Posts by Pras Subramanian

  • 'Concussion' director reveals the cold business side of the NFL

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    It was the story that wouldn't go away, until it couldn't be ignored any longer. The NFL's concussion scandal rocked the sport, and led to its commissioner testifying in front of Congress. While the science is now coming to the fore, and a legal settlement with the players is in the works, the story of how everything unfolded is now finally being told in the new film, Concussion . As a former journalist, the film's director, Peter Landesman was drawn to the story through the eyes of the real-life protaganonist, Dr. Bennett Omalu - played by Will Smith in the film.

    “The story of Bennett is really one of the most pure whistleblower tales have ever found,” Landesman says in the attached video. “Bennett was really about pure science, he was a Nigerian immigrant pathologist working in Pittsburgh and ended up with the body of one the most famous football players the Pittsburgh Steelers ever produced in his lab, and he just wanted to solve the riddle of why he died.”

    Concussion will be in theaters this Christmas Day.

  • Why packaging waste is big business for this company

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    If you’ve been in this country long enough, you know that Thanksgiving, aside from being a national holiday, is the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. And as consumers shift from buying in stores to  online, a result of that trend is a rise in packaging waste. Fedex (FDX) is predicting a 12% jump in holiday shipments this year alone, and that also means a rise in cardboard boxes, plastic packaging, and other forms of shipping waste. All of this packaging has an impact on the environment, but what's its impact on business? David Steiner, president and CEO of Waste Management (WM), says this holiday season will be a big one for the shipping industry, but it's also an opportunity for the recycling business. “When you look at recycling, the most valuable material to recycle—and the best for greenhouse gas emissions—is cardboard and paper,” Steiner says in the attached video . "So all that packaging—put it all together, bundle it up, and let us take it away and recycle it for you—and it'll be back next Christmas."

  • Men in Blazers bank on soccer’s growth with BlazerCon event

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    They talk soccer, and they wear blazers—usually at the same time. And they’ve been touting soccer as “America's Sport of the Future, as it has been since 1972." When Michael Davies and Roger Bennett began their project, the Men in Blazers podcast, it had a smattering of regular listeners (known as GFOPs, or Great Friends of the Pod) and a cult following. Now the popularity of the Men in Blazers franchise has grown into a weekly TV show on NBC Sports Network (CMSCA), one that melds highlights of English Premier League (EPL) games of the past week with pop culture references and inside jokes their fans have come to know and love. The rise of the Men in Blazers podcast, satellite radio show and current TV show coincides with the growing popularity of soccer (or as the rest of the world calls it, football) in the United States. Witness the steady growth of Major League Soccer, founded back 1993, along with rising U.S. viewership of international tournaments such as the World Cup, Gold Cup, and the European Championships. For Davies and Bennett, Men in Blazers as we know it began in 2010 from humble beginnings—they just wanted to talk football, or “sahccah” as Davies jokes. “I think what has been sort of magical about Men in Blazers is it started as a hobby,” Davies says. “It was really something which we started doing because we really liked each other, [and] we love talking about football.” Their passion attracted hard-core U.S. soccer fans, and as the sport has become more mainstream (I can now count three Arsenal bars on my small block in New York’s East Village), the podcast grew from a World Cup segment on ESPN to a full-blown cable show on NBC Sports Network. “The show grew into something quite organically," Davies says, “and very few things in show business, as you know, get to grow organically.” Now the show counts big name brands like Adidas, Mini Cooper and Guinness as sponsors. In addition, NBC Sports Network revealed ratings for EPL have grown 19% since last year, potentially turning NBC Universal’s billion dollar investment in EPL TV rights from a loss leader to a potentially profitable one. The ubiquity and rising bandwidth of the Internet has helped too. “The Internet makes soccer the perfect sport—you can now follow Arsenal, Chelsea, Bayern [Munich], Real Madrid ... as if you lived a stone's throw from the [pitch],” Bennett explains. “EA Sports’ FIFA games made the whole country learn the characters who were involved in the game, and just the access on television—World Cup to World Cup of incredible football—that's what's really changed the game as well.”

  • ‘Luxury brand’ Ferrari deserves IPO premium

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 3 mths ago

    From the quiet hills of Maranello to the bright lights and fast money of Wall Street, Ferrari has come a long way in its 86-year history. As the company prepares its NYSE debut, investors are expecting a molto bene first day of trading. The company has a unique history, a raison d'être , that many people probably don’t know of, or understand. Started as strictly a racing team by the iconic Enzo Ferrari, the team was building and racing its own cars back in 1947, and has competed in every season of the Formula 1 World Championship. The company has become a part of the heart and soul of Italy, as the team’s passionate fans - the Tifosi as they are called - will attest. Enzo Ferrari only started selling some of his prize race cars to civilians as a means to raise money for the racing team. The popularity of those cars has led to the racing and automotive legend that Ferrari is today, and that legend has grown since the death of Enzo Ferrari in 1988.

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  • El-Erian: Volatility is coming and here’s how to deal with it

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 4 mths ago

    Many thought a robust U.S. economy could keep growth going despite weakness abroad, but a disappointing jobs report and softening economic data suggest otherwise. While stocks (^GSPC) have been climbing recently on anticipation that a Fed rate hike isn’t likely, these kinds of rallies typically do not portend the next leg up of a bull run. The root for many of the markets current ills has been China. But are economic problems there, as well as the emerging markets, finally bringing problems here? Mohamed El-Erian of Allianz says it’s the other way around.

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  • Why visionary Ralph Lauren sought out a new leader

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 4 mths ago

    Another legend walks off the catwalk. Ralph Lauren, an icon in the fashion industry, is stepping aside as CEO at the company he founded nearly 50 years ago, naming Old Navy President (GPS) Stefan Larsson to take his place. For his part the 76-year old Lauren says he isn’t retiring, but will instead stay on as chief creative officer and remain executive chairman. Traders are liking the move at the eponymous brand, sending Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) shares soaring. Yahoo Finance’s Mike Santoli says the move heralds the massive change coming to the industry.

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    Shell’s Alaska pullout a sign of the timesWhy an antitrust case against Google’s Android is not a slam dunkBill Gross down, but not out, after Pimco tops him

  • Shell’s Alaska pullout a sign of the times

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 4 mths ago

    It’s a surprise move that has environmentalists jumping for joy. Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) has abandoned its controversial offshore drilling operation in the Arctic Ocean near Alaska, only a month after it received approval from the Obama administration to do so. In a statement, Shell says the oilfield in the Chukchi Sea failed to yield a significant discovery, costs were high, and the “unpredictable” U.S. regulatory environment were all reasons for ending the drilling project. Shell has placed a balance sheet value of $3 billion on its Alaska position.

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  • Why an antitrust case against Google’s Android is not a slam dunk

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 4 mths ago

      The Volkswagen emissions scandal may have dominated the headlines this week, but there's another company in possible legal trouble as well. Bloomberg is reporting U.S. antitrust officials are planning to investigate Google’s (GOOGL) Android mobile operating system, looking into whether the company stifled competitors' access to Android. Both the FTC and Google have declined to comment.

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  • Bill Gross down, but not out, after Pimco tops him

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 4 mths ago

    For years he was called the Bond King, but is his reign effectively finished? One year after the legendary Bill Gross left Pimco, the FT reports his new fund at Janus Capital (JNS) had a 2.5% loss, while during the same period Gross’s old flagship fund, Pimco’s Total Return Fund, was up 1.7%. In the days that followed Bill Gross’s exit, many believed Pimco would not be able to sustain the loss of its founder. But the results show the system in place at Pimco, perhaps the one even built by Gross himself, is up to the challenge. “Well it sort of suggests that at least [Pimco’s system] was not broken, the system was not compromised, not just by the absence of Bill Gross but by the massive outflows of investor funds from their products,” Yahoo Finance’s Mike Santoli says in the attached video. “That was what was considered to be the big danger was that Pimco Total Return and other funds that Gross oversaw in a broader way would basically not be able to operate well if they were having to hemorrhage money and give investor cash back.” Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

  • ‘A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore’ - Yogi’s financial wisdom

    Pras Subramanian at Yahoo Finance 4 mths ago

    New York Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra passed way yesterday at 90 years old. Berra was a part of many great Yankees teams, but he may have been even more famous off the field for his wit and wisdom, even on Wall Street, with his famous 'Yogisms.' Here are a few that are easily recognizable: "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore." "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." "Ninety percent of this game is half mental." "You can observe a lot by watching." "It's deja vu all over again." And Wall Street, only a short subway ride away from Yankee Stadium, has co-opted some of the phrases coined by Yogi to explain market moves, and even to give out investment advice.

    Not to mention all of his endorsement deals, with companies like Miller Lite, AFLAC (AFL), Visa (V), and Yoo-Hoo.  “I think Yoo-hoo is the best one,” Santoli recalls wistfully. “He knew the founding family, and he actually stood on principle - he said when Yoo-hoo started to taste different, he stopped wanting to be the sponsor for it.”