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Happy Friday, Monkeys. Seeing as Eddie is out, I'm here to deliver you a fresh dose of Stub-Bonus Bananas. I've got some good stuff for you to digest, including a great site that lets you see how the Fiscal Cliff will affect your personal tax situation.

Without further ado, here are some links to help get you through your Friday morning...

Will Your Paycheck Fall off the Fiscal Cliff? (Paycheck City) - A great visual tool that clearly explains how someone's personal tax situation will look in a post-Fiscal Cliff world. Not necessarily an easy pill to swallow if you're on the far-end of the spectrum.

J.C.Penny Could be Headed for a Cash Crisis (Business Insider) - I've covered JCP's ongoing "turnaround" before, but it looks as though I might've gone too easy on them. Could it really be headed for financial ruin? CEO Ron Johnson's turnaround plan might turn into a self-imposed race against time.

Starbucks to Buy Teavana (DealBook) - In its ongoing quest to diversify its product offerings, Starbucks has agreed to acquire high-end tea company Teavana for $620 million in cash. With a $40 billion a year market growing by double digits annually, the tea industry is big business.

The Man behind Windows 7 and 8 Departs Microsoft (Wall Street Journal) - Steven Sinofsky, the head of Microsoft's Windows division abruptly resigned this week. He is leaving the company just three weeks after the release of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet. While he was a divisive figure within the firm, he did save MS' ass after the Vista flop. It should be interesting to see what his next move is.

This is Generation Flux (Fast Company) - An interesting, if a bit overdramatic, look at the disruptive nature of technology companies and the increasingly chaotic world that they compete in. A great read for anyone with an interest in tech, especially if you want a better understanding of how today's tech companies are disrupting the enterprise market.

Jack Dorsey: Leadership Secrets of Twitter and Square (Forbes) - Jack Dorsey, the 35 year old wunderkind behind Twitter and Square, shares his insights into building industry-changing companies. He's definitely an odd-ball, but it's tough to argue with his track record. As someone who recently gave in and started using Twitter, you can count me as one of his fans.

Mapping America's Underwater Homeowners (Business Insider) - A stark reminder that many in America are still tied down by underwater mortgages. In my view, this is one of the major causes for our prolonged recession. The mobility typically associated with our job market was absolutely devastated by the popping of the housing bubble as people simply cannot afford to move to where the work is. Recent data shows that things may be improving, however. We can only hope...

Video Clip of the Week - SNL Spoofs Homeland

I normally don't care for Saturday Night Live, but this skit is pretty spot on. The guy playing Brody has his voice down pat.

Enjoy the weekend.

Comments (9)

  • Going Concern's picture

    The Homeland skit is so epic. Makes me think I should start watching SNL again. Also my love for Anne Hathaway only grows deeper and deeper.

    "It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again"

  • brownfield's picture

    Saw the Hostess story in the elevator this morning, never knew much about them besides brand recognition but shocked that they weren't owned by anyone/PE. Bad strike, or just awful c-level management?

    "I'm a historian, and that freaks me out."- Mike Tyson

  • West Coast rainmaker's picture

    TheKing wrote:

    J.C.Penny Could be Headed for a Cash Crisis (Business Insider) - I've covered JCP's ongoing "turnaround" before, but it looks as though I might've gone too easy on them. Could it really be headed for financial ruin? CEO Ron Johnson's turnaround plan might turn into a self-imposed race against time.

    I've been trying to get a better understanding of the JCP turnaround. Listening to Ackman's most recent interview, I think the store-within-a-store model includes some fatal assumptions. With just a handful of sub-stores, they generate far higher sales than the rest of the store (I think it was $270 per square foot vs. $100). But I think of this like displays in a grocery stores. Yes, those items sell faster - because they command attention. What Ron Johnson is proposing is analogous to making a grocery store comprised entirely of displays.

    I don't think that JCP will improve until its merchandise/prices improve. Even with their "every day low prices", they are still far more expensive than outlets, shopping online, etc. I have gone into JCP/Macy's, tried on shoes, then ordered online from Zappos.

    The "pins", the AAPL-like checkout process, the layout...I think all of these will alienate JCP's aging customer base. My grandmother would be confused.

    I like Ackman, but the way he described this "town square idea" sounds like a stretch. Nobody hangs out at a clothing store. By pushing this strategy, Ackman/Johnson have to fundamentally change customer behavior.

  • TheKing's picture

    Was that pin thing real? What the hell is going on around here?

    The display case analogy seems really strong. Sure, the current stores-within-a-store are crushing it, if the entire store becomes a series of stores-within-a-store there's honestly no way that they all perform as well as the first set are. I mean, after all, isn't he basically just turning JCP into a mall? How is this really any different than a traditional mall?

    Btw, I love how Sorkin just hammered Ackman, especially on the idea that JCP is at all analogous to Apple stores. The entire town square idea does seem ridiculous. "Look, your wife will shop in the stores, your kid will play with legos in the street, and your husband will eat seasonal foods in the square!" This sounds like some sort of frankenstein monster of a retail store.

    Side note - it's also funny to hear him talking about rolling out Joe Fresh throughout JCPs nationwide. I don't know how many people realize this, but Joe Fresh actually started by selling its clothes in grocery stores, which gives me a chuckle considering your analogy.

  • In reply to Ron Paul
    Going Concern's picture

    Ron Paul wrote:
    Going Concern wrote:
    . Also my love for Anne Hathaway only grows deeper and deeper.

    Is that considered beastiality (since she is a horse)?

    You take that back, Mr. Paul. You take that back RIGHT NOW. This is not a joke. I know you're 77 years young, but it might not hurt to get your vision checked out. Anne Hathaway is the embodiment of natural sex appeal. She has a hot voice as well.

    "It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again"

  • In reply to Ron Paul
    Going Concern's picture

    "It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again"