August 17, 2015
What we’re reading this week
Puerto Rico is planning on selling 750 million of revenue bonds only 1 week after their 8/3 default. Joseph Rosenblum, director of municipal credit at Alliance Bernstein, understates the facts, “This is going to be a bumpy ride for the commonwealth.” Sell me Puerto Rican bonds once, shame on you. Sell me Puerto Rican Bonds twice…
Google is now Alphabet. I am not convinced that this isn’t the first step in Google’s plan to somehow trademark the English language, thereby collecting royalties any time we speak or use the alphabet. Interestingly though, here are several businesses Alphabet owns that are not Google. Of special note is Calico a research company working on technology to “increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan.”
Edward Jones settled (without admitting or denying the findings) SEC charges that was inflating bond prices for consumers when Jones was involved in the underwriting. While this isn’t the first time a broker has marked up a security before selling it to clients (or failed to tell them about the markup) I applaud the SEC for following through on its commitment to increase pricing transparency.
It’s long, but this New York Times piece on Amazon is worth reading. I admit this reads more like an expose on a cult than a business giant and innovator.
The financial services industry continues its fight against a fiduciary standard. The argument is that service will decline and advice for the average investor will become more expensive. No way.
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