Opening Bell: 5.1.08

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Cablevision Set to Raise the Stakes in Newsday Bidding (NYT)
Lots of confusion in the Newsday stakes, as the situation seems very fluid. The other day, word was that Cablevision would join up with Jared Kushner to buy the LI-based paper. Now word is that Cablevision will put in a monster bid, but that Kushner has dropped out. But, Kushner -- the Miley Cyrus of the NYT business section -- gets the big photograph here, cause you know. Kushner.
Payday Lender Presses Charity to End Support for Tighter Rules (WSJ)
As they say, it's one thing to be within the confines of the law. But it's another thing to not be embarrassed on the cover of the WSJ. This just looks bad. Apparently Rent-A-Center, which once was mainly about renting tables and LAZBOYS for riduclous amounts has gotten into the payday loan biz (not surprising). And its reported that the company applied pressure to a charity, urging it to drop its criticism of the industry. Legal? Course. Looks bad in the papers? Yep.
Copper Caper: Thieves Nab Art To Sell for Scrap (WSJ)
Stories about commodity related theft never get old. And everyone loves a good art caper. Put the two together and you've got a great WSJ feature about thieves stealing sculptures just for the raw material. Of course it's an old story. This has been happening for a few years now, and a few years ago was a lifetime ago in terms of commodity prices.
EBay-Craigslist Fight Is About Kijiji and Control, Complaint Shows (Bits)
So you've heard that eBay, a 25 percent holder of Craigslist is suing the plucky little free classifieds site. It's sort of complicated, and eBay claims that Craigslist is trying ti dilute eBay's stake away via a poison pill. But what it basically comes down to. The two companies are competitors. That's what it comes down to. If they weren't competitors, this wouldn't be an issues.


Limited Liability (Marginal Revolution)
An interesting discussion at Marginal Rev. about the notion of limited liability and how important it is to the economy. Some regard it as the Sine Qua Non of a healthy capitalism. Professor Stephen Bainbridge, a Dealbreaker favorite called it: "the greatest single discovery of modern times." But unlimited liability for corporations in the past has existed, and things went okay, in part because maximum liability rarely matches a company's capital backup. Just something to chew on.
For a few dollars more…Microsoft will get Yahoo (VentureBeat)
Yesterday might've been the day of real movement in the Microsoft-Yahoo battle, but... no. By official accounts, Microsoft was debating a raised bid, but the board left its work unfinished, letting Yahoo shareholders twist in the wind one more day. But the twisting may be a little easier, since the company telegraphed the possibility of a raise -- certainly the nightmare scenario (a walk) is looking less likely.
Piling on the criticism of a summer gas tax holiday (Knowledge Problem)
This is sort of like shooting fish, but we can never get enough of people bashing the summer gas tax holiday. But we have to hand it folks: so far, we haven't heard the phrase summer driving season all that much. Sort of odd given the price of gas, but really, it hasn't been overused.

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