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Solange, Jon Caramanica Tete-A-Tete Is Bigger Than You Think PDF Print E-mail

ImageSolange Knowles set the Internet on fire last week with her tete-a-tete with New York Times music critic Jon Caramanica. What kicked it off was a podcast where Ben Ratliff and Caramanica gave their take on Chief Keef, cultural tourism and who has the right to write about black music and/or culture:

Ben Ratliff: After (Miller) did his tweet Solange Knowles followed up with hers, "Too many journalists think that R&B just happened and became interesting in 2012. You've got to know about deep Brandy cuts." 

Jon Caramanica: No shots on Solange who I think has made a very nice little record that came out recently ... It's a good cheer record ... I saw her in concert and felt like a better person when I left the show. But the only reason that Solange's success the past year has been a thing is because of these same people that she's lambasting. There would be no Solange record if the dude from Grizzly Bear did not put it out. There would be no Solange interest if all of a sudden people who have not historically been interested in R&B hadn't decided to pay attention to Miguel and The Weeknd and Drake. It wouldn't exist. First of all, let's talk about biting the hand that feeds you. If I were Solange I would be concerned about that.

Below is Solange's response and the Shock Exchange's interpretation: 

FT's Martin Wolf - "Prepare For Next Recession 'Shock Exchange' Already Predicted" PDF Print E-mail

ImageIn mid-December Janet Yellen raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Since, the S&P 500 is off about 10%. Q4 earnings season has not helped as corporate earnings have declined and the outlook is dismal. With no Yellen to pump up asset prices the "next recession" is on everyone's mind. Ralph Baker's Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted The Great Recession And The Pain Ahead predicted another recession, but apparently no one believe him. He predicted bail outs to Wall Street and quantitative easing were a complete waste of time. Now Martin Wolf of the Financial Times believes the world should prepare for the next recession:

Ralph Baker And "Shock Exchange" - Only Author Bernie Sanders Listens To PDF Print E-mail

ImageThe Internet has been abuzz for weeks with a call for reparations. First of all, reparations was a subject my friends and I discussed in college about 30 years ago. Secondly, if it wasn't for journalists and bloggers discussing I it never would have known it was a hot topic. The President, Congress nor the Senate have rushed to put a bill together. The Atlantic recently called out Bernie Sanders for not supporting it. Salon's Silpa Kovvali took Bernie to task  and you knew the subject had jumped the shark when rapper Killer Mike clapped back at Ta Nehisi Coates for his original hit piece on Bernie:


Killer Mike: I love the writings of @tanehisicoates. I am very curious why every one thinks his critique of Sanders of some kind of death nail.

The media tries to make and unmake people. However, the market has spoken. There is only one author Bernie Sanders listens to -- Ralph Baker, author of Shock Exchange How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted The Great Recession And The Pain Ahead.

Weatherford International - Will Lenders Demand Equity In Exchange For A Lifeline? PDF Print E-mail
ImageWeatherford International rose nearly 20% Thursday after delivering a revenue and earnings beat. WFT was buoyed after management re-negotiated new debt covenants that allowed the company to remain in business for a few more quarters. In my opinion, the company needs new equity to help support its $7.4B debt at junk levels -- debt/EBITDA is approaching 7x. It may need to borrow from short-term lenders to help meet principal payments on [i] $350MM due this month and [ii] $650MM due in Q2 2017. Longs believe lenders will offer Weatherford more capital with equity-like risk for debt-like returns. I highly doubt it. Weatherford might have to give up equity or warrants in exchange for another lifeline.
Weatherford International Q4 Earnings - Will Auditors "CYA?" PDF Print E-mail
Weatherford International is set to report Q4 earnings on Thursday. Analysts expect a decline in revenue of 10% Q/Q and loss per share of $0.19. After Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger reported double-digit revenue declines in North America, I expect similar results for Weatherford. That's problematic as North America represents the company's largest segment and most operating losses. Of Weatherford's $3.2 billion goodwill, $1.8 billion is pursuant to the region. All eyes are on asset impairments in Q4. If the auditors require impairments north of $2 billion, it could cause a breach of debt covenants. A commenter from my previous article believes the auditors will "CYA" and hit Weatherford with the kitchen sink:
Vernon Johns - Prince Edward Co. VA Radical Who Inspired Dr. King PDF Print E-mail
James Earl Jones As Vernon Johns
Today we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who used non-violent protests during the civil rights movement. His bus boycotts and non-violent marches put a spotlight on how the black man was treated in America -- a spotlight that the world could not look away from. While King was known as gentle and none-threatening, the white establishment saw him as radical and threatening. Unbeknownst to many, King got his radical ideas from Reverend Vernon Johns who hails from my home town of Prince Edward County, VA. According to Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted The Great Recession And The Pain Ahead, King referred to Johns as the "Father of desegregation": 
Lawrence Phillips Dead In Prison Of Apparent Suicide PDF Print E-mail

ImageTroubled Nebraska Cornhusker and L.A. Rams running back Lawrence Phillips was pronounced dead Wednesday morning by the California Department of Corrections. The cause of death was an apparent suicide:

The department said Phillips was found unresponsive in his prison cell at Kern Valley State Prison shortly after midnight and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Since 2008, Phillips, 40, had been serving a 31-year-4-month sentence for offenses including choking his girlfriend and driving a car into three people after losing a pickup football game.

The 6'1 210 pounder made the national spotlight as a member of Nebraska's 1994 National Championship team. He rushed for over 1,700 yards that same season. He made headlines the following year for dragging his former girlfriend down three flights of stairs by her hair. Phillips was kicked off the team and then reinstated. He played in 5 games that season before the public outcry weighed on Nebraska coach Tom Osborne. The fact that the girl was caucasian added fuel to the flames.

Dear "Pacman" Jones: Joey Porter $%^&&#% 'ed With You On Purpose PDF Print E-mail

ImageIn their playoff game against the Steelers the Bengals did what they do ... lose. In the final seconds Adam "Pacman" Jones got penalized for an altercation with Steelers coach Joey Porter. The Steelers later kicked a FG to win it. Unbeknownst to Pacman, Porter came onto the field to bait him into the penalty. Jones took to instagram to express his feelings:

%$&%$#! refs did a horrible %$&%$# job! You got Jerry [Joey] Porter in the middle of the %$&%$# field talkin' %$&%$#! to everybody ... then when somebody say something to him ... he don't even supposed to be in the %$&%$#! field?

Did The Bengals' Throw The Steelers Game? PDF Print E-mail

Whew! That was close!
Expectations are tough. Some might call the wildcard game between the Steelers and the Bengals bizarre. However, when you consider it's the "Bengals" we're talking about, it isn't bizarre at all. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict intercepted a pass deep in Steelers territory with less than 1:40 left and the Bengals holding a point lead. Burfict was so excited that he and the other defensive players ran straight into the locker room, game ball and all. I immediately took to Twitter to award Burfict a Key To The City.  Apparently I spoke too soon. Instead of taking a knee and kicking a field goal, coach Marvin Lewis decided to run the ball and the Bengals did what they do ... they begged off.

Greenbrier FQ1: Railcar Orders Really Did Fall 80% PDF Print E-mail

Greenbrier (NYSE:GBX) delivered blowout FQ1 earnings this morning. The company reported revenue of $802 million and eps of $2.15 on record earnings of $69 million. Revenue was up 5% sequentially and beat analysts' expectations of $759 million by a mile. However, the stock was down over 6% in mid-day trading. I had the following takeaways on the quarter.

New railcar orders fell off 80% Q/Q. The trend implies a drop off of nearly 70% Y/Y. I believe dismal new orders just reigned in the global economic recession. Greenbrier CEO Bill Furman previously had a tete-a-tete with the Shock Exchange over (i) the trend in new orders and (ii) if the economy was really that bad. However Management now seems resigned to the fact that FY15 results benefited from peak energy orders. Read more:

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