Business and Industry

Crooks Talk to Congress; Netflix Ninth-Worst Company; Comrade Vlad, and more: Reason Evening Links

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At 25, Marilyn Monroe wasn't even famous yet.

Failed New Jersey senator turned failed New Jersey governor turned failed Ponzi schemer Jon Corzine tells Congress he just doesn't know where he put all that money he took. 

Failed Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on the Fast and Furious criminal conspiracy. Claims nobody at Justice lied. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) details the case against Holder

Russian potentate vows to rid motherland of imperialist agitation. Past and future president Vladimir Putin says an upcoming protest against vote fraud is being funded by U.S. agents trying to show that America is the "boss on our planet. " Putin's charge is being characterized as a threat to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "reset" of Russian-American relations – though you may recall that the reset was a flop even before the "overload" button was pushed

Speaking of overload, a moment of respect for Lindsay Lohan. At an age when many performers are still in the first bloom of talent and beauty, the once-brilliant star of Mean Girls and Freaky Friday has more or less completed the starlet-to-gargoyle transformation that used to take decades. With only two acting credits in the past two years, 25-year-old Lohan begins her comeback with an ominous Marilyn Monroe spread in the very dusty pages of Playboy. Will somebody please put this woman in a movie again? 

Apple with a bullet, Netflix with nothing. In 24/7 Wall Street's ranking of best and worst managed companies, the late Steve Jobs' creation ranks as the best. Avon beats out such stiff competition as American Airlines, Eastman Kodak, Bank of America and Hewlett-Packard to take the top spot in the Worst category. Netflix, which threw a pearl away richer than all its tribe, takes ninth place on the Worst list. 

NEXT: Matt Welch on Obama's Broken Promise of a "Net Spending Cut"

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          1. Evening Links is a safe, hater-free environment.

            1. Frist!

              1. Frost!

                1. Flounder!

            2. Farsi!

              1. Um.. no. Farsi is mainly spoken in Iran.

            3. Fuuuucccckkk!

  1. It also neglected to see that a 60% subscription fee increase would drive away customers in droves.

    Netflix management aren’t mind readers.

    1. I think I just got my answer. Thank you.

      1. Desdemona?

    2. Except that they probably knew that. They were stuck in a terrible place where the only reason that they had so many customers was that they were offering streaming at money-losing rates (after the rights holders got their cuts that they can get without the first sale doctrine applying as it does to DVDs). The only way that they could keep the streaming price down was to either lose tons of money, or have a terrible streaming library.

      I think that Netflix management was well aware of this problem for a long time. I certainly was. It was morons bidding up their stock who didn’t see this huge looming problem, and are reacting now to their prior overconfidence.

      Of course, I talk a lot for a guy who, despite saying this back in May (which you can see over at Mrs. Suderman’s blog), failed to act on my big mouth and short the stock.

      ‘Course, a lot of people lost a lot of money waiting for that shoe to drop with Netflix until it finally did.

      1. I remember that short on CNBC interviews all bearish on NFLX at $200 big time. Really slamming them — he was right, of course, but it hit $300 a couple of months later.

        I wonder if he could hold on?

      2. I DID short the stock, in october, and made a cool 10%. It’s coming back. After this market winds down (I’m sitting on a triple leveraged inverse ETF, risky, I know) right now, I’m going to buy back in on netflix.

        1. Go the fuck back away, shrike.

          1. ? I’m guessing that was for the above comment?

    3. Besides, their service was too difficult for Ezra Klein to deal with.

  2. I don’t want to read the articles, so someone familiar with the Zeitgeist tell me why Netflix is in the worst category? A very short summary will do.

    1. The same people who thought that Netflix was invincible, rather than realizing that their earlier valuations ignored real weaknesses, are blaming it all on stupidity by Netflix.

  3. Tim, those links are more pitiful than Jason “Gambolin’ Man” Godesky.

    Virginia Tech Shootings: 2011 edition

    1. Fucking Gun Free Zones, how do they not work?

  4. Oh, and the next jackhole that brings his iPhone or iPad to me asking me why he can’t get his email or get it to work with Citrix, I’ma point him to this survey and say, “What? I thought Apple products ‘just worked’?” Then politely tell him to go bugger off.

    1. God, I wish I could get away with that.

    2. Citrix isn’t an Apple product. If their iOS client doesn’t work, it’s not Apple’s fault.

    3. Citrix reciever works great on ios. So does email. I hate apple but I doubt many of your customers have issues with that.

  5. “They shake us a bit so that we don’t forget who is the boss on our planet,” he added in reference to the United States.

    Putin then went to his dacha to have sex on his mistress.

    1. Putin then went to his dacha to have sex make the sexy time on his mistress multiple mistresses.

  6. [Netflix] also neglected to see that a 60% subscription fee increase would drive away customers in droves.

    Netflix really screwed the pooch on that decision. I can’t figure out what went wrong with the management. They had a simple business plan, happy customers, and were making hundreds of millions in revenues. One day it just went *poof*. Overconfidence. Hubris. Confirmation bias. I think we all learned a valuable lesson here.

    1. They actually weren’t going to be making that bank for much longer if they didn’t do something.

      Hilariously, it was competition which drove the prices up. As more streaming services were created to compete, studios weren’t forced to deal exclusively with Netflix anymore. As such, they leveraged that position to sell their content to the highest bidders. Netflix tried to hold the line, and several major studios pulled their content (this was noticable at the time in that a lot of movies which used to be available to stream became “dvd only”).

      So Netflix had to pony up the dough to keep the streaming content, which led to their having to revisit their price structures.

      1. This happened right when I had started watching Dexter on play instant. 2 or 3 episodes in…suddenly not play instant any more. DAMN IT

        1. That would have happened regardless, as Showtime is bringing all streaming content home to its own streaming service, similar to HBO’s HBO Go.

    2. Their business model was unsustainable. The content rightsholders wanted a bigger piece of the action.

    3. Overconfidence. Hubris. Confirmation bias. I think we all learned a valuable lesson here.

      Yes. The people with overconfidence, hubris, and confirmation bias are the people that had Netflix stock really high six months ago. The executives were well aware of their money-losing problem, and their tough decision between either crappy streaming content or raising prices as the studios demanded more money.

      People who call this just a stupid management decision by Netflix are engaging in overconfidence, hubris, and confirmation bias of their own. They’re the same people who don’t want to question their own high valuations of the stock from 6 months ago when it was a darling, even though this problem was still there.

      1. I would only say it was stupid because there has to be a better option than raising your prices 60% in one month. Perhaps a gradual increase in monthly fees? The studios are all hurting as well, so Netflix should have stayed at the bargaining table and hammered out more favorable terms. Maybe the studios could have loaned Netflix the operating cash they needed while Netflix phased in new pricing structures? It would have been a gentle transition for the company and it’s customers, and the studios would get interest income or an equity stake in Netflix. My thoughts are that Netflix was lazy and just dumped the increase on the customer, crossed their fingers and waited. Not good business.

        1. The studios wouldn’t have loaned Netflix the cash that they needed– they were too busy doing deals with the new entrants in town. They’ve never liked Netflix, they didn’t like their DVD-by-mail model either.

          Also, let’s note that Netflix still booked record profitability even after this decision.

          There’s no guarantee that a cable-company like gradual increase each month would have worked better for them.

          Netflix actually wanted casual streamers to switch to DVD-only plans, because of how the studios want per subscriber fees.

          1. Obviously they had the DVD-by-mail model down. So is this a story of Netflix not making the conversion to streaming media earlier? Did they not foresee the tablet/phone proliferation? What are the competing services, and wouldn’t those new entrants have less bargaining power with the studios? Netflix had name recognition and almost the entire market. They should have capitalized on that.

            1. nope it’s a story of government holding down getting things to people by keeping a protected monopoly (the fiction of “intellectual property”).

              1. Oh man yonemoto, you just opened a whole can of libertarian worms by bringing IP into it.

                1. Oh man yonemoto, you just opened a whole can of libertarian worms by bringing IP into it.

                  Not really. Tulpa’s not here so everyone else is pretty much in agreement.

                  1. Tulpa’s no true welshie.

                  2. Not me. I happen to believe that intangible property rights are valid.

            2. I still use the DVD Mail-in model – and I’ve noticed since the subscriber flee, the service has improved even more – less ‘late’ mail.

  7. Under pointed questioning by members of the House Committee on Agriculture, the New Jersey Democrat would not rule out the possibility that someone at the firm misinterpreted him as suggesting that the struggling firm tap into investors’ funds.

    Hey! No fair pointing out party affiliation. And does it count as a Ponzi scheme if you keep all the money for yourself?

    1. You think he isn’t “hoping” to “find it” after all the heat blows over?

  8. Did you guys hear about the Greek independent financial audit guy that’s now being prosecuted by the Greeks for reverse-cooking the books?

    According to the Greek government, after the Greeks admitted to cooking the books to get into the EU, they formed this independent committee which found the Greek financials sucked air. They’re now accusing the head of the committee of cooking the books to make Greece look worse.

    While listening to this story, I kept asking myself, “Ok, what was the motive?”

    According to the Greek government: he just wanted to be mean to the Greeks by making them all austere.

    1. “They’re now accusing the head of the committee of cooking the books to make Greece look worse.”
      Is that possible?

      1. Platonic truth.

      2. Yes. The Greeks are stupid enough to make such an accusation.

  9. If John Travolta can recover from Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000, Lohan should be able to pull a Robert Downey, Jr., comeback (granted she may not be the talent Downey is).

    1. I saw Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 at the theater, and while it wasn’t the worst movie, that would be Wing Commander, it left little impression on me. I don’t really remember much from it. Is it a movie that pays off only from several viewings? Anyone ever tried that approach?

      1. I saw it twice. The second viewing was enhanced, however, by this.

      2. Battlefield Earth is a special movie. It’s absolutely terrible, but it’s $74 million dollars of delusional egotistic Scientologist terrible, which makes it amazing in its own way. Plus every single shot in the movie–every single one–is canted.

        Watch it again with others, and drink or take drugs. And then for the lulz, watch the extras, especially the bit where they talk about how it will become a science fiction classic. Epic lulz.

        1. Yes, the “every shot a Dutch angle” decision is inexplicable, the sort of thing some coked-out art house movie director might have done in the ’70s.

          1. The director has made some other real clunkers, too. I saw The Sender but cannot remember at all if it was any good; but I remembered how bad Starship was for years afterward. Some people think the first Star Trek movie was boring (not me, I like it a lot), but Starship takes the cake for inane and boring in space.

            1. Aren’t you precious? I start a thread with reference to that Vinnie Barbarino stinker and you manage to stink it up even more with your V’ger love.

              1. The second ones in the series are always the best

            2. Slow, but some great dramatic moments, and a super hot bald chick.

      3. that would be Wing Commander

        Ha! Worse than Runaway?

        1. never too young to die is the worst movie ever made. Google it and your eyes bleed.

        2. Runaway escapes my memory altogether, but there is something about that sequence of letters that attracts shit movies, Runaway Bride and The Runaways to name two. I’ll admit to not seeing all movies, I’m no longer that great of a buff of them as I once was, hell, I watch more game walkthroughs than movies these days. There likely is a worse movie than that one out there, that’s just the worst that I have seen.

          1. I’d like to change four commas for periods there, Alex.

          2. you think the runaways was a shit movie?

            i thought it was pretty good, and dakota fanning was absolutely spot on as cherie curry.

            watch the youtube videos of the runaways performing cherry bomb in japan

            and then watch the version dakota fanning et al did in that movie.

            it is a near flawless rendition

            i also liked the way they dissed lita ford. because she’s kind of a bitch

        3. Mock not the Tom Selleck

        4. Worse than “Breaking Dawn”?

          1. gahhhh, don’t remind me that crap even exists

      4. Oh, there are a lot of bad movies out there: get a DVD of Dondi for example.

  10. “Will somebody please put this woman in a movie again?

    Lindsay, if you’re reading this, I’m working on a remake of The Brown Bunny.

    Email me.

    1. The only job she should be getting is cocktail waitress at a Reno casino.

    2. Haven’t seen that in its entirety, if you know what I mean.

      1. Oooh, I do! People sometimes ask me if I’ve seen Mulholland Drive, and I say “only the highlights.”

    1. What’s wrong with her face?

      1. She’s been airbrushed all the way into becoming another person.

        1. Playboy hates freckles.

          I, on the other hand, think Lindsay wears them well.

          http://scottcanoni.com/picture…..es/Lindsay Lohan/Bikini/lindsay-lohan-nude-vanity-fair-big-4.jpg

          1. Link fail.
            Freckles are hot unless they are old lady freckles.

          2. Praise the lord I have been sugerfreed!!!!!!

  11. Lohan?!? Blech. This is more like it.

    http://www.wwtdd.com/2011/12/j…..c-looking/

    1. Would rather see Biel in a burka (so long it was form fitted like that!) than to be Lohan’s gynecologist.

      1. They called her Jessica Alba. Ha.

        You have good taste, my friend. Very good taste.

        1. A jessica for each letter of the alphabet.

        2. He did indeed. Got called on it in the comments.
          Someone there linked to this picture of Beil.

          Is it safe for work? Hell, make it your Desktop pic. Your boss will praise you.

          http://dirtymag.com/wp/wp-cont…..l-nude.jpg

          1. Timberlake is an idiot

  12. “Will somebody please put this woman in a movie again?”
    No.

  13. I’d do her.

    1. You’d do a snake if somebody held it down.

  14. Man, did you have to show that picture?

    I was eating.

    Ughh.

  15. At least Netflix doesn’t have to beg for donations to survive.

    1. What’s PBS’s excuse?

    2. Smith stared straight ahead, lost in thought. The possibility of attempting to land at Pangar Nine had crossed his mind, but he had quickly dismissed it. It had been eons since Federal Starcraft were allowed anywhere near that system. The last time a cargo ship had attempted an emergency docking there, in fact, the Nyr-Roimms blasted it to bits with a beewtryl cannon.

      1. *barf*

      2. What are you up to there, Hobie? Ripping from Han Solo At Stars End, and changing a few words around?

  16. Still no MNG today? I’m guessing he won’t be back until he hears a good spin on F&F from the usual sources.

  17. I don’t care about her past mistakes, I forgive Lindsay Lohan.

    1. Personally I looking forward to her future mistakes. I think she’ll become the next Charlie Sheen. I wonder if she has talked to Chuck Lorre yet?

  18. You watching the game, FoE?

    1. I had a feeling putting money on the Browns would not have been the worst move of the day. However I missed my shot.

      1. Pens vs Flyers

        1. Oh, Pens aren’t looking to sharp.

          1. Flyer win 3-2, oh well.

            Don’t get too high, don’t get too low.

            1. Yeah, I saw it. Is Crysby going to be back for Tuesday’s game? I have tix for that one.

              1. I’m still hoping to find my way to the Pens @ Jets game on the 23rd.

                1. Wasn’t it the Pens who gave the Jets their first win back in Winnipeg?

                  1. Indeed it was. Plus they’re the only team to win a game giving up 8 goals.

  19. Can we get a story on David Stern blocking the trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers? Seems to me like the perfect metaphor for Big Government.
    (How is this different, for example, from what the NLRB did to Boeing?)

    1. I say Stern change the name of his office from Commissioner to Caesar.

      1. the NBA runs the team. He blocks himself?

  20. I still like netflix and still hate Comcast.

    1. I hated Comcast until I switched to Verizon. After 3 months I went running back to Comcast.

  21. I’m busy; anyone seen if Merkozy has found the magic money tree?

    1. They’re still locked in a room well into the night trying to hammer out a deal.
      If you know what I mean.

      1. “If you know what I mean.”
        I’m afraid I do, and wish I didn’t.

  22. Evictions Only Build Us Better Homes
    Rhetoric in the Presidential campaign reflects the Occupy movement. Suddenly “Capitalism” is a bad-sounding word, even in the mainstream media. That’s interesting, but not a revolution. More promising is the Occupy Our Homes retaking of empty foreclosed homes. More promising is the “municipal bank” movement coming out of San Francisco, and the rise of community credit unions after Bank Transfer Day.

    Energy? Impact around the world? At the one year anniversary of Mohamed Bouazizi’s fiery death at in Tunisia, the decisive changes in 2011 give a better view of OWS. The occupation has energy and world-reach. The shock-waves of bravery and honesty from Mohamed and from (alleged super-leakers and if so thank you) Bradley Manning and Julian Assange helped us settle Zuccotti Square on September 17th. Now our work goes in waves of revolution flow back from our direct actions.
    Local shopkeepers, artisans, farmers, and swap-and-thrift stores are the new gift-giving destinations. Such spending strengthens us all and is a direct attack on the 1%’s Christmas industry, which is more than a half a trillion bucks in size. The claim by the commercial media that the new consumer figures are a godsend to the economy – and that “things are normal again” – is a cruel joke. We support Kalle Lasn’s/Adbusters new campaign #OccupyXmas.

    1. Support Canadian oil and fat pipelines! Occupy the oilfields with drilling!

    2. You’re posting this everywhere, aren’t you.

  23. John Lennon’s spirit still soars, Yoko Ono declares
    http://www.vancouversun.com/en…..story.html

    1. Still exploiting the corpse!

  24. Will somebody please put this woman in a movie again?

    Regrettably she is unreliable and hard to work with.

    Directors and producers probably do not care if you are a drunk and a drug addict…so long as you can keep your shit together.

    Lovely Lindsy has proven that she cannot. It is a waste really.

  25. goo.gl/Oepcn is what you want

  26. These pics are around 2 years old, and NOT the playboy pics. I’ve been admiring that freckled pure libertarian ass for ages.

    1. Libertarian?

      1. more like a tragedy that libertarians…well Tim anyway…point to to demonstrate the stupidity of the drug war.

  27. EEEEEEeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww!

  28. Where’s that troll who was talking about shitting in people’s mouths a few days ago? Lindsy seems like she’d be down with that.

    1. Hmmm…Lindsey’s next humiliation, or what Barry dreams of doing to U.S. taxpayers?

    2. Where’s that troll who was talking about shitting in people’s mouths a few days ago?

      That sounds like rather.

      She has a web site if you are into that sort of thing.

  29. Sorry, Lulu. Those pics are almost 4 Four! years old.

    See post ( very nsfw) at my name. dated Feb 2008.

  30. Actually, Lulu, I found a blog with those pics from Feb 2008. So that Monroe alike pic is almost 4 years old.

  31. Nice Find.

  32. I wish I was in Dixie.

  33. Newt’s a Twat.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/new…..e-1.988526

    1. Not to be all shallow and all..but what an incredibly ugly woman(?) that is.

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  38. I hate apple but I doubt many of your customers have issues with that.

  39. I jerked off to lohan once. once.

  40. How was Corzine a failed US Senator? I get the other two, but still …

    1. It’s just step one in current politicians trying to disown him

    2. Good question. What does a Senator even have to do to “fail”?

  41. So we now have evening links instead of morning links?!?

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