Weil on Finance: Kicksuckers Whining About Oculus
Good morning, dear readers. Here's a look at my breakfast reading today.
One of them, a fellow named Joel Johnson, even wrote a post for ValleyWag explaining why he donated money to the virtual-reality company on Kickstarter and why he's upset that it's being sold to Facebook for $2 billion: "I mean, I don't even get to claim my contribution to Oculus on my taxes as a charitable deduction." Oh, the poor thing. But he's a brave man. A lot of people wouldn't want to admit this sort of thing to their closest friends, much less write about it.
Bless her heart, Marielle Segarra at CFO.com mentioned my all-time favorite example, from a company called Black Box Inc.: "adjusted EBITDA (as adjusted)." If you see a company touting something like this, run.
The Federal Reserve rejected Citigroup's capital plan yesterday. (The fraud scandal at the bank's Banamex subsidiary in Mexico couldn't have helped.) And the Fed's explanation bears repeating, considering that we're all on the hook if Citigroup ever goes bust again: "While Citigroup has made considerable progress in improving its general risk-management and control practices over the past several years, its 2014 capital plan reflected a number of deficiencies in its capital planning practices, including in some areas that had been previously identified by supervisors as requiring attention, but for which there was not sufficient improvement."
Greek banks have come a long way.
Now there's a turnaround story: "Alpha Bank SA and Piraeus Bank SA raised 2.95 billion euros ($4.07 billion) in new capital from foreign investors in the latest sign Greek lenders are bouncing back from the world's biggest sovereign debt crisis that pushed them into isolation from international money markets. `We have a bull market,' Dimitris Giannoulis, co-founder of ResearchGreece, an independent research provider based in Cyprus, said by phone." Imagine that: Greek lenders, Cyprus and bull market -- all in the same breath.
When was the last time you bought a $2,000 massage chair at an indoor shopping mall?
Well, that might help explain why Brookstone is about to file for bankruptcy. But at least the company isn't going out of business. The Wall Street Journal says it will be sold to another specialty retailer.
"How to Dress Like You Should Be a Banking Big Shot ."
I didn't write that headline. It's from a newsletter published by the New York State Society of Security Analysts. And now you, too, can be privy to important life lessons such as this: "Somebody might be absolutely brilliant at their job, but if they have the wrong color socks on they might be overlooked."
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