Facebook goes native! Releases new apps that are twice as fast

Facebook has finally answered the question that’s been bugging Wall Street and the rest of us, “when are you going to get mobile?”

Yesterday, the answer came as Facebook launched major upgrades to their iPhone and iPad apps. From the N.Y. Times Bits blog:

Those who have suffered from the sluggishness of the current apps can breathe a collective sigh of relief: these new versions are much faster.

The apps look nearly identical to their predecessors. The main difference is that most of their old Web-based code has been replaced with the native programming code used for iOS

Even more, Facebook has gone all Google Plus on the issue (you know Google making social everyone’s responsibility):

In recent interviews, Facebook executives said they have retooled the organization so that every product team is working on mobile, and the company holds weekly training courses on programming for Apple and Android devices.


The Verge is reporting that these updates make the apps twice as fast:

In building a native Facebook app for iOS, the company looked at improving three key places, “the app’s largest pain points” all relating to speed: launching the app, scrolling through the News Feed, and tapping photos inside the News Feed. “We’re twice as fast in all these areas,” Mick Johnson says.


I’ve been playing with the app and the claims appear to be true. This is good news for Facebook fans (and stock holders) because slow apps can be killer for growth.


**Sorry for the “native” joke, but I couldn’t resist 🙂


Continue reading Facebook goes native! Releases new apps that are twice as fast

Unknown to most modern-day investors and traders – Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is one of the most important investment books ever written

Like you I dream of investing in the stock market to make money. Not big money but simple 10% returns, year over year.

The trouble is that the market is so complex and confusing. It seems to take an infinite amount of time, research, and knowledge to make it work. To which, I respond, there has to be a book to explain it all to me.

A novel that encapsulates all I need to know into pithy, poignant statements. Offering a way to avoid all the simple mistakes and skip right to the business a making money.

I have found the first book of that kind for any investor, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre.


The most important investment book for today’s investors isn’t on the hottest new trend–it’s a book written over 70 years ago. Originally published in 1923, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator continues to inspire each new generation of investors.

Unknown to most modern-day investors and traders. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is one of the most important investment books ever written.

Although Reminiscences…was first published some seventy years ago, its take on crowd psychology and market timing is a s timely as last summer’s frenzy on the foreign exchange markets.

After twenty years and many re-reads, Reminiscences is still one of my all-time favorites.

Stock investing is a relatively recent phenomenon and the inventory of true classics is somewhat slim. When asked, people in the know will always list books by Graham, Malkiel, and Fisher. You’ll know you’re getting really good advice if they also mention Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre.

Continue reading Unknown to most modern-day investors and traders – Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is one of the most important investment books ever written

Occupy Wall Street: Finding a voice, a message and an audience

** This is a guest post by Bernie Lee **

Trying to write a blog post about Occupy Wall Street that’s fair a balanced has become an endeavor that has led me around in circles. It’s unlike other protest movements such the anti-war hippie movement or the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. In those there were clear leaders and a clear message and the voice was of an identifiable demographic of the American public.

Two historic movements have the same complications that plague Occupy Wall Street: the American and French Revolutions.

I hate revisionist history. It’s also difficult to enumerate all of the reasons and events that led to the American Revolution. It’s really hard to take off “presentism” goggles as we try to look back into history and learn from the events of the past.

Fact: George Washington was the leader of the American armies during the revolution.
Opinion: George Washington was a badass and an impeccable leader of men.

For many people in the US, my statement that George Washington was a badass is merely an opinion and may be refuted is tantamount to speaking heresy in front of an inquisitor during the Spanish Inquisition or having gone up to McCarthy with the news that I’m a communist. Now that I’ve put that seed of thought in your mind, let me try to amend your opinion by saying that I’m not a communist. Of course whether you believe that or not remains to be seen. Hopefully you haven’t passed judgement on me and decided the rest of this post is not worth reading.

In his book, The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama explains that there is only one right that a human being can protect on his/her own – his/her right to life. Any other “right” that we believe we have is given to us by the social system we live under. I don’t have a right to speak my mind. In a different community, I could be silenced via censorship, incapacitation, imprisonment or death. However, the US Constitution is a social contract that states that as a citizen of the US, I have the right to speak my mind. My government protects my freedom of speech.

Continue reading Occupy Wall Street: Finding a voice, a message and an audience

MF Global shows Wall Street is ready for the good old days

If you don’t think Wall Street is chomping at the bit to get back to the good old days, take a look at MF Global. This financial services company was taken over by John Corzine, the former governor of New Jersey, a 24 year veteran of Wall Street, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs for 5 years.

The company was involved in a wide range of services and doing well for itself. Then Corzine came in with support from its leaders and promptly leveraged it to the max. Including a $6.3 billion dollar wager on European debt.

That obviously went south but that’s not what is interesting here. Rather, it’s that MF Global made the bet with its own money. A process called proprietary trading that is highly controversial.

Mostly because banks are not supposed to use their financial wizardry for themselves, but for us the customers. When they do start making their own bets it puts our money at risk. If one of those bets goes sour and the entire bank goes down, so do we.

It also makes the FDIC step in and we are back to square one with Wall Street making bets and Main Street cleaning it up.

Obama’s financial reform, called the Dodd Frank Act, largely ignored proprietary trading. Only at the last-minute did Paul Volker fight for some legislation on this, which is why the result is called the Volker Rule.

For the past year, U.S. Regulators and the major banks have been negotiating on the terms of this important rule. A spicy topic because proprietary trading accounts for up to 25% of all bank profits.

The rules are expected to go into effect next year (2012). Which is why I think Corzine went so fast, he was only CEO for 19 months, and went so huge. He wanted to get into the game before the rule set in.

I think he figured that if his bet worked then he would have turned MF Global into a Wall Street powerhouse to compete with Goldman, Citi, JP Morgan, etc.

Of course, he failed and now regulators have a fresh example to guide them in drafting the rules. This collapse rattled many of them and the rules will certainly be tightened.

The whole situation is like a throwback to the pre-recession days. It shows that firms will still take massive risks with other people’s money (and their own). We just have to hope that, going forward, those who do will be small enough to not take down our whole system.

source: Bloomberg

Occupy Chinese Wall Street

Does anyone ever think about the power that comes with Wall Street?

We are the center of the financial universe and money flows into our country. The dollar is the standard by which everyone else values their currency. Millions upon millions of jobs are created by more than just the big investment banks, but also the small businesses that rarely face a credit crunch.

Nearly every person in this country can get a quick $20k to start a business, whether from a bank or through a credit card.

So, why do the Occupy Wall Street protesters want to put a monkey wrench in the works? Would they rather it be in China?

Perhaps they blame Wall Street for the recession or the bailouts.

Let’s start with the bailouts. There were two of them, one for Detroit and one for Wall Street. The one for the automakers cost us $14 billion on an $80 billion loan bailout, while TARP cost us $20 billion on $432 billion in loans.

That’s a 17.5% default rate for Detroit compared to a 4.6% default rate for Wall Street, and the TARP number is expected to go lower as more money is paid back. That $14 billion automaker loss it’s already on the books.

Further, the Wall Street banks have already paid their loans back, it’s the small community banks across the country who are defaulting.

The main reason they are defaulting: bad home loans.

Which brings up an interesting conundrum. Non-Wall Street banks taking our tax money. People taking on bad mortgages and government regulators performing a classic disappearing act.

Should we think twice about blaming Wall Street?

At the very least take responsibility for our own bad mortgages and elected officials.

You definitely won’t find me out protesting Wall Street — I would feel too guilty as I have an “easy mortgage” that I am underwater on.

I like having my country as the financial power in the world and all the money and jobs that go along with it. Not to mention that it’s better than it being in China or Germany.

Plus, I have work to do. I can’t sit around all day and be angry at other people…

[photo: blaisone-crowds / david shankbone-socialist]

A Poem: Signs the economy is picking up

Last week the bells were sounding alarm
The jobs report was down
Housing is still in a depression
The pundits are starting to talk double dip

But what about my report
Pennies on the ground
15x more pennies on the streets
I’m hauling in the copper

Strength in the economy?
Bums are now only taking silver
Drunks are letting loose their cents
Parents are telling children pennies are trash

How will you decide
Pennies on the ground
Fancy-pants wall street reports

A penny saved is a penny earned

Wall Street 2 Quotes – The Best Ones..

If you are a fan of Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps then you will love these quotes. I can’t help myself watching the movie several times over just to pick up the extra nuance these words provide:


Jacob Moore: If it weren’t for people who took risks, where would we be in this world?


Gordon Gekko: Moral hazard is when they take your money and then are not responsible for what they do with it.


Gordon Gekko: A fisherman always sees another fisherman from afar.


Gordon Gekko: If there’s one thing I learned in prison it’s that money is not the prime commodity in our lives… time is.


Jacob Moore: You wanna know what the mother of all bubbles was? Us. The human race. Scientists call it the Cambrian Explosion, from the Cambrian fauna.


Jacob Moore: Bubbles are evolutionary. They kill excess, lean out the heard, but they are never completely destroyed. They just come back in different forms and when they burst they give light to a new day, always creating change.


Jacob Moore: Are we going under? There are 15 thousand jobs on the line – 15 thousand! Are we going under?
Lewis Zabel (Frank Langella): You’re asking the wrong question, Jake.
Jacob Moore: What’s the right question?
Lewis Zabel: Who isn’t?


Gordon Gekko: Don’t run when you lose, don’t whine when it hurts. It’s like the first grade, Jerry…nobody likes a crybaby.


Jacob Moore: Mom, I love you, but I can not keep hemorrhage money for your insanity.What you need to do is go back to Henry and you need to get another job. Okay?
Sylvia Moore: Oh my god, do you mean like a real job? With a boss? Are you crazy?


Jacob Moore: No matter how much money you make you’ll never be rich.
Gordon Gekko: That’s what you never got about these people. Its not about the money, its about the game.


Gordon Gekko: When choosing between two evils, I like to try the one I haven’t tried before.


Jacob Moore: Is this a threat?
Gordon Gekko: Absolutely.