Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Apple's (AAPL) Jobs Taking Medical Leave of Absence; Bank of America (BAC) Sucking up More Tax Dollars

Apple's (AAPL) shares are down about 8% in after hours on the Jobs news... sounds like a very tough situation. Without assurance the Creator in Chief will be back; this stock will probably remain depressed for quite a while. One of the few CEOs in the U.S. actually worth the compensation package...
  • Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs said Wednesday that because of his health issues he will take a medical leave of absence from the company until the end of June.
  • Jobs released a letter saying that Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook would take over the day-to-day running of the company during his absence. Jobs said he would remain involved in major company strategic decisions during the next five months.
  • Jobs statement comes less than two weeks after he said he was undergoing treatment for a "hormone imbalance" that was responsible for the dramatic loss of weight he experienced over the past year, and which led many industry watchers to speculate that Jobs had a recurrence of the pancreatic cancer which he successfully battled in 2004.
  • However, in his Wednesday letter, Jobs said his condition had reached a point of where it couldn't be ignored anyone. "During the last week, I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought."
Meanwhile back at the new heart of U.S. capitalism aka. Washington D.C. -
  • The U.S. government is close to committing billions in additional aid to Bank of America Corp. as the nation's largest bank by assets tries to digest its Jan. 1 acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co., according to people familiar with the situation.
  • Any possible arrangement might protect Bank of America from losses on Merrill's bad assets. There would be a cap on the amount of losses the bank would have to absorb with the federal government being on the hook for the remainder, according to one person familiar with the matter.
  • Thus far, Bank of America has received $25 billion in federal rescue aid, including $10 billion Merrill Lynch would have received if the sale to Bank of America had not closed.
  • The talks with Bank of America were driven by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, people familiar with the matter said, because he was concerned that without help the deal wouldn't close, leaving Merrill adrift.
Did I miss the Congressional hearing on this one? The one where the Bank of America CEO was denounced for the way he ran his business & asked why he flew in on a private jet? The one where the former CEO of Citigroup was sitting next to him and asked the same? The one where Congress asks why the workers are not taking pay cuts ? Ah never mind - that only happens for those Midwest suckers - the one who asks for loans. If its just a handout and not a loan - no hearing necessary. It's just done in a backroom with Sir Paulson and Sir Geithner.

Sorry the double standard just disgusts me.

So let me get this right; we are saving company after company in financial world because they were too big to fail. Then we are helping, with tax dollars, other companies digest acquisitions... so that they too become too big to fail. What a disaster.
  • With its recent acquisitions of Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill, the Charlotte, N.C. lender is now a major player in every corner of the battered U.S. financial system, from credit cards and home mortgages to underwriting, merger advice and wealth management, all of which are under stress during one of the deepest recessions since World War II.
As in too big to fail, correct?

Unfortunately I believe this will continue to happen throughout 2009 - in fact I predicted as much for Bank of America on Dec 1st [Dec 1: Hello, I need your Tax Dollars] and Nov 26th.

Hi, my name is Bank of America - aka Citigroup 2.0 [Nov 26: After Citigroup is Bank of America Next?] Now who wants some of these yummy Countrywide loans? Anyone? Will someone else other than Uncle Hank raise their hand? Please... anyone but Hank... please.

Why this charade of private companies exists anymore boggles me - just take these Citigroups, BACs over - they are nationalized. Call it what it is.

I wonder what Phil Gramm, the father of financial deregulation is thinking.... ah yes, he still thinks the U.S. is in a mental recession - last we checked. There is such a long list of lobbyists, CEOs, CFOs and the like whose compensation over the past 5 years need to be clawed back; I'd clawback all of Phil's pay for the past 30 years. Guys like this are the nexus of anti-Robin Hood. Steal from the poor to give to the connected. What a shame the sheeple of America do not pay attention to what is happening to their country.

Off to stare at pandas...

No position utter than disgust at "regulation hurts innovation"

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