BENEFIT OF STUDENT LOANS

Study Cites the Benefits of Taking Student Loans – The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/study-cites-the-benefits-of-taking-student-loans-1542191401

Not surprising that people who invest in themselves and their own future will be more focused and efficient when navigating their way towards a college degree.

While not having the trust fund or full ride can be challenging after the fact, students that pay their way find ways to avoid unnecessary charges, like non-essential classes and bloated meal plans, and focus on the GPAs, which can help their ability to attract higher paying employment to pay down the loans. All while providing them life lessons that will help them in their future.

The push for free college will undoubtedly make colleges perform like high schools, as the personal investment will not be there to motivate student performance. Over time, student drop outs will increase, as many high schools ill-prepare students for completing a college curriculum. Progressives will then push for policies that force colleges to graduate students, even though they lack the needed competencies.

The goal should be to incentivize colleges and universities to operate efficiently and pass savings to students, not passing the cost to the taxpayers. Students should truly only pay for the cost of education and services attained. Other activities and projects should be funded through donations, fundraisers, public grants, and other channels.

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NYC & VA

Amazon Picks NYC, Northern Virginia for Its HQ2 Locations (WSJ) https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-hq2-announcement-lic-crystal-city-nashville-1542121089

After reviewing proposals from 238 cities filled with proposed tax breaks and other incentives, Amazon selected two highly affluent cities to house it’s new headquarters. Not many suspected the HQ2 project would lead to more than one location.

As Google previously announced it’s own NYC expansion, it will interesting to see how Mayor de Blasio and re-elected Gov. Cuomo plan to handle further challenge to it’s already overstretched public infrastructure. Taxpayers will probably see their bills increase as investments are made to transportation and housing for 25,000 workers, many not already in the city.

The fanfare is over. Amazon made its decision. Now, the remaining cities will now figure out what is next.

DIVERGENT STRATEGIES

AT&T and Verizon Pursue Different Paths Into the Future (WSJ) https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-and-verizon-pursue-different-paths-into-the-future-1541999131

One is focusing on acquiring content, while the other seeks to acquire new customer groups. Reminiscent of Coke vs Pepsi, where Coke focuses on being a leader in beverages, while Pepsi aims to diversify in food and beverage.

ATT aims to attract individual consumers, which are content driven and value entertainment. By owning content providers, ATT will not only expand revenue streams, but can create exclusive customer experiences for ATT wireless consumers.

On the other hand, Verizon strives to invest in technology and expanding its industry consumer base, which is more stable than personal consumers. Industry consumers prefer service contracts, which provide cost stability and detailed service guarantees. This could provide Verizon stable revenue streams over longer periods.

ATT will have to manage divergent business unit and balance varying goals and industry norms. Conversely, Verizon will be able to focus on its core competency and strengthen consumer quality in multiple segments.

Both have viable paths forward. Interesting to see how smaller competitors adjust.

RED SOX WIN

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After not winning a title for 86 years, the Boston Red Sox captured its 4th World Series championship since 2004. The 2018 Red Sox team was a force to be reckon with since game 1 of 162. A team with a dangerous lineup, ferocious pitching staff, and reliable defense that won more games than any Boston team in the past.

The Dodgers played an interesting World Series. Understandably, Dave Roberts would put together a lineup that counters the strong pool of lefthanded pitchers the Red Sox have, but at some point you have to let the players that got you to the World Series play through the challenge. Some of the strongest bats remained on the bench until a righthanded pitcher came in. Although, David Freese did come up with some clutch hits and provided the only offense of game 5 for the Dodgers.

The Red Sox were the better team coming into and out of the series. Now, the Red Sox focus on repeating and the Dodgers must find a way to capture that elusive prize. Two pennants and twice the runner up. If Kershaw departs, their challenge is much greater.

SUMMARY

RED SOX 4 DODGERS 1

MVP: STEVE PEARCE (3HR 8 RBI)

MANIPULATING MARKETS

Adidas Executive, Two Others Found Guilty in College-Basketball Corruption Trial – The Wall Street Journal https://www.wsj.com/articles/adidas-executive-two-others-found-guilty-in-college-basketball-corruption-trial-1540408813

Clear example of an organization using its deep pockets to manipulate college athletics. Interesting that Adidas felt it was alright to violate an organization’s rules as long as it was not directly illegal. The ethical standards must be ineffectively low at Adidas.

College athletics is a difficult industry, as every person and entity is able to financially benefit, but the athletes. Sponsors, universities, non-athlethic departments, and more all gain, but a mere free meal may cost an athlete eligibility.

The NCAA will need to decide how to regulate sponsors and boosters just as effectively as players. Integrity is not isolated to simply recruiting, but throughout every daily operation.

NFL AMENDS RULE

Why Sports Teams May Get Even More Valuable – The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-sports-teams-may-get-even-more-valuable-1539946801

The NFL removed restrictions on cross ownership that will allow larger pools of bidders for future ownership opportunities. As the Seahawks may be the next one on the block, owners of other sports franchises will now be able to enter the pool without divestitures.

 

 

 

SEARS HEADS TOWARD BANKRUPTCY

Sears, a Onetime Retail Giant, Reshaped America – The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-once-americas-biggest-store-collapses-into-bankruptcy-1539595803

At least some of the past or present Sears execs understood the problem. Sears cut costs improperly and diid not invests enough in the stores. Compared to other department stores, the customer experience was lacking at Sears.

Sears does have the potential for a future. But, it will need to consider what that future will look like. In Nearing the End, I give a plausible suggestion.

NEAR THE END?

Sears Prepares for Bankruptcy Filing as Debt Payment Looms – The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-hires-advisers-to-prepare-bankruptcy-filing-1539136189

The iconic once retail giant may be nearing its final stretch. Or maybe it can dwarf into a profitable condense form of itself. If the latter, it will need to find a way to develop and connect with a new target market not already retired.

At one point Sears dominated the retail landscape, largely because it was the first general retailer to market offerings for the entire family and the one willing to stand by its products. As the market change with new players, Sears never effectively captured a new market group.

If Sears does survive, it needs to have a narrower focus. One approach could be deconstruction of their retail concept by creating two distinct chains. One could be a clothing targeting people that may not be served by more trendy stores or a channel for professionals looking for everyday affordable clothes. Another would be an autonomous Sears Auto not tied to a store.

At this point, the Sears leadership team is probably focused on seeing how many tomorrows it has left. If there some, they need to consider what those days will look like.