Reuters blog archive
from Global Investing:
Turkey's ceasefire last month with the Kurdish militant group PKK could boost its trade partnerships multilaterally, as increasing prospects for stability in the region bring economic opportunities in the Middle East and Africa.
The halt in the decades-long armed campaign came on March 21 after the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, Abdullah Ocalan, sent a letter with the announcement from the island prison cell where he has been held since 1999 when he was arrested for treason.
Although the main pro-Kurdish party has recently poured doubt on the veracity of Ocalan's statement, the prospect of greater stability in the troubled border region with Iraq could pave the way for greater trade security and pay dividends for investors.
Now that the Turkish economy is pacing along, perhaps not with so much gusto as a few years ago, but with a young and increasingly tech-savvy population and inflation levels at relatively low levels, peace progressions with the PKK could also help the country's prospects.
It hasn’t yet been six years since the start of the smartphone revolution and we've already become an "always on" culture. At least, that’s the temptation. Those who submit can be called The Immersives: checking e-mail, keeping tabs on Facebook "friends," debating on Twitter, snapping photos of food for Instagram. It would be rare if any of us didn’t have at least one toe dipped in the stream.
We are all Immersives sometime: We bury our faces in the small screen while we walk, or come dangerously close to driving blindly into traffic. We can't get through a meal without virtually leaving the table. We keep our phones on permanent silent to conceal the depth of our addiction. If we even momentarily lose track of our phone, we are as anxious as new parents whose toddler has dipped out of sight.
By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Facebook’s new super-app wants to live off Google. The social network’s Home software, unveiled on Thursday, sits on top of the Android smartphone operating system. That encourages people to use Facebook over rival services. Google built Android, but Mark Zuckerberg’s company plainly likes the idea of grabbing a piece of it.
A few years ago, web thinker Jeff Jarvis published an homage to the world's most successful Web search and advertising company titled "What Would Google Do?" These days, the question seems to be, "What is Google doing?"
Google won us over with a revolutionary approach to Web search that made its predecessors seem archaic. It quickly toppled Yahoo as the coolest company on the planet based solely on its efficient and fast way of finding everyone else's content. Now, though, Google is something entirely different.
By Megan Miller
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.
Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” isn’t a self-help guide, corporate charter or memoir. The Facebook chief operating officer claims it’s not a feminist manifesto, either. It’s more of an amalgamation of all these genres. It ranges from intensely personal and insightful to didactic and methodical. Quoted research into how women measure themselves in the workplace and at home underpins a central Sandberg proposition - that women need to be more ambitious and men more accommodating.
Three privacy stories caught my attention in the past week:
1. Google is paying a token $7 million fine for sniffing out private information as its roving Google Maps cars gathered images for Street View.
2. A new study has found that seemingly innocent disclosures on Facebook can be used to form highly accurate predictions about whether you are a genius, drug user or gay.
from Unstructured Finance:
More research was published today showing that the honeymoon is over for American hedge fund managers and technology giant Apple. The iPhone maker was one of the top two most sold stocks by hedge funds in the fourth quarter, according to an analysis of regulatory filings by Bank of America. (The other stock was Tyco International).
This industry-wide ditching of Apple came as AIG replaced the iPhone maker as hedge fund land's most loved top-10 stock holding in Q4. It was the first time Apple had been knocked out of pole position in three years. For a list of some of the big names that ditched Apple, see this story by Aaron Pressman.
from Anthony De Rosa:
There's a lot of inaccurate information out there about the way Facebook is promoting posts from people who pay for it. Some of this misinformation comes from writers using their experiences as an example of how things happen to everyone on Facebook, not realizing they're different than many other people on the service or other people who use the "follow" option (formerly known as "subscribe.") There's also an unfortunate tendency to not check facts with Facebook.
We should not take Facebook at its word but we should at least give it a chance to explain how it sets the rules. We can judge for ourselves how honest they're being. It's far worse to assume. This isn't an entirely new thing for Facebook, Sponsored Stories were rolled out back in January of 2011. This resurfaced because of an article by Nick Bilton at the New York Times who suddenly seemed to notice his Facebook posts were not seeing the same number of comments, likes and shares as they once did. (Update 3/6: Nick does cite Facebook's statement that although "people who have more than 10,000 subscribers is up 34 percent from a year ago" they also admitted to him "there has been a 2 percent drop in interaction on the news feed.")
from Stories I’d like to see:
1. Find the story here:
Let’s begin this column with a quiz, one designed to test your story-generating talents. If the answer comes to you within 10 seconds, you, too, could be an editor or TV news producer. If you are an editor or producer and don’t see it instantly, you need better radar.
First, read the opening two sentences from a story that appeared in the Financial Times a few weeks ago:
from Alison Frankel:
Every company considering an IPO owes a hearty thanks to U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet of Manhattan for his decision Wednesday to dismiss four shareholder derivative suits against Facebook board members. Sweet's painstaking 70-page opinion includes holdings that are great for Facebook's defense of a parallel securities class action over its disclosures to IPO investors, but the judge also reached precedent-setting conclusions on standing and ripeness that will help other derivative defendants ward off IPO-based claims in state court. Facebook's lead lawyers, Andrew Clubok of Kirkland & Ellis and Richard Bernstein of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, certainly deserve credit for coming up with innovative arguments to establish valuable precedent in IPO cases.
I believe Sweet's ruling may have application beyond IPO derivative suits, though. The decision could represent a way for defendants to address the proliferation of derivative suits that are inevitably filed in multiple state courts after M&A deals are announced.