Monday, February 02, 2015

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 02/02/15

Anyone who thinks I will ever run out of sarcasm needs to think hard.  I mean, like, really hard.  Sarcasm is like cosmic background radiation . . . it is always there.

Uber just can't catch a break, and doesn't deserve one.  Google is developing a competing app.  Drivers who thought they were contractors are suing Uber because they're being treated like employees but have to pay operating costs themselves.  Uber's bro-jock culture is about to render its competitive advantages inoperative.  Jerk bosses usually stick it to employees, but Uber's arrogance takes it to a new level.  Nobody remembers Webvan from the '90s, which is why today's startups are repeating its operational errors.

Whole Foods is no longer the darling of the grocery sector.  It has long catered to upscale eaters who have more money then brains.  Regular grocers have figured out how to stock quinoa and kale.  I know a lot of people in San Francisco who swear by Whole Foods' offerings and they're all idiots.  Salmon in a can from a discount grocer is the same fish as the fresh salmon at Whole Foods.  Rich shoppers are impoverishing themselves by opting for sixteen flavors of granola at Whole Foods.

McDonald's is having a tough time at the other end of the quality scale in food retailing.  Trying to be all things to all eaters puts it in competition with upscale brands whose regular customers have more buying power, and thus more options.  McDonald's should focus on being the low-price leader in lame food for poor people who have few options.  Human taste buds evolved to favor crispy, salty, sugary things that signaled a high fat content.  The golden arches needs to engineer those factors into cheap foodstuffs that poor people will find addictive.  Downscale brands thrive when developed economies hit the skids.  Put a McDonald's next to every dollar discount store for a countercyclical trend.

I did not watch the Super Bowl yesterday but I can't avoid the news feeds mentioning the halftime show.  Katy Perry's "left shark" was an unenthusiastic dancer.  Maybe he was sad after a bad experience taking Uber, a huge grocery bill at Whole Foods, or a soggy burger at McDonald's.  I do like watching Katy Perry shake her hindquarters.  She's welcome to come over to my place anytime provided she leaves her sharks somewhere else.

Full disclosure:  I have no positions in the stocks of the lame, stupid companies mentioned in this article.