The chances of a bailout of some of Europe’s financially weakest nations, which appeared promising two weeks ago, unravels more by the day. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi made a widely publicized comment that the central bank would work with the region’s big bailout fund to stabilize the situation in the region. His announcement was countered by German interests, which have grown concerned about departures from the austerity programs agreed upon by Greece and Spain. And the deficit problems in these countries have worsened because of unemployment and the lack of business production, which will make their deficits and national debts grow. There is still no reason to believe that the initial bailouts of these countries, whether they are in the past or future, will not be followed by others. The confusion was highlighted today as Italian prime minister said that slow action on bailouts risks a break-up of the European Union. His observation comes a little late.
Apple vs. Samsung Squabbles Continue
As the intellectual property lawsuit of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) against Samsung in Australia progressed, the South Korean company has accused the American one of tampering with witnesses. According to Slash Gear:
For the moment, it seems like the courts have sided with Apple. Justice Annabelle Bennett, of the Sydney Federal Court, pointed out that “the expert report is a piece of evidence but can be challenged in cross examination” and highlighted the fact that Samsung could question its authors during the so-called “hut tub” testimony stage.
The charge adds to the mud-slinging between the two companies, which has included a release of key data by Samsung that is a part of its case with Apple in the United States. The information was not admitted by the court, and apparently Samsung believed the public should see it anyway.
Pivotal JCPenney Earnings Report
JCPenney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP), one of the oldest retailers in the United States, will release earnings this week. When it issued its previous quarterly numbers, sales fell 20%. Most analysts do not believe the figures will be that bad again, but they anticipate that revenue will decline 17%, based on consensus forecasts. A drop of that size will cause experts to question once again whether JCPenney has a future as a standalone company, or whether it will need to be sold, either in whole or in parts. The earnings also could determine the fate of new CEO Ron Johnson, who joined JCPenney from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) last year. He has done the company more harm than good since he came on board.
Douglas A. McIntyre