Opening Bell: 3.12.08

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Spitzer Resists Calls to Resign (WSJ)
No resignation yet. It's still probably inevitable, but it sounds like he wants to use an offer to resign his post as a bargaining chip with prosecutors, should he come under attack from the law. Ah, the perks of being governor. Quitting your job can get you some extra leniency. Have an opinion on whether he'll be out by the end of March? Good, bet on it here.
Oil bubbles near 109 dollars (AFP)
We don't know about you, but to us, $100 oil is pretty old hat. That just looks cheap. And the media is already talking $110, but c'mon, it's near $109, so that's not even that much. $150. That's what we'll get excited again. And gas prices at $5 too. Now we're talking.
High Finance Backfires on Alabama County (NYT)
A little American portrait of an Alabama country nearly undone by some "Wall St. wizardry". Basically, sounds like they got caught up in selling bonds whose interest rates have ballooned like crazy. Unfortunately, this is the kind of stuff that could fuel a populist movement. And if Wall St. guys, in their slick suits and fancy sunglasses, are perceived as coming into small towns engaging in Wall St. wizardry, well then you can see how that'll play out. Also: (and this is for real) last night we had a dream where someone who had lost a bunch of money in various subprime-backed assets -- based on a commercial he saw on TV -- was negotiating a walkaway settlement. It was not easy. Neither of the two sides were willing to budge much. Someone had to eat the cost.
Fire Sale at the Times? (CrossingWallStreet).
A key point here from Eddy: "Here’s what sclerotic companies like the Times don’t get: Even if shareholders don’t control the board, they still have a vote. They can vote by selling and that’s exactly what has happened. Shares of NYT are basically where they were 12 years ago. How could anyone think that’s serving shareholders well?" That's why basically, the dual class stock structure is irrelevant. Nobody is forced to be a Times Shareholder and if you are one and you think the dual class structure is getting in your way, then you can walk away, which is obviously what a lot of people have done over the recent years. And if you're getting in now, then you might be getting some kind of dual-class discount.


Tech’s Late Adopters Prefer the Tried and True (NYT)
Our favorite class of people: late adopters. The NYT has a profile on 'em, which is cool. Basically, us late adopters don't feel any great impetus to change what works, unless there's some incredibly overriding, compelling reason to do so. That being said, the guy they profiled here is 56 years old and still using Netscape. So... couldn't they have picked someone a little hipper and younger?
Obama Coasts to Victory in Miss. Primary (ABC)
Following a fairly rough mini-Super Tuesday, Obama has come back and won two states, Wyoming and Mississippi. Between those states, it would appear he's pretty much completely erased the delegate lead he let slip away on Tuesday. On the betting markets, Obama's currently at $.76
Some non-celebratory thoughts on Spitzer (Ideoblog)
The funny thing about the Spitzer case is that we're having a hard time meeting anyone who isn't totally jazzed by the news. At this point, our own personal backlash is starting to set in. Maybe it's overdone. But really, everyone we talk to: liberal, conservative, libertarian, indifferent, etc. doesn't seem to care to much. Seems rather telling. Larri Ribstein offers some specifically non-celebratory new son the issue.

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