August 25, 2007

Elvis Sings Viva Viagra - Lisa Marie Pissed at Dad for Pushing Penis Pills

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/25/2007 01:08:00 AM
Elvis Presley was the king of rock and so it's hardly surprising that the Elvis's hit, Viva Las Vegas, is also the tune for the new Viagra ad aptly named "Viva Viagra." Pfizer Inc (NYSE PFE) has enlisted the king to drum up sales for its penis pills. You can't blame them. Nothing sells like sex, drugs, and rock roll.



I still can't figure out what the connection is between Viagra and Elvis except that Elvis did take a lot of prescription pills in his days, but his favorite was amphetamines - according to the handy tome that is wikipedia. But hey, Viagra!? Viagra's got nothing on amphetamine. I can imagine that getting up was hardly a problem for Elvis. His problem was staying awake!

Apparently, Elvis' girl, Lisa Marie Presley is not too happy about Dad's new gig, "I find it revolting. Some songs we have no control over and I know we didn't license that one." Sure Lisa. We all know that in your feministic way, you wished they had female Viagra so you could partake in the fun. Why do men get to have all the fun?

In response to Dad's outrage, Lisa Marie decided to do what attention whores do best and laid down a new duet on iTunes with Dad - posthumously of course - called "In the Ghetto."

Watch In the Ghetto Duet by Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley




Now that's a great way to rebel!

Hubby Beats the Crap out of Amy Winehouse - She Takes it Like A Man

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/25/2007 12:39:00 AM

One look at the Amy Winehouse photos after her hubby beat the crap out of her and all I can say is: Wow, what a woman! She can take it like a man. The best part is what she had to say about Blake, her hubby - the wife beater - post beating:

Blake is the best man in the world. We would never ever harm each other... I was cutting myself after he found me in our room about to do drugs with a call girl and rightly said I wasn't good enough for him. I lost it and he saved my life.

Can you believe what she said? Something is seriously messed up here. Amy is either really a big fubar druggie or a masohist ho, because nobody talks like she does unless they are so far from lala land that they can't tell the difference between a beatdown and a pat on the back.

I know if I did my wife like that, I'd leave with more than just some cat scratches on my face.

August 24, 2007

How to Unlock the iPhone - 17 Year Old Hacker Crack's Apple's Code

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/24/2007 05:59:00 PM
Just came across this video on YouTube where 17 year old George Hotz shows Apple (Nasdaq AAPL) iPhone users how to unlock their phones so they can use it on any network other than AT&T - including TMobile.



It's pretty cool. The instructions on how to unlock the iPhone are here on George Hotz's blog called iPhoneTag. It takes 2 hours per phone according to George and he can't do it for you, because he's leaving for college in 2 days! George got the iPhone the day it came out and it took George 2 months to hack the iPhone. If I were George and young again, I would tell Mom and Dad to kiss my college degree good bye and say hello to my new iPhone venture! As Yoda would say, grab venture capital young hacking one! Hell, if you want some money, post a comment George or send me a note!

AT&T got totally shafted big time. If they had to pay a ton of money for the iPhone exclusive, then AT&T, you got totally owned! Now anyone can use an iPhone on any network.

Bank of America Says Sorry for Ripping Me Off

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/24/2007 11:37:00 AM
Bank of American Corporation (NYSE BAC) charged me for 2 incoming wire transfers that I should have received for free. I wrote to them 2 days ago and I received an email from Bank of America today saying they are sorry for the "inconvenience" I may have experienced from getting robbed in broad daylight. They will be crediting my account with the $20. Their email then went on to talk about all the great things I should get for free with my "Advantage relationship." I didn't know that balance inquires were free! Haha - ok, I'm being sarcastic. I can only laugh when I started going down the laundry list of services that I will never use in my life:

Please allow us to apologize for any inconvenience you may have
experienced in regards to wire transfer fees. Please be advised, with
the Advantage relationship you receive the following benefits at no
charge:

- Overdraft Protection transfer fee
- One full ATM statement and one mini ATM statement
- Stop payments
- Incoming wire transfers
- Temporary checks
- Official checks, money orders
- Bond redemption
- Bond coupon envelopes
- Extra deposit ticket orders
- Check copies
- Personalized Advantage checks on anchor account and standard checks
on secondary account
- A second checking account
- Up to four savings accounts, two of which can be Money Market Savings
or two Regular/Customs Savings
- Balance inquiries
- Standard size safe deposit box, where available, or a $30 discount
towards a larger box.
- Single signature domestic travelers checks
- Quarterly Bank of America Advantage Newsletter
- Statement section summarizing deposit and loan balances each month
- Option of combined statement

After reviewing your account, we have applied a refund in the amount of
$20.00 to your account. The funds will be credited to your account
within one business day.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We value you
as a customer and appreciate your business. If we may be of further
assistance, please contact us again by e-mail. Thank you for choosing
Bank of America. Have a great week!

So the net net after reading their response is that they had free use of my money, ie $20, for a period of 2 days. God knows what they did with my money, but I do know that I did not earn interest on that $20 for 2 days. I can only imagine how many customers Bank of America inconveniences every day - only to have free use for their money for 2 days and then return it back - or not. I should email them and credit me with the unearned interest!

Update: I received an email today from Bank of America and they refused to credit me with the interest. Below is their short and curt reply. They had the gumption to claim that their refund of the fee was a courtesy! Courtesy? They overcharged me! It's a legally binding contract!

Please note that that $20.00 is a courtesy refund provided to you by the bank. Therefore, we are unable to provide you any interest on this fee. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
This just goes to show that banks make money through thick or thin, subprime crisis or not. Why? Because that's where the money is at!

August 23, 2007

Oh My God. Jamba Juice Customers Warned of Hepatitis A

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/23/2007 05:26:00 PM
Jamba Juice (Nasdaq JMBA) just announced 4,000 customers of their San Jose / Willow Glen store may be infected with hepatits A.

About 4,000 customers could be at risk after a worker at a Jamba Juice store in San Jose, California, developed hepatitis A, the chief medical officer for Santa Clara County said on Thursday.

"During the time she was infectious, she was also working at Jamba Juice, so we were concerned that even though there is a corporate policy of good hand washing, you can't be 100 percent sure," Martin Fenstersheib said in an interview.

Hepatis A is a really nasty bug.

Hepatitis A, a rare occurrence in food service workers, is transmitted through oral and fecal contact. It can cause jaundice, fatigue, stomach cramps, and other ailments. Medical officials are advising anyone who may have been affected to get a vaccination.

I scanned the press release from Jamba Juice and it's awfully sparse on the location the store. It mentions the San Jose location but it doesn't even have an address. That's not being upfront at all especially if customers are getting sick. The PR people at Jamba should really be ashamed of not providing more details. I did a search and found that the San Jose Mercury News has details of the store where the heptatis A was found.

The female employee, who is now recovering at home, worked on Aug. 1-3, 6-9, 11 and 13-16 at the Jamba Juice at 1140 Lincoln Avenue

I enjoy going to Jamba Juice every now and then and this is really bad news. I blogged about Jamba Juice a few days earlier when I tried one of their new smoothies. It was good. Today's news is not good at all because many of the customers are kids and parents will not buy smoothies from Jamba Juice if they know their kids are going to get hepatitis. Fortunately, I didn't got to that store.

Luminent Mortgage Capital's Shotgun Wedding with Hedge Fund Arco Capital

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/23/2007 05:18:00 PM
I've been looking for mortgage survivors and I am adding Luminent Mortgage Capital, Inc. (NYSE LUM) to the list. The company got backed into a corner like all the other subprime mortgage lenders. The difference is that they will survive. They announced an investment of $65 million from Arco Capital, a hedge fund. It's a shot gun wedding of sorts and marriage of convenience. After the investment, Arco will own up to 51% of the company and 49% voting stake. The stock is trading at $1.20 down around 90% from the high of $10.84. Arco got a steal at $.18 per share.

How Bad Really Is NovaStar Financial Inc - Beginning of a Supernova or Death of a Star?

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/23/2007 04:37:00 PM
I was fumbling through the stock pages yesterday and couldn't help notice that Novastar Financial Inc (NYSE NFI) was a worth $132 a year ago and today is trading at $9.53 or around $10 bucks. That's a greater than 90% wipeout. The chart tells the entire story.



If it weren't for a 1 for 4 reverse stock split, it would barely be floating above $1. This stock is yet another victim, perpetrator of bad lending practices in the subprime sector. How long before it goes belly up? It's up to the lenders. They got a waiver of default from Wachovia last Friday.

NovaStar Financial Inc. said Thursday that Wachovia Corp. waived any default provisions related to Moody's Investors Service downgrade of NovaStar's servicer quality rating.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the market closed on Thursday, Kansas City-based NovaStar (NYSE: NFI - News) said the waiver was granted on Friday and is effective until Nov. 1.

Heading up or belly up? The stay of execution has been granted until November 1st.

The stock is a buy? I don't know. I know that some of the existing shareholders have to share some of the blame for driving up the stock price to the stratosphere. Many of these NFI chasers bought the stock because of the juicy dividend yield the company was paying and these lemmings, I mean investors, marched into this stock like lambs to the slaughter. At least, shareholders can relish in the comfort that they aren't the only ones losing sleep. CEOs of the biggest baddest subprime mortgage lenders have also been the biggest losers in the subprime mortgage mess.

Michael Strauss, founder of American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. (NYSE AHM) was worth $160 million before it went belly up. He sold his shares for $3 million when it imploded. Scott Hartman of our very own Novastar Financial got his fortune blown up from $160 to a tad under $10. CEO of Tarragon Corporation William Friedman (Nasdaq TARR) saw his fortune shrink from $45 to $2 million.

In this subprime game, there are opportunities and it's about figuring out which companies won't go bankrupt. I'm still keeping tabs on my list and waiting to make a move on some of these names. Somehow, I have a hunch we haven't seen the worst of it.

Obama Girl Dumps Obama - Amber Lee Ettinger Poses For Sexy Pictures

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/23/2007 04:06:00 PM

Obama Girl, Amber Lee Ettinger, made waves a few months ago with her YouTube video, "I Got a Crush for Obama," which was a naughtysexy ballad about Barack Obama. The video has been viewed over 3 million times. Obama girl, in the tradition of media hos, has finally stepped out of the shadows of the Obama campaign to pose for sexy pictures for the September 5th issue of Steppin' Out. Amber revealed to Steppin Out that she's most likely voting for Hillary now! Not Obama's girl anymore!




No word on what Steppin Out is all about but here's to more campaign appearances by Amber! She is rising fast on the money trail and Amber Lee Ettinger (what a long name!) already has her own website where she's pushing License Plates

Her career looks like it is on the rise according to her profile on OneModelPlace which has over 116 shots of her. I expect more good things from her. The mortgage industry could use a lift and a Subprime Mortgage Girl to get everyone back up - no pun intended.

Download Pictures of Obama Girl / Amber Lee Ettinger [OneModelPlace.com]

Enjoy the 15 minutes of YouTube fame Amber! We love you!

aibohphobia ?

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/23/2007 04:02:00 PM
It means the fear of palindromes - which are words or letters that mean the same thing when spelled backwards. Officially, urbandictionary defines aibohphobia as:

The irrational fear of palindromes (words that read the same forwards and backwards).

Ironically, aibohphobia is itself a palindrome!

August 22, 2007

Am I Getting Nickeled and Dimed at Bank of America Online Banking?

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/22/2007 05:20:00 PM
Everytime I use Bank of America Corporation (NYSE BAC), I feel like I am getting nickeled and dimed. The latest annoyance is the incoming wire transfer fee that they charged me on my savings account and my checking account. I got an incoming wire the other day and they charged me $10 bucks for it - on a $100 transfer. It's annoying. Everytime I get an incoming wire transfer into my savings account, they charge me $10. Sometimes, the wires are small amounts like a few hundred dollars and $10 is hell of a lot of money. On a $100 transaction, that's 10%!

Bank of America is operating on the nickel and dime principle of earning its keep and it is complete madness. I don't see why incoming wire transfers should cost me any money. After all, I'm bringing assets into Bank of America Online Banking which they're going to be investing at an interest rate spread above what they are paying me. The worst part is that I'm supposed to be fee free because of the type of savings account I have. But apparently, their computer system is so greedy it can't tell the difference. Everytime I get a wire, I have to email them that my account is fee free. Of course, the pesky customer service reps who respond to these requets are all in India and couldn't care less about my account and more than once have dashed off stupid responses, like "ohh we're sorry." I wish Bank of America would just reduce these fees and stop driving me crazy!

How to Rescue Your Penny Stock Ass if You Are VerticalNet ? An 8 for 1 Reverse Stock Split

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/22/2007 11:08:00 AM
I was reading the stock tables of the Wall Street Journal today and noticed yesterday's top gainers included VerticalNet, Inc. (Nasdaq VERTD - the D stands for delinquent!) - the sorry erstwhile B2B, ecommerce, electronic trading exchange, dot com blowup. That's what got me looking how this sorry ass of an answer to dotcom investing could have gone up over $.60 to $3.30 for a gain of 20%.



This dotcom horror story was trading close to $.30 (yes, that's 30 cents before the 8 for 1 reverse stock split on August 15, 2007. It was really that bad that it needed a 8 for 1. reverse. The hooligans at VerticalNet and their sorry asses were about to be booted from Nasdaq when they finally pulled the window washing trick. If you can't read the vertical axis on the stock chart above, it's because the stock has ridden all the way down from $81,076.80 down to $.30 in the span of 8 years pulling a reverse Warren Buffett for shortsellers worldwide. You really need some talent to pull that off. Hats off to you VerticalNet!

84 Year Old Billionaire Joe Hardy Dumps 22 Year Old Wife Kristin Georgi

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/22/2007 10:06:00 AM
I am amazed at the age difference between these two. Joe Hardy is a billionaire who made headlines in his hometown of Masontown when Joe married Kristin Georgi in May. Joe was 84 and Kristin was 22 years old. The difference is 62 years old. You read correctly. Kristin could qualify technically as George's grand daughter. Their marriage lasted 3 months. Now, he's dumped her and filed for divorce.

History is full of rich older men marrying beautiful younger women. Jay Howard Marshall and Anna Nicole Smith. Tony Randall and Heather Harlan. Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn.

But the shock quotient is high on this one because of the age gap of three generations and because this is, after all, Western Pennsylvania, not Hollywood. "I saw their picture on TV," said Ronette Legrain, Tanya's niece, who lives in Brownsville. "She looks like his grandbaby. No -- his great-grandbaby."


Joe is apparently quite a celebrity in Pennsylvania. He's a lumber jack and a lumber billionaire who owns 84 Lumber Company [wiki], the local big kahuna. For Kristin, it's a dream come true, sort of.

"In junior high, she would say she was going to marry a rich guy and have a lot of money," Ms. Cobert said. "But she was just joking around. It was the kind of thing people would say all the time."

Geez. Junior high! Joe met her at Nemacoln Woodlands Resort and Spa where Kristin Georgi was working, which is owned by his daughter Maggie Hardy Magerko. His previous wife was also an employee of his. The two married in Vegas in May. All good things have to come to an end, but this one was kind of quick. On the wire today,

Joe Hardy, the founder of 84 Lumber Co. and a Fayette County commissioner, has filed for divorce from Kristin Georgi, 23, his third wife.

For the record Joe, you could have done better. Don't be too disappointed. If that picture is really Kristin, I think you made the right call. She's not that hot. Plus, she came with baggage. Peace out.

August 21, 2007

I SO Love and Hate Jamba Juice

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/21/2007 03:56:00 PM
I don't go to Jamba Juice (Nasdaq JMBA also known as Jamba, Inc.) as I often as I used to but today when I went there, I noticed they raised prices. They also started a buy 1 get 1 free promo and added several new smoothies. If you're not in California or New York, you need to try out Jamba Juice smoothies. They're delicious. Unfortunately, they apparently aren't doing so well because of rising orange prices.

First, they raised prices on nearly all their smoothies by 10 cents or more. I hate that! They made them more expensive --- arrggghh. I couldn't do without a smoothie so I got a Fit n. Fruitful today for $4.70. It's a new smoothie they introduced and I swear that's close to a dollar more than I used to pay. I used to be able to walk out of their with an Original Acai Super Charger for around $4 and now its closer to $5.

Second, they are doing more promos. They handed me a buy 1 get 1 free coupon for any Functional Smoothie. That includes Acai Super Antioxidant, Protein Berry Workout, Fit n Fruitful, Coldbuster, and Heart Defender. The coupon is a cool lid actually that goes over the straw. The coupon is good until 11/7/2007 and says "Buy 1 Functional Smoothie and a FriendGets 1 Free." Note to self: Save the lid for next time!

The third thing that was different was they renamed their smoothies - you could call it a makeover. Acai Supercharger is now Acai Super-antioxidant. They added Fit n Fruitful and Heart Defender. Also, they added several new boosts which cost $.50 each - these are premium boosts as opposed to the free boosts that come with every smoothie. Adding more items expands the menu and my guess is they are trying to expand the average selling price of the smoothies.

I started doing some reading of some of the in store brochures and Jamba has been growing and building out stores like crazy within Safeway and Albertons stores in California. That's a new move.

I love Jamba Juice but I have been holding out on buying Jamba Juice stock. I love the product, but there are several looming issues. Number one is whether the idea scales outside of California and New York. California is the number market for Jamba Juice and has the most stores. Jamba Juice is well known here and the weather is just right because its so hot during the summer. Would it work in a state where there is not so much sun? Issue number 2 is whether this idea can attract a larger customer base. Most of the customers today are kids, teens, and 20-30 year olds. That's because it's a youth brand. You see soccer moms buying smoothies for their kid's birthday parties, high school sports teams lining up after a game, and teens of groups lining up for their PowerBoost. What you don't see are middle aged men and women standing in line. Can they attract older customers? They are apparently trying to do that with their new functional smoothies which emphasize cardiac health (Heart Defender) and anti-aging (Acai Super anti oxidant) . The answer will be key to Jamba's growth because Jamba may be facing slowing sales growth and saturation - same store sales growth which was -3.3% for the latest quarter.

Financially, the company has not delivered the outsized growth that they promised. Jamba Juice stock is trading close to the price of a Jamba Juice smoothie - at $6.69 today - and that's near its low for the past year. A year ago, it was trading at $12, so it's kind of a do or die time for the stock. Jamba Juice has been expanding the store base and maybe that's why the performance is not reflected in the results yet. Soros owns some Jamba Juice stock. I am tempted to do some nibbling on this stock.

ON2 Technologies Inc is the Biggest Loser Today - Adobe Deal

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/21/2007 12:57:00 PM
On2 Technologies Inc (AMEX ONT) is down 20% today. This stock trades all over the place. It zoomed up from $.64 all the way up to $3.99 earlier this year. Today, it's at $1.38 down around $.35. It's getting hit hard and I think it has to do with the uncertainty around the viability of the VP6 which is used in Flash Video Player by Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq ADBE) and VP7 codec which hasn't yet been included in the next line of Adobe Flash players. The news today seems to say that VP7 is dead, but I don't know for sure. The announcement is that On2 is building in H.264 support into its products which is used in the Apple iPhone (Nasdaq AAPL) and QuickTime and also by YouTube when it delivers videos to the Apple iPhone in the H.264 format. It could mean that On2 is merely supporting a large customer like Apple who has a particular need for its mobile video product or it could mean that customers want H.264 instead of VP6 / 7. If the former, then it could merely mean that On2 is integrating its Hantro acquisition quickly - Hantro was a mobile video company that on2 bought recently. If the latter, then it's big trouble. The market seems to be saying that VP6 and 7 is dead. I'm not an expert or insider on this matter and the stock is very very volatile - good for trading opportunities. It's also highly manipulated with very little news coming from the company even on big days like today. That's what makes speculation so interesting and risky! Basically, the stock is where it was at in the beginning of the year.

VMWare, Inc. Heading to $100!?

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/21/2007 11:34:00 AM
Momentum crazy investors are buying VMWare, Inc. (Nasdaq VMW). The Google-holics anonymous club has apparently left their treatment center and piled into VMWare, Inc today. With Google biding its time after a somewhat tepid earnings report last time around, all those daytraders and dot com stock traders seem to be piling into VMWare. The stock is up $9 at $66. That's up 15% today alone and more than 27% since the first day of trading. The IPO price of VMWare was $29 and they completed their exchange offer with EMC just 1 week ago on August 14, 2007. The contrast between VMWare and EMC couldn't be more stark. EMC is barely up 3% today or $.70 up at around $19 dollars.

I'm watching VMWare and just scratching my head. Fear or greed? Blue pill or red pill? It's a bit surreal seeing the action because it feels just like what a stock would do when it IPOed in '99. Is it better to be the guy who buys at $66 and sells at $100 or the guy who stays in the sideline and watches the stock hover around $50-$70 while all these crazy daytraders get whipsawed?

Sprint Throws in Exotic Island with $10.5 Million Cellphone

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/21/2007 09:09:00 AM
Sprint took out a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal today which caught my attention: the world's first $10.5 million cellphone. You can buy it at Sprint at http://www.sprint.com/islandoffer . No word on who came up with the idea but the package comes with a $199.99 BlackBerry 8830 and a bonus accessory - an exotic island with an estimated retail value of $10,499,800.01. Buyers can take the limited time offer for $10.5 million or if you already own the island, you can get the phone on its own for just $199.99. The billionaire island/smartphone package is available until September 27, 2007.

The phone ad is heralding the arrival of the BlackBerry 8830 world edition phone by Research in Motion Limited USA (Nasdaq RIMM) and it's all a very big joke.The ad is very cheeky. Did I mention? Island amenities may include: thatched cabana, combination helipad / island dock, Olympic-size negative edge pool and putting green and sand trap?


This is just the type of thing you would expect from Research in Motion Limited whose stock has been a high flyer lately. The stock split 3 for 1 yesterday and it's gone from a split adjusted price of $40 to 80 in just 8 months. What a crazy ride! If we are in a bubble, then RIMM is leading the charge. Load up on the stock!

Update: A reader wrote in to say, "the ad for Sprint's BlackBerry was heralded by Sprint's agency of record, Goodby Silverstein and Partners and was managed by Sprint"

August 20, 2007

Warren Buffett Raises Money For Barak Obama - Says Bargains Abound in Subprime Mortgage Mess

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/20/2007 08:59:00 PM
If you are a Buffett fan, you will be interested to know that Warren Buffett was holding a fundraiser for Barak Obama last Thursday where he was charging $2300 per head to the event. Buffett was interviewed by CNBC. He told Becky Quick from CNBC that he thinks the volatility is presenting opportunities in the subprime mortgage sector.

Watch the CNBC video summary of Warren Buffett interview in Omaha. (free)
Watch the CNBC video Warren Buffett interview Part 1. (paid)
Watch the CNBC video Warren Buffett interview Part 2. (paid)

There is also a rumor from the Wall Street Journal that Countrywide may sell a stake to Buffett according to Heard on the Street. You've got to love this guy for the stuff he comes up with.

"I can spend money faster than Imelda Marcos when things are right," he says, referring to the former Philippines first lady and renowned shopper.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE BRKA) has $50 billion in cash and that's more than enough to buy Countrywide Financial Corporation (NYSE CFC) which has a market capitalization of $11 billion - that's a 50% discount from a year ago when it was worth over $20 billion. It's too early to tell what he's picking off. He's probably going to get a bargain investment opportunity. The nice way to describe it is that he is a value investor. The other way ... vulture investor! Time to load up on mortgage stocks. It's nice to be a money bag during times of stress.

Watch High School Musical 2 Online

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/20/2007 08:21:00 PM
High School Musical 2 is being touted as the biggest made for cable movie ever. 17.2 million viewers watched High School Musical on Friday. I had to watch High School Musical online so I searched for it and I found it on Google Video. I just searched for "High School Musical 2" with the option of duration greater than 20 minutes. The quality is pretty good. I also went to the High school Musical 2 website at Disney. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE DIS) clearly spent alot of money putting the site together but the content on there is just so sparse I am just surprised why Disney doesn't just put it on their own website. Anyway, High School Musical 2 seems like the latest teen phenomenon and Disney already has a High School Musical 2 CD on sale along with a Disney High School Musical junior novel .

Search for High School Musical 2 online. [Google Video]
Search for High School Musical 2 online. [YouTube]




Update ...

I give these kids mad props for going through the trouble of contributing this to YouTube. I mean YouTube has all these limits and these kids have so much patience for chopping up the videos. I would never have the patience to slice and dice and then watch this blurry stuff. Beats me kids these days! Apparently, it was uploaded by kooljude555, a 15 year old from Australia. Someone tell me how these kids find all this time to do this stuff and how in world did they get the video in the first place? A 15 year old!? I sure as hell didn't know how to do this stuff when i was 15!

Watch High School Musical 2 online Part 1 [Youtube]
Watch High School Musical 2 online Part 2 [Youtube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 3 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 4 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 5 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 6 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 7 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 8 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 9 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 10 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 11 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 12 [YouTube]
Watch High School Musical 2 Online Part 13 [YouTube]

Linktone and KongZhong Report 50% Drop in Revenues

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/20/2007 05:37:00 PM
Chinese wireless service VAS providers I have been following reported earnings tonight. KongZhong (Nasdaq KONG) revenues dropped by 50% from a year ago but broke even. KongZhong's sales for the quarter dropped year-over-year to $17 million from $30.1 million. Linktone reported even worse results and reported a loss (press release). Revenue during the quarter fell to $11.7 million from $23.3 million. A director from Linktone (Nasdaq LTON), Mark Begert, also resigned. Mark was one of the founders.

The way I see it these companies have no compelling applications of their own and serve as distributors of third party apps or content. Not all WVAS are bad, but there are some bad players in the industry and everyone if having to pay for the sins of the bottom feeders. One of the biggest complainsts is that bottom feeders rip off customers by charging fees for services that they advertise for free, double bill for services, and spam their inboxes with premium rate messages. It's replay of the carnage of what happened in Europe and the US two years ago. It's kind of their own doing. On top of that, China Mobile is doing more of the content themselves and keeping more of the revenue.

On the other hand, companies with real applications like QQ are doing well.

Subprime Lenders Thornburg Mortgage and KKR Financial Will Surivive

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/20/2007 05:29:00 PM
The worst is over for Thornburg (NYSE TMA) and KKR Financial (NYSE KFN). Thornburg Mortgage has sold off its non performing assets.

The Santa Fe, N.M., lender, said the move will result in a $930 million capital loss, of which Thornburg has previously reserved $700 million. Thornburg will also take a $40 million gain for the termination of its interest rate hedges.
KKR Financial is raising mad money.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts said Monday that it will raise $230 million by selling 16 million shares to investors Farallon Capital Management, Fir Tree Partners, JGE Capital Management, Marsico Capital Management, Morgan Stanley, Oak Hill Advisors and Sageview Capital. The company also seeks to raise an added $270 million through a rights offering under which current shareholders will have the option to buy a new share at $14.40 apiece for every five shares they hold. Kohlberg Kravis agreed to buy $100 million worth of stock should the rights offering fail to be fully subscribed.

These stocks are going to survive and now question is at what price are they buys.

First Solar, Inc. Is a Venture Capitalist Investors Wet Dream

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/20/2007 01:01:00 PM
I have to make a note of this. It's amazing what First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq FSLR) has been doing. It traded down to $74.77 last Thursday when the market bottomed and today, it's up at $94 for a gain of 20 points. I did some digging and uncovered some interesting information.

First Solar did a secondary offering on August 10 at a price of $95. That could explain why the stock is back at $95. The company sold 4 million shares of stock and shareholders sold 2.5 million shares. The stock went public November 17, 2006 so it's past the 6 month lock up typical of IPOs.

I would expect some volatility ahead since the stock is now post lockup and trading at a price that's stratospheric and priced for insiders to sell.

The S-1 / IPO prospectus has some very interesting facts. The Walton family (founding family of Walmart) owned 92% of the company prior to the IPO.

Currently, JWMA Partners, LLC, or JWMA, is the beneficial owner of 51,827,318 shares of our common stock, representing 92.32% of our shares of common stock prior to this offering. The Estate of John T. Walton, JCL Holdings, LLC and Michael J. Ahearn are the significant members of JWMA.

After the IPO, they still owned 58% of the company! Let's put that into perspective. That's 58% of a $6.8 billion company. That's $3.9 billion on paper. That kind of return is a venture capitalist investor's wet dream!

Marketwatch Takes a Dump on Conde Nast Portfolio

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/20/2007 12:40:00 PM
I can't help notice that Marketwatch took a dump on Conde Naste's Portfolio. Portfolio is a new magazine that's going after the business magazine segment and it's first issue is being ridiculed as a failure by Marketwatch. I guess now that Marketwatch and Dow Jones are part of the News Corporation (NYSE NWS) family of publications they have an official license to pooh-pooh their competitors. Not that Portfolio is anywhere near where it could be. I read the first issue of Portfolio and was not too impressed, but I have to give props to the ad sales team at Portfolio, because flipping through the magazine left me thinking, "Damn. They have alot ads!" I swear the number of ad pages probably outnumbered the number of content pages. Interspersed between the cover to cover homage of glossy ads, there was an article about a middle eastern sheikh, some stuff about expensive luxury products, and a few airplane ads for fractional ownership.

The website looks okay. It looks kind of like a mini blog, wannable Marketwatch. There's an article about Google taking a stake in tianya.cn, a Chinese social networking site. There's another blog post linking to a Times article about the remaking of the Virgin Group which is taking public its subsidiaries.

Not sure what Portfolio wants to be, but if they want to be like Marketwatch, they need more articles on the site. If they want to be like Forbes, Portfolio could use more original content.

August 19, 2007

How Much Money Will FDIC Insurance Protect?

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/19/2007 11:31:00 AM
The FDIC has a video tutorial on FDIC deposit insurance. It talks about the amount of money that the FDIC will insure depositors at FDIC insured banks. Most people are told that the FDIC insures up to $100,000 of deposit per institution but that's not entirely accurate. You can actually have more than $100,000 in insured deposits at one bank.

The FDIC actually insures four types of deposit accounts. Each type of account has a different amount that the FDIC will insure you for.

1. Single accounts - $100,000. Single accounts include checking and savings accounts.

2. Self-directed retirement accounts
- $250,000. These include traditional IRA's, Roth IRA's and self-directed Keoghs

3. Joint accounts
- $100,000 per depositor for joint accounts. A joint account is an account owned by two or more people. For instance, if a married couple has a joint account, they would each up insured up to $100,000 - meaning they can have up to $200,000 in join account deposits that are insured. Coverage is combined across all joint accounts at the bank. That means if you have more than one joint account, your coverage is still limited to $100,000.

4. Revocable trust accounts
- $100,000 per beneficiary. Revocable trust accounts include payable on death (POD) accounts or a living trust. For instance, a trust account with two beneficiaries would be covered up to $200,000.

In summary, a depositor can actually have well over $100,000 in insured deposits per institution. For instance, let's say Joe opens a single account, a retirement account, and a joint account. He is insured for $100,000 on the single account, $250,000 on the retirement account, and $100,000 on the joint account. He could have $450,000 in insured deposits. Joe can have more insured deposits by setting up a revocable trust and the insured amount is only limited by the number of beneficiaries. So, if Joe opens a revocable trust with two beneficiaries, Joe can get $650,000 in coverage.

What is interesting is that business accounts are actually treated separately. Businesses operated as a sole proprietorship are not eligible for business account coverage. However, corporations and partnerships and unincorporated association like churches and community groups can each have $100,000 in coverage. That means, if Joe opens a business account, he can have $750,000 in FDIC insured deposits. That's close to $1 million in insured deposits per bank. Technically, Joe can have even more coverage. Joe can setup multiple corporations and each corporation's bank account would be insured up to $100,000.

If you Joe were a wealthy person, Joe would have to use many banks to insure the safety of his deposits. At each bank, Joe would set up 4 personal accounts and 1 business account and deposit up to $750,000 to ensure maximum coverage.

Watch the video tutorial on FDIC deposit insurance coverage [FDIC.gov].

Read the transcript of the FDIC deposit insurance tutorial. [MrWaveTheory]


Bank run at Countrywide Financial Corporation Good for Bank of America

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 8/19/2007 09:21:00 AM
A bank run (also known as a run on the bank) happens when every depositor tries to pull their money out at the same time. There is a bank run happening right now at Countrywide Financial Corporation (NYSE CFC).

The rush to withdraw money -- by depositors that included a former Los Angeles Kings star hockey player and an executive of a rival home-loan company -- came a day after fears arose that Countrywide Financial could file for bankruptcy protection because of a worsening credit crunch stemming from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.

The parent firm borrowed $11.5 billion Thursday by using up an existing line of credit from 40 banks, saying the money would help the lender meet its funding needs and continue to grow. But stock investors, apparently alarmed that the company felt compelled to use the credit line, sent Countrywide's already battered stock down an additional 11%.

What is bad for Country Financial Corporation could turn out to be a blessing for Bank of America (NYSE BAC).

Bill Ashmore drove his Porsche Cayenne to Countrywide's Laguna Niguel office and waited half an hour to cash out $500,000, which he then wired to an account at Bank of America.

My advice: if you've got money at Countrywide, don't walk, run to the bank.

Bank runs were quite frequent during the pre-Federal Reserve era because there was no lender of last resort. This is what happened during the Great Depression in 1929 as thousands of banks failed. At the beginning of the Depression, in 1929, there were close 25,000 banks in America. In 1934, the number of banks in America had dwindled to 16,000.

Numbers of Banks and Bank Suspensions
Year
Number as of 12-31
Suspensions
1929
24,633
659
1930
22,773
1350
1931
19,970
2293
1932
18,397
1453
1933
15,015
4000
1934
16,096
57

Data are from Table V 20-30 in Historical Statistics of The United States: Colonial Times to 1970, 1975, p. 912.


When the banks failed, depositors lost their savings. The banks failed because they ran out of cash. Why? It's the business model of banks to lend out more money than they actually have - called the multiplier ratio. In fact, that's why banks are such good businesses. They lend what they do not have to borrowers and borrow what they do not own from depositors.

Today, there are roughly 7,500 banks in America. No depositor has lost a single penny of insured funds according to the FDIC since 1933. The catch is that depositors are only insured up to $100,000 by the FDIC and FDIC insurance is fairly worthless if you need rapid access to your cash. History is a good teacher. In the 80s, when companies like World Savings and Loan failed, depositors waited for years to get their money back.

So, don't walk, run to your bank!