Category Archives: Finance & Insurance

Finance & Insurance covers this specific pair of industries and includes discussions on the latest headlines, articles, product and service reviews, as well as information on the world’s business leaders and those making headlines.

Facebook IPO – Does Mark Zuckerberg Know Everything

Does Mark Zuckerberg know everything, is he ‘really’ that good? In what is without question the hottest topic among financiers and investors, the looming Facebook IPO has searches for Facebook

Mark  Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg - Does He Know Everything?

IPO stock and Facebook IPO price soaring through the roof. And it’s not just consumers, the media is an a virtual frenzy over the Facebook IPO that is expected to raise about $10 billion and value the company at up to $125 billion, making it the largest initial public offering (IPO) by an internet company in history. Even the Sydney Morning Herald wrote in an article titled “Wall Street holds its breath as Facebook ponders a float” that the “question on everyone’s lips is will Facebook ‘do a Google’ – partially avoiding the Wall Street banking community and creating a retail offer via a so-called Dutch auction?” Such speculation (and whether or not Zuckerberg is really that smart, hence the know everything title play) and uncertainty have fueled the Facebook IPO frenzy, and not so much the particular Facebook IPO price.

Despite the economic uncertainties across the globe, the Facebook IPO and entry into the stock market has a lot of people excited and searching to know everything they can, and the excitement is not so much related to the Facebook IPO stock or IPO price as it is to where Facebook is heading. Then there are those who aren’t quite so thrilled with this whole Facebook IPO thingy. CNBC wrote a great article about this called “Yahoo’s Next Problem: Facebook IPO.” Specifically, Yahoo finds itself in a bit of a conundrum as Facebook looks poised to not only have the intent to challenge Yahoo for the hearts and eyes of the masses, but may well soon have the capital to make it happen. Yahoo, long the internet darling for it’s dominant service of the information sector, has been feeling the pinch as Facebook exploits it capabilities to utilize “personal references and recommendations via the Facebook platform. Wherever the Facebook IPO price lands is irrelevant to this bigger picture for internet businesses who may be in the sights of Facebook.

For the media’s part, though, who could blame them for all the Facebook IPO hoopla. After the Facebook IPO stock sale begins, Facebook will be one of the top three companies in the United States if their IPO valuation lands them in the $100 billion (plus) range. As the Wall Street Journal writes “only a few dozen companies in the country have bigger market values than Facebook would have. PepsiCo. is about $100 billion. Citigroup is smaller than $100 billion. ConcoPhillips is smaller. Zowie.” Zowie is right! The historical powerhouse Yahoo and Google are certainly taking note of how the Facebook IPO price question plays out, and we’ll all be waiting for the final curtain to see if Mark Zuckerberg really did know everything.

Know Everything About Finance Yahoo and Finance Google

In 2012, especially to start the year, people will be scrambling to sites like finance Yahoo and finance Google pages in an attempt to know

Percentage Yield

Finance Yahoo vs Finance Google

everything about their finance and to determine how their going to direct their finances in the coming year and to evaluate trends and concerns. Finance Yahoo has long been a web leader for those seeking to know everything (robust site features) and for accurate and timely information in the world of finance, and finance Google has made significant strides of late to compete for a significant portion of that traffic. The fact that Yahoo was one of the early contenders to stake a claim in web finance has seemingly cemented their foothold.

Finance is important to many people, and of particular importance this year due largely to the ongoing world economic crisis and current concerns fueled largely by the looming 2012 related doomsday predictions and upcoming U.S. Presidential elections. In fact, searches for and at finance Yahoo seem to be up significantly in the short term and the same, to a lesser degree at finance Google. Wikipedia states about finance that it is “often defined simply as the management of money or “funds” management. Modern finance, however, is a family of business activity that includes the origination, marketing, and management of cash and money surrogates through a variety of capital accounts, instruments, and markets created for transacting and trading assets, liabilities, and risks.” More and more families are making smart finance a part of their lives and that has a lot to do with the popularity of finance sites like finance Yahoo and finance Google, and why searches related to finance are up starkly as people seek to know everything they can about the future of their finance portfolios.

From a practical standpoint, finance Yahoo seems to be geared towards and driven to serve those seeking robust information (to know everything). A quick glance at the finance Yahoo page while writing this revealed more than 75 headlines and article links, while finance Google has a mere dozen or so. What finance Google does well is serve the “no time to waste” crowd with their quick snapshot of what’s happening right now, ranging from stock prices and trends to world market indicators. Finance Yahoo, as expected, take this “snapshot” service considerably further by adding things such as Mortgage Rates, Market Movers, Videos, breaking news and info into segments such as Personal Finance and Lifelong Investing. But Yahoo and Google are not alone, to be sure. Among the top search results for finance are big players like finance pages at Reuters and CNN.

Depending on your needs both finance Yahoo and finance Google are top notch, for sure, it’s just a comparison for those who may already use one but weren’t too familiar with the other finance information service. For many the no frills design and layout of finance Google is a winner, especially among the ultra-elite who want a right now snapshot or markets and trends. Most likely those people use both finance Yahoo and finance Google to meet different needs at different times. If you’re the type of person who wants to know everything about finance then you’ll most likely use an assortment of these services anyway, so the argument of which is better is a mute point.

Occupy Wall Street Relishes in Bank of America Internal Memo

Bank of America, allegedly responding to threats by Occupy Wall Street members to “Occupy Your Homes” is said to have issued an internal memo to it’s employees, affiliates and agents that they should use caution and good judgment due to the potential for clashes with Occupy Wall Street protestors who intend to “stop and reverse foreclosures.” It seems quite ordinary and matter of fact that Bank of America would take such action, so it doesn’t seem to be newsworthy, other than the Occupy Wall Street protest group posting and lamenting about the Bank of America reaction. Occupy Wall Street has taken on all of the big banks, including Chase Bank, so its clear that their target is indeed the broader industry and their perceived actions.

Some people have a problem with Occupy Wall Street and the protests because it doesn’t seem to be about concrete accusations or proof that Wall Street is to blame (solely) for the collapse of our economy, but rather about blame in general. It’s easier to give all the blame to big banks than to acknowledge that consumers would be foolish enough to over-extend themselves and therefore bear equal blame (if in fact banks were shown to have any). Why, if Bank of America responds to an alleged threat to the peace and safety of their employees because of the Occupy Your Homes action, in a responsible way, is it spun to implicate that the bank is guilty and/or scared? Occupy LA, Occupy Your Home…. it’s the same people doing the same thing. Any national movement or protest group that ever hopes to garner any national support (and they would if their intent were genuine) would do better gathering proof and making an argument to the masses who could, if the allegations were believable, deliver a far more stern and long-lasting message than anything the Wall Street Protest or Occupy LA actions could hope to.

Chase Bank Online and others are for sure taking heed to the calls for change, and the Occupy Wall Street movement has brought much needed attention to the banking industry. So while most people seem to have no belief that the movement will make any significant changes (or a right to do so since they aren’t wielding any national or majority [or even significant minority] mandate), their indirect impact may well be lasting. More and more consumers, whether they agree with the wall street protest or Occupy LA, or whatever, have indeed began considering the practices of banks and are willing to speak out and hold them accountable. But thus far the bite has amounted to little more than backing them down off of proposed fee hikes and the like.

If Occupy Wall Street and the wall street protestors want to make a real difference, start using evidence to appeal to the masses and harness the power of many rather than the allegations of few. If Bank of America, Chase Bank Online or any other banks are truly practicing deceptive behaviors that “caused” people to over-borrow and “created” the collapse which caused consumers to not be able to make their mortgage payments, then gather that proof and present a national case. In lieu of that, to a lot of people the movement seems like a popcorn fart at the theater.

Bank of America – The Fee That Went Too Far

Big Bank

Big Bank

Hardly a bank anywhere, especially the big banks, has went unscathed as consumers have become more and more unwilling to settle for having fees and expenses pushed on to them so that banks can continue to pad their profits. TD Bank recently added a $9 savings account fee despite the well known criticism and backlash that other banks have faced when trying to hedge more fees. In the article over at CCN Money, titled “TD Bank Adds $9 Savings Account Fee, Hikes Others” it was reported that customers who exceed 6 transactions a month in their account will have to pay the fee.

Bank of America had recently planned to install a new $5 a month fee for customers to use their debit card. But Bank of America quickly trashed the idea once over 300,000 people signed an online petition against Bank of America for the planned hike. According to the Washington Post article, “It was a classic David-and-Goliath fight, fueled by the growing populist outrage against the nation’s financial system. On Tuesday, the little guy won: Bank of America announced that it was abandoning the fee.” You would think that TD Bank would heed this kind of reaction and find other ways to cover losses… a unique idea might be cutting some of the posh salaries? In fairness to TD Bank, however, their new “savings account” fee is something that others, including the aforementioned Bank of America , and other banks like Wells Fargo Online, already charge.

Wachovia Online was recently sued (along with Bank of America and Wells Fargo banking) for what was deemed unfair overdraft fees. A federal suit was filed in 2009 against Wachovia Online and the other banks for bad-faith bank fee practices. Now, years later, one would think that banks would realize that consumers are fed up with poor management costing them their hard earned money and that federal regulators are going to crack down on unfair practices. So TD Bank, Wells Fargo Online, Wachovia Online, Bank of America… all banks in the U.S. take notice- play fair or face potential consumer backlash or federal reprisals.