Opening Bell: 5.5.08

Author:
Publish date:

Yahoo CEO facing possible rebellion after spurning Microsoft (AP)
So Microsoft really walked and now the big question is what will Yahoo fall to when it opens. Most people seem to think that it won't fall all the way back to its pre-bid sub-$20 price, though some do. Ultimately, Yang believed Yahoo was worth more than $47.5 billion... maybe it was the lingering post-bubble mentality, and he still had hopes that one day Yahoo would get back to its pre-glory days. Or maybe he really wants to merge with AOL. Anyway, place your guesses on Yahoo's closing stock price in the comments. Pre-market they're off about 23 percent so far.
Investors eye Yahoo's alternatives to Microsoft (Reuters)
Nobody else is going to pay $33 per share for Yahoo (in all likelihood), but the company will be under considerable pressure to start dealing fast. There's been persistent talk of an AOL deal, and now there's nothing standing in the way of that. Then there's the Google ad partnership, which could provide a revenue lift. And maybe private equity could be interested, but at higher than $33 per share? Probably unthinkable.
A Yahoo Shareholder on What Might Have Been (NYT)
You know the cooler at the casino. The guy who comes to the blackjack table and brings everyone bad luck. Hate to say it, but that's Bill Miller of Legg Mason right now. The once-prolific S&P beater has been struggling for some time and the collapse of the Yahoo deal seems to say it all. Add that to Bear, some financials and the homebuilders, and it's been a bad time to touch what he's been touching. Also, read this typically sharp post from Felix Salmon.
Bulls' Optimism May Be Premature (WSJ)
No doubt this ongoing earnings season has something of a split personality disorder. On the one hand, you've got companies promising that they see no major impact from the economy. Others say it's the worst economy they've seen: ever. So perfectly good for a glass-half-full-half-empty debate. Overall, currency effects have probably made this quarter look a lot better than it was, though how can you ever try to strip just one thing out and hold the rest steady? And to some extent, the weak companies seeing such a punk economy already had problems of their own.


The Mystery of Monogamy (Mahalanobis)
Here's something for ya: an economics paper explaining the relative dearth of polygyny in rich societies as compared to poor ones. According to the paper: in rich societies, rich man have a reason to value quality over quantity when it comes to children. As such, quality women are "bid up" and part of getting a quality woman involves some sort of monogamous commitment (this is the paper talking). In poorer societies, quantity of children is value more highly over quality. Read it for yourself.
Bank notes from the free banking era (Unenumerated)
Are you one of those radicals who spends their time day-dreaming about the free banking era? Come out of the woodwork; we know at least some of you are. Anyway, we'll never get back there. End of story. But thinking and blogger par excellance Nick Szabo has some banknotes from the era that he's looking to sell. So if you're interested, and it'll help your fantasy along, then there you go.
Medvedev Boxed In by Oil as Putin Bequeaths Economic `Dead End' (Bloomberg)
The premise of this article is that with oil trading well over $100 barrel, incoming Russian President Dimitri Medvedev has little incentive to diversify the Russian economy away from oil. Possibly true, but the suggestion that this is the economy that Putin "bequeathed" him is a little misleading. $100 oil isn't Putin's legacy. It's just where it happened to go to under his watch. So basically, Medvedev is in the same position as Putin -- though yeah, possibly a dead end.
Economic update (MarginalRevolution)
Interesting observation from Tyler Cowen: at

Related