Chriss W. Street

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Brown Moonwalking Toward Presidential Run with CA Credit Upgrade

Away from all the national bleeding and great gnashing of teeth in the Democratic Party, the sun is shining bright for newly reelected Governor Jerry Brown as he picked up his second solvency award with a state credit upgrade from Standard & Poor’s. As the last Democrat standing tall, Jerry Brown seems positioned to sweep Hillary Clinton aside and become the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Nov 7, 2014 6:22 AM PT

Facebook is Hot--But the Future, Maybe Not

Facebook has been on a roll this year, with its stock up stock up 54%. With the company delivering third quarter revenues increase of 59.0%, the Morgan Stanley brokerage issued a buy recommendation on FB stock at $75 a share with a target of $90. However, now that Facebook has already captured most of the world’s social networking fanatics, revenue growth may soon slow and fanatic investor may bail out quickly at the sign of any financial disappointment. Nov 6, 2014 10:29 AM PT

NSA Spymaster Goes Shopping for Talent in Silicon Valley

With a hot stock market driving commercial demand for engineers, and Edward Snowden’s Citizen Four running in theaters, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers spoke at Silicon Valley’s Stanford University on Monday in an effort to recruit America’s best and brightest to develop bleeding edge cybersecurity algorithms to help America spy worldwide. Nov 6, 2014 4:43 AM PT

Box-Office Bomb: Hollywood Left's Money Crushed by GOP Wave

Groucho Marx famously said: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” The quote sums up the depressing realization for Tinseltown’s progressives this morning that a conservative Republican wave seems to have swept their big-money quest to transform America into a European social welfare state into the dustbin of history. Nov 5, 2014 1:37 PM PT

ISIS Tries to Humiliate Obama on Election Day

In what appears to be a coordinated strategy to inflict a humiliating blow against President Obama on election day, 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (known as ISIS or ISIL) and their Al Qaeda allies (Jabhat al-Nusra) launched new offensives across northern Syria that quickly forced the two main U.S. armed “Syrian Free Rebels” groups to surrender, turn over weapons, and for many, to swear allegiance to ISIS. Nov 4, 2014 6:39 PM PT

California Attorney General Reports Data Breaches Up 600% in 2013

Attorney General Kamala Harris released her second annual California Data Breach Report on October 28, which revealed hacking penetration is up 600% since 2012. This year, the Attorney General issued 12 recommendations to companies in various industries, and to the legislature regarding ways to improve data security practices to improve California consumer protection. Oct 31, 2014 11:11 AM PT

Covered California Website Outage Hides Huge Premium Increases

As someone who was forced into Covered California (CC) last year when Aetna, my long-time and excellent healthcare insurer, exited California’s individual market, I am painfully aware of the technical incompetence of the CC website. Oct 30, 2014 4:13 PM PT

NY Times Funds Blendle's Pennies for Your Thoughts

A Dutch start-up called Blendle is taking global the equivalent of "a penny for your thoughts" by pioneering a Spotify-style market for copyright journalism. To begin to touch a world of seven billion people, Blendle just raised $3.8 million in a first round venture capital deal from the New York Times Company and dominant European publisher Axel Springer, through their Digital Ventures subsidiary, according to TechCrunch. Oct 30, 2014 11:45 AM PT

Obama Triangulates, Okays some Nuclear Power

After a two-year suspension in issuing nuclear power plant licenses, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has quietly granted long-term licensing renewals for two Limerick Generating Station Units near Philadelphia. Oct 29, 2014 10:08 PM PT

California Teachers' Pension Still Insolvent

California public employees now enjoy the highest benefits of any state in the nation. To pretend to fund this largess, California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) is an “outlier” among public pension plans in using creative accounting to blur its grossly underfunded status. This has allowed its school district clients and unionized employees to short-check their annual payment for the nation’s most lucrative teachers' pension benefits. But pressure from Moody’s credit rating agency is causing CalSTRS clients and unionized teachers to make big increases in pension and benefit funding. Oct 29, 2014 10:41 AM PT

Amazon's Earnings Stink, Despite Rapid Growth

Although lousy quarterly earnings would result in lower stock prices for most companies, shareholders gave Amazon a pass for over a decade as the high-tech company rapidly grew top-line sales to become America’s Everything Store. But in a year when the market has been red-hot for many tech start-ups, Amazon stock is down 30% since January, as the company is now seen as more of a store than a tech company. Oct 25, 2014 8:28 AM PT

Amazon Visa Card to Accept Apple Pay

TechCrunch reports that the Amazon Rewards Visa Card has joined Visa, MasterCard and American Express in accepting Apple Pay for credit card transactions. Although some were surprised that Amazon would do business with Apple’s “closed garden,” Chase Bank is already working with Apple Pay at launch. It now seems clear that Apple Pay is about selling a few percent more Apple 6 and 6 Plus, rather than a competitive initiative to compete with Amazon’s virtual stores. Oct 24, 2014 5:17 AM PT

Property Rights Triumph in People's Republic of San Francisco

In a decision that is sure to inflame San Francisco politics, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District Charles Breyer ruled Tuesday a San Francisco law requiring landlords to pay displaced tenants the difference between current rent and the amount needed to rent a comparable unit in a similar neighborhood in the city for two years was an unconstitutional violation of property rights. Oct 24, 2014 4:59 AM PT

WhatsApp Founder Says He Is Ashamed of Past Behavior

WhatsApp Chief Executive Officer Jan Koum, whose mobile-messaging company was acquired by Facebook for $22 billion this year, confronted a dicey past as he joined the Facebook board as the third-largest shareholder. Koum apologized for actions that resulted in a 1996 restraining order for verbal and physical threats against his ex-girlfriend, along with changing her school records to prevent her from attending classes. Oct 22, 2014 4:57 AM PT

Not So Fast: Stock Market Fall Will End 'California Comeback'--Laffer

Arthur Laffer made his name as the USC professor who helped give credibility to the Reagan Administration’s supply-side economics, based on the idea that higher tax rates inadvertently result in lower taxes collected. But California Governor Jerry Brown’s recent State of the State address claimed raising taxes to the highest level of any state in the nation has led to what Brown calls the “California Comeback.” Laffer has taken to the opinion page of the Orange County Register week to defend supply-side principles and call Brown lucky that a hot stock market and mega-IPOs temporarily postponed California’s road to financial ruin. Oct 22, 2014 4:43 AM PT

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