“The Great Wall of Cupertino” – OR – How Not to Pitch to Bankers

Apple likes secrecy. Apple wants to do business with banks. Banking has all these pesky “transparency” regulations. Apple’s secret banking play hits a privacy pothole.

This is a pretty big story in and of itself, but the real issue is how Apple tripped over their collective – inflated – ego.

The first problem, as noted at Fudzilla, is that these people are not the idiots Apple expected them to be.

Apple turned everyone out the favorite lounge at the show and instituted secrecy – behind that Great Wall – for a pitch to the banking industry.

Apple thought it could resolve the issue by holding an exclusive presentation in the middle of a trade show for the bankers. This backfired because Apple bodged it by holding the secret presentation in the middle of an Aussie trade show and kicking out all the other riff-raff.

It tried to do its usual trick of hyping itself up and expect the bankers to follow like adoring children. Unfortunately for Apple, high-level Bankers did not get where the are today by believing that sort of rubbish. In fact, while Bankers might be Satan’s little helpers, at least they are not stupid Apple fanboys who think buying the iPhoneX is great because its maker tells them that it is.

Or as ITnews noted…(from the first link at the top of the post)

A gentleman from Switzerland seemed less impressed and described the Apple event as one giant stage managed ad and said it revolved around Apple talking about how good it was, how good its privacy is, and how nice its products are.

Our Geneva-based source added it appeared all the mystery and conspicuous exclusion had been engineered to create a buzz that was let down by a, well, an hour long ad.

“Apparantly I can also do some banking on my iPad and you can use an iPad in a bank,” the gentleman drolly said. “Great.”

Welcome to the Real World™ where people buying (or not) your services actually know what they are doing, and have to do a cost/benefit analysis before they do buy it (or don’t – as the case may be).

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Dick’s Not-so-Sporting Goods

Claire Wolfe calls them Dick’s Detestable Sporting Goods. Battle Born Munitions sues Dicks for $5 million over ammo deal turned sour.

Everything from failure to fulfill their end of a contract to market manipulation. This is over some Field & Stream house-branded ammo for Dick’s Field & Stream stores.

The house-branded ammo, which could not be repacked and sold to another retailer due to the Field & Stream headstamp on the cartridges, was eventually accepted by Dick’s but the intervening storage, at BBM’s expense, cost the ammo distributor $200,000. Further, since BBM’s cash was tied up in the stalled deal, they could not fill a contract with Lebanon for a batch of Bell helicopters, losing out on an additional $5 million, which they are seeking to recoup from Dick’s.

The filing says the actions by Dick’s went beyond just holding up the ammo delivery.

Because Dick’s ordered the ammo, but didn’t take possession, it wasn’t on their books. It was essentially warehoused at their vendors’ expense. This impacts their balance sheet which impacts the way they look to investors.

Dick’s Field & Stream didn’t even have any of the SKUs listed for sale.

The allegations by BBM are not the first time that Dick’s has been accused of market manipulation. In 2008, the company settled FTC charges on illegal market allocation relating to the retail sale of golf merchandise.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of idiots.

Hat tip to Claire Wolfe and her Friday Links, which you should also check out.

EU to Italy: … or else!

After the handsprings the EU did to keep Greece in the fold, do you really think anything will come of this? Salvini defiant over budget despite EU giving Italy three weeks to come up with new plan. And you thought American politics were screwed up.

The Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU, reviews the budgets of the 19 eurozone economies to check for compliance with its deficit and other standards.

European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will ask Italy’s populist government on Tuesday to “revise its budget,” which exceeds EU limits, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

In theory they could kick Italy out of the club, I think. In reality, they won’t do much that the bond markets aren’t already doing.

This is in addition to Poland (apparently) ignoring an order from the European Court to reinstate some judges or face fines.

This kind of thing always brings up this scene form The Demolition Man.

What Happens When An Electric Car Is Hit By Lightning?

OK, this one was in a garage, plugged into the grid when the house got hit by lightning. Close enough. Electri-Fried Fusion.

The storm was in September.

The car had been parked in the detached garage and was plugged into the grid. But wait, wouldn’t you think a modern electric car would be designed with a built-in circuit breaker for electrical storms like this? Guess not! He immediately drove his electric car straight to the Ford dealer and said something was wrong.

That was SIX long weeks ago and no end in sight. Turns out the Fusion had an en-lightning experience and is completely incapacitated. Car insurance doesn’t know how to deal with electric cars that have been struck by lightning. They want pictures. Really? What does an electric car demobilized by lightning look like? Well, the same as an electric car that hasn’t been struck by lightning. Except none of the 2 separate battery compartments work now. It turns out the lightning strike blew out the electrical circuit boards. After weeks of back and forth with the insurance company, things started progressing. Repair work is underway.

There is a needed part – a circuit board – that won’t be available until January 15, 2019.

Wait, the car went into the Dealer’s shop in early September and repairs will take over five months? Insurance won’t total the car, and nobody knows how much it will cost to repair this modern, energy efficient, low CO2 emissions electric car.

The future is stupid.

I Bet You Didn’t Know US Taxpayers Underwrite Shipping From China

Because a 144 years ago, conditions were different. Trump launches process to quit 144-year-old postal treaty.

I would love to blame this on the Useless Nitwits at the Untied Nations, but they just took over the postal treaty.

Lower rates are designed to help poorer countries manage the costs.

But the White House said China – a major global exporter – is now the biggest beneficiary of that system

The BBC is not, quite, in full-fledged pearl-clutching mode with this article. (I wish they were.) But it is hard to paint a system that gives the worlds 2nd biggest economy a boost as fair. Giving a boost to truly poor countries I could see doing. But in typical UN fashion, there doesn’t seem to have been much effort to rationalize the rates, even though in theory they can be changed every 4 years. (I mean be fair. It’s only the US taxpayer, and what do the bureaucrats at the UN care about them?)

Trump’s China Policy

If you believe the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) you would think that the China policy is a disaster. Trump has China quaking in its boots.

This week, with the successful renegotiation of a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada — the USMCA — Trump is now able to control China’s access to the entire North American market.

Beijing officials now realize, even if many in the US foreign policy establishment don’t, that they are facing a master tactician, one who is moving steadily from deal to deal, getting as many concessions as he can, and then moving on the next.

Don’t expect to read this kind of thing in the Left-wing media. (Hat tip to 90 Miles From Tyranny)

Elon Musk vs SEC

That’s gonna leave a mark. SEC’s Musk Lawsuit Highlights Dangers of Social Media Disclosures.

So Musk tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla Motors private. Turns out, maybe not. The SEC sued for stock manipulation.

The SEC is seeking civil penalties and asked the court to bar Mr. Musk from being an officer or director of a public company. Mr. Musk called the suit unjustified and said he has always taken action “in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors.” Tesla and its board said Thursday in a joint statement they are fully confident in Mr. Musk.

Tesla stock fell 9.9% in after-hours trading. (Hat tip – Watts Up With That)