Category: BUSINESS

1 in 5 CEOs are psychopaths…

“For psychopaths,  it [corporate success] is a game and they don’t mind if they violate morals. It is about getting where they want in the company and having dominance over others.”

The global financial crisis in 2008 has prompted researchers to study workplace traits that may have allowed a corporate culture in which unethical behaviour was able to flourish.

Mr Brooks’s research, conducted with a colleague from Australia’s Bond University and a researcher from the University of San Diego, was based on a study of corporate professionals in the supply chain management industry across the US.

The findings, presented on Tuesday at the Australian Psychological Society Congress in Melbourne, are due to be published in the European Journal of Psychology.

The researchers have been examining ways to help employers screen for potential psychopaths.

“We hope to implement our screening tool in businesses so that there’s an adequate assessment to hopefully identify this problem – to stop people sneaking through into positions in the business that can become very costly,” Mr Brooks said.

CONTINUE @ TELEGRAPH

Disney Did In 1 Day What Took HBO 4 Years: 10 Million Streaming Subscribers

Somewhere Netflix and Amazon video are sweating.

Disney announced today that Disney+ has reached a stunning 10 million plus subscribers just 24 hours after its launch yesterday in the U.S., Canada, and Netherlands; the figure surprised analysts who had expected a much slower rollout for Disney to reach that level, although let’s just ignore that most of the new “subs” are only there thanks to one of the various free streaming offers (perhaps someone should launch WeStream).

Separately, Apptopia reported 3.2 million mobile app downloads in the first 24 hours, with an estimated 89% of mobile downloads in the U.S., 9% in Canada, and 2% in the Netherlands. In just one day, users spent 1.3 million hours watching it, Apptopia said, more than Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video, but far less than the 6 million hours watched on Netflix.

“Disney should silence naysayers who expressed reservations about a pivot to streaming,” said Geetha Ranganathan, a media analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. “It took HBO Now about four years to reach about 10 million streaming subscribers.”

That’s just the beginning: on Nov. 19, Disney+ will launch in Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico’s launch was delayed one week) and will launch in Western Europe on March 31, 2020. While the service experienced first day technical glitches, this was likely due to high consumer demand which was ahead of management’s expectations and not structural issues with the app.

At this fervent adoption rate, Disney could hit its target of 60 million to 90 million worldwide subscribers in just months, if not weeks, and certainly well before the company’s original 2024 goal, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives. This, of course is bad news for legacy streamers such as Netflix, which could see as many as 10% of its customers lured away to rival services such as Disney+ and one from Apple that launched earlier this month.

Commenting on Disney’s stunning disclosure, JPM said that the steep ramp reflects a philosophy of “initial subscribers now; pricing later.” Disney’s willingness to debut its content-rich service at an attractive price point is leading to massive subscriber growth which will likely lead to pricing power later. To be sure, JPM noted questions arise regarding the ARPU despite the strong ramp in subs, including:

  1. subscribers opting-in to the Verizon deal for a free year of Disney+ from a potential opportunity of ~17-19m eligible Verizon customers;
  2. subscribers to the bundle with ESPN+ and ad-supported Hulu; and
  3. subscriber churn following the free seven-day trial. Overall, we are positive on the read-through for subscriber growth at ESPN+ and adsupported Hulu as the combination at $12.99/month is a compelling deal.

Even so, the bank pointed out that “the announcement surpasses our expectations for 5m subs in the first quarter; we now expect 15m subscribers in FQ120 and bump up our full year expectations from 15m to 25m.”

Separately, Disney clinched important last minute deals for its content. Ahead of the Disney+ launch, Disney started to remove on-demand content for cable customers, in our view to create heightened demand for the content and the product.
As a result, nearly all Marvel movies are available to stream in the U.S., including Avengers: Endgame (initially expected to stream on Dec. 11) as Disney struck some last-minute rights deals. Four Marvel films will remain on Netflix through the end of 2019 (Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War, and Thor: Ragnarok) and will stream on Disney+ in 2020.

As an aside, JPM analyst Alexia Quadrani noted that she was impressed by the content and user experience of Disney+ upon launch: “The recommendations, originals tab, as well as different collections under the search tab make it very easy to navigate through content and find what one is looking for. We did experience some technical issues on launch day, which we think is due to strong demand and not any underlying issues given the service has been in beta for months in the Netherlands.”

Not surprisingly, DIS stock exploded higher on the announcement, climbing as much as 6.8% on Wednesday, its biggest intraday rally in seventh months, and hitting a new all time high.

Netflix shares tumbled 3.7% as its company’s investors assess how big a threat Disney+ will be.

Finally, for those curious, yesterday we showed a full breakdown of which video streaming service is showing what exclusive content; we recreate it below.

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE

Google will offer checking accounts, says it won’t sell the data…Checking accounts would be rich data trove Google says it will keep to itself

The Google empire is enormous and ubiquitous, covering basically the entire Internet in one way or another. There is, however, one lucrative business the company does not yet have a foothold in: banking. And now it has plans to change that.

Google is working to launch consumer checking accounts next year, The Wall Street Journal first reported this morning. The project, code-named Cache because apparently nobody can resist a pun, is expected to launch next year, sources told the Journal. CNBC, also citing “sources familiar,” confirmed the WSJ’s reporting.

Google: Not a bank

The accounts will be run in partnership with Citibank and a credit union based out of Stanford University. Google executive Caesar Sengupta told the WSJ that the accounts will carry branding from the banks, not from Google, which will also “leave the financial plumbing and compliance” to the banks.

Google and its partners are still hammering out the details of these accounts, including whether or when accounts might incur fees. (Many banks that offer checking accounts waive monthly fees for customers who maintain a certain average balance or who use direct deposit.)

“Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system,” Sengupta told the WSJ. “It may be the slightly longer path, but it’s more sustainable.”

Banks are subject to fairly strict regulatory standards. An institution offering a checking account must comply with a lengthy list of federal laws, as well as any relevant state laws that might apply.

That’s the same kind of partnership Google’s major mobile competitor Apple has taken. Apple this summer launched a credit card that all US iPhone users are eligible to apply for. While the card carries Apple branding and is managed through an Apple-designed iPhone app, the bank behind the card is Goldman Sachs, which took the partnership as an opportunity to expand its individual consumer business.

A partnership with Google could be a similar opportunity for Citibank. Citi is the nation’s third-largest bank, behind JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, but has a smaller retail banking footprint. Chase operates about 5,000 US branches, and CEO Jamie Dimon said earlier this year it plans to cover about 93% of the US population by 2022. BoA has about 4,300 branches and says its footprint will encompass 90% of the United States by 2021. Citi, on the other hand, operates about 700 branches and has about $800 billion less in assets than Chase does.

CONTINUE @ ARS

The Workers? Toys ‘R’ Us, Back From the Dead, Will Open U.S. Stores in 2019

Maybe American kids will only have to live through one Christmas without Toys “R” Us.

About a year after shuttering U.S. operations, the remnant of the defunct toy chain is set to return this holiday season by opening about a half dozen U.S. stores and an e-commerce site, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Chick-fil-A is now the 3rd-largest restaurant chain in America…

Chick-fil-A has whipped past rivals to become the third-largest restaurant chain in the US.

The chicken chain’s massive growth in 2018 moved it into the No. 3 spot on the ranking of the largest restaurant chains in the US, with $10.46 billion in American systemwide sales, according to Nation’s Restaurant News analysis published Monday.

Continue reading “Chick-fil-A is now the 3rd-largest restaurant chain in America…”

Dollar General is rolling out FedEx drop-off and collection services at thousands of its stores to help it take on Walmart

There are over 15,000 Dollar General stores in the US and by the end of 2020, just over half of these will offer FedEx drop-off and collection services.

This new partnership, which was announced on Monday, is mutually beneficial. It enables FedEx to offer convenient services to a broader range of shoppers (thanks to Dollar General’s giant store base) and gives these customers another reason to visit a Dollar General store. The hope is that by offering more services customers become more loyal, use the store more frequently, and spend money on other things when they’re there.

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Amazon Turns Shopping Malls Into Warehouses, Changing America’s Community Landscape

After helping drive local shopping malls toward collapse, Amazon is coming back to finish the job: turning them into warehouses.

That’s according to scores of reports in recent years, including one early this month published in the Wall Street Journal, discussing how Amazon keeps on turning old malls into fulfillment centers in Northeast Ohio.

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Algorithms are maximising profits for online retailers by colluding to keep prices high

Have you ever searched for a product online in the morning and gone back to look at it again in the evening only to find the price has changed? In which case you may have been subject to the retailer’s pricing algorithm.

Traditionally when deciding the price of a product, marketers consider its value to the buyer and how much similar products cost, and establish if potential buyers are sensitive to changes in price. But in today’s technologically driven marketplace, things have changed. Pricing algorithms are most often conducting these activities and setting the price of products within the digital environment. What’s more, these algorithms may effectively be colluding in a way that’s bad for consumers.

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Cord cutting continues as consumers cut cable in record numbers

cord cutting

More bad news for the network liars. According to this Fortune report, more and more people are cord cutting forcing companies like AT&T and Comcast to raise their rates.

The rate of consumers dropping their cable and satellite TV packages hit the highest level ever in the last three months of 2018. And for the first time in a few years, the losses weren’t more than offset by people signing up for Internet TV subscriptions.

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DESPERATION: Kmart opens a store inside an existing Sears store

SEARS

PHOTO CREDIT: RETAILDIVE.COM

Seriously, I’m not making this up. Kmart has opened a 10,000 square foot convenience store inside a Sears store. This multi-level cluster**** is located in Brooklyn, New York and offers a full range of necessities like groceries, grab and go snacks, health and beauty supplies, and finally cleaning and pet supplies. I’m not sure if the marketing team at Sears is aware, but Walmart and Target essentially dominate this space, leaving no room for underachieving retailers like Sears and Kmart.

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