A Brown Man in Vancouver

Mar 20

Apple Gets Paper

The recent recession has shown the vulnerability of even the biggest and most entrenched corporations to liquidity. However, with $98 Billion in cash on hand, Apple is in no such position. Yesterday, they announced plans to offer a dividend to each of their shareholders, as well as buying back $10 Billion of their own stock. 

So, how much money is $98 billion? Well, it’s more than the US government has on hand, for one. For another perspective, let’s break it down in terms of the traditional American measure of economic prosperity: automobiles.

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Mar 12

Dollar Shave Club is Brilliant

Late last week, the internet was taken by storm, with a ridiculously over the top viral video for something called the Dollar Shave Club. After seeing the video, and laughing my ass off, I was confused as to whether this was a real company or just another viral video. Well, it is real, and it is spectacular.

The brainchild of an improv actor with experiential marketing experience, and a very knowledgeable shaving industry expert, Dollar Shave Club is a subscription service that sends you fresh razor blades every month, for as low a $1 per month (plus $2 in shipping).

Although its not available in Canada as of yet, it probably soon will be. The site received 5,000 members on its first day alone, and as of now is valued at $650 million. Not bad for the new kid on the block.

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Nov 29

Wal-Mart Comes to India?

Images like the one above dot the landscape in every city, large and small, across India. However, this may soon be a thing of the past. Due to the government of India striking down legislation that previously prevented foreign companies from entering the domestic retail market, India may soon have a host of Wal-Marts and other big box chain stores on their soil. 

On the surface, this may seem like a bad thing for Indian retailers and consumers. But, if you examine the underlying issues, it becomes less clear. Skyrocketing food prices as a result of corrupt middemen who work in a series of inefficient disorganized markets and supply chainsare adversely affects the majority of the Indian population

Furthermore, a cousin of mine that recently moved from India remarked that “sometimes when you buy milk in India, it’s not even milk. It’s chemically produced.” There is little social responsibility or accountability for these middlemen. Could this change actually benefit the Indian people?

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Aug 09

USA! USA! USA!

The biggest news on the planet yesterday was the massive announcement that United States Treasury Bonds were downgraded from their AAA rating. Basically, treasury bonds are how countries borrow money from other nations.

The Standard and Poors rating agency (one of the big three along with Moody’s and Fitch) downgraded the US to a AA+ rating, moving it from the globe’s elite economies, such as Canada, Sweden, Singapore, the UK, and Germany, to one more in line with Australia and New Zealand. S&P decided to make this move in response to the $14.1 Trillion debt owed by the US government, and the political stalemate domestically making debt reduction virtually impossible. China alone owns $1.1 tn in US treasury bonds. To call this a crisis is an understatement.

So, what does this mean? Well, in short borrowing money is about to become a lot more expensive. From government borrowing all the way down to personal mortgages, every level of borrowing should be affected. Also, the shocks sent through the global markets show ever decreasing investor confidence. 

To many, this downgrade makes complete sense. But to Warren Buffet, the most successful investor alive, this was a huge mistake.

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Jul 18

Professiona£ Athlete$

The big news in the sports world over the weekend, was the rumour that a new labour agreement between the NFLPA and the owner could be ratified as soon as Thursday. This year, between this work stoppage, and the current NBA lockout, the line between sports and business is more evident than ever. 

In fact, sports is big business these days, with million dollar athletes, billion dollar sports franchises, and trillion dollar revenues. With that in mind, here are some of the best links about the sports industry.

The Best Paying Clubs in the World

Ever wonder if a Liverpool midfielder makes more than a Yankee pitcher? Or if being a Laker pays better than being a IPL bowler? Well, wonder no more. This report looks at the best paying clubs in the world, and provides some interesting information regarding global salaries. (via SI)

Top Paid Athletes by Country and by Sport

A bit of a different angle on athletes and the money they earn. ESPN gives us the top paid athlete in each of 182 nations (of which, soccer accounts for 114). They also give us the top paid male and female athlete in 30 different sports. The highest paying? Boxing and baseball. The lowest? Women’s bowling. (via ESPN x2)

Most Valuable Sports Franchises in the World

It always interesting to take a look at which clubs are worth the most. Forbes examines the top 50 most valuable teams in the sports world. 8 of the top 12 most valuable franchises are NFL teams, all worth over $1 billion, showing the relative strength of that league. By comparison, soccer has 6 teams on the entire list, while the NBA and Formula 1 have only two. (via Forbes)

10 NFL Stars Who Went Bankrupt

Although the financial strength of the NFL is readily apparent, the financial strength of their players may be another story. Many NFL stars have gone bankrupt, including legends such as Johnny Unitas, Michael Vick, and Lawrence Taylor. (via CNBC)

The Fatal Flaw of North American Sports

Taking a look at profit sharing, and salaries caps, Bruce Dowbiggin hypothesizes that all North American sports leagues are inherently unstable. He speculates that TV revenue is the only thing keeping them afloat. Except for the NFL of course. (via G&M)

(image via TPS)