sunsetSo Oracle ends up owning Sun Microsystems.  I couldn’t believe it at first, thinking somehow that it was all just a ploy to get IBM to pull out the Big Checkbook.  And while the deal may have begun with that thought glowing in the mind of Jonathan Schwartz, it ends with the heart of Sun moving a few miles up 101 to where it will certainly die.

IBM doesn’t want Sun and is gleeful with the idea of Oracle taking over, as you’ll learn if you read the internal IBM memo copied below.  Big Blue does a very good job here of explaining its thinking and most of it makes sense.  No white knight.

But what will […]

The Global Village


This week more than 20 million people watched on YouTube and other video sharing sites a single performance from the ITV show Britain’s Got Talent in which a frumpy spinster from Scotland sang like an angel.You can see her astonishing performance here.

It’s not the singing that makes me write this, though the singing was good.I lived as a boy in the north of England and knew ladies like this Susan Boyle.What makes me write about it is the effect she and her singing had on the Internet and the Internet in turn had on the performance and its aftermath.

The video file as presented on YouTube is just over seven minutes […]

Wall Street and Main Street Don’t Cross


When Barack Obama was running for President one of his favorite sound bites was that any financial bailout should not just involve Wall Street, but Main Street, too – that the government’s responsibility was to help both bankers and homeowners. But now that the election is won and Obama is in office, the two streets are still being treated very differently, with Main Street getting a lot less help from Washington.

This is a HOUSING crisis, not a BANKING crisis, yet $700+ billion has gone to help bankers and only $75 billion to “help” homeowners. The banker’s money has mainly been spent and the homeowner money has hardly been touched. If this is a […]

Bob on Video!

I recently participated in a conference for financial bloggers at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO.  Kauffman, if you haven’t heard of it, is dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurism and supports more economic research than any other foundation.  It is a fabulous place and I really enjoyed the conference.  For some reason they felt inclined to interview me, too.  There are plenty more interviews to be seen at the Kauffman web site (interviews with really smart people, too, not just folks like me): Kauffman Conversations

The Sun Also Sets

ibm-sunI’m not the biggest fan of Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz. Okay, I am not a fan at all. But I have to give the guy credit for keeping up company morale, because when I polled my Sun contacts recently on why they thought IBM might be interested in buying the company, each thought it was because of his or her division.  What charming — if misguided — loyalty.  These people still feel good about their company.

Of course they are wrong to do so.

I know that Sun walked away from the deal, by the way.  I’m not THAT out of touch with the world. I just think that understanding the Sun mindset might help explain […]