Twitter $2 Billion

March 2, 2016 by  
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Twitter $2 Billion, Twitter, in an annual 10-K report filed yesterday, revealed just how much money it has bled over the past decade: two billion dollars.
In their report, Twitter bluntly acknowledged the extent of the company’s problems:

Since our inception, we have incurred significant operating losses, and, as of December 31, 2015, we had an accumulated deficit of $2.09 billion. Although our revenue has grown rapidly, increasing from $28.3 million in 2010 to $2.22 billion in 2015, we expect that our revenue growth rate will slow in the future as a result of a variety of factors, including the decline in the growth rate of our user base.

Twitter has been an unprofitable company since before it went public in 2013, accruing more than $400 million prior to its stock market flotation. That loss-making record has not changed. However, after its IPO, those early losses increasingly look like a drop in the ocean. In 2015 alone, Twitter recorded a loss of $520 million, primarily as a result of stock-based compensation given to employees.

Twitter of course prefers to ignore these figures and measure their worth on “adjusted earnings,” which exclude the stock-based rewards noted above along with some other expenses, giving them a net income of $277 million in 2015. Even though this is what Wall Street would take as a more accurate figure, those same investors are still massively sceptical over Twitter, leading to its stock price dropping from $70 to $20 at the start of the year, as reported in Breitbart.

So why exactly is Wall Street lacking in confidence with Twitter? Their primary concern is its declining user base, which has not been helped by the dramatic loss of confidence amongst many of the platform’s more political users.

Twitter is currently waging war on conservative users, whilst ignoring real threats like ISIS. Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos was firstly suspended, then unverified. Shadowbans silence those who question friends of Twitter’s CEO. A new “trust and safety” council has been implemented to stop “harassment”. High profile conservatives with large followings, such as Adam Baldwin, have quit the platform in protest.

And now, even anti-establishment progressives are starting to ask questions about Twitter’s political biases. Supporters of Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently accused the platform of censoring hashtags on behalf of Hillary Clinton, after an anti-Clinton hashtag fell of the site’s “trending” list despite beating other trending hashtags in activity.

Twitter has also alienated long-term users with a series of radical departures from its tried and tested features. They rolled out a new timeline system based not on chronological order, but “relevance,” despite massive user backlash. They also changed the site’s “favourites” feature to a Facebook-style system of “likes,” to considerable user discontent.

In their report, Twitter stated that they wanted to “demonstrate our value proposition to a larger audience”. There have yet to be any signs that their efforts are paying off.


Oil 13-Year Low

February 14, 2016 by  
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Oil 13-Year Low, Oil prices rallied on Friday, rebounding from a 13-year low the previous day, on speculation of production cuts among some of the world’s biggest suppliers.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery settled up $3.23, or 12.3 percent, to $29.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its largest percentage gain in seven years. Brent, the global benchmark, gained $3.02, or 10.1 percent, to $33.08 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Both benchmarks are still down for the week.

Oil prices had already been higher but pushed to larger gains after the Baker Hughes weekly survey showed that U.S. weekly oil rigs had declined by 28 rigs to 439.

In the broader market, m ajor stock indexes posted weekly losses, putting a damper on a rally Friday in recently battered commodities and banking shares. The gains snapped a five-session losing streak for the Dow industrials and came on the heels of a particularly rough day for global stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 313.7 points, or 2 percent, to 15973.84 on Friday, ending the week down 1.4 percent. The Dow has fallen 8.3 percent so far this year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 35.7 points, or 2 percent, to close at 1,864.78. The Nasdaq Composite rose 70.7 points, or 1.7 percent, to close at 4,337.51.

Now nearly halfway through the month of February, traders and analysts are increasingly questioning when the stock market turmoil, which many believed would be short-lived, will end.


Bank Of Japan Negative Interest Rates: Japan Negative Rates

January 29, 2016 by  
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Bank Of Japan Negative Interest Rates: Japan Negative Rates, As Japan’s economic doldrums have lingered over the years, its leaders have tried a number of tricks, from ramping up government spending to flooding the financial system with cash.

With the global economy looking increasingly fraught, Japan is now taking a more dramatic step, by cutting interest rates below zero on Friday.

The policy – which means banks are essentially paying for the privilege of parking their money – represents a last resort for a country that has struggled through a quarter century of weak growth. In theory, negative rates will push banks to lend more to companies, which would then spend and hire.

Japan is following other major central banks in going negative on interest rates, a sign of the ongoing global trouble from plummeting low oil prices, stalling international trade and slowing growth in China. The move comes as Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is seeking new ways to break the country’s cycle of decline.

Mr. Abe has championed a system of temporary tax cuts and heavy government spending to spur growth and stoke inflation. But the world’s third-largest economy has cycled in and out of recession under his administration, sowing doubts about his policies.

The bank’s policy makers, who voted 5-4 to approve the measure, took great pains to say the rate cut was based on global conditions, not the Japanese economy itself. The move surprised financial markets, which moved higher in Asia trading.

“Japan’s economy has continued to recover moderately,” the bank said in a news release. “Recently, however, global financial markets have been volatile against the backdrop of the further decline in crude oil prices.”

Global difficulties might hurt the business confidence of Japanese companies and encourage deflation, the bank added, and the measures announced on Friday would “pre-empt the manifestation of this risk.”

Its decision to charge commercial banks for holding their money instead of paying them interest on it signaled a new willingness to pull out all the stops in a bid to bolster economic growth.

In a statement explaining the move, the Bank of Japan even said that it might “cut the interest rate further into negative territory if judged as necessary.” Penalizing commercial banks for keeping money on deposit at the central bank puts pressure on them to lend instead. That makes it easier for companies to invest in new projects and easier for consumers to borrow and spend.

The Japanese central bank was also uncommonly blunt in mentioning the economy of another country, China, as one of the risks that could damage Japan’s economy.

“We saw risks from China’s and other emerging countries’ economies as well as the oil price decline,” the central bank’s governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, said in a news conference Friday evening. “Since the beginning of the year, the financial market has been reflecting such an unstable situation. What is most important is that there is a growing possibility of its making negative impacts on Japanese enterprises and people’s mind-set to get away from deflation. For those concerns, we will respond without any hesitation.”


Airbus Iran 118 Planes: Iran Buying 118 Planes

January 29, 2016 by  
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Airbus Iran 118 Planes: Iran Buying 118 Planes, Iran has signed a deal to buy 118 Airbus planes worth $25bn (€22bn; £17.4bn) at list prices in one of the biggest deals signed since Western sanctions against Tehran were lifted.

The agreement was signed during a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to France.

The order included 73 wide body and 45 narrow body jets, including 12 A380 superjumbos.

Iran’s decision to buy the A380 is a significant boost for Airbus.

The company has struggled to convince airlines to order the world’s biggest passenger aircraft in the past two years.

Airbus only broke even on the A380 programme last year, a decade after it first took to the air.

The huge deal will depend on Airbus winning US export licences because more than 10% of the parts for the planes are made in the United States.

It also covers the training of pilots, airport operations and air traffic management support, the company said.

The UK stands to benefit from the order as wings for Airbus planes such as the A320 are made in Broughton, north Wales.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Wings for Airbus planes are made in Broughton, north Wales
Iran is also interested in buying planes from Boeing, Airbus’s arch rival.

Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi has estimated that his country will need 400 medium- and long-range planes, and 100 short-haul jets, in the next few years.

An embargo imposed in 1995 has prevented Western manufacturers from selling equipment and spare parts to Iranian companies.

Iranian airlines have about 140 planes that are an average of 20 years old, with many needing to be retired.


$40M-fine for lapses: BMW Fined $40 Million

December 22, 2015 by  
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$40M-fine for lapses: BMW Fined $40 Million, BMW will be fined $40 million for failing to issue timely recalls of MINI models.
A hefty fine of $40 million will be handed to BMW after not issuing a timely recall of MINI Cooper vehicles that failed to pass crash tests.

The test failures included 2014 and 2015 models, and BMW did not issue a recall within five days of learning of them. The fine was announced today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a consent order, and they also claimed BMW failed to send them the accurate recall information.

The massive fine includes $10 million to be paid in cash, $10 million spent on steps to get into compliance, and another $20 million in fines must be paid if BMW does not comply or commits other safety violations.

Not exactly the Christmas present BMW was looking for this week.


Colts QB out for 2 weeks: Fast Food Worker Strike

November 11, 2015 by  
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Colts QB out for 2 weeks: Fast Food Worker Strike, U.S. fast-food workers went on strike and protested on Tuesday in support of a $15-an-hour minimum wage and union rights in a campaign they hope will catch the attention of candidates in the 2016 elections.

Organizers of the union-backed Fight for $15 campaign said strikes would take place in 270 cities. Rallies with fast-food and other low-wage workers were scheduled for 500 cities, including outside Tuesday’s televised debate of Republican presidential candidates in Milwaukee.

The protests are aimed at gaining political support for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and union rights as income inequality looms as an issue heading into the 2016 presidential election.

“The money I bring home can barely take care of my rent,” said Alvin Major, 50, a Brooklyn KFC worker who was among about 200 sign-carrying protesters who blocked traffic in Brooklyn.

“We need a wage that could take care of our basic necessities,” he said as protesters rallied outside a McDonald’s restaurant. New York Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio told a Fight for $15 rally,

“This country can’t be what it’s supposed to be if people don’t make a decent wage.” The minimum wage for fast-food workers will rise to $15 by 2018 in New York City and statewide by 2021. Many U.S. cities and municipalities have set a higher base rate than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

Organizers said the strikes and protests would include workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King , KFC and other restaurants. The Fight for $15 campaign began in late 2012 and a major backer is the Service Employees International Union. Last December the group staged similar protests in some 200 cities.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, who backs a federal minimum of $12 an hour, tweeted, “Fast-food, home care, child care workers: Your advocacy is changing our country for the better.” Her rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who backs a $15 federal minimum wage, also rallied with protesters in Washington.

In Chicago, about 100 protesters at a McDonald’s blocked the drive-through lanes during rush hour, chanting, “We work! We sweat! Put 15 on my check!” Protester Douglass Hunter, 55, said he was working two jobs, including one at McDonald’s, to support himself and his daughter. He said people were having to choose between buying food, paying rent and other bills.

“These are choices we should not have to make living in a country as rich as America,” he said. Industry lobby groups contend the proposed pay raises would be economically unsustainable and cause them to cut jobs. Michael Mabry, the chief operating officer of Mooyah Burgers, Fries and Shakes, a restaurant chain based in Plano, Texas, said base pay of $15 would cut into entry-level jobs.

Restaurants also could cut staff, harming service and driving away customers, he said. “There are unintended consequences when you make a blanket statement of $15 an hour,” Mabry said. The scheduled protests were to take place as McDonald’s holds an investor meeting.


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