Yeah, fine, there's a new hundred dollar bill. Whoop-de-damn-doo. The $1 bill is fifty years old in its current configuration, and I see a lot more of those than I do hundreds. I'm BORED. Change up the single for me already! I mean, I get it, the government wants to phase out paper money altogether so that it can further its plan of frustrating my every move by forcing me to stand behind an even longer line of idiots who are unable to find their debit cards or swipe them properly so that the commission of a single-item purchase becomes a marathon event and you just want to kill [...]
One useful thing that Business Insider honcho Henry Blodget has done is make somewhat public "how much websites make." The answers may surprise you, and here, in his profile of Blodget (subscription-only; you should subscribe!), Ken Auletta does a rather amazing drive-by round-up of Business Insider, Huffington Post and Gawker Media.
In which editors and writers reveal many secrets!
"Earning more money tends to make people happier, at least up to a point. But new research suggests the reverse may also be true: happier people actually make more money."
"The family’s patriarch and matriarch keep a low profile, splitting their time between a large, lavishly furnished apartment on Paris' famous Left Bank and a 6,000 acre estate in the sought-after Loire Valley." —Don't you think there's something going wrong over at Forbes when they decide they have to apply descriptors to "Left Bank" and "Loire Valley"?
"Whose $6 billion did JPMorgan Chase & Co. lose during the now-infamous London Whale debacle? Was it depositors’ money or shareholders’ money? Or was no money lost at all?"
Wells Fargo Fraud Specialist: Hello, ma’am.
Me: Hi, how are you?
WFFS: There were some false charges on your card?
Me: Yes, that's right.
WFFS: Okay, I am going to go through the previous week of charges with you to make sure that everything is legitimate. I'll read off the charges and you just tell me yes if the charge was yours or no if it wasn’t.
Me: Okay… Well, I was on vacation the week before, so there are probably some weird charges.
WFFS: I’m showing a $750 dollar charge at a Hotel Tiz… ano in Rome on March 20th.
Me: Yes! Right. It’s a hotel in Rome [...]
Let's just do facts, right? (Footnoted with sources; otherwise from NYT Co. self-report.)
Total Q1 revenue this year: $475.4 million.
Total Q1 revenue in 2012: $499.4 million.
Total Q1 revenue in 2011: $566.5 million.
Total Q1 revenue in 2010: $587.9 million.
Total Q1 revenue in 2009: $609.0 million.
Total Q1 revenue in 2008: $747.9 million.
Total Q1 revenue in 2007: approx $740 million.*
Total Q1 revenue in 2006: $832 million.*
Total Q1 revenue in 2005: $806 million.*
Total Q1 revenue in 2004: $773.8 million.*
Total Q1 revenue in 2003: $783.7 million.*
"'Asking prices' are not that at all. They are 'marketing prices.' Buyers should never reflexively assign any validity to the price advertised on any particular property. Listing agents purposely under price their properties for sale and set an offer date. 'Why?' individuals may ask. They do it because it works." —Are you in the market for buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area? Sorry to hear about that.
"The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to an all-time record Tuesday on news that China was pledging to plow more money into its economy, returning the markets to highs not seen since before the financial crisis. By 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Dow was up nearly 90 points, or 0.74 percent, to 14,216.70, blowing past a record that was set Oct. 11, 2007, during a time when the economy was just peaking and headed toward disaster. [...] The Dow’s record high confirmed that the ongoing political paralysis in Washington has failed to spook the markets much in the last year." —The very rich don't seem to be bothered by [...]
Google's Android phones are used by more people, yet Apple's App Store sells 400% more than Google's online store for Android apps. How is this even possible? Consumer tech experts say it's because Apple started early and has stringent quality control and also has a whole lot of iTunes account holders who typed in their credit card information before they even owned a smart phone.
Consumers are more willing to fork over their money for an iOS app, because they know they’ll probably get their money’s worth, says app developer Zak Tanjeloff with DLP Mobile. “The App Store has a higher proportion of quality apps, thanks to the [...]
Congratulations, everybody: Black Friday retail sales topped a billion dollars, which means everybody is rich and happy again. Whether shopping from a laptop in bed with a variety of empty bottles and pie crumbs or "at the actual store" with your fellow shoppers in their sweatpants, you helped make America great again.
How much greater? How about 26% better than Black Friday 2011! That is just a phenomenal amount of spending, for a phenomenal amount of consumer goods, electronics, gifts, and whatever else people buy. Pretty much everything is a Black Friday sales item in 2012. Cars? Oh hell yeah, go buy a car on Black [...]
Today in New York City, someone just bought this wee Harry Bertoia sculpture for $50,000, well above estimate. And also late this morning at Sotheby's, at the "important 20th century design" auction: a set of used 70s silverware was estimated at $6000 to $8000. It sold for $50,000. But in stranger news, the market for Nakashima furniture seems to be a little off! Lots withdrawn! Low bids accepted! I smell anxiety about the economy on the horizon.
For today's Awl newsletter, we're soliciting questions about THE LOOMING APRIL 15TH and all things tax and employment and money-related. Send them to me at choire @ the awl dot com or leave them here in the comments, or on Twitter, or whatever. Anonymity respected. But feel no shame! Experts (uh, sort of! Experts in life, we mean! Legal disclaimer goes here!) are standing by.
What is the current market value of a Nobel Prize? Until yesterday, that question would have been virtually impossible to answer, which proved to be advantageous to the family of Francis Crick. Heritage Auctions, the entity that conducted the sale of Crick’s 23-carat gold medal in New York this week, declared it a "historic moment."
As such, bidding started at $250,000.1 Niels Bohr offered his own Nobel Prize to benefit the Finland Relief in 1940. It was purchased by an anonymous bidder who donated it to the Frederiksborg Museum. Son Aage Niels Bohr, a nuclear physicist, also won the prize. The younger Bohr died in 2009, and whoever [...]
On the night after the Heaven's Gate UFO cultists were discovered dead by mass suicide in a San Diego suburban McMansion, I was standing in a dark patch of the Presidio, watching the Hale-Bopp comet and its forked tail over the Marin Headlands. Someone passed around binoculars, somebody else passed a little pipe around, and after a half hour everyone was cold and bored and we drifted back to the battleship-gray Victorian on Haight Street that I shared with a rotating group of five or six pals.
My bedroom was just a large closet on the upper floor, with enough room for a narrow mattress and a chest [...]
"Is it any wonder that virtually all Wall Street 'professionals' are habituated sociopaths who lie for a living just to skim a few pennies (metaphorically speaking: make that millions of "other people's" dollars in the real world). And is it any wonder that all banks demand their inner workings never see the light of day so they can operate in absolute secrecy, and exchanges like the above, and 22 more, are never read by the public." —Would you like to be a fixed income trader? Well, that era is ending, but it was a good grift. (via)
"Calling the shooting a 'watershed event' in the national debate on gun control, Cerberus Capital, a New York-based firm that manages over $20 billion, said in a statement Tuesday it planned to sell off its investment in the Freedom Group. Freedom Group bills itself as a 'family' of more than a dozen firearm companies including Bushmaster Firearms." —Looks like a certain New York bunch of urban elitists are getting their man cards revoked.
I was recently at a tony wedding party—it was really fun! Hooray for love!—and all the women there were talking about, among other things of course, their dresses. It was all "Oh I got this at a sample sale" and the like. Everyone wanted to be clear that she hadn't paid full price. Many of them even hadn't. It was as if buying retail was a crime. And it was slightly scandalous (as if it were, like, 1890) that one somewhat New York-famous guest was wearing sneakers. They looked like Vans, people thought. But I pointed out that they were in fact Bottega Veneta sneakers—so, expensive, suede, woven vans—which retail [...]
"Facebook’s debut is not just a market event. For the millions of Americans who have no intention of ever buying or selling a share of Facebook (although the mutual funds in their 401(k) may have other thoughts), the trading on Friday is the the [sic] equivalent of a must-see Super Bowl Sunday showdown for people who don’t ordinarily watch a football game," opines the New York Times. It's "a pop culture spectacle"! I sure wish they'd said "spectacular." So basically, the Facebook IPO is "The Hills" but with more money. It's so important that we watch the manipulation of a market and a company's share price! Meanwhile, everyone's [...]