Last Active
  • Berkshire Hathaway sold over $800M in Apple shares in Q1 2020

    And despite this large sale Apple shares rose from 264 USD in Dec to 324 USD in mid-Feb! I think I'll hold on to my (considerably more modest!) holding. In fact, I'm rather disappointed that the shares haven't dipped further with Trump's trade war and the CoVid 19 scare as I have some cash I want to invest. : )
  • Cook urges for global corporate tax reform during Irish trip

    avon b7 said:
    The obvious follow up question for Tim was:

    Do you think the financial orchestration that resulted in Apple allegedly paying 0.005% for one year was 'fair', given that, in response to the demands of the EU for Apple to return billions of euros to Ireland, you defended Apple's position by stating that Apple had 'values'? How do Apple's values fit into the claim of it paying 0.005% as a result of financial orchestration?

    As for changing the system, he is fully aware that the whole thing is being debated at institutional levels anyway, and has been for some time.
    Surely Apple has to play by the rules that everyone plays by? Yes, the tax paid is 'unfair' to governments and tax-paying citizens but for Apple to opt for a different payment to be 'fair' to them (the taxpayers) the company would be 'unfair' to Apple shareholders who bought into the company with the understanding that Apple would make as much legal profit as possible.
    Yes, change the tax system, make every company play by 'fairer' rules that recognises the money earned in a particular country and Apple will do the same. If Apple was campaigning against 'fair taxes' or 'data privacy protection' then that would certainly be wrong but obeying the (imperfect) rules seems 'fair' ... if distasteful. As an Apple shareholder, and tax payer, I would be happy to see Apple pay more tax .... but not if Facebook, Google, Amazon, Starbucks etc. don't.
  • Apple among companies sued over 'brutal' child labor

    The companies actually digging the cobalt out of the ground include Glencore (UK-based mining conglomerate) and a Chinese company. The cobalt is then sold to a Brussels-based company and then sold on to manufacturers. Apple and Google etc. are actually third in line...
    Now abusive practices are abusive practices but Apple is probably not responsible here any more than BAE Systems or the many 'defence' industries in the US can be sued for the killing done with the products they manufacture. Although the case would probably be stronger there - lithium batteries do have a 'peaceful' application whereas a Cruise missile or a military jet have little use outside the military whose core business is fighting and, inevitably, killing.
    Bizarrely, Glencore's website talks a lot about 'transparency' and 'responsible sourcing'. Its almost as if you couldn't trust them ...
  • Apple asks White House not to apply tariffs to Mac Pro parts

    How much of the work in building something as complex as the Mac Pro is done by ‘workers’ (Chinese or American)? Most of the value is in complex machine-manufactured components and you can’t relocate a RAM-building machine or chip fabricator in anything under a few years. The machines will just become more expensive and trump gets a nice little sweetener in tariffs which will allow him to cut taxes on his billionaire mates. Another great shot in the foot from someone who doesn’t understand business and likes to employ powerless undocumented immigrants on low wages. He’s never made anything and doesn’t understand manufacturing ( other than tax free profits from hotels and resorts). 
  • Goldman Sachs exec says winning customer loyalty with Apple Card more important than profi...

    Banks provide a range of financial services. Some of these they can charge for (and do - with enthusiasm!). However, some services do not have an obvious cost to the customer. For example, my UK bank does not charge me a penny for handling my pay check, paying bills automatically and a range of security systems to keep my money safe (well, safer than under my bed at home!). My bank could reasonably charge for these but doesn't - it hides these costs in overdraft fees, credit card interest rates etc. They bet that I will go overdrawn and fail to pay my credit card bill every now and then so that they can get back the money they have spent on the free services. I bet that I will never go overdrawn and will always pay my credit card balance off in 30 days. So far, I'm winning this bet. For people who don't or can't play as well as me... well, I'm sorry but thank you for your contribution to keeping my bank charges at zero.
    And customer loyalty is valuable. They have access to my money to play with (I'm sure they do) but they have to guarantee to give me back my money if I want it so the playing is at their risk. If I change banks (i.e. if I'm not loyal) they lose my money. Also getting a new customer is much more expensive than keeping an existing company so loyalty has an immediate cash benefit to them. Also, if my bank has treated me well I will be more likely to look to them for paid-for financial products than banks or finance houses I don't know. 
    Banks have to make money. They want to make money. They are not charities and do not claim to be. That said, play nicely with them and you should have no problem. I look forward to getting an AppleCard if they ever get as far as Brexit-crazy UK and hope to enjoy the services at no cost to me but this does not mean I have to believe that Goldman (or whoever) cares about me. That doesn't even enter the equation. Theres no need for angst or emotion about a credit card.