Posts by Rick Newman

  • Here’s what Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba wants to sell Americans

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance15 days ago

    One of the momentous financial events of 2014 will be the initial public offering for Alibaba, the huge Chinese e-commerce company, expected to be one of the biggest IPOs ever. Part of Alibaba’s aggressive growth plan is a foray into the U.S. market, where it hopes to challenge Amazon (AMZN), Walmart (WMT) and other premiere merchants.

    But the big retailers don’t have to worry yet, because Alibaba’s U.S. debut doesn't involve one of its signature online mega-malls. Instead, Alibaba is quietly rolling out a small startup peddling something that might seem surprising for a Chinese firm: Americana.

    (Disclosure: Yahoo [YHOO] owns 23% of Alibaba and stands to profit from the forthcoming IPO.)

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  • U.S. bank penalties now exceed the GDP of most countries

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance16 days ago

    Have they suffered enough?

    Following the housing meltdown and the 2008 financial crisis, hardly anybody felt the slightest sympathy for the Wall Street banks that helped cause it all. But six years on, the four biggest U.S. banks alone have paid a whopping price — approaching $100 billion, according to a Yahoo Finance tally — in fines, penalties and various legal settlements. Virtually nobody responsible for the financial crisis has gone to jail, of course, and the penalties they've paid are a fraction of the damage caused by the 2008 crash. Yet the punishments may have reached the point of diminishing returns.

    “The banks have turned into a bunch of zombies,” says Roy Smith, a finance professor at the NYU Stern School of Business. “They’ve hunkered down and don’t want to take any type of risk.”

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  • Harley-Davidson rolls out the Tesla of motorcycles

    Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance23 days ago

    It might be the Tesla (TSLA) of motorcycles, or it might be a flop. Last week Harley-Davidson (HOG) allowed me and a few other drivers to test ride Project LiveWire, the company’s new electric motorcycle. Project LiveWire is a prototype motorcycle that isn’t going to be road model, at least that’s what they tell us. Harley’s first ever electric powered bike definitely looks the part, although it’s range is only about 55 miles on a full charge. And the sound it makes is decidedly not very Harley-like, but more on that later.

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