Links and Reading for July 14th

Some of the more interesting and important items for July 14th :

  • Is Facebook Worth $100 Billion? – Shayndi Raice – Social – AllThingsD – The Palo Alto, Calif.-based social network was valued at $15 billion in October 2007 when Microsoft Corp. invested in the company. By this January, Facebook commanded a $50 billion price tag when Goldman Sachs Group Inc. led a $1.5 billion funding round in the company.
  • Amazon Plans iPad Rival – – Inc. has battled Apple Inc. over digital books, digital music and mobile applications. Now the two companies are taking their clash to another front: the tablet market.
  • US Default Risk Jumps To Highest Since February 2010 On Debt Ceiling Worries | zero hedge – So much for the market "completely ignoring" the total chaos and complete cacophony out of the tragicomic DC soap opera which is transitioning into less of a comedy and into more of a tragedy with each passing day. For everyone still wearing rose-colored glasses here's a refresher: stocks dropped, the S&P expressed in dollar terms, or adjusted for loss in dollar purchasing power is now negative for the year, bonds tumbled despite a "strong" auction driven almost entirely by Direct Bidders on the margin, and, the kicker, US CDS is now at 56 bps: US default risk is now the highest since February 2010.
  • Bernanke Flip Flops His Way Out of Recession : The Disciplined Investor – Have you ever seen the movie “Thank You for Smoking”? The main character in this movie is dubbed the King of Spin for his ability to constantly tackle compromising situations while working with cigarette companies and the lawsuits that result from them. If you thought this was a tough job, we should consider what Bernanke is facing.
  • Is Research In Motion the next DEC? – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD – Having squandered most of the competitive advantages it once enjoyed, Research In Motion is now caught in a downward spiral that is painful to watch. Strategic missteps and a profound failure to understand the consumer market have whittled RIM’s market cap to less than $15 billion from $83 billion in just a few years. Yet the company’s comedy-of-errors management insists RIM is poised to regain its leadership position.
  • New Danger For Bond Funds: Too Much Treasurys – – It is no secret the U.S. government has borrowed heavily to cover its expenses and prop up the economy. What investors might not realize: This has significantly altered the complexion of the U.S. bond market and, with it, the holdings of mutual funds that hew to bond indexes.
  • A Tax Break for Cellphone Users? – – As lawmakers consider raising taxes as part of the current deficit-reduction talks, a separate bill moved one step closer to giving consumers a much-needed break — on their cellphone bills.
  • Bin Laden Plotted 9/11 Anniversary Attack – – Osama bin Laden was working to assemble a team of militants to attack the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, according to communications Navy SEALs seized from his Pakistani hideout when they killed the al Qaeda leader this spring.
  • Why the U.S. could use a strategic default Jeff Reeves – MarketWatch – ROCKVILLE, Md. (MarketWatch) — It is a sad situation when hard-working CEOs and money managers who make this country great must watch a bloated federal budget waste our hard-earned money.
  • CFTC whistleblower rule draws scrutiny – MarketWatch – WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A rule that would encourage whistleblowers to report commodities trading infractions is beginning to draw the same ire that a similar rule for securities trading sparked.
  • Crude Oil Falls for First Day in Four After Failing to Breach Resistance – Bloomberg – Crude for August delivery dropped as much as 49 cents to $94.93 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.02 at 8:21 a.m. Sydeney time. The contract yesterday climbed 0.7 percent to $95.42. Prices are up 30 percent the past year.