Ryan's Feed
Jul 2, 2013
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Zynga’s latest acquisition: adult supervision

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Kara Swisher broke the news yesterday that Zynga is going through a tech rite of passage — bringing in a professional manager. Don Mattrick, the former head of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment, will take over as CEO. This is a move, Swisher notes, that’s been blessed by Mark Pincus, Zynga’s co-founder and current CEO, who still has 61% voting control of the company. Pincus, in a blog post, said he’ll stay on as chairman and head of product.

Jun 27, 2013
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Overrated interest

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Unless Congress can get its act together before its summer holiday, the interest rate on some new federally subsidized student loans is set to double on Monday to 6.8%. As Bloomberg explains, this bit of Congressional deadlock is about how flexible the loans should be and, not surprisingly, it’s also deficit reduction. Two new bills were introduced Thursday, but ABC’s Arlene Saenz suggests neither has much chance before the July 4 holiday.

Jun 26, 2013
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Too Big 2.0 Fail

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Three top banking officials told Congress today that America’s biggest banks are still seen as too big to fail. Appearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed; Thomas Hoenig, the FDIC’s  vice chairman, and Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed, all argued that big US banks benefit from a market subsidy based on the perception they’d be rescued by the government in a crisis.

Jun 18, 2013
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“Eating baloney and burping caviar”

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Brazil is dealing with its biggest protests in 20 years — while in the midst of hosting the Confederations Cup and spending approximately $28 billion to prepare for next year’s World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympics.

Jun 14, 2013
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Counterparties: Unpaid internship

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Good news for America’s unpaid army of latte-fetchers and lunch-order-takers! A Federal district judge in Manhattan has ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated state and federal labor laws by using unpaid production interns on “500 Days of Summer” and “Black Swan”.

Jun 5, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: Obama’s off-message patent police

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As if on cue, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has stepped into the larger debate on patents. Yesterday, the very day that President Obama announced plans to tackle the growing ranks of patent trolls, the ITC ruled against Apple in its protracted patent dispute with Samsung.

Jun 3, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: The revolt of prosperity

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What began as a four-person protest over the planned destruction of a small park has turned into a battle for the future of one of the world’s great economic success stories.

Thousands have been arrested in cities across Turkey in protests over the authoritarian bent of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The spark, at least initially, was urban development: Erdogan’s government had a plan to turn “the last significant green space in the center of Istanbul” — a park with a long history of protest — into a luxury mall and apartments.

May 30, 2013
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Counterparties: Broken tax breaks

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The Congressional Budget Office is out with a report that boils down the byzantine US tax code into something relatively simple: the benefits of taxes aren’t distributed equally. In fact, more than half of the total dollar value of America’s 10 largest tax breaks, deductions and exclusions go to the top 20% of American earners. 17% of these tax expenditures — including the mortgage interest deduction and preferential tax rates for capital gains — go to the top 1%.

May 22, 2013
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Counterparties: How far can homes run?

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America got more great news on housing today. In April, existing home sales — which exclude newly built homes — hit their highest level in more than three years.

May 17, 2013
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Counterparties: Golden Karp

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Why might Yahoo want to buy Tumblr, as AllThingsD reported last night and Adweek confirmed this morning? Henry Blodget has a couple of ideas. For one thing, he says that “Yahoo wants to become hip and cool again, and Tumblr is hip and cool.” Tumblr also has a large following in the 18-29 demographic that Yahoo would like to capture (CFO Ken Goldman told a group of investors earlier this week that “One of our challenges is we have had an aging demographic.”) In that way, the move is similar to last year’s Facebook/Instagram deal, which Ryan McCarthy described as “a $1 billion way to make your parents’ status updates more interesting.”

    • About Ryan

      "Ryan McCarthy is a Deputy Editor of Reuters.com and edits Counterparties.com with Felix Salmon. Previously, he was the Business Editor of the Huffington Post."
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