Saving, investing and making money with technology

Month: September 2014

FACT CHECK: Obama in UN speech spins statistics

United States President Barack Obama addresses the Climate Summit, at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Barack Obama glossed over some inconvenient truths Tuesday in his climate-change speech to the United Nations. For one, as the U.S. cleans up emissions at home, it’s sending dirty fuel abroad to pollute the same sky.

As well, the U.S. is not cleaning up quite as aggressively as Obama implied in his remarks.

Obama was among scores of world leaders at the gathering, which followed by days a mass demonstration in New York City in support of action to combat global warming. Among those who marched: Al Gore, whose 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” shed light on the problem.

A look at some of Obama’s claims and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: “Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth.”

THE FACTS: Europe as a whole has cut a bigger proportion of its emissions.

From 2005 to 2013, the period cited by Obama, the European Union reduced carbon dioxide by 13.9 percent, compared with a 10 percent reduction in the U.S. Because the United States pollutes more, it has reduced more raw emissions than the EU — cutting raw tonnage by 649 million tons since 2005, compared with Europe’s reduction of 614 million tons. But Europe has cut a bigger proportion of its emissions.

From 1990 levels, the benchmark year from which the EU measures progress, emissions were down about 18 percent in Europe. Meanwhile, compared with 1990, U.S. emissions are up about 10 percent, based on data from the Global Carbon Project.

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OBAMA: “So, all told, these advances have helped create jobs, grow our economy, and drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly two decades — proving that there does not have to be a conflict between a sound environment and strong economic growth.”

THE FACTS: About half of the 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions the U.S. has achieved in recent years can be attributed to the economic recession, not any specific actions from the Obama administration. Obama’s comments also left out that U.S. carbon emissions rose 2.9 percent from 2012 to 2013, the first increase since 2007, because higher natural gas prices spurred more coal use.

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OBAMA: “We’re helping more nations skip past the dirty phase of development, using current technologies, not duplicating the same mistakes and environmental degradation that took place previously.”

THE FACTS: The U.S. is actually sending more dirty fuel abroad even as it takes steps to help other nations transition to cleaner energy. The U.S. has cuts its own coal consumption by 195 million tons in six years. But according to an AP analysis of Energy Department data, about 20 percent of that coal was shipped to power plants and other customers overseas. Emissions from that coal were not eliminated but rather moved to other countries. As well, the U.S. exported more products refined from oil — another dirty fuel — than it imported, starting in 2011.

On the other side of the pollution ledger, the Obama administration has placed restrictions on U.S. financing of coal plants overseas that don’t control for carbon dioxide and wants to lower tariffs on trade in clean energy technology.

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OBAMA: “Today I’m directing our federal agencies to begin factoring climate resilience into our international development programs and investments.”

THE FACTS: Not an entirely new effort. The U.S. Agency for International Development already factors climate-change impact in its assistance programs, says Oxfam America. Raymond C. Offenheiser, Oxfam America’s president, welcomed news that more U.S. agencies will do the same while saying that amounts to “a drop in the bucket” without additional financial commitments.

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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: From a White House background document: “The Climate Action Plan is working. In 2012, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell to the lowest level in nearly two decades.”

THE FACTS: That plan has nothing to do with reductions in emissions in 2012 because it was not announced until June 2013. Moreover, two of its cornerstone regulations — controls on new and existing coal-fired power plants — are at this point just proposals. The administration isn’t expected to complete those rules until next year and some states may not submit plans until after Obama leaves office. The statement also leaves out the fact that in 2013, emissions in the U.S. rose for the first time since 2007.

Obama did invest in renewable energy and boost fuel economy before announcing the climate plan. But the plan can’t be credited with improving anything before it came into existence.

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EMC Stock Soars After Investors Learn About Mega-Merger Talks With HP, Others

EMC_Stock_Soars_After_Investors-b8ad1f5b15ed689a226a70bfede78dbd

HP HP CEO Meg Whitman

For nearly a year, EMC and HP have been kicking the tires on a merger that would have created one the biggest enterprise tech companies on the planet — with over $130 billion in annual sales, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For comparison, IBM is expected to do $98 billion in annual sales this year.

Apparently, the talks have stalled because they couldn’t agree to terms. Both companies were concerned they couldn’t sell the deal as it was to shareholders, reports the WSJ.

But they had a lot of details ironed out including who would be the boss — HP CEO Meg Whitman — and which executives would run which units.

Another source close to the company told Barron’s Tiernan Ray that the deal isn’t completely dead:

“Meg was going to run the company, Joe’s guys were going to have significant roles, it had been worked out who would run the divisions, they’d done all this work on it,” says the source, referring to HP’s CEO, Meg Whitman, and EMC’s CEO, Joe Tucci. “They were very close last week, and then things went on pause,” says the source. “Things feel imminent-ish.”

This is surprising news for all sorts of reasons.

HP is only now digging itself out of a hole from its decades-long acquisition binge that left it heavily in debt, laying off up to 50,000 employees. Whitman even admitted it paid too much for at least one mega-deal (the $11 billion it paid for Autonomy).

In 2012, HP wrote off a whopping ~$17 billion from its mega deals, including Compaq, EDS and Autonomy.

HP’s track-record on mega-mergers is iffy at best.  The deal, however, would have been an all-stock transaction, billed as merger between equals, not as an acquisition by HP, according to the WSJ.

Still, Whitman indicated in February  that HP was not going to be making another mega-deal anytime soon, but would be doing “small to medium-sized acquisitions.”

Just last month, when talks with EMC would have certainly been going on, Whitman told analysts in the quarterly conference call that HP’s acquisition strategy would be “focused on only things that we cannot do organically, and given the choice, I would rather invest organically this is the heritage of Hewlett-Packard.”

The WSJ said EMC was talking to Dell about a merger, which may have involved just selling parts of itself off. Dell is working hard to get a piece of EMC’s enterprise storage business.

This means that EMC is open to talks with others, too, with names like Oracle and Cisco being dropped to the WSJ and Barron’s.

Cisco would be interesting match with EMC.

The two companies are close partners, but in recent years, EMC subsidiary VMware has been threatening Cisco with a new technology called “software-defined networking.” SDN threatens Cisco’s Cisco’s $21 billion router/switch business with a new software-centric way to build networks. Everyone from Goldman Sachs to Facebook has jumped aboard the SDN bandwagon.

Then again, HP, Cisco’s main rival in the network industry, has been all-in on SDN. Owning EMC/VMware would be sweet for HP on that count.

All this merger talk might amount to nothing, but EMC is at a crossroads.

EMC’s bread-and-butter technology, enterprise computer storage, is under attack from a whole slew of young new technologies that offer bigger, faster, and cheaper storage options — and from cloud computing.

Its longtime CEO Joe Tucci, who has already put off retirement once, is said to be possibly stepping down early next year, but has yet to announce a successor.

Meanwhile the company has been the target of activist investor, Paul Singer and his Elliott Management Corp. Elliott bought 2% stake in EMC, the WSJ reports, and has been pressuring Tucci to break the company up, sell itself off, or otherwise take radical steps to beef up EMC’s stock price.

EMC’s stock has languished at under $30/share for more than 5 years, far off the the nearly $100/share it commanded in 2000, the heady Internet bubble days.

This merger talk has driven shares up to a 52-week record high on Monday of $30.16.

HP’s shareholders are less ebullient. Its share price is down a little on Monday.

We reached out to EMC for comment and will update when we hear back.

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Home Depot breach bigger than Target at 56 million cards

A closeup of an electronic payment station at a Home Depot store in Daly CityA closeup of an electronic payment station is shown at a Home Depot store in Daly City, California, in this February 21, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

BOSTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Home Depot Inc (HD.N) Thursday said some 56 million payment cards were likely compromised in a cyberattack at its stores, suggesting the hacking attack at the home improvement chain was larger than last year’s unprecedented breach at Target Corp (TGT.N).

Home Depot, in providing the first clues to how much the breach would cost, said that so far it has estimated costs of $62 million. But it indicated that costs could reach much higher.

It will take months to determine the full scope of the fraud, which affected Home Depot stores in both the United States and Canada and ran from April to September.

Retailer Target incurred costs of $148 million in its second fiscal quarter related to its breach. Target hackers stole at least 40 million payment card numbers and 70 million other pieces of customer data.

Home Depot said that criminals used unique, custom-built software that had not been seen in previous attacks and was designed to evade detection in its most complete account of what had happened since it first disclosed the breach on Sept. 8.

The company said that the hackers’ method of entry has been closed off, the malware eliminated from its network, and that it had rolled out “enhanced encryption of payment data” to all U.S. stores.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and anxiety this has caused and want to reassure them that they will not be liable for fraudulent charges,” Chief Executive Frank Blake said in a statement.

Of the estimated cost so far of $62 million, which covers such items as credit monitoring, increased call center staffing, and legal and professional services, Home Depot said it believes that $27 million of the amount will be paid for by insurers.

But the company said it has not yet estimated the impact of “probable losses” related to the possible need to reimburse banks for fraud and card replacement, as well as covering costs of lawsuits and government investigations.

“Those costs may have a material adverse effect on The Home Depot’s financial results in the fourth quarter and/or future periods,” the company said in its statement.

Wesley McGrew, an expert of retail breaches who is an assistant research professor at the department of computer science at Mississippi State University, said that Home Depot is going to be expected to bear the costs related to fraud and payment card replacement.

Banks typically seek to get retailers to cover those costs if there are any indications of shortcomings in their security.

Criminals have frequently used software that evades detection, but retailers are expected to closely monitor their networks using tools that are designed to uncover signs of a crime in progress, McGrew said.

“It’s hard to feel sorry for them when there are things they could have done to improve the security of these transactions,” McGrew said.

Hitesh Sheth, chief executive of Vectra Networks, a cybersecurity firm in San Jose, California, said Home Depot’s breach exposes a weakness, noting that the company said hackers used unique, custom-built malware.

That “essentially means the technology they are using is only designed to detect malware that has already been used in a previous attack, and that is symptomatic of the retail industry,” Sheth said.

“Retailers need to upgrade to technology that is available and detects behavior of malware that is new because these attacks are not going to stop anytime soon.”

For its fiscal year ending in February, Home Depot revised its earnings estimate to $4.54 per share from $4.52. In addition to the cost related to the breach, it said the estimate includes a pre-tax gain of about $100 million on the sale of 3.6 million common shares of HD Supply stock.

The company left its outlook for sales growth for the year at 4.8 percent.

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Learn Why And How They Can Assist You With Your Motor-Repair Issues

111-602x300It’s very frustrating when something happens to your vehicle and you have absolutely no idea how to go about it. But it’s even worse when you don’t know your consumer rights in regards to your policy with the insurer. When an accident occurs, the first thing you want to do is to get back your vehicle on the road as soon as possible. Furthermore, this is the time you’re likely to succumb to pressure from your insurer, pushing you to settle for anything that comes onto the

table.
Because such kinds of situations are highly demanding and not right for the consumer who is not aware, it’s only best that you do business with a reputable person. A reputable person won’t take advantage of the fact that you don’t know. Furthermore, they’ll educate you on your rights as a motorist before getting into business with you, and that’s the kind of honesty you’d want in every dealing that concerns your vehicle.
Why Da-Les Auto Body?
There are lots of cars in California, meaning auto body repair is something inevitable. The fact that there are plenty of auto body repair shops around doesn’t mean you can always get your car fixed with the kind of quality you want. In addition to that, identifying the person who will get the job done and not exploit you is also a challenge.
That’s why Da-Les Auto body is there to assist you with all your motoring repair needs. They’ve been into business for 36 years now, a full proof that they only produce quality work, not mediocre kind of service. They are complaint to laws governing motor repair as well as highest industry standards to the satisfaction of their clients.
What the law says
The company has always maintained an A plus rating with the BBB over the years. Part of the reason as to why the company is soaring high is because of the fact that they strive to make clients knowledgeable of the laws governing them as motorists. The law allows clients to choose what they think is best, and is not manipulative whatsoever.
The California Auto Body Consumer bill of rights, which came into force in the year 2009 require that consumers should be aware of what to expect whenever insurance-covered work is being done on their vehicle.
Insurers have a role to play whenever a new client is signing a policy with them. They have to clearly spell out the rights of the client to them before signing a contract with them. If they don’t, then they are breaching consumer rights.
The law is very clear on how repairs sponsored by the insurers should be done. For example, no insurance company should require a client to take their vehicle to a specified repair shop. Instead, clients should choose which shop they want to take their vehicles to.
The law also requires that vehicle owners know exactly which kind of parts go to their vehicles. Furthermore, the insurer should provide contacts in which clients can use to report problems to the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs.
And finally, consumers have the right to sort out an independent estimate of the cost of damages on their vehicle. No one should force them to work with the estimate of the insurer.
The last part came after realizing that some insurers were notorious with trying to convince vehicle owners to work with their own estimates, even if they were wrong. Normally they have a very good reason as to why they are doing that-they want to profit from the same.
Conclusion
When you know your rights, you’ll get things sorted out as fast as you’d want them to Furthermore, the insurer won’t exploit you because you know what to expect from them. But most importantly, the motor repair shop you work with must also abide by these rules. That’s why you need to seek the services of Da-Les Auto Body and not go anywhere else.
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Prepare for liftoff: Alibaba is the ‘anti-Facebook’ IPO

Prepare for liftoff: Alibaba is the ‘anti-Facebook’ IPO

Aaron Task

Yahoo Finance

Updated from Sept. 17

The Alibaba IPO is going to be huge — in case you hadn’t already heard. But for all the focus on how this is likely to be the biggest public offering in history, there’s very little chatter about the opportunity for this to be an old-fashioned, 1990s-dot.com style blowout IPO.

Assuming the offering prices near its expected range of $66 to $68 per share, it’s not hard to imagine the stock trading well above $100 on its first day of trading Friday. You know…the type of deal that gets trader’s hearts pounding and reminds investors that the stock market is also a place where you can win big, not just lose your shirt. Expect terms like “blowout” and “spectacular” and “bubble-like” to be heard. (Full disclosure: my employer, Yahoo Inc., owns about 22.5% of Alibaba and plans to sell about 25% its stake at the offering. I personally own Yahoo shares.)

In many ways, Alibaba is the anti-Facebook IPO. Facebook, of course, struggled mightily on its first day of trading amid technical glitches and an avalanche of insider selling, closing up a mere 23 cents from its offered price of $38.

The Chinese e-commerce giant is virtually unknown to Americans. A Reuters poll this week showed 88% of people hadn’t even heard of Alibaba, much less were clamoring for a piece of the offering. Facebook, by contrast, was set up to be the first big “retail” IPO of the decade — and individual investors were scrambling to get allocation before the company’s ill-fated debut on May 18, 2012, according to press reports at the time.

For Alibaba, however, there’s no such retail interest: Alibaba Frenzy Escapes Small Investor:
Lack of Familiarity with Alibaba in U.S. Limits Interest Ahead of IPO, The WSJ reports.

Meanwhile, institutional demand for Alibaba’s offering has reportedly been intense; more than 40 firms have asked for over $1 billion in stock, according to The WSJ. Within two days of Alibaba’s global roadshow, underwriters attracted enough demand to cover the entire deal. Shortly thereafter, Alibaba upped the expected price range of the offering to o $66 to $68 from $60 to $66, originally.

In the run-up to Facebook’s IPO, institutions were already choking on stock that had been purchased in the secondary market. On the first day of trading, lead underwriter Morgan Stanley reportedly got stuck holding more than $6 billion of Facebook stock, with JPMorgan and Goldman sitting on a combined $5.6 billion worth of shares. Days before its IPO, Facebook upped the size of its IPO by 25%, or about 100 million shares; 57% of the shares sold in the IPO came from Facebook insiders.

To date, Alibaba hasn’t announced plans to up the size of its offering, although it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

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Alibaba's valuation vs. peers (Source: WSJ)

Alibaba’s valuation vs. peers (Source: WSJ)

Perhaps Alibaba’s underwriters — Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup — will suffer a similar fate, but there does not seem to be a frenzy of pre-IPO buying and selling of Alibaba shares, at least not in any formal (legal) way. That said, The WSJ reports that about $8 billion worth of shares owned by insiders will be freed of any “lockup” restrictions and thus available to immediately sell the IPO.

Valuation Matters

Most importantly, Alibaba is the anti-Facebook IPO because at about 24 times expected 2015 earnings, it’s valuation is cheap relative to peers and certainly conservative on an absolute basis.

According to Bloomberg:

  • Alibaba trades at 29 times analyst earnings estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31 vs. 34 times for Bidu, 37 times for Tencent Holdings and 135 times for Amazon.com.
  • Alibaba’s EBIDTA equals 59% percent of revenue, more than Google Inc., Facebook Inc., Amazon.com, Baidu and Tencent, according Wedbush Securities. (By contrast, Twitter and Chinese e-retailer JD.com have negative Ebitda margins.)

At the time of its offering Facebook, traded with a trailing P/E of 107 and price-to-sales of about 26, based on figures from its final amended S-1.

Even at $100 per share, Alibaba would “only” trade with a forward P/E of 40, roughly equal to Facebook’s current valuation and vs. 168 for Amazon.

“Based on the cashflow they are generating and the growth rate, you can defend $100 relatively easily,” Henry Blodget says in the accompanying video. “It’s a high multiple [and] hundereds of things can go wrong…but given the growth trend and oppourtnity and market position, the stock could trade [at $100] and not be ridiculous.”

While offering a warning to individual investors about the dangers of buying IPOs and specific concerns about Alibaba’s governance, Blodget adds: “We’ve seen again and again, inventors are willing to overlook the hazy future and pay for growth and this thing has growth like you would not believe and growth at massive scale. A lot of big mutual and investors who’ve been starved for big, fast-growing companies” are going to be scrambling to get into Alibaba.

What Alibaba and Facebook do have in common is a complex management structure designed to maximum the power of its respective founders, Jack Ma and Mark Zuckerburg. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall as many warnings about Zuck’s ownership ahead of the Facebook IPO as I’m hearing now about Alibaba’s.

Of course, there’s a risk if Alibaba really is the “anti-Facebook”. After falling as much as 50% from its IPO price, Facebook shares have since quadrupled. It’s not how you start the race, it’s how you finish but expect Alibaba to come out of the gates at a full gallop.

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Ryan Eagle and the EWA Private Network

ryaneagleOne of the most compelling online companies in the last decade came out of nowhere, at least to much of the business world that was making money in the global marketplace. New startups are nothing new among online entrepreneurs, nor is the idea of very young people being technically savvy enough to run their own companies in the digital age, but Ryan Eagle was something different. His story is one of a boy that had enough vision to become a multimillion dollar entrepreneur in his twenties.
Although his story is a rise and fall tale, when it comes to the company itself. Ryan Eagle’s style, savvy, and spirit for the startup company is one that is compelling, but also noteworthy in recent Internet high tech history. From designing his first website at 5 years old, then working early on with a variety of software, video game and web design pursuits, Ryan Eagle developed a wide arsenal of tricks for his big picture plan.

 

Eagle Web Assets

 

Ryan Eagle was born in 1987, just 17 years later in 2004, he forms the startup company called Eagle Web Assets or EWA. Ryan brought an expertise that included web development, business operations, corporate investing, media buying, email marketing, web development, graphic design and international advertising campaigns to the table. He had already made enough real money in the website design world to consider acquiring his first company, actually a few times over.
Between 2004 and 2009, EWA focused on it’s primary goal of being a successful angel investor. Ryan Eagle wanted to acquire, merge and run companies, optimally from the point of being a new startup. Rather than take the long road of proving himself over time and eventually playing with the big boys online, EWA and it’s founder opted for the short road to having a big business online presence.
EWA set it’s sights on becoming a super affiliate network, keeping in mind that they were not even a small public affiliate yet. What Ryan did was sweep up some of the better businesses, from his list of startups that were already formed under the EWA banner. He brought together a large network of unusually diverse companies together, under what would become known as the EWA Private Network in 2009.

 

EWA Private Network

 

In the world of affiliate networks in 2009, EWA stood out in a number of ways. First of all, an independent person or small business launch could actually get approved to join EWA’s private network. Becoming an affiliate had less to do with guaranteed volume traffic, but more about a willingness to be supportive of the EWA vision. Ryan Eagle used guerrilla hip-hop marketing ads to meme style representation of the network itself. He encouraged a Photoshop overkill style for EWA and members of the private network were welcome to throw their own hacker art into the mix.
The main ad campaign, if you can call it that was a very simple banner and website block set of ads. A white banner and background would be presented to website visitors, the blue EWA logo of a stylized eagle would fade into view and then as it again faded to white, a single word would appear to fill the screen. The ads almost invariably said only, “OBEY” and they faded back to white. “OBEY” became a symbol for EWA that was marketed a cool to the Generation Next kids with hats, t-shirts and other streetwise fashions. EWA never spent much on marketing itself, if the public found them, it was usually through other affiliate blogs or by random chance of fate.
Yet EWA Private Network pulled off some amazing tactual hijinks that worked incredibly well. By the end of 2009, they had created a synthesis which merged Eagle Web Assets angel investments with EWA Private Network affiliate programs, this alone created a network with several thousand affiliate program companies from everything in online industry. They had all the programs of big affiliates like Wolf Storm Media and Never Blue, but also adult websites, online dating, social networks, video games, ringtones, fashion, food companies, movies ads, TV promotions, religious groups, metaphysical, online casinos and many more.
Next Ryan took the private network to a whole new level, he incorporated 2 new divisions of the EWA corporate umbrella, one called BLAM Ads and another named GlobeOptimize. BLAM Ads brought in a similarly wide mix of affiliate companies, except from places like the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, China, Mexico and all throughout the far and near east. BLAM was able to pull together a very wide net of internationalized affiliate programs, almost like magic. GlobeOptimize was also an internationalization affiliate grouping, but it focused more on the high end corporate, technological and more elite affiliations, but secured a greater total potential for furthering angel investment opportunities throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, although it was the one that paid off the least for EWA.
Anyone who got with EWA Private Network at this time can attest, the pay range was much more lucrative and wide ranging than anything else. Even people like the infomercial brothers Adrian and Anthony Morrison started begging to be on the coat-tails of Ryan Eagle and his all monstrous, super affiliate network. By 2010 the EWA Private Network was ready to rock and roll, making tremendous amounts of cash daily, having the largest number of programs for affiliate ads of anyone at the time. The clock was ticking, the money was flowing and Ryan Eagle put his family, friends, wife and anyone he wanted in positions at EWA.

 

The Rise and Fall of Ryan Eagle

 

Unfortunately, the end result of EWA was almost textbook psychology for anyone so young like Ryan Eagle. He was rich beyond his wildest dreams, had fast cars, a girlfriend and a very hard headed addictive personality. Between drugs, drinking, arrests and getting sober, then back to rerun the cycle a few years in a row, Ryan was a personal wreck. Even sober, his alter ego was a straight edge workaholic, making his life a ticking time bomb for something to go wrong.
In 2013, Ryan started to realize that the more money EWA made, the more obvious his poor financial management of the company had been. Not that they were losing money directly, far from it. But most of the super affiliate programs were not contractually firm or in agreement with EWA on many things. As EWA attempted to draw up the delayed contracts, get lawyers and accountants taking all the numbers in, the paperwork was no longer going to be enough clout for Ryan Eagle’s silent partners. Basically, his behind the scenes investors had been all too aware of his partying, poor management skills and were happy to let him keep racking in the millions, but were ready to pull the plug all at once.
EWA suddenly suffered from a high volume deficit, one that caused the company to close it’s doors without paying many stock holders, investors and affiliate program members. EWA officially closed it’s doors in March 2013, along with the EWA Private Network, BLAM Ads and GlobeOptmize. For Ryan Eagle, it was his first real failure, as an online business marketer.

 

In Conclusion

 

From both a personal and professional view, Ryan Eagle and the EWA story are noteworthy, because the kid has what is missing in many online investors today. EWA had Ryan Eagles unadulterated clear vision, even with his hip-hop big-baller suspenders, UFO rave-style sunglasses and an addiction to almost every prescription and narcotic under the sun. Today Ryan Eagle has moved to bigger and better projects, but can live with an tidy net worth of 50 million or so. Not bad for a web designer with a gumption for big pimping and fast cars. Say what you will about the guy, but he’s grown up a lot, and he definitely deserves respect and credit for what he accomplished in such a short time.

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Using DealDash

lt_afad00aca7cbb03196e9064863dff8b24de7ec89e65124095ea870e26a41a180Many people are interested in finding the oldest websites online. Plenty of great web paradigms have arisen over the years, and they have had plenty of inferior imitators. People interested in penny auction websites should know that DealDash has made more longevity than any other American penny auction site. It has stood the test of time in many different ways, and developed a following along the way.

Websites with this sort of history can usually hold their own and withstand economic changes. They are also that much more likely the meet the needs of their customers.DealDash has been rated very highly for the quality of its customer service, which is indeed a rarity in this niche.
Given the age of the website, they have had a great deal of experience.
Some people are wary of using penny auction websites, and they can have a wide variety of different concerns. Some people may simply be indifferent and apathetic, since they don’t think that they’ll find anything that they like on penny auction websites, and don’t feel the need to even try. These people should know that DealDash has a lot of kitchen equipment available, which these people can get at a reduced rate. They may spend three percent of what they would spend otherwise if the items are new, which can be truly impressive savings for people that clip coupons on a regular basis looking for the best deal.
Customers that are worried about the quality of the items should know that DealDash has brand name items on hand, from places like Sears, Walmart, and Best Buy. They can get more or less the same products they would otherwise at outlets like these, only with more of an element of chance and fun. DealDash has a lot to offer outside of its product range, and people are getting a lot more than just the items they win. However, the items they win are still high-quality, which is more than can be said for the items available at many penny auction sites.
For customers with kids, there are plenty of children’s toys available as well, which can be especially helpful when the holidays are approaching. People that are trying to add to their home theaters will be able to find plenty of good products through DealDash. DealDash certainly has a lot to offer its potential clients and customers.
Winning the items certainly adds plenty of excitement to the whole endeavor, but even the people that don’t win will still have options. The Buy It Now application helps people receive their bids, so no one has to feel too disappointed.
DealDash tries to protect its customers from unnecessary spending. They make sure that shipping is free, so customers can focus on the actual products, as opposed to the logistics. People that make their first purchases can get all of their money back, if necessary, although DealDash is confident that customers will be satisfied. Many customers have enjoyed their time with DealDash, which is one reason it has been in the game for so long.
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Warning: War with ISIS will spook financial markets

The drumbeat for a U.S.-led war with ISIS is growing louder, and the coalition of countries vowing to destroy the group is growing in number after British aid worker David Haines was beheaded, the latest in a series of brutal murders. Haines’ beheading follows the murders of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said his country will do whatever is necessary to combat the Islamic State.

“We have to confront this menace. Step by step, we must drive back, dismantle and ultimately destroy ISIL and what it stands for,” said Mr. Cameron. “As this strategy intensifies, we are ready to take whatever steps are necessary to deal with this threat and keep our country safe.”

U.S. officials also took to the Sunday talk shows over the weekend to make the case for military action against ISIS.

Secretary of State John Kerry went on CBS’ Face the Nation and emphasized the coalition of countries prepared to strike Iraq and Syria.

“I can tell you right here and now, that we have countries in this region, countries outside of this region, in addition to the United States, all of whom are prepared to engage in military assistance, in actual strikes if that is what it requires,” he said.

President Obama last week emphasized that U.S. combat forces would not be part of his strategy to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. Referring to an additional 475 service members he is sending to Iraq, the president said, “these American forces will not have a combat mission –- we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.”

But former director of the CIA, Michael Hayden, and some retired U.S. generals believe ground forces will be necessary. Hayden predicted on Fox News Sunday that as many as 5,000 U.S. personnel would be on the ground in the war against ISIS by the end of the year.

Market reaction to escalation

In recent months, the financial markets have had little reaction to geopolitical crises – such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. But an escalation in the war with ISIS could be a catalyst to change that, according to David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and author of The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America.

Yahoo Finance spoke with Stockman and noted economist and Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, James Galbraith about what war with ISIS will mean for the markets and the U.S. economy.

“I think we’re stepping into a hornet’s nest that will create endless problems as we stumble down the road and elicit one kind of blowback after another,” said Stockman. “It will create the opportunity for unexpected turns in events that will spook the financial markets from time to time, and of course, it will distract Washington from addressing any of the economic or fiscal problems confronting the nation.”

Professor Galbraith takes a broader view on the post-Cold War realities the United States is facing and the challenges ahead for policymakers.

“The larger environment of world stability created by the United States in the Cold War and after the Cold War is coming apart,” he said.

Stockman warns that instability, when combined with a shift in Fed policy away from easy money will cause the markets to refocus attention on foreign events in the way they haven’t in recent months.

“As the markets begin to adjust and re-price and contemplate a future where the Fed is not just pouring liquidity onto Wall Street every day, I think news events that were ignored in the past may become the catalyst or the excuse for major selloffs, off and on, as we go forward.”

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Bets on hawkish Fed lift dollar, U.S. bond yields

American dollar notes are displayed in this photo illustration in Johannesburg August 13, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar ended higher for a ninth straight week against the euro on Friday and hit six-year highs against the yen, helped by speculation the Federal Reserve may strike a more hawkish tone when it meets next week.

A recent string of improving U.S. economic data has raised expectations the Fed may act sooner to raise interest rates, a move most investors expect will begin next year.

U.S. retail sales data on Friday that showed spending rose broadly in August added to those expectations, while consumer sentiment hit a 14-month high.

“The general message on the economy is that it’s improving, but we still have a lot of slack to take up,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

U.S. Treasury debt yields also rose on Friday, with benchmark yields posting their biggest weekly increase in over a year, helping to make the dollar a more attractive investment.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 20/32, the yield at 2.605 percent.

As currency markets made sizable moves this week, major stock markets worldwide pulled back from recent peaks on profit-taking and jitters about the effect of higher U.S. borrowing costs on the global economy.

U.S. stocks fell as energy shares extended their recent slide, while rising bond yields drove down high-dividend-paying shares. Major U.S. indexes finished lower after five straight weeks of gains.

“What’s been creeping into investors’ minds is the inevitability of the Fed raising rates and whether they’re going to do it sooner rather than later,” said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist, Delta Global Asset Management in Boston.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 61.49 points, or 0.36 percent, to 16,987.51, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.91 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,985.54 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 24.21 points, or 0.53 percent, to 4,567.60.

For the week, the Dow was down 0.9 percent, the S&P 500 was down 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq was down 0.3 percent.

The S&P energy index (.SPNY) fell 1.5 percent and was among the day’s worst-performing sectors as U.S. oil prices shed 0.6 percent. The energy group was down 3.7 percent for the week.

Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) retreated 1.3 percent on the day, while ConocoPhillips (COP.N) fell 1.2 percent. Crude oil prices fell on pressure from weak demand, ample supplies and the strong dollar.

U.K. equities also finished slightly lower, with investors refraining from making strong bets on stocks before Scotland’s referendum on independence.

The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3) index of top European shares ended 0.1 percent lower at 1,382.98.

Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI), closed down 0.4 percent after the United States and the European Union tightened sanctions on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine.

Germany imports a significant amount of gas from Russia and sold Russia about 36 billion euros ($47 billion) of goods last year, almost a third of the EU’s total. Some 6,200 German firms are in Russia, with 20 billion euros of investment.

The MSCI world equity index , which tracks shares in 45 nations, slipped 0.46 percent to 426.17.

Gold prices hit 7-1/2 month lows on a strengthening dollar. Spot gold fell 1 percent to $1,228.13 an ounce.

“We do seem to have reached a tipping point both on expectations for (U.S.) interest rate rises next year and the dollar,” said Simon Derrick, head of currency research at Bank of New York Mellon in London.

The dollar index(.DXY), a measure of the greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.15 percent for the day at 84.17, but still on course for its longest streak of weekly gains since the first quarter of 1997.

A 2.0 percent rise on the week also took the U.S. currency to a six-year high of 107.39 yen. The euro stabilized after four weeks of losses, ending around $1.2964.

The British pound recovered a little ground after the latest polls showed next Thursday’s Scottish referendum vote as too close to call. Sterling ended around $1.6266, above a 10-month low of $1.6051 set on Wednesday.

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Wall Street ends lower as Apple falls, bond yields rise

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as Apple (AAPL.O) shares declined and as bond yields hit their highest in a month on concerns the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than some investors had expected.

All 10 S&P 500 sectors ended lower. Apple shares, which jumped as much as 4.8 percent earlier in the session after the company unveiled a smartwatch, ended down 0.4 percent at $97.99. Apple also announced two larger iPhones.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yields rose to 2.5 percent.

Sectors with high-dividend paying stocks including utilities were among the day’s weakest. The utilities sector (.SPLRCU) and telecommunications (.SPLRCL) each fell 1.2 percent.

Improving U.S. economic conditions may force the Federal Reserve “to tighten sooner rather than later,” said Doug Cote, chief market strategist with Voya Investment Management in New York.

“Rising rates are an immediate discount for financial assets, including equities,” he said.

Shares of Home Depot (HD.N) fell 2.1 percent, a day after the company confirmed its payment security system had been breached.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) declined 97.55 points or 0.57 percent, to 17,013.87, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 13.1 points or 0.65 percent, to 1,988.44 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 40.00 points or 0.87 percent, to 4,552.29.

About 5.7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, above the 5.5 billion average for the last five days, according to data from BATS Global Markets.

In the options market, Apple options volume rose to a record daily volume of 2.97 million contracts traded, according to Henry Schwartz, president of options analytics firm Trade Alert. Contract volume was about three times normal and calls led puts by a ratio of 2.1:1, according to Trade Alert data.

The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was Pulse Electronics (PULS.N), which was rising 53.47 percent, while the largest percentage decliner was Usec (USU.N), down 18.05 percent.

Among the most active stocks on the NYSE were Brazil’s Petrobras (PBR.N), down 2.83 percent to $17.83 and Pfizer (PFE.N), down 0.58 percent at $29.23.

Besides Apple, Yahoo (YHOO.O), down 2.5 percent at $40.78, and Microsoft (MSFT.O), up 0.6 percent to $46.76 were among the most actively traded on Nasdaq.

Declining issues were outnumbering advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,338 to 698, for a 3.35-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 2,046 issues were falling and 637 advancing for a 3.21-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The broad S&P 500 index was posting 17 new 52-week highs and five new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 56 new highs and 58 new lows.

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