In Between Days: Yahoo?

by CC September 6, 2011 11:54 pm • Commentary


President Barack Obama, facing waning confidence among Americans in his economic stewardship, plans to lay out a $300 billion job-creation package on Thursday, CNN reported, citing Democratic sources.

The proposed new spending, to be announced by Obama in a nationally televised speech to Congress, would be offset by budget cuts, the report said, signaling that the Democratic president hopes to mollify the concerns of Republican fiscal hawks resistant to his jobs ideas.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

Obama’s aides have refused to go public with the estimated cost of Obama’s package or provide many specifics in advance, except to say that the proposals will have a “quick and positive” impact on boosting jobs at a time of stubbornly high U.S. unemployment.


So what did SNB do?

They announced, today, it would purchase as many Euros as it takes to keep the Franc from strengthening beyond the 1.20 euro mark. It means the Swiss will purposely devalue their currency, while strengthening the Euro. By devaluing their currency, the Swiss are protecting their exports, because a strong currency makes your exports more expensive.

The risk is very real. Here’s The Wall Street Journal on what an expensive Franc had done to the Swiss economy:

The relentless strength of the franc has already pushed some weaker Swiss exporters into bankruptcy, and sent others scrambling to slash prices to hold onto business. Swiss export prices fell 6.2% in the first half of the year. The Swiss government expects 1.5% gross national product growth in 2012, down from 2.1% this year and 2.7% last year.

The question now, reports Bloomberg, is whether this strategy will work. It certainly did today with the Franc dropping 8 percent against the Euro. But some analysts tell Bloomberg that what comes next is an endurance challenge.

“So, this is an endurance contest whereby the SNB needs to fight hard against a market that could soon test its resolve,” said Paul Mackel, a senior currency analyst at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong. “Putting euro-franc at 1.20 today is the easy part. Keeping it there or significantly above will be difficult if the world still looks like a gloomy place.”

As for investors, where can they stash money safely outside of gold? The U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen are of course top contenders, but “they have their issues, to say the least,” reports the Journal. One analyst tells the newspaper the world might be down to one safe haven outside of gold and that is the Chinese Yuan.

All Things Digital

Several sources said the board, specifically Chairman Roy Bostock and Co-founder, as well as director Jerry Yang, acted today, informing Bartz by phone of the need to make a change.

What the next steps will be are unclear, but Yahoo needs desperately to explore a range of strategic changes to bring it back to its former glory.

But Wall Street liked the move, with Yahoo stock up more than six percent already in after-hours trading.

Sources said Morse held a call with Yahoo’s senior staff this afternoon, telling them Bartz was out and that a search for a permanent CEO will be commencing.

Why Yahoo’s board did not name a new leader immediately is curious and might indicate a larger deal around Yahoo is in the offing.


Treasuries rallied again today with the yield on the 10-year note falling intraday as low as 1.9066 before settling at 1.98, another all-time closing low in the constant maturity series dating from January 1962. The previous closing low (2.02) was set on Friday.