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Tag >> Google
There is a small buzz going on in the blogosphere regarding a job posting Google recently made for a trader of foreign government bonds.
FT Alphaville says this is an evolution of the corporate treasury function, since banks typically handle such trades. A source told the Business Insider that this was a means for Google to make use of its large cash reserves. Business Insider also made an off-hand comment that "Google has long discussed using its access to massive amounts of data to build a hedge fund."
One thing that's unclear is whether Google is still restricted in the kinds of investments it can make. Back in 2006, the company applied for an exemption to the Investment Company Act of 1940, which gives the Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory power over any company engaged in investing in or trading securities or has over 40 percent of its total non-cash assets in investment securities. Companies including Microsoft and Yahoo have exemptions to the law.
The Wall Street Journal has an article Wednesday on the swelling coffers of the world's largest tech companies and how they're using that cash to make it almost impossible for smaller players to compete with them.
It's truly staggering how much cash some of these companies are throwing off: "Over the past two years, Apple Inc., Oracle Corp., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and six other large tech companies have generated $68.5 billion in new cash, compared with just $13.5 billion for the other 65 tech companies in the S&P 500 Index combined, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data provided by Capital IQ."
There's actually a book -- I'm not kidding -- called "Doing Business in China for Dummies."
It's marketed as a "fun and easy way to grow your business in China," which on its face makes it sound a little too fun and easy. Nonetheless, forewarned is forearmed, and one Amazon review of the "Dummies" guide hints at some of the potentially blind hurdles a Western business faces when it goes into the most populous economy in the world: "I highly recommend the chapter on ‘Managing Risks in China.' This chapter explains the importance of understanding the Chinese legal system (or lack thereof); combating bribery and corruption; government relationships; and (my personal favorite) protecting intellectual property in China."
BusinessWeek has a story asking, "Is Apple Ready for Merger Mania? " As a sign that it might be, the article points out that last year Steve Jobs and Co. hired a Goldman Sachs investment banker, Adrian Perica, to help it with deal making.
No doubt the acquisition wheels have sped up at Apple: Three of the 11 deals done under Jobs' leadership have come in the past five months, including the largest since his return, the $275 million purchase of Quattro Wireless.
So Google is finally biting back at the Chinese government hand that feeds. Note that the search-engine gorilla is doing so only after finding out it was violated in a big way this past fall by some person or maybe legions of persons within the Middle Kingdom.
I'm trying and failing to make sense of Eric Schmidt's admission in court earlier this month that Google paid a premium of roughly 165 percent for You Tube.
As Schmidt characterized the deal during a patent dispute with Viacom, he felt that You Tube was worth only $600 million to $700 million based on its revenues. But he was willing to pay $1.65 billion for the company because of its success at signing up users in the Internet video space.
As Michael Eggebrecht, my colleague at sister-site CIOZone reported, the two-hours of radio silence inadvertently observed by Gmail this week has touched off a great debate.
Specifically, the interruption in Google's much-ballyhooed email system has triggered heated arguments about the future of cloud computing. It's also apparently raised questions about whether businesses should risk switching to Gmail -- and that's a market Google is definitely ogling. Indeed, the downtime raised concerns about whether businesses should bail on cloud computing, board up their windows, and pretend nobody's home when the doorbell rings.