05/16/18

Sanctions Work – ZTE

Sanctions, Big Red Car? How dreary for such a sunny, lovely day in the ATX, yawn! OK, Big Red Car tell me about how sanctions work. Maybe a real world example?

Dear reader, let us take up the case of Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment, known as ZTE. They are a maker of inexpensive smartphones and other telecom equipment in more than 160 countries and employ 75,000 workers.

ZTE is no small fry on the international scene. When the Chinese government wants to wiggle into bed with a country, they often provide loans as an economic development tool.  Those loans? What are they used for? To set up a nationwide cellular network built by … wait for it … ZTE!

ZTE is an important element of Chinese international policy.

The Chinese also see that a large company like ZTE can break the stranglehold that American tech companies have on China. It is a nationalistic undertaking.

But, ZTE ran afoul of American sanctions. How?

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05/2/18

Leaving NYC

Leaving NYC, Big Red Car, who’s leaving New York now? Financial enterprises.

Big Red Car here in the slightly gray ATX – still, On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

A recent announcement that NYC headquartered AllianceBernstein Holding LLC was moving its headquarters and 1,000 jobs to Nashville caught my attention.

It is a phenomenon which is playing out right here in Austin and Texas, in general. Firms and individuals are leaving California, Chicago, and NYC to relocate to Texas and its pro-business, nice weather, no taxes environment.

Nashville has some of that Southern mojo working in its favor, but this is all about money – real estate, taxes (state and city), employment expense, and flight from an ever increasing burden.

Green Mesquite the Big Red Car’s favorite BBQ joint. Come on down, y’all. BBQ on the Big Red Car!

It is about the money, y’all.

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04/30/18

Clean Energy – Apple, Google

Clean energy is hard to be against unless its cost is an issue.

The Big Red Car is here for y’all on a cloudy day in the ATX. Talking clean energy.

Clean energy is a big umbrella which covers solar, wind, water, geothermal, bioenergy, and nuclear. Hello, America, NUCLEAR?

OK, so maybe the DOE definition of clean energy took it one step too far, but that’s what they say.

Apple (2018) and Google (2017) have announced that 100% of their energy needs worldwide are being supplied by clean energy. They also pull the definition a bit further by adding “renewable” to their definition.

Anybody surprised these two companies are leading the way on this?

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07/17/17

Blue Apron — Stormy Waters Ahead

Big Red Car here with his Blue Apron on. Haha, that’s a joke y’all, just like everything else about Blue Apron.

If you don’t know about Blue Apron, a meal kit delivery company which just went public, let the Big Red Car ‘splain it to y’all.

Blue Apron went public on the NYSE recently at $10/share having been “underwritten” by Goldman Sachs, Citigrope (haha), Morgan Stanley, and Barclays as the leads. It sold 30MM share and raised $300MM.

Yesterday, it was revealed that Amazon (recent offerer for Whole Foods) registered the trademark: “We do the prep. You be the chef.”

The filing said that Amazon would be preparing food kits for cooking and assembly as a meal. OK, so you recognize that, right? That’s Food Aprons core competency.

The Illuminati read this to mean Amazon/Whole Foods is going after Blue Apron and others in the meal kit delivery business. Just to be clear Blue Apron is the largest in the business followed by HelloFresh (German company). But, Amazon/Whole Foods has an incredible installed base, complete command of the order/delivery business, and an incredibly well focused existing customer base. Plus, Whole Paycheck is already a huge volume buyer of … wait for it … FOOD.

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07/11/17

Retail Tsunami v Amazon

Retail, Big Red Car? You going shopping?

No, the Big Red Car doesn’t shop, y’all. The Big Red Car does Amazon and the BRC is part of the problem. The problem being the wholesale remaking of the face of retail in the United States, particularly brick & mortar retail.

Let me ‘splain it to y’all.

First, there are a lot of stores closing.

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06/23/17

Amazon – Whole Foods v Walmart Hysteria

Amazon is buying Whole Foods? When the Hell did that happen?

Big Red Car — going to be a great day in the ATX.

OK, so unless you were out of the country, you know that Amazon has put its loop around Whole Foods and is trying to buy them. Deal seems to be all but done.

So what does it mean? Haha, that’s the rub. Let’s explore it, shall we?

Everyone wants to peg it as a Amazon v Walmart grocery industry cage match. Is it?

Before we answer that question, let’s take a look at some numbers.

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02/26/17

Fundamentals, Try Them

Can we get an “amen” for fundamentals?

Big Red Car here while The Boss is hanging loose in Steamboat. So, I got together with a cute Mercedes Benz from the next block over. She’s a diesel and I like exotic cars, so we had a chat. Her boss owns a business which he started and grew from a gleam in his eye.

“What’s the secret to your owner’s success, attractive MB?”

“He understands, sticks to, and executes on the fundamentals.”

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11/21/16

Budgets 2017 — Get Back To Work, Y’all! Shop Talk

Budgets. Nothing says the holidays are coming like budgets. Budgets make the world go around.

Big Red Car here on a lovely, sunny Monday in the ATX. Ahhh, on Earth as it is in Texas!

So, the election has everybody off their schedule with their lamentations and celebrating.

But, what are you supposed to be doing, y’all?

Of course, you know, you’re supposed to be finalizing your 2017 budgets, Ms. Startup CEO.

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02/1/16

The Lost American Decade

Big Red Car here and awaiting the results of tonight’s Iowa caucuses. Why do we care what a bunch of very white folk in Iowa care about anyway?

Foggy and 80F today. Ahhh, winter in Texas!

So, we’ve heard of the lost Japanese Decades, right?

Did you know we’ve got our own Lost American Decade? The Lost American Decade! Continue reading