The New Reassurance

My friend Steve observed something to me this week that speaks to the changing dynamic in the world of business, finance, and markets.

He pointed out to me that a decade or two ago, when the financial markets tumbled, the Secretary of Treasury would arrange a press conference, stand behind a podium with some official looking seal on it, and make reassuring comments about the economy in hopes of reassuring investors and the markets.

Now, the Treasury Secretary has been replaced by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, the reassuring comments are delivered via an emailed letter to Jim Cramer, and the whole thing is reported on Twitter.

Apple has the largest market cap of any publicly traded company and may be the most widely held stock (I don’t actually know), so reassurances from Apple’s CEO matter. Twitter is the world’s real time news channel, and Jim Cramer has a high a profile as any market commentator out there. So it makes perfect sense if you think about it.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    It does, but I can tell you for a fact that big global companies have had such geographical warnings for a very long time. When I was at HP (20 years ago) and was privy to some internal data, we’d see slowdowns in Asia or Europe ahead of economic data, because customer budgets and discretionary spendings were the first to get cut when their businesses slowed down.That said, I would put a tamper on Tim Cook’s remarks, because Apple products are largely consumer products, and although consumer spending is part of the equation, we need to also hear from B2B behemoths like GE, Boeing and others like them.In bad economic times, the sales of liquor will increase, but that doesn’t mean that consumers are happy, and that’s certainly not reassuring.

    1. awaldstein

      Purchases of iPhones and Vermouth are not bellwethers for the same markets William nor do they necessarily come from the same personal budgets.

      1. William Mougayar

        Maybe they aren’t, but you will go the liquor once you realize your iPhone bills are high and you can’t pay them so easily.

        1. awaldstein

          I understand the metaphor well and it is a good one my friend.You are a clever phrase maker.If you look at consumer markets as bellwethers, and if you consider consumer spending more indicative and in advance of corporate changes often, the segments they speak to are different to my read.Just a different way to look at the world.Neither truer or not, just different.

    2. David Barnes

      Unlike liquor, rising spending on iPhones is at least a sign that consumers have faith in their employers.

    3. Guy Lepage

      Great point about big corps being ahead of the economic data. Maybe Tim Cook is saying they have already seen this slow down in China and that the growth he has indicated in the past three weeks means that we’re likely to see growth return in the coming weeks/months?

    4. Jess Bachman

      Maybe people buying Android instead of Apple might signal bad economic times?

      1. William Mougayar

        maybe yes. maybe no.need to correlate lots of data points typically, to reach a conclusion on such macro-economic parameters.

        1. Ovidiu Schiopu

          Agree that statistical data provides interesting information…just beware of back tested correlations that fit a model but is really just data mining (coincidence) that isn’t really predictive – like the skirt length – “According to the skirt length theory, when skirts get shorter, it’s time to buy; when skirts get longer, it’s time to sell.”

          1. William Mougayar

            Not statistical correlations & data mining, but am talking about real-time correlations of data points; eg if the sales of orange juice, high school students absentism and sales of cold medicines go up suddenly in a particular district, you can be almost sure there is epidemiological situation going on.

    5. creative group

      WM:could you please tell us mere mortals what you thought of the leadership of Carly? Was it just because she was a woman or the Compaq debacle? Jack Walsh made mistakes those who followed had to clean up but he is still held in very high esteem. And his predecessor did a lot of heavy lifting and structural changes that helped Jack’s international decisions.

      1. William Mougayar

        Don’t get me started on Carly’s reign at HP. Nothing to do with being a woman, but she systematically destroyed HP’s culture and triggered its downhill slide.

        1. creative group

          If the Compaq deal would have been a success would she still be disliked? ExampleMulally changed the culture of Ford Motor before he left. The initial shakeup of the C-Suite was criticized but he turned that company around and is considered one of the best CEO ‘s of the generation. Should have used Jack Welsh as the example. Either way you get the theme. CEO ‘s changing a culture to move it in direction foreign will alienate a lot of people.

          1. William Mougayar

            It’s more than the Compaq acquisition, although it created a bigger ball of wax for her.

  2. David Barnes

    It takes real skill to write an email like Tim’s, a skill I wish I had.There’s very little guidance out there on how to send good management emails — most of the focus is on cold mail and marketing.Do execs dash off emails like this spontaneously, or is it a process of editing, checking, discussing before they hit send? How can the rest of us develop this valuable writing skill?

    1. pointsnfigures

      The email might have been more for Apple employees and suppliers than it was for the market.

  3. Steven Kane

    well kind of sort of. actually the markets continued to fall after mr cook’s comments were made public. arguably, what stabilized the markets was revered fed governor William Dudley’s press conference where he seemed to suggest the fed will not raise interest rates soon, its scary as hell (to me anyway) that the entire market rally is based on our apparent addiction to a seemingly infinite supply of artificially cheap money. but thats for another day…PS: Fred, bug report – your blog comments are not accessible anymore using Chrome. fine with Safari though

    1. Sierra Choi

      Agreed with the power of the Fed over Wall St, disagree with your attributed reasons for the market rally. Technically, I think we are entering a period of consolidation. There’s probably going to be a bit of volatility for the next month or two. Just my opinion.

    2. ShanaC

      I’m fine on Chrome – I find it interesting that everyone seems to want to listen to Dudley and not Yellen.What’s up with that?

  4. Michael B. Aronson

    This worked for me, along with some unscientific queries into China directly. I bought some more shares of aapl on sale. I am an early investor and have never sold any.

  5. LIAD

    Is power moving to edge of network or is power just as centralised yet new sherrifs in town.

    1. Jess Bachman

      Certainly new sheriffs. And their may be more of them this time. Twitter doesn’t decentralize power as much as we’d like to think since it operates on its own power law of influence.

  6. Tom Labus

    It was Warren Buffett who delivered the “Fireside Chat” in 08.During the market turmoil of the last few days, I never once felt anything like the dread I did in 08/09

    1. pointsnfigures

      No kidding.

    2. ShanaC

      that’s actually interesting – it seems people are verybinary and are going back and forth – so either we are breathing out our last dad breathes for a big big upswing or we about to go very very down

      1. Douglas Crets

        Its’ algorithmic trading on news. It triggered seller behavior by first automatically selling off and creating a divergent signal compared to what was really there. And then what you saw was panic on top of technical and automated trading, making the downside bigger than it needed to be but creating a helluva opportunity if you were on the buy side. I picked up $COSI at .30 cents, and it’s not a .30 stock. It’s now trading over a dollar.

        1. ShanaC

          it might not be – i get the feeling that people’s reaction to the market is binary – love or hate – fear or excitement.There isn’t a middle ground, and until there is a majority vote of feeling, it is going to be mood swinging markets

          1. dindjic

            Risk-on, risk-off

        2. creative group

          Lovely Day Trader presentation we used consistently in the early nineties to garner attention to a position we held dear. Maybe not your intentions but same result and effect.

  7. Brad Lindenberg

    So did you take advantage and buy more Google stock!?

  8. steve nson

    Truth be told, no one can really predict or claim to fully understand the vagaries of the market. I don’t know why we would need reassurance from Tim Cook or anyone else. If I were to listen to someone it would be Warren Buffett since he owns companies in different sectors of the economy.

    1. Jess Bachman

      Given the way the media reacts, and the way twitter reacts, we often need people to just say “dude… chill”.

  9. Matt Kruza

    Good chance that tim Cook violated the law – regulation Fair disclosure. Basically he gave insider business information to specific investor (Cramer who holds apple stock) instead of distributing the information widely and broadly through a pr release etc.… I despise Jim Cramer as he peddles unfactual / hyperbolic crap all the time on his show, and not an apple fan so kind of makes me happy πŸ™‚ I think it will be a slap on the wrist if anything happens, but interesting to note that he almost certainly did something illegal that you are praising.

    1. Jess Bachman

      Yeah, he could have left Cramer out of the equation and just posted on twitter.

      1. Matt Kruza

        Yep that likely would have been legal, but instead he messed up. Would love for meaningful punishment for both of them. doubt it tho. Anyone seen the punishment they could face?

        1. steve nson

          One of my all time favorite interviews is when Jon Stewart had Jim Cramer on his show. It was a beatdown for the ages. It also reinforces why you should be wary of people telling you “everything” will be fine in the financial markets.http://www.huffingtonpost.c

          1. pointsnfigures

            People have to remember that business tv is just entertainment at one depth.

        2. LE

          He didn’t mess up. He got more publicity this way at the potential minor cost of something Apple’s legal department needs to spend some time cleaning up. [1][1] Just like the school janitors used to clean up after kids with upset stomachs in elementary school (remember that sawdust?)

    2. William Mougayar

      There’s definitely some forward-looking statements in that email. I’m sure Tim got a slap on the wrist from this Investors Relations group.

      1. creative group

        WM:what helped TC is that the email was revealed and not hidden. The effect was still the same Cramer peddled it for credibility and financial stake purposes.

      2. leeschneider

        Is there really any chance that he sent that email without review/contribution of his IR/Legal teams? I’d like to think he/Apple is smarter than that.

      3. JLM

        .The issue of “forward-looking statements” is not the same issue as the revelation of “material, non-public” information.Forward looking statements fall into the pot of “detrimental reliance” and are allowed under the Sec & Exch Act of 1995 with a clear safe harbor if it is so identified.Arguably, he did not identify any particular utterance as such but one could argue that a CEO of a company like APPL engages in constant conversations which contain “forward-looking statements.”The treatment is codified in the actual legal statutes and criminal law.…This is tantamount to using the wrong fork w/ shellfish and nothing more.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          This is tantamount to using a knife to open the lobster tail instead of cracking it with your hands and pulling out the meat in one piece.

    3. creative group

      Because trading equities is our space we concur with the view without the character assassin of any particular person. Usually there is a motivation when financial positions are at stake. Intentionally or unintentionally it still has the same benefit. Dislike seeing it when really good people who are respected and revered are involved.

      1. Matt Kruza

        no character assassination is needed for kramer, he does it himself. But cool to see agreement on the underlying issue.

    4. Sam

      Setting aside the likely SEC slap on the wrist, I wonder if there will also be a shareholder lawsuit. Happens all the time when public companies are acquired: a class action lawsuit, alleging CEO failure to seek maximum value / breach of fiduciary duty, limited downside to attorneys bringing the claim, they generally get settled to make the legal process go away. Would need to be a different legal basis here (duty of loyalty? duty of care?), but the dynamics at play feel very similar.

      1. LE

        So what? They get sued, perhaps lose, pay millions. No big deal. Cost of doing business. They probably have hundreds of active law suits going at one time for various reason just like any large corporation with deep pockets. [1][1] I’ve always been amused at people who try to get corporations to give them something by threatening some employee that they will sue. This is exactly the opposite of what you want to do. If you do that it is no longer the clerks problem, it is the legal departments problem. That’s a win for the clerk. The idea is to annoy and bother the clerk or the clerks boss (where “clerk” refers to any person at the company) so they want to make you happy and dispose of the problem. Fatal strategy error that most people make. Never threaten to sue. Always work up the chain and be annoying. At a certain point someone will dispose of you by giving you what you want.

        1. Sam

          So what and no big deal? Well, for starters, you have a lot of people from management to attorneys to those in the judicial system all wasting their time on a project that provides zero value to society. It’s a zero sum game here, no value is created, and the world doesn’t move forward. Money just moves around. The fact that the corporate target of the suit has deep pockets is a separate issue from the wasted human capital that happens in these lawsuits.I suppose you could argue this is a necessary evil for our “rule of law” to function and enable our market economy in the first place, but I don’t buy that for a second. Just as markets aren’t efficient in the short run, so too the legal system. Eventually the rule of law will be adjusted so that this crap doesn’t happen. But we are going to have to wait a while for “eventually” to come around.

          1. JLM

            .Companies, like APPL, get sued all the time for real and imagined torts.The issue is almost always: What are the damages?You can sue anyone you like if you have the $25 filing fee. But you have to prove damages to collect real money.In every instance, you have to ask yourself — what are the damages and why is that Apple’s fault? And, more importantly, can you prove it and can you afford to prove it?Since these are not contractual damages, there is even the prospect you may prevail at trial and have to eat your legal fees,Companies like APPL are not good targets for legal blackmail as they have such a wealth of such attacks. They simply note them on their 10K filing as “litigation” and note that they have no “material impact” on the company’s financial condition.If you have $160B cash on hand, you yawn and go home.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            I think the “governor” retarding wealthy people and companies from suing more to get their way, legal extortion let’s call it, is the fact that it’s not only time consuming but they stand the chance through depositions and discovery of ending up revealing info that they do not wish to reveal. In a sense that is the equalizer in all of this. If not for that fact, there would certainly be more of a reason for people who could to sue to sue to get what they want.I am reminded of every time I am wronged and I think “class action”. Then I think “oh shit, time consuming and what will I end up with in the end?”.

          3. Chimpwithcans

            Hi @JLM, do companies list all litigation against them in the 10k? Or just the cases they feel like disclosing? Any info on the disclosure requirements here much appreciated.

          4. JLM

            .Litigation is typically cataloged in a footnote to the 10K under “litigation” and is intended to be a risk disclosure matter.Potentially material lawsuits should be disclosed by name — remember it is possible to look up lawsuits in the public records and obtain the filings so there is not really any factual exposure here.Since a 10K is also a public filing, a company and a CEO want to be careful not to say something in the filing that would be “awkward” in the lawsuit itself. You will hear about whatever is said — such as an admission that the lawsuit may have merit.Personally, I would approach lawsuits as disclosing more but saying less and leaning on the advice of counsel as to limited discussion but making sure that shareholders are never surprised by the ultimate disposition of a case.The big issue on footnotes is disclosure. It is a chance to absolve the company of any “you didn’t tell us about that” baloney.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Chimpwithcans

            Thanks a lot. That’s very helpful.

    5. JLM

      .Having run a public company for a dozen years — there is a carve out for dissemination to a media outlet who has asked a question which might give rise to an erroneous conclusion if left unanswered. A company can always correct an error.The carve out is further expanded to provide for release of information to a journalist who is likely to use the information as the basis of a story that will be disseminated in such as manner as contemplated by Reg FD — fairly, fully.The facts bear out that assumption as the information was, in fact, used to correct a potentially erroneous conclusion and it was also disseminated widely by Cramer.Interestingly enough, the guy who is potentially in trouble is Cramer in that he might have potentially possessed “material, non-public” information. Had he acted upon it, he would have been in jeopardy.Remember one thing also, Cook — CEO of Apple — has a fiduciary duty to the APPL shareholders to serve their interests. It would be very difficult to argue that what he did — preventing the markets from reacting to erroneous information — did not meet that high burden.Last point — it is acceptable practice for a CEO to conduct a private correspondence and then have IR (investor relations) note such on the company’s website. A company’s website is now accepted as the equivalent of a PR Newswire or Reuters release. It took 10 years for that to become doctrine.Nothing is ever as simple as one thinks. BTW, there is a huge amount of precedent and case law on this subject and Cook is on very safe ground. Any CEO running a public company who does not get a scolding from the SEC a couple of times a year isn’t going to get a “good conduct” medal.I used to constantly get scolded for using the term EBITDA because it is not a GAAP defined term. The guy who used to write me the letters and I carried on a friendly correspondence.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        So we can safely assume that if you can make that good argument and leg to stand on given your knowledge, [1] that a company like Apple with $160 billion of cash in the bank and access to the best legal minds can handle this even if there is a fine. Remember this is the company where Jobs was famous for pushing the limits with “sosumi”. Drove around without a license plate. [2][1] And thank you for that because even before you said this I thought “non issue” for Cook and Apple. Even if they pay a fine how much is the fine vs. what the impact publicity wise and for stock value? (More publicity than a super bowl ad and those cost millions, right?)[2] My car doesn’t have a front license in a state that requires them. If I’m stopped it’s perhaps a $80 fine. So far it’s never happened in 3 high profile cars and thousands of miles.

      2. Matt Kruza

        what public company did you run? i want to further understand the man who i will meet in 14 years to collect on our real estate bet πŸ™‚ (my apologies if you have referenced before the company, i just have never seen it)

        1. JLM

          .I can’t tell you that because it’s material, non-public information.It was not a pimple on the world’s ass.OK, OK — Exxon.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Richard

            Darn – I was sure it was ENRON.

    6. JLM

      .Cramer did nothing illegal unless he traded on the information when it was “material” and “non-public.”I cannot imagine that the information could ever — in the wildest examination possible — ever be considered “material” given the size of the company.It did not remain either “material” or “non-public” for any length of time, if it ever were.There is, essentially, no prohibition against possessing material, non-public information. It is only the act of trading on it that is illegal.The cure for possessing material, non-public information is to disclose it. Which is exactly what happened.This is a discussion about the leftover rolls after dinner.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    7. LE

      I despise Jim Cramer as he peddles unfactual / hyperbolic crap all the time on his show, and not an apple fan so kind of makes me happy :)Matt – If you despise Cramer then it makes no sense that this makes you happy. This is great for Cramer. Super publicity that can’t be bought. And there will be no significant fallout for Cramer. Period. This is fabulous for him. Ditto for Tim Cook who is obviously nowhere near as well known to the general public as Steven Jobs was. This was a great move. The fact that he did something illegal, so what? (Seriously who cares? I care about other illegal things but some of this SEC stuff is clearly ridiculous).

    8. JamesHRH

      I am with @JLM not material.Fred has it right – he is merely using Apple’s situation to reassure the market that China is not in fretful.As for Kramer, people seem to forget that EVERYONE who is on TV is, first and foremost, an entertainer.

    9. Sean Saulsbury

      Or he gave it to a newsperson who would (and did) disseminate it to the public.

  10. awaldstein

    Dunno that I’m reassured but completely agree that this is the channel for information for our times.Nothing really assures me about the market honestly.

  11. BillMcNeely

    the government is the unsexy Warren Buffet like reinsurance provider in the background in the post Great Recession era

  12. Sierra Choi

    Former Chairman of the Fed, Ben Bernanke also would give little “pep talks” and sometimes stock movements have been attributed to his speeches.

    1. pointsnfigures

      The Fed “put”. Remember Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” remark in 1997?

      1. LE

        Greenspan like Joe Paterno crashed and burned at the end of his career. Died by the sword. The sword being the media who built both men up.

      2. Sierra Choi

        I don’t personally recall but Mr Greenspan is a fairly interesting figure in the history of the Fed

      3. Girish Mehta

        Late 1996 actually. Tokyo was open at that time, and dropped immediately. The rest followed the next morning.Schiller later wrote the book Irrational Exuberance.

  13. creative group

    The notification of how well Apple is doing in China is reassuring to their shareholders and fanboys, twitters stakeholders, etc. that doesn’t replace any updates from a monetary entity from within the United States Treasury or a world financial organization. The lack of reassurance verses the inclusion of one doesn’t mean anything to the equity manipulators. The market gains in the last hour of yesterday’s run just prove no one knows nothing until it happens and then the Monday quarterback swammies give financial commentary and reasoning after it happens. Let’s hear the predictions before the markets open old wise ones.

  14. Mario Cantin

    The power is starting to shift from governments to corporations. Another proof point that we are currently undergoing a major societal change beyond the simple “advent of the Internet”. The structure of society is shifting…

  15. Twain Twain

    Twitter is another variation on Bberg’s ticker tape newsfeed that streams across the top of screens and has been since 1990s.The difference being that Bberg’s feed is curated by financial journalists and the players who work in the markets (brokers, bankers, fund managers) whereas Twitter’s feed is a more democratic free for-all (trending topics according to retweets and #hashtags) and only recently gained curation because of strategic changes.

    1. Tom Labus

      Lots of market people with 10 minute horizons too

  16. Twain Twain

    Ok I’m curious about this because it speaks to algorithm relevance and contextual understanding. Usually, at the bottom of an AVC post, there are links to previous articles and comments.Today there’s this list of sponsored links.Wondering how any of these links are related to startups, startup investment, innovation and other categories which would be natural attributes to AVC and its content and community?

    1. Jess Bachman

      Yeah… I wish Disqus algo or tactics was better. You have a thoughtful blog from @pointsnfigures:disqus and disqus just dumps a bunch of scammy bullshit at the end. I see this everywhere, its a bit nauseating.

      1. LE

        In old school media when they start to run shitty “Secrets to Wealth with Gold” ads it’s always a sign that the publication has lost it’s niche with real value advertisers. That’s when they begin to offer deep discounts on that “run of paper” shit advertising. If Disqus could make money with better advertisers, they would be doing that so that it appeared it was a high class joint.

        1. Jess Bachman

          You’re right. But the Disqus advertisers above aren’t even brands or products, they are just arbitragers, and low quality ones at that. I bet Disqus could make more money with better clients, if they had a salesforce.Man, I’d even rather just see re-targeted ads in that slot the scammy “content” they are pushing.

          1. ShanaC

            good quality arbitrage is worth it.

          2. Jess Bachman

            It sure is. Id rather see an article link from Business Insider who is then pusher their advertisers….. than one from ViralNova about the 10 times Kate Middleton exposed to much, who is then pushing their advertisers or even other arbitragers!

      2. JLM

        .It is also fraught w/ viruses and crap as these connections are not very well vetted or scrubbed. I hate this stuff.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. LE

      Nothing is going to happen with this comment that you made. Disqus has a long history of ignoring and making any improvements in the product from a commenter perspective. Fred needs to write a column on how hard it is to get stubborn portfolio companies to actually follow any advice that he gives (not that he has said anything to my knowledge) or that others give when they are locked up in their vision of what their product should be. Continuous improvement is always necessary. Even if you are just trying in the end to sell advertising.

    3. ShanaC

      remember, there is a bid in issue, and a lot of people are not paying into bid yet.

  17. pointsnfigures

    You make a great point. But, at the same time the world’s central bankers have really messed up the markets through bad monetary policy. The Chinese devalued 4% over the course of consecutive days-which is what put the fear into the market. The $VIX traded from 9 to 50. Currently trading at $30. The Chinese then cut their discount rate, after raising it. They also intervened again last night. “Heavyweight stocks like banks and insurance companies helped pull up the index, and it’s possibly China Securities Finance entering the market again to shore up stocks,” Central China Sec. strategist Zhang Gang told Bloomberg by phone. I am getting my hand fitted for bear claws.

    1. Tom Labus

      Lesson: Even in State controlled markets you can’t contol or manage investors.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Yup. You “incentivize” them, sometimes at the point of a spear. Check out these charts for kicks:

    2. JLM

      .Absolutely, the Chinese are learning that even they cannot order markets to perform and they cannot kill all the investors. This is one of the reasons why Communism doesn’t and never has worked.Welcome to capitalism.”Once you become a pickle, you can never go back to being a cucumber.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. pointsnfigures

        I see today the Chinese government has opened up real estate investment to foreign investors. That feels like a Roach Motel to me.

        1. JLM

          .The big play, in the short term, may be agricultural land as the markets to be fed are local and huge. Imagine if American ranchers were able to use China to raise beef?The Chinese would grow 6 inches taller and become a basketball power house with that much protein.Interestingly enough, this could be a big opportunity for the blockchain — to create an American county courthouse level of land ownership docs which could be accessed without actually having to go to China.There is a precedent for this as much of the South Texas land records begin with Spanish land grants. When I built a tall building in Corpus Christi, the underlying title started with a Spanish land grant — in Spanish.China is going to become part of the real world and it all started with Richard Nixon.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. JamesHRH

            Tricky Dicky does not get enough credit on that front.We wil see if the powers that be in Beijing have the stomach for extensive foreign profits on Chinese soil. That’s new ground to break.A Chinese associate told me ‘No one makes money in China without a Chinese company making money.” Not a Chinese sub, a la Toyota building cars in TX. A Chinese partner.

          2. JLM

            .There are at least five Chinas — the capitalistic China within a hundred miles of the coast and Hong Kong, Beijing (the 90-year old Commies who want Taiwan), the other 200 million person cities, the hinterlands, and the ethnic enclaves like the Uyghurs (in open revolt against Beijing and being slaughtered regularly).Much of China is still unreachable by road. They need an old fashioned Texas FM (farm to market) and RM (ranch to market) road system.Capitalism will drive out Communism. Eventually.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Girish Mehta

            Do you know FM 2222 in Austin ?

          4. JLM

            Of course.

          5. Girish Mehta

            Your comment triggered very old memories. One of my favorite roads in Austin because of its turns and ups and downs…I would use it to get to Loop 360 (from MoPac) whenever I could. If there was somebody new to Texas, I would ask – So what does FM and RM stand for ?!

          6. JLM

            .Nixon was a very good President. People don’t get beyond his Watergate brain tumor and the missing tapes (Hillary, are you listening?).He never gets credit for being the guy who revised the draconian Federal drug sentencing guidelines whereby marijuana sentences were dramatically reduced and rehab was instituted as a substitute for incarceration.His opening of China will stand as one of the most significant personal Presidential achievements in the history of our country.It will take some time for historians to evaluate fairly his legacy. But it has already begun.It is never the crime, it is the cover up.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. LE

            My dad was never rattled by “the cancer growing on the Presidency”. He said simply “he just got caught” didn’t find it surprising at all. I remember that to this day.What is interesting is that both Nixon and Hillary were kind of nincompoop technology wise. Nixon didn’t understand (iirc) tape recorders for example I would have had no issue with anything like that. Ditto for the problem that Hillary is having with “email servers”. Note the similarities of the two problems.

    3. Girish Mehta

      As an alternative to what many of the world’s central bankers have done, its worth looking at what India’s Central Banker Rajan has done in the past two years (he took charge in Sept 2013).I started following what Rajan was saying sometime in 2009 when I first heard about his 2005 Jackson Hole speech as a Prof at Chicago Booth (a speech which Larry Summers had then criticized…but which later become a prescient warning of the crisis). By 2010, I was devouring/reading most of what Raghuram Rajan said. I read his book. And when he was appointed Governor of India’s Central Bank in Sept 2013…I sat up and said – This is going to be a sight to see. A sight to see.He has resisted significant pressure to cut rates more aggressively and moved in a very measured manner. Rates have gone from -ve Real rates to +ve Real rates as inflation has dropped, current account defiicit is down dramatically, foreign exchange reserves are at record levels, and in the past several months, India’s currency has been affected relatively little and is a significant outperformer versus the emerging market currency carnage. (The drop in crude price has helped enormously since India is a importer, but the point is, he saw this potential for emerging markets turmoil in late 2013 and started preparing for it).Really refreshing to hear a Central Banker say that their job is not to prop up the markets. And to say that it is dangerous to look to the Central Bank for solutions which they should not be in the business of providing. This is a guy who looks to reduce the influence the Central Bank should have outside its remit, but also maximizes the impact within its remit.A smart and modest guy, making a real difference.p.s. As a sidenote, he is a big, big role model for youngsters in India.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Met Raghu once. Read his book. He is a rare Chicago classical fresh water economist in the central banking world. ….

        1. Girish Mehta

          A short clip re his paper in 2005 which highlighted the root issue of Incentives which would inevitably lead the players to favor higher risk.

      2. ShanaC

        interesting guy

  18. Salt Shaker

    TC def engaging in some damage control, unquestionably w/ the aid of IR. His comments speak a bit more to retail in China, where as a comment on pipeline from Foxconn (and other vendors) would prob be a better indicator of what’s on the horizon for APPL, independent of the legalities of his doing so.

  19. JLM

    .Stop what you doing, right now!Who IS the Secretary of the Treasury?Haha, not a quarter of the people reading this comment even know the answer to that question.Now, who is the CEO of Apple? Who is the GOP front running candidate?’Nuff said.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Richard

      Stop again, CNBC has 200k viewers.

      1. JLM

        .Is that good or bad? BTW, that is an hourly figure.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          People underestimate influence and reach. CNBC has influence and reach that extends well beyond whatever the viewership is. [1] Ditto for NY Times and WSJ. Doesn’t matter the circulation. Other media and influential people take them seriously. Same with Nightly News. After I engineered something that I did to appear on the front page of the WSJ many years ago a million other media [2] (both large and small) came out of the woodwork to contact me (was close to a publicity stunt..)[1] Another fundamental thing that propeller-heads don’t understand (“the whiners”) about the way the world works. What a joke ie “this is illegal! They broke the law!!!”[2] That’s an exaggeration but that is what the game is all about.

          1. Richard

            CNBC doesn’t seem to be on the 25-54 radars screen. influence? Other than Cramer is there a recognizable personality? Have you looked at the crap that they peddle on their website?More people saw Taylor Swift this week in LA than will see Cramer all year.Tim Cook is the rock star here. He could have sent this to any reporter in the country in this day and it would have had similar virality

          2. JLM

            .Short answer: no.Long answer: no.They are nothing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. Richard

            More folks at a Horn Frog’s Game

          4. JLM

            .Hey, the Horned Frogs are a big deal!Hook ’em, Horn Frogs?Football starts in a week, y’all. Are you ready?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. Richard

            I learned my manners in Fort Worth

          6. JLM

            Best kept secret in Texas.

        2. Richard

          I believe that’s for the day! Cramer audience size in 25-54 is a tenth of that

          1. JLM

            Read carefully, it is an “average” audience over the time period in question. CNBC has always beefed that its audience is bigger because they are being shown in airports, etc. Not sure I buy that argument but it is why they have attempted to abandon Nielsen ratings.…Here is another article that shows the comparison.http://tvbythenumbers.zap2i…It is less clear on the distinction.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. ShanaC

      Took me a second, but it is Jack lew of bad handwriting fame.And no, I did not google it.

      1. JLM

        .You Google it. I know you did.Jack Lewwho?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. ShanaC

          nope, the other thing I was think was of orthodox jewish fame, and wondering if I knew anyone from like 10 year summer camp version of me who knew him… – not an easy thing to come up with on google.

  20. Matt A. Myers

    If you expect private companies to be the solution to government inefficiencies then Why Not Apple?

  21. howardlindzon

    Absolutely yes on Twitter. Sending it to Jim first though is absolutely incorrect. Why should he be trusted over direct communication over Twitter

    1. JLM

      .Point made.Twitter has become the driver of American foreign policy, the conduct of wars, the methodology of selecting the next American President — it is the new Reuters or PR Newswire.It is an amazing development in that 140 characters has become the most “reliable” source of information on the planet.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. LE

      Sending it to Jim first though is absolutely incorrect.It’s not incorrect if you look at the total picture and consider the upside of sending it to Cramer first. It’s only incorrect if you look at it narrowly. This is similar mistake that people make who try to get business advice from attorneys who are not business people (other than running a law firm). Or strategy from your accountant.

  22. DJL

    Aren’t we missing the point? This points to a lack of leadership on the part of the Treasury Secretary. The “media” already has too much power to influence. Using the talking heads to reassure the public in any time of crisis is a bad idea at so many levels. But when there is lack of leadership (like most of Washington today) someone fills the void.

  23. Manfred Karrer

    Can also be interpreted as corporatism.

  24. Douglas Crets

    Cramer does a similar thing with Starbucks. Before the company opened up the Roastery in Seattle, I remember seeing emails between Cramer and Howard Schultz highlighting photos of the line Cramer stood in. So the digital marketing team took those photos and put them online. But the thing of it is, most of the people lining up for the coffee were lining up to try out the pie in the connected restaurant, called Serious Pie.

  25. ShanaC

    Isn’t this a bit dangerous that Janet Yellen can’t get control of market movements – are we reverting back to something like the original Morgans?That wasn’t necessarily a good time for everyone in the country

    1. Douglas Crets

      I may be wrong, but I don’t think the Fed is supposed to control markets. IT’s supposed to control economics and make sure that markets have the right framework and substance to function properly. The idea that the fed can make a market do what it wants is probably a convoluted way of thinking about its role. The markets move irrationally, and I am of the opinion (probably skeptically) that markets that move on Fed language are just markets looking for pings that create swings so that they can make money. As many pundits said in the last week, there wasn’t anything in the economic data that suggested American markets were in trouble, but China made it so.

      1. ShanaC

        I agree with this position essentially – I’m just more concerned by the fact that reality is the markets are moving on what the fed says, so were is Yellen, and why do they like Buckley more?

        1. Douglas Crets

          In this case, I don’t think a Yellen or anyone in a federal advisory position needs to step in on one or two days of market panic, which is all this was, basically. Yellen is a voice for when there is systemic failure in an economic system, and her role is to address those failures or those successes. A market selloff is not a failure, and very unlike what was happening in 2008. There’s no role for the Fed here.

  26. jason wright

    the stock market and a flock of starlings. they will both crap on you if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, and predicting the movement is more than difficult. be lucky.

  27. Sean Saulsbury

    I’m skeptial of these sorts of things and think this could be a symptom of the political climate moving toward fascism. I hope I’m wrong.

  28. george

    That’s an interesting observation, and perhaps Buisness Leaders should speak out a bit more. As you point out, news now streams in real time, perhaps this signals that the conventional quarter end reporting structure is becoming somewhat outdated. The market needs at times, tangible feedback or frenzy speculation takes over.Information now travels at lightening speed and knowledge is king; there might be a deeper message here – Tim Cook’s statements helped to a certain point to stabilize a stock, a sector and a market, this is meaningful.

  29. William Mougayar

    Indeed, there is wisdom in the right data and in finding correlation, e.g. slowing sales on luxury items vs. slowing sales on necessity items don’t mean the same thing, but put together might mean a lot.

  30. William Mougayar

    love it. !!!

  31. Guy Lepage

    Guess that makes aesthetics a luxury πŸ˜‰