Wells Fargo, one of the largest subprime car lenders, is pulling back from that roaring market, a move that is being felt throughout the broader auto industry.
The giant San Francisco bank, known for its stagecoach logo and its steady profits, has been at the center of the boom in making loans to people with tarnished credit scores. Wall Street, meanwhile, has been bundling and selling such loans as securities to investors, reaping big profits while allowing millions of financially troubled borrowers to buy cars.
But now, amid signs that the market is overheating, Wells Fargo has imposed a cap for the first time on the amount of loans it will extend to subprime borrowers.
Google provided the Silicon Valley Business Journal an exclusive advance look at its 225-page planning document, which lays out its hopes for everything from alternative energy generation (photovoltaics will be integrated into the glass canopies) to larger issues affecting the area (like combating sea level rise through major infrastructure improvements).
Louise Mozingo, chair of the landscape architecture and environmental planning and urban design department at U.C. Berkeley, called the proposal “utopian.”
“They’re absolutely trying to remake a whole district in a city,” Mozingo, who studies tech campuses. “There’s no other company that’s ever tried to do this. That’s a very ambitious vision.”
The tremendous scale is possible only because Google, with $64.4 billion in liquid assets, has assembled the vast majority of privately owned land in North Bayshore, a 500-acre enclave north of Highway 101 on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. About 35 percent, or 19,000, of Google’s 53,700 workers now work in what is affectionately called the Googleplex, the company said at a recent city council meeting.
GOOGLE IS TAKING the fight to Apple and PayPal with a revamped version of Google Wallet.
The new and improved Wallet comes out of a deal to pick the bones from Softcard, formerly (and rather unfortunately) known as Isis Mobile Wallet, and incorporate it into the Google Wallet service.
Part two of the strategy involves preloading AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile with the new Google Wallet service. This second part is easy as Softcard was a joint venture between the three carriers in the first place, although right now it’s looking more like a dead duck.
This result is somewhat inevitable. The carriers, keen to push Softcard, blocked access to Google Wallet on their networks, but customers didn’t take to the Softcard brand and it soon lost ground to PayPal and Apple Pay.
Time Warner Cable, which is the process of being purchased by Comcast, seems to be trying to one-up its buyer when it comes to insulting its customers.
Time Warner Cable is apologizing to an Orange County, Calif., customer whose name was changed to “C—- Martinez” on her bill from Esperanza Martinez. It also is giving her a year’s worth of cable and Internet service for free.
“We are truly sorry for the disgraceful treatment of Ms. Martinez, and we apologized to her directly. Our investigation showed that this was done by an employee at a third-party vendor. We have terminated our agreement with this vendor and are changing our processes to prevent this from happening again,” said spokeswoman Susan Leepson.
(Reuters) - Technology giant Apple (AAPL.O) is looking beyond mobile devices to learn how to make a self-driving electric car, and is talking to experts at carmakers and automotive suppliers, a senior auto industry source familiar with the discussions said on Saturday.
The Cupertino, California-based maker of phones, computers and, soon, watches is exploring how to make an entire vehicle, not just designing automotive software or individual components, the auto industry source said.
“They don’t appear to want a lot of help from carmakers,” said the source, who declined to be named.
Apple is gathering advice on parts and production methods, focusing on electric and connected-car technologies, while studying the potential for automated driving, the source said.
“Fully automated driving is an evolution. Carmakers will slowly build the market for autonomous cars by first releasing connected and partially automated cars,” the auto industry source said. “Apple is interested in all the potential ways you can evolve the car; that includes autonomous driving…”
Let the Apple Car jokes begin. Like: The iCar will cost three times as much as other cars the same size and only run on Applegas or 22.5 Volt Appletricity. Buyers will swear that it’s more cool and easier to drive than any other car.
Today the Chicago Tribune published a story that gives at least a glimmer of hope to anyone who wouldn’t like to see one company dominate television programming, television distribution AND broadband connections in the United States.
The combined company would control 30 percent of the cable market and about a third of all broadband connections. Comcast has agreed to divest of 3 million cable subscribers as part of the deal to keep its market share at the 30 percent threshold, formerly a statutory limit imposed by the FCC. While no longer mandated, the divestiture is seen as a goodwill gesture by Comcast to help push the merger through, [senior media analyst Craig] Moffett said.
While there is no limit for high-speed Internet market share, it could prove even more problematic for Comcast in the current regulatory and political environment. The FCC voted last month to redefine broadband Internet standards, raising the minimum speeds and boosting the combined company’s share of the high-speed market to about 55 percent, Moffett said.
By his estimations, Moffett said the FCC’s decision to redefine high-speed Internet reduced the odds of the merger being approved from 80 percent to 70 percent. He declined to handicap the potential negative impact of the Bauer incident and other customer service issues but didn’t discount it either.
What is “the Bauer incident”? It was first reported last week that a 63 year-old woman here in Illinois received a bill from Comcast addressed to “Super Bitch” after months of trouble with her cable service.
Of course, customer service nightmare stories about Comcast are a dime a dozen. By now everyone has probably heard the famous call from last year where a Comcast representative steadfastly refuses to cancel customer Ryan Block’s service. More recently, another customer began receiving bills addressed to “Asshole”. Just today the story broke of a woman who accidentally sent her rent check to Comcast. Not only did Comcast cash the check (!) they initially insisted they would only return the money in the form of statement credit.
If you think this proposed merger would improve customer service or lift the United States higher than ELEVENTH PLACE in the world broadband speed ranking, I hope your next bill is address to “Sucker”. The rest of us need to make sure our elected officials understand that this merger is only likely to work for the benefit of Time Warner share holders.
Online travel company Expedia is buying its competitor Orbitz for $1.6 billion in cash. The deal comes just a month after Expedia acquired Travelocity for $280 million.
Expedia will offer $12.00 per share in cash, a premium of about 29 percent over the average share price for the five trading days up to and including February 11, 2015.
With the three companies now consolidated into one entity, Expedia is essentially at the helm of the largest travel player in the online booking space. Orbitz Worldwide includes brands such as CheapTickets, ebookers and HotelClub and the business-to-business brands Orbitz Partner Network and Orbitz for Business.
Sprint is expanding its WiFi calling strategy to the workplace with plans to launch an enterprise WiFi plus Microsoft Lync bundle as part of its upcoming Workplace-as-a-Service platform, Light Reading has learned.
A source close to the plans tells Light Reading that the operator will soon begin bundling WiFi access points and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)’s Lync unified communications service for those enterprises that use its mobile broadband network. The combo will allow enterprises to ditch their landlines and enable multimedia WiFi calling and chat over the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) network and WiFi. Sprint plans to offer this bundle as a managed service, the source says.
The WiFi service will be part of Sprint’s overall Workplace-as-a-Service (WPaaS) platform that it plans to officially launch soon. A Sprint spokesman would not comment on the details of it, but said the operator is in pre-sales mode with it and “has several business customers that are enjoying the benefits of the service and more in the pipeline.”
Verizon Wireless generally doesn’t compete against AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint on price, instead relying on its strong network to hand customers the largest bills in the industry.
But the company might be feeling the heat of competition, as yesterday it announced some new, cheaper pricing options.
“More specifically, Verizon’s 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6GB shared data plans are all dropping $10 a month to $30, $40, $50, $60, and $70 per month, respectively,” DSLReports explained. “The company’s 8GB shared data plan is dropping $5 a month, from $90 to $85. Verizon’s also offering a 500MB plan for $20 a month.”
“The carrier’s 10GB/$100 plan will remain the same, but Verizon is adding a 12GB option ($110), 14GB ($120), and 16GB plan ($130),” FierceWireless wrote. “The company’s 20GB plan is dropping to $140 from $150.”
NC junior Senator Thom Tillis expanded on his free market, anti government and anti public health ideology this week in statments declaring that requiring restaurant emploeeys to wash their hands was a regulatory burden on businesses. He opined that the free market would eliminate problems as necessary (without acknowledging that businesses with poor health practices do not tell the public, and therefore mass uotbreaks of communicable disease would be the result as has happened in recent history:
He might have won the most expensive legislative campaign in US history, but that doesn’t mean he should manage your local Arby’s.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said Monday that he’s okay with the idea of service industry workers returning to work without washing their hands after touching their unmentionables, as long as customers are made aware of the situation.
Tillis made the declaration at to the Bipartisan Policy Center, at the end of a question and answer with the audience. He was relaying a 2010 anecdote about his “bias when it comes to regulatory reform.”
“I was having a discussion with someone, and we were at a Starbucks in my district, and we were talking about certain regulations where I felt like ‘maybe you should allow businesses to opt out,’” he said, “as long as they indicate through proper disclosure, through advertising, through employment literature, or whatever else.”
Ayn Randism can never fail…it can only be failed by humans without the fortitude to carry it to its’ logical conclusions…