estate on Inhaled Insulin (NYT)
We talked about this a couple weeks ago, but so far, inhalable insulin has been nothing but a big flop. Pfizer took a $2.8 billion charge to abandon exubera after having sold only $12 million of the stuff, which is horrendous. Turns out that needles are okay for now, despite the fact that people don't seem to like them. But billionaire businessman Alfred Mann believes that inhalable insulin is the future and is ready to invest $1 billion to make it happen. That's like half of his personal fortune, which he has invested in the MannKind Corporation to make it happen. We hope for his (and for patients) sake that it's a real breakthrough. Certainly in the past, major personal risk has been a hallmark of major breakthroughs.
Barry Bonds indicted on 4 perjury counts, obstruction of justice (SF Chronicle)
Apparently the Steve Jobs rule doesn't apply to Barry Bonds, which is too bad, since he's pretty amazing. Seriously, we're big fans of the guy and think he should get a pass. Maybe perjury is a big deal, but consider the underlying investigation... steroids?

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White House Moves to Ease Holiday Air Travel (WSJ)
The White House has taken some steps to ease the pain of air travel for the holidays this year. What a joke... but typical of this White House, if you think about it. For one thing, they're going to double compensation for stranded passengers, ie throw more money at the problem. They're also taking some steps to open up capacity, but obviously nothing meaningful can be done in the 7 days before Thanksigiving. Maybe instead of solving problems that can't easily be solved overnight, Bush should spend his time finding a worthy Turkey to pardon.
Harrah's Eyes Possible Online Poker Venture (PokerNews)
Casino execs cry bloody murder that the thought of legalized online poker in the US... cause you know it's unregulated, that's it. But in markets where there's more growth potential, bring it on. Word is that Harrah's, the big operator, is looking to get into the online poker biz in Europe, natch. Apparently, it could be "World Series of Poker" branded site (lame).
What should blue jeans cost? (Free Exchange)
Yes, turns out magazine like American Vogue should stick to what they know best (fashion), rather than trying to be economists. As Free Exchange points out, a recent article trashed the idea of $20 blue jeans, readily available in discount stores across America. Why did they trash them? Because at that price points, someone must be losing out. You know the real answer: $20 jeans are an offense on style. But the former argument pulls at the heartstrings, so it's a bit more effective.
Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales to create Facebook competitor? (MatthewBuckland)
Apparently Jimmy Wales, the original creator of Wikipedia, has some sort of Facebook killer up his sleeve. Either that or it's a Google killer... some sort of wiki-based, open source, social networking, search engine that will take over the world. Of course, Wales has been pitching his fud for all eternity, so we don't think either Facebook or Google has to freak out too much yet.

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