Monday, August 17, 2015

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 08/17/15

I get withdrawal symptoms if I go for too long without sarcasm.  It's a healthy addiction, much better than any narcotic.  I have no experience at all with narcotics, for the record.  Those of you who do use narcotics should stay away from me until you kick the habit.

The IRS discovered its got hacked a lot worse in May than it had thought.  I'll bet nobody gets fired.  "Get Transcript" sounds like a great idea until a taxpayer who didn't choose a strong password gets doxed.  The IRS's CIO should brush up on what FedRAMP says about securing the cloud.  Rename the agency to "Ignore Required Security" for truth in advertising.

Amazon's workplace culture is the focus of major Internet buzz.  It doesn't sound all that bad to me.  I've worked at places where Darwinism, lying, and backstabbing were hidden beneath veneers of civility and chivalry.  Getting it all out in the open with official policy is big progress.  Giving a big bonus to a manager who sells their mother down the river would make it official.  I have blogged before that corporate culture is totally a function of CEO personality and HR policies, because people respond to charismatic leadership and environmental incentives.  Amazon's culture would be a case study in success if the company were a financial success.  The trouble for Jeff Bezos is that Walmart earns more net income in a year than Amazon has in decades.  Walmart solves supply chain problems much more effectively than Amazon, without the internal sniping.

American Apparel is having trouble sticking around.  The teen market is only so big and Millennials are delaying the age at which they start families.  Middle income families can't afford boutique clothes for their kids anyway after watching their incomes stagnate for decades.  Kids these days need to learn to wear homemade clothes from potato sacks and old drapes, just like their great-grandparents did way the heck back in ye olden days of yore.  That'll teach 'em, yes indeed.

I will sign off for now because I need to go look out my window at the fog coming in from the Pacific Ocean.  Anyone who wants me to entertain them when I'm not blogging can log on to Spotify and listen to my music playlists.  Just search for Anthony Alfidi, or "tonyalfidi," because Spotify doesn't have a listing for "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived."

Full disclosure:  No positions in any companies mentioned.