Google One ups Apple; Zynga Doesn’t Gamble… And Loses; Post-Bankruptcy GM Offers Hope for Detroit

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Google One ups Apple (YahooFinance)

Will Apple, Inc., have to get used to playing second fiddle, now that the innovative genius of Steve Jobs isn’t leading new product development at the company?  That possibility certainly looks like the case today, after Google announced the release of its $35 Chromechast hardware. This thumb-sized adapter is Google’s low-priced alternative for streaming Internet content to TV, built to compete with Apple’s $1,000 Apple TV product. However, the enormous price difference doesn’t mean the game is over for Apple. According to James McQuivey, principal analyst for Forrester research, “It doesn’t make Apple suddenly shake in their boots… If you own an iPad, an iPhone or an Apple laptop, this isn’t something you’re going to buy.” However, because Chromecast supports both Android and iOS technology, if Apple officials aren’t quaking in their boots, perhaps it is because they’re still asleep.

Zynga Doesn’t Gamble… And Loses (Bloomberg)

Shares of Zynga plunged up to 16 percent in extended trading after the company announced that it would no longer be pursuing online gambling in the United States. The fall brought Zynga shares under $3 each and negated some of the 48 percent share increase the online gamer had realized since it initially announced its foray into online gambling in the United States. The online gambling market in the United States is expected to be worth some $7.4 billion by 2017, as estimated by English gambling researcher H2 Gambling Capital. According to Bloomberg, with this admission of defeat, third-quarter losses for Zynga could triple or more, from 2 cents per share to as much as 9 cents per share. For Zynga to mount a comeback, it’s going to have to improve its mobile presence… and that won’t come easily, or quickly.

USA! USA! USA!… Post-Bankruptcy GM Offers Hope for Detroit (Bloomberg)

General Motors surpassed Toyota in Q213 as the world’s largest seller of automobiles. With 2.49 million vehicles sold in the period ending in June, GM narrowly eclipsed the 2.48 million vehicles sold by Toyota. Volkswagon was a not-too-distant third with 2.39 million vehicles sold. GM, along with Ford, both posted numbers that beat analysts’ estimates for the quarter, while Japanese maker Toyota saw its deliveries drop on a weaker domestic market and consumer backlash in China. However, investors shouldn’t bet the house on U.S. automakers just yet. Based on a decline in the yen, the value of Japanese exports has risen substantially this year. And when Toyota reports earnings on Aug. 2, analysts project a 48 percent surge in profits. GM’s post-bankruptcy recovery may become a source of hope for the company’s hometown of Detroit as the Motor City begins what its emergency manager intends to make an expedited trip through bankruptcy court, too.

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At this year's FreedomFest, in memory of the 100th anniversary of the 16th amendment (federal income tax), we had a panel on "What is the Ideal: Fair, Flat or No Tax?" and the consensus was that while a consumption tax may be the most pro-growth, it may not seem "fair" to citizens to see wealthy people who live off of dividends, interest and capital gains not to pay any taxes.

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