All posts by James Cannon

James Cannon

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]businessdistrict.com

Latest Trump Treasury Nominees

U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced nominees for the Treasury Department.  The nominees are managing directors, bankers and investment executives.  To date, some of the senior economic positions are held by former Goldman Sachs executives, Gary Cohn (National Economic Council Director) and Steven Mnuchin (Treasury Secretary).

One of the recent nominees for Deputy Treasury Secretary is Goldman Sachs banker Jim Donovan. He has been at Goldman Sachs since 1993 and has worked in a variety of fiscal strategic areas such as corporate strategy, investment banking and management. As the Deputy Treasury Secretary, James Donovan will work in Trump’s domestic policy agenda at the Treasury Department.

Another global investment bank executive, David Malpass, was also nominated to the Department, as Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs.  He has worked in two previous administrations for George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. He was Chief Economist at Bear Stearns and was Trump’s economic advisor during his Presidential campaign.

Another nominee is Sigal Mandelker, who is being nominated as Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  Like Donovan and Malpass, Mandelker also brings to the post legal experience.  He was once Clarence Thomas’ law clerk and he then worked at the Department of Justice in various roles.  During the George W. Bush administration, Mandelker advised the Secretary of Homeland Security as well.

GoPro Taking Aggressive Measures to Become Profitable

GoPro, the action camera manufacturer, has promised to cut 270 jobs, along with other measures, to get the company back to profitability. The company also pre-announced that its first-quarter earnings for 2017 would be at the high-end of guidance, coming to about $210 million. Operating expenses are to go down by over $200 million, and the company will return to EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) profitability during 2017.

In response, the company’s stock rose by 11 percent after the news was announced.

Last quarter GoPro had previously guided revenue between $190 million and $120 million. Its operating expenses totaled between $168 million and $178 million (GAAP) for the same quarter. They reported a net loss of $116 million on $541 million in revenue for the year. The restructuring should give the company control of 10 million additional dollars.

“We’re determined that GoPro’s financial performance match the strength of our products and brand. Importantly, expense reductions preserve our product roadmap and we are tracking to full-year non-GAAP profitability in 2017,” said CEO Nick Woodman.

Intellectual Property Theft Costing US $600 Billion Each Year

NKIE & McDnoald’s [sic] sandals in China. Photo by Stephen Woolverton.
According to private watchdog group, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, annual losses of intellectual property range from around $225 billion to as much as $600 billion. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Theft of Trade Secrets: between $180 billion and $540 billion.
  • Counterfeit Goods: between $29 billion and $41 billion.
  • Pirated Software: $18 billion.

China, including Hong Kong, is the biggest culprit, says the commission, accounting for about 87 percent of the counterfeit goods which are confiscated at the border. The report issued by the commission states that Chinese authorities actually encourage the theft of intellectual property.

The commission is headed by former governor of Utah and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who was also a US ambassador to China; and a former director of US national intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair.

“The vast, illicit transfer of American innovation is one of the most significant economic issues impacting U.S. competitiveness that the nation has not fully addressed,” Huntsman said. “It looks to be, must be, a top priority of the new administration.”

Seven Billion Dollar Deal Could Bring 50,000 Jobs to US

The top and side of an iPhone 5S, externally identical to the iPhone 5. Photo courtesy of Calerusnak

Two high tech giants, Foxconn and Apple, are considering a deal to build a panel factory in the United States at a cost of about $7 billion and could create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs. Chairman Terry Gou of Foxconn said that an investment by Foxconn’s Sharp division will depend on the terms negotiated for the deal at the state and federal levels.

The announcement of the deal comes close on the heels of President Donald Trump’s inaugural address in which the new president promised to make “America First” as the backbone of his policies leading the nation. Trump stated in his speech: “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to try and persuade Apple to bring the manufacture of iPhones to US shores. Trump said that he was optimistic that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, had his “eyes open” to the possibility. Foxconn is the biggest producer of iPhones.

Gou said that Trump-style protectionism was inevitable, but he is unsure how Americans will feel about spending hundreds of dollars more for a phone that does not work any better than a less expensive model that was made overseas.

Gou vowed to increase his investments in China. Apple is also dependent on China, not just for production, but also for sales. Last year China made up 22 percent of Apple’s total revenue, some $46.4 billion.

College Costs Continue to Climb

Brown University Robinson Hall 2009 Providence Rhode Island. Photo by chensiyuan.

Getting a college education is not getting cheaper: far from it. As the tuition and living expenses rise so does the student debt: collectively, Americans owe over $1.3 trillion in student loans.

With help from the College Board’s Trends in College Price and the Chronicle of Higher Education, the following is a list of some of the country’s most expensive undergraduate educations.

  • Surprisingly, the most expensive school in the country is in Claremont, California. Harvey Mudd College will set a student back $69,717 just for one year of learning. The breakdown is $52,666 is the tuition plus fees, while room and board will come to $17,051 for the year.
  • Number 25 on the list of 50 schools is Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Tuition is $50,910 for the year with an additional $14,976 for tuition. Grand total: $65,886.
    The last on the list of 50 is still not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is a bargain (not!) with tuition and fees adding up to $51,366 and room and board adding an additional $13,200.
  • Not everyone needs to go to such expensive colleges. There are choices with lower tuition, such as Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. With over 30,000 students it is the largest school with the least tuition: $5,300 for the school year 2016-17.
  • If you are inclined towards a small college in a rural area, Blue Mountain College is in Blue Mountain, Mississippi. With a campus size of 190 acres and only 457 undergrads, it might be a good choice, especially with tuition running only at $10,534 for the academic year 2016-17.