Chriss W. Street

Latest News

Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Battery-Powered Vehicles Start Competing

At the Los Angeles Auto Show and San Francisco Show next month, there will be lots of focus on the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Las May, California joined Oregon and six east coast states, which together represent about a quarter of all U.S. miles driven, to commit to an infrastructure roll out to support 3.3 million hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles on their roads by 2025. To demonstrate they are serious, California just awarded a $50 million grant that will more than quadruple the number of “hydrogen highway” fueling station to 37. Oct 7, 2014 4:57 AM PT

Hewlett-Packard Plans Break-up from Strength

When Whitman announced a company-wide restructuring plan in May 2012 she said it would run through the end of 2014. But the analyst community had little faith that a Silicon Valley behemoth with $127 billion in revenue from wilting technology would make the breadth of gut-wrenching financial and human changes necessary to revive the company. Oct 6, 2014 6:58 AM PT

Bill Gross offers PIMCO Staff a Farewell Letter from Hell

Bloomberg View columnist Barry Ritholtz published what is purported to be PIMCO founder Bill Gross’s letter to the staff as he jumped ship on the morning of September 26 to avoid being terminated for his supposed arrogant and demeaning treatment of staff. Although the letter was reported unsent on Gross’s computer, the hellishly arrogant and demeaning comments Gross makes would seem, if real, to justify his firing. Oct 6, 2014 6:43 AM PT

Covered California Admits to 'Narrow Networks' of Doctors and Hospitals

The California State Insurance Department and Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) both agreed on October 3 to approve a 4.2% average increase for individual care premiums under Covered California, the state’s version of Obamacare. Yet for the first time, regulators admitted the reason rates did not skyrocket is their socialized health plans may be “narrow networks” that limit access to doctors and hospitals. Oct 5, 2014 6:53 AM PT

Bankruptcy Judge Hammers Unions by Allowing Stockton Pension Cut

In what will be a devastating blow to California public employee unions, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein ruled in the Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy of the City of Stockton that pensions managed by the California Public Employee Retirement System, known as CalPERS, can be cut in bankruptcy. Oct 4, 2014 11:07 AM PT

Facebook's $19.5B WhatsApp Acquisition Clears EU Antitrust Review

This week, the European Union (EU) Competition Commission approved Facebook’s $19.5 billion acquisition of WhatsApp based on a finding that the two companies’ business models assure that they are “not close competitors.” The ruling clears the last regulatory hurdle for Facebook to consolidate WhatsApp and close the acquisition. Oct 3, 2014 12:09 PM PT

Senator Levin Blasts Apple's 2% "Sweetheart" Tax Rate with Ireland

Senator Carl Levin turned up the heat on Apple Computer over the company’s gaming of international tax rates to reduce the rate America’s most profitable tech companies pay to less than what is required of many small and medium-sized businesses. Oct 2, 2014 11:40 AM PT

U.S. Streaks Past Saudi Arabia as World's Largest Oil Producer

The United States became the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2010 and is streaking past Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of petroleum liquids, according to the International Energy Agency. Despite scare tactics by the Left that a “peak oil” event took place in the 1990s and global production was in terminal decline, the U.S. in the last three years has experienced the fastest growth in oil and gas production in the history of the planet. Oct 2, 2014 11:18 AM PT

$50 Billion Porkapolooza on Last Day of Federal Budget Year

With September 30th as the end of the U.S. government’s budget year, bureaucrats facing use-it-or-lose-it rules swept up over $50 billion in leftover cash and went on the biggest one-day Porkapolooza shopping spree of the year. Oct 2, 2014 10:48 AM PT

PIMCO Hemorrhaging $198 Million an Hour in Redemptions

PIMCO has acknowledged that $23.5 billion of investors’ cash was withdrawn last month. It is my estimate that at least $19 billion or more of the liquidations followed legendary Pacific Asset Management (PIMCO) bond manager Bill Gross out the door after he left the firm on September 26 to avoid being terminated.Despite having almost $2 trillion of investor cash under management according to the firm’s website, PIMCO appears to be bleeding-out at the rate of $198 million an hour over a four-day period. Oct 2, 2014 10:26 AM PT

Will Start-up 'Ello' Make Facebook take a Faceplant?

Facebook has kept ahead of its customers jumping ship by buying 40 companies, including its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp that worked out to $40 per WhatsApp user. But Ello could be the right competitive model at a time when many people would like to see Facebook take a “Faceplant.” Sep 29, 2014 5:59 AM PT

The $5.6 Billion Price of Bill Gross Getting Dumped

On September 26, PIMCO's Bill Gross resigned from the firm he built into a $2 trillion world class manager, in order to avoid what the Wall Street Journal described as his impending termination for the abusive treatment of employees. The action rattled markets around the world as the stock value of PIMCO’s parent, Allianz Insurance, tanked by a stunning $4.9 billion. But when mutual fund giant Janus Capital Group announced Gross was taking over their tiny $13 million Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, Janus’ stock went up by $628 million. Sep 29, 2014 5:41 AM PT

California May Face Similar Utility Crisis that Caused Gray Davis Recall

California ranks third in the U.S., behind Hawaii and New Jersey, with 1.1% of statewide electrical power production being generated by customer-sited solar panels. However, a new federally-funded report warns that California could be headed for another electric utility crisis, like the one in 2003 that caused Governor Gray Davis to be recalled. Sep 28, 2014 6:46 AM PT

Does Drought Pricing for Water Violate California Law?

The California Legislature knows that the State Water Board’s unprecedented July 15 decision allowing local law enforcement and water agencies to impose a maximum $500-a-day fines on water wasters is difficult to enforce and is creating a rising backlash against the politicians. Economists from across the political spectrum recommend adding a simple, administrative, punitive surcharge onto water bills. Yet it appears higher rates for water usage are effectively a tax on usage, violating the 1996 voter-approved Proposition 218, requiring voter approval for all tax increases. Sep 27, 2014 7:36 AM PT

Water Districts and Voluntary Conservation Managing the Drought

The CAL WatchDog blog is running a series on the trends in California water use and pricing during the current severe drought. They confirm our August prediction that voluntarily public conservation and agricultural water districts are doing an excellent job responding to the drought. Sep 26, 2014 12:35 PM PT

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