Monday, November 21, 2016

The Problem with Bump Sales

I just got an email for a Bump sale for WordPress themes from a software company. They offer $299.00 worth of themes for $90.00 except that every time someone buys, the price gets bumped up another $3.00

Clearly, the idea is that I should be galvanised to jump in before I lose the deal.

The email arrived at 19:42 and I clicked through to check just now and the price was $93.00

And it still is. Which means only one person has bought.

So I looked at the themes, and my rational brain is analysing the quality and whether I can make good use of them.

And my irrational brain is thinking that they must be bad because no one is jumping in to buy.

Let's see what the price is in an hour from now.

And if it is still at that price then my conclusion is that apart from any other consideration - the deal is an example of bad psychology.

A deal would have to be a near certainty to work this way. And if it is a near certainty, then why offer a discount at all? Or why offer such a convoluted discount? Just offer x% off the price to pull in the few extra customers who like a deal to be sweetened even when the offer is already great.

21:04 Still the same price.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Playing Opossum

When threatened or harmed, they will play possum, mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. This physiological response is involuntary (like fainting), rather than a conscious act. In the case of baby opossums, however, the brain does not always react this way at the appropriate moment, and therefore they often fail to play dead when threatened. When an opossum is playing possum, the animal's lips are drawn back, the teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, the eyes close or half-close, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands. The stiff, curled form can be prodded, turned over, and even carried away without reaction. The animal will typically regain consciousness after a period of a few minutes to 4 hours, a process that begins with slight twitching of the ears.

When opossum and when possum?

Apple To Manufacture In The USA?

Quartz reports today:
Apple has asked two of its major product assemblers, Foxconn and Pegatron, to explore the possibility of manufacturing future iPhones in the US, Nikkei reported Thursday, Nov. 17 (Friday morning in Japan).

I can see the attraction for Apple. It prevents Apple becoming a casualty of a trade war between China and the USA.
I can see Apple being happy on at least one count that Trump won the election. It gives Apple a further reason to be cautious about having all its production in China and a reason to react rather than being seen to act disrespectfully towards China without reason.
I wonder whether Tim Cook mooted manufacturing in India when he visited the country in May?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Deutsche Bank in The News

In an analyst rating update on Thursday shares of Lloyds Banking Group PLC ORD (LON:LLOY) had their rating reiterated by analysts at Deutsche Bank.

The broker said it has now set a ‘Hold’ rating on shares of Lloyds Banking Group PLC ORD with a price target of 59. The price target according to the broker shows a possible increase of 11.26% from the current stock price of 53.03.


Deutsche Bank has received a cautious vote of creditor confidence. The German lender is issuing expensive debt. That shows it can get access to markets, despite a feared $14 billion American regulatory fine. It is less powerful a signal than buying debt back, as Deutsche Bank did in February — but at least it shows that investors do not fear losses that could eat into senior debt.


Deutsche Bank AG is implementing a companywide hiring freeze as Chief Executive Officer John Cryan seeks to lower costs and shore up investor confidence, according to people with knowledge with of the matter.


Germany’s biggest bank returned to the US high-grade bond market on Tuesday to sell an additional $1.5 billion worth of debt, offering more than double the yield it paid a year ago. Deutsche raised $3 billion in a bond sale last week. This has given investors in the troubled bank confidence it can tackle the litigation with the US Department of Justice. Deutsche is facing a $14 billion fine over its American mortgage-backed securities business which allegedly led to the US housing crisis in 2008.


Would I be surprised to see some news that the bank is failing and cannot correct itself? After all the ups and downs of the past few weeks - from disappointment at not being able to negotiate with the US authorities, to questions over its entire structure and how it passed previous stress tests - I wouldn't be surprised at anything.

The worry is that it is coming at a critical time. After a sensible victory for Clinton in November, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the world can continue on its way without a wild card in play.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

US Fines Reaching Into Europe - 'Extortion'

Reuters reports that a French Parliamentary report argues that Europe should challenge the United States over what it sees as its aggressive use of extraterritorial laws to fine European companies, especially banks.

The report objects to the U.S. Department of Justice's interpretation of its jurisdiction that includes transactions between non-Americans outside the U.S. where the U.S. dollar currency is involved.

It also covers matters transacted over the Internet using U.S. computer servers.

Karine Berger told Reuters in an interview that the practices were an abuse of US law and were akin to extortion.

Berger is a French politician, member of the French National Assembly representing Hautes-Alpes, and the national secretary for the economy of the ruling French Socialist Party.


Where does this stand via a via the Apple tax bill?

Tax is one thing; fines are another, at least on the face of it.

Is it just a tug of war between the USA and the EU as to who gets the money?

What would a disinterested expert say about the fairness of the US fines and the EU taxing of Apple?

Mervyn King on Brexit

Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England prior to Mark Carney, is reported as saying in an interview with Sky News:

During the referendum campaign, someone said the real danger of Brexit is you'll end up with higher interest rates, lower house prices and a lower exchange rate, and I thought: dream on.

Because that's what we've been trying to achieve for the past three years and now we have a chance of getting it.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tell Me How I Joined

Best effort from a spam message today - it had the following in the footer to explain how it was that I came to be receiving it.

You have received this newsletter because you have opt in for our services and you was agree to our terms of use

Always good to know I was agree to something...