Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two More GREAT Ones From the Captain...

Two of my favorite bloggers are Barry over at Cynical Nation and the Captain over at Captain Capitalism...there are many other must reads, but these are two of my all time favorites

The Captain always comes up with some economic gems, like this one ( on the not so widely reported fact of WHO OWNS “Big Oil.”

Turns out, YES. it’s YOU and I, with some 29.5% owned by various and widely popular Mutual Funds, 27% owned by pension funds, another 14% owned by IRAs – totaling a whopping 70.5% OWNED by investment vehicles regular working people almost universally and very heavily depend upon for their retirement funds.

Of the remaining nearly 30%, well, 23% of that is owned by individual investors, the bulk of whom are regular working people, like you and me. Another 5% are owned by “other institutional investors,” likes banks and 457s and 401Ks, leaving a paltry 1.5% owned by (gulp) “Corporate insiders).

Check out Captain Capitalism’s piece, it has charts to go along with his colorful commentary on this.

While there, check out the piece on the Starbucks Solution ( as well. It’s priceless.

Seems that Starbucks is in the process of closing some 600 underperforming (less profitable) stores, in order to consolidate during the current economic turbulence.

Nothing strange there.

But the reaction of its “customers” (for the Starbucks crowd, that term must be used very loosely, as sitting and reading for four hours while nursing a single cup a Joe, isn’t exactly a “customer”) has been to...yup...start a petition drive to keep those stores open!

As the Captain wryly notes, the solution obviously lies in “a free-market solution like BUYING MORE FREAKING COFFEE!!!!”

Check out Captain Capitalism. He’s always worth the read!


Uncle Joe said...

Starbucks is scaling back from Vinte to Grande. I am surprised Obama hasn't promised to bail them out. Anything for a vote.

JMK said...

When the economy contracts, one of the first things people cut back on is $4 cups of coffee.

I think whether its Obama or McCain, they'll be dealing with a very severe economic downturn after mid-2009.

Rachel said...

If Starbucks wants to keep business, I think they need to go back to their 2007 or even 2006 prices. I understand the problems of transportation costs (which eats up product costs) and eventually their profit, but I've "gone gas" over them, as I could handle buying a Caramel Macchiato with skim milk twice a week when it was $3.56 (in VA), but now limit it to once every other week since it's gone over $4.00. I'm guessing that if they could promote "affordable luxury" and hold on the price they could make up some profit. Is this right? I passed basic economy but I have to admit my business skills are kinda rough

JMK said...

Your basically right Rachel.

There are two profit models, one is selling a select number of items at a certain percentage profit (this model depends on building brand loyalty of, at least the loyalty of a local consumer base) and the other is selling many more items (bulk sales) with a much lower profit margin, anticipating that volume will make up for the lower profit margin.

I know Starbucks has high brand recognition and loyalty, but I suppose the stores they're closing are being closed because they can't make them profitable in today's higher energy cost environment.

I just get a kick out of people thinking that a petition would work better than something like buying more coffee.

Anonymous said...


i'm digging that visual!!!
thanks for directing me to the other bloggers.

keep it up!

JMK said...

Glad to help....I've linked to a lot of really good blogs and probably should link to a few more.

Glad you liked the visual too!

JMK said...


Did you check out Angel's blog (WHTS - yet?

It's GREAT, and so are the others I've blog-rolled....a lot of excellent reads.

Anonymous said...

just caught your p.s. message/response and therefore angel's blog...WOW!


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