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Re: a correction Congress asks phone companies: Why are text prices rising?
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 13:16:24 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: "Bob Frankston" <Bob19-0501 () bobf frankston com>
Date: September 11, 2008 1:15:01 PM EDT
To: <dave () farber net>, "'ip'" <ip () v2 listbox com>
Subject: RE: [IP] Re: a correction Congress asks phone companies: Why are text prices rising?

Back in 1966 my first full time job was on Wall St at White Weld helping to develop an online information services for stock analysts. What struck me back then was how little information there was in numbers like EPS (Earnings per Share) and how much money was being bet, I mean invested, based on those numbers. At least in those days the backrooms on Wall St were still largely manual operations.

What I realized is that while there are people who are indeed making investments in companies much of the activity is playing in a market in which you are gaming other bettors, oops, I mean day traders. You can’t afford to be the second to press the buzzer when then headline comes across the screen and thanks to Bloomberg and others the headlines whip by very fast indeed and a typo is like a bump in the highway while you are doing 500kph.

At least in betting on Wall St, aside the commissions, inside traders, rumor mongers et al, you aren’t betting against the house and you may even win for a while and thus convince yourself you have the touch.

Ideally some real investing will also happen.

I don’t have a simple answer – just an observation.


-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber [mailto:dave () farber net]
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2008 12:46
To: ip
Subject: [IP] Re: a correction Congress asks phone companies: Why are text prices rising?



Begin forwarded message:

From: Earle Jones <earle.jones () comcast net>
Date: September 11, 2008 12:18:13 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Cc: "ip" <ip () v2 listbox com>
Subject: Re: [IP] Re:   Congress asks phone companies: Why are text
prices rising?

Dave:  A correction for IP.

From:  http://www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/quotations/quotefrom/mallory/

"In March 1923, in an interview with The New York Times, the British
mountaineer George Leigh Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb
Mount Everest, and replied, 'Because it's there'. The answer became
famous, not least because Mallory himself was lost on Everest in the
following year. It was sometimes suggested that he and his fellow-
climber Andrew Irvine, who were last seen 'going strong for the
summit', might in fact have reached it before their deaths, but there
was no proof."

________________________
Earle Jones 
380 Conil Way
Portola Valley CA 94028
Home:  650-854-1489
Cell:  650-269-0035
earle.jones () comcast net


On Sep 11, 2008, at 7:20 AM, David Farber wrote:

>
>
> Begin forwarded message:
>
> From: Rahul Tongia <tongia () cmu edu>
> Date: September 11, 2008 9:38:03 AM EDT
> To: dave () farber net
> Subject: Re: [IP] Congress asks phone companies: Why are text prices
> rising?
>
> Dave,
>
> My general reaction to why companies do this is what is called the
> Rod Stewart philosophy of why:
> Why do rock stars marry supermodels?:
> "Because we can"
>
> Unlike Edmund Hillary who said "Because it's there" (why climb Mt.
> Everest), here companies are manufacturing opportunities.  As
> Odlyzko and others have pointed out, per bit, the profit margin is
> mind-boggling for text messages.  And I still gosh-darn pay for
> incoming (unlike the rest of the world).
>
> Rahul






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