Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

As Many As 5K .Com’s Taken Away By Sealed Court Order By Verisign Including Some Of Mine

October 2nd, 2014 Comments off
Overnight I received a notice that several domain names I owned were transferred by a sealed court from Verisign without notice and of course without the court order. The domain names just were transferred by Verisign to another domain and are now listed for sale at another marketplace. Another domainer sent me an identical notice […]

You Should Keep In Mind The Huge Tax Hikes Coming Next Year When Deciding Whether To Sell Domains

February 29th, 2012 Comments off

If you make $200K or more there is a huge tax hike coming for next year if you are in the United States.

In the domain business it can only tax one domain name sale to put you over the top into the “rich people” tax bracket.

Its pretty hard to keep politics out of any discussion about taxes but we are going to try to stick to the facts

If your pondering a big sale there are some tax implications you should be aware of:

Starting in 2013, families whose overall income is above $250,000 (individuals with income over $200,000) will pay an additional tax of 3.8% on taxable investment income (e.g., interest, dividends, capital gains, rents, royalties) to pay for the health care reform and the Bush tax breaks also expire.

So with the combination for 2013, the The top tax rate on ordinary income will rise from 35% to 43.4%.

The top tax rate on capital gains will rise from 15% to 23.8%

The top tax rate on dividends will rise from 15% to 43.4%

All and all its a very substantial tax increase percentage wise from 33% to 300%.

Take note that these tax rates will go into effect unless Congress passes a bill to lower the tax rates and the President signs the bill, which is extremely unlikely to happen, so to be clear if there is inaction these new tax rates go into effect on January 1, 2013.

Also you should note that President Obama has is on record wanting to increase the capital gains rates to 30% on those making $1M or more so the tax increases that go into effect in 2013 may go even higher for some.

You should understand that for many domainer the same dollar sale this year is going to be taxed at a much lower rate than if the domain sells next year.…

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comScore: Record Week In Online US Holiday Shopping History

December 20th, 2011 Comments off reported today, for the holiday season-to-date, nearly $32 billion has been spent online, a 15% over last year.

For the week ending Dec. 18, four days surpassing $1 billion in sales, making for  an all-time record of $6.3 billion in online retail spending for a week, up 14% from tthe same week last year.

The final shopping weekend before Christmas reached $1.04 billion to rank as the second heaviest weekend of online spending on record.

2011 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2010

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.



Millions ($)
2010 2011 Percent Change
November 1 – December 18 $27,814 $31,973 15%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) $407 $479 18%
Black Friday (Nov. 25) $648 $816 26%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 26-27) $886 $1,031 16%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) $1,028 $1,251 22%
Green Monday (Dec. 12) $954 $1,133 19%
Free Shipping Day (Dec. 16) $942 $1,072 14%
Week Ending Dec. 18 $5,499 $6,286 14%

*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 2 thru December 19, 2010)

“The final big week of online holiday shopping remained strong throughout, with four days surpassing $1 billion in sales and the second heaviest online shopping weekend on record,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “With only a few more days until Christmas, the preponderance of Americans’ late season holiday shopping will shift to brick-and-mortar retail, although the procrastinators among us will still be able to take advantage of expedited shipping and buy online up to and including the day before Christmas Eve with the guarantee of having their gifts delivered in time for the holiday.

“In total, we will see another $5 or $6 billion in e-commerce spending over the remainder of December to finish off what has clearly been an outstanding season for online retailers.”

Ten Online Spending Days Top $1 Billion this Holiday Season

“For the 2011 holiday season-to-date, ten individual days have surpassed $1 billion in online retail sales. Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) currently ranks as the heaviest online spending day of the season – and in history – at $1.251 billion. Monday, December 5 ranks second at $1.178 billion, followed by Green Monday (Dec. 12) in third with $1.133 billion. Free Shipping Day (Friday, Dec. 16) ranks sixth at $1.072 billion.”

Billion Dollar Spending Days for 2011 Holiday Season

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

Rank Date Spending in Millions ($)
1 Monday, Nov. 28 (Cyber Monday) $1,251
2 Monday, Dec. 5 $1,178
3 Monday, Dec. 12 (Green Monday) $1,133
4 Tuesday, Nov. 29 $1,116
5 Tuesday, Dec. 6 $1,107
6 Friday, Dec. 16 (Free Shipping Day) $1,072
7 Tuesday, Dec. 13 $1,064
8 Wednesday, Nov. 30 $1,025
9 Thursday, Dec. 8 $1,024
10 Thursday, Dec. 15 $1,018


Online Shopping Is Up Big This Shopping Season According to comScore, IBM &

November 26th, 2011 Comments off

Three reports out today indicate that online shopping is up big so far this holiday season.

comScore (NASDAQ : SCOR), reported that holiday sales season-to-date, are $9.7 billion 14% increase versus the corresponding days last year which was $8.4 Billion in sales during the same time frame.

“The official comScore 2011 holiday season forecast is that online retail spending for the November – December period will reach $37.6 billion, representing a 15%t gain versus year ago. ”

“This strong growth rate represents an improvement compared to last season’s 12% increase.”

“Due to the strength leading up to and during the holiday season-to-date, comScore’s statistical models are forecasting that U.S. retail e-commerce spending will grow at a rate of 15 percent versus last year,” added Fulgoni. “These projected growth rates reflect the significant channel shift we’re witnessing from offline retail as an increasing number of consumers rely on the online channel for initial browsing, price comparisons and completing transactions. With this continued momentum, comScore anticipates nearly $38 billion in online consumer spending during the November and December time period.”

Yesterday IBM also released figures on online shopping.

According to IBM, “U.S. shoppers took advantage of early sales this holiday driving a 39.3% increase in online Thanksgiving day spending while setting the stage for 24.3% online growth on Black Friday compared to the same period last year.

Some more findings from IBM:

“Mobile traffic increased to 14.3 percent on Black Friday 2011 compared to 5.6 percent in 2010.”

“Sales on mobile devices surged to 9.8 percent from 3.2 percent year over year”

IBM Coremetrics  tracks more than a million transactions a day, analyzing terabytes of raw data from 500 retailers nationwide. ” says its sales were up double digits as well.

“ today reported sales over the last two days grew by double digits year-over-year (as of 8 p.m. PST on Friday, Nov. 25).



Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: “Odds Are Greater Than 50% Chance Of A Recession In Early in 2012″

November 15th, 2011 Comments off

Well if your a believer in the recession is over and the economy if on the way to recovery, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in a post disagrees saying that the “Odds Are Greater Than 50% Chance Of A Recession In Early in 2012″

In its Economic Letter the two co-authors, one Travis J. Berge is an economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City the other Early Elias is a research associate in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

There paper cites problems oversees as the major issue for another recession and while you should really go and check out the report here are some highlights.

“Since the summer of 2010, the situation on the ground has changed. ”

“Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disrupted supply chains in the U.S. automobile industry far more than expected. ”

“Meanwhile, the deteriorating fiscal realities in Europe have been keeping many a trader awake at night, reliving the nightmare of the near-collapse of financial markets in the wake of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. The European situation was highlighted by the September 2011 release of the euro zone purchasing managers index data, which indicated that the manufacturing and services sectors contracted in August. Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, sounded the financial alarm by suggesting that European banks are in “urgent need of capital” in a speech on August 27 at the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium.”

“This Economic Letter revises the recession odds calculated in 2010 to account for these international factors.”

“Viewed through the domestic lens, the immediate risks of recession appear to be low, but gradually increasing. International risks, though less precisely measured, are the mirror image.”

“Risks are highest in the very short run, but then fade. In combination, the data suggest vigilance. ”

“The U.S. economy is fragile with limited ability to withstand shocks. Yet, as the economy strengthens, recession risks will gradually abate beginning in the second half of 2012.

“”In the next few months, the odds of recession due to domestic factors appear reasonably contained. Those odds increase gradually and reach about 30% in the second half of 2012, after which they decline. However, the curve reflecting the international odds suggests more imminent danger to the economy, although this threat is harder to calibrate using historical data and only indirectly reflects the health of the European financial system. Recession odds based on international factors peak at about 45% toward the end of 2011, but decline rapidly thereafter.”

Figure 2
Recession probability forecasts

Recession probability forecasts

“The combination of these two recession coins, shown in the combined risks line of Figure 2, is quite disconcerting. ”

“It indicates that the odds are greater than 50% that we will experience a recession sometime early in 2012.”

“Prudence suggests that the fragile state of the U.S. economy would not easily withstand turbulence coming across the Atlantic. A European sovereign debt default may well sink the United States back into recession. However, if we navigate the storm through the second half of 2012, it appears that danger will recede rapidly in 2013.”

Travis J. Berge is an economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Early Elias is a research associate in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.


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Gold Vs. Google 2 Years Later To The Day: One Is Up Over 70% the Other Only 4%

September 23rd, 2011 Comments off

September 23rd 2009 Google hit $500 a share and Gold hit $1,00 an ounce and we asked the question:

“What you think is a better investment right now, Google at $500 a share or Gold at $1,000 an ounce.”

We put up a poll for a week and the results were split right down the middle, 50% picking Google, 50% picking Gold.

So we sit exactly two years later.

Google is trading at $520 a share up 4% over 2 years.

$10,000 invested in Google two years ago would be worth just $10,400.

Over the last 52 weeks Google has traded as low as $473 and as high as $643

Gold on the other hand closed at $1,755 up 75% from two years ago

$10,000 invested in Gold would be worth $17,555 2 years later.

Over the last 52 weeks Gold has been as low as $1,314 and as high as $1,907

So the worst you could have done at any point in the last year with gold is selling it for over 30% higher than two years ago, while Google you could have actually lost money with if you sold at the low of $473.

We will see where we are at next year.



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So How Much Will The Stock Market Go Down Tomorrow In Wake Of Downgrade?

August 7th, 2011 Comments off

Tomorrow will be the first day the US stock exchanges open up for trading since S&P downgraded the credit rating of the US on Friday from AAA to AA+.

So the big question is what will happen in the markets tomorrow?

In the middle east, the only place markets have opened since the downgrade the news wasn’t too good.

Israel’s stock market fell more than 6%, and the Tel Aviv 25 Index ended the trading day down 6.99%.

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index fell 3.7% on Sunday & the General Index on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange lost 2.5%.

In Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All-Share Index dropped nearly 5.5% Saturday.

We won’t know how the Asian markets are going to open until later tonight.

I expect a sell off of between 5%-10% tomorrow at least at the beginning of trading in the US

A 500 point drop in the Dow and 100 point drop in the NASDAQ it probably the best we can hope for IMHO.

Of course at the end of the day does the valuation of many high tech, company’s like Apple change because the US credit rating was lowered?


But you should be able to buy it a lot cheaper tomorrow

Of course the bigger question is how are we going to get job growth and the economy going?

What do you guys think?




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Disney Was Wrong: It’s A Big World After All

July 15th, 2011 Comments off

With all due regards to Walt Disney, whose song I,  and I would assume many of you grew up singing, “It’s a Small World After All”, is wrong.

In fact it’s a big world, with billions of people competing, in what has become a global marketplace, for their share of the pie.

It’s really not Mr. Disney’s fault.

Time’s have changed.

The song was written in the 1960′s and premiered at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.

Yes I’m from New York City.

I was born in 1958,  and was 11 in 1969 when let’s say I started lets say to be aware of world around me, somewhat (although I vaguely remember going to that World’s Fair in New York)

So 1969.

It’s the year of the first moon landing.

The year the miracle Met’s came from being the worst team in baseball to win it all.

Back then it was a small world.

Cable television didn’t exist and of course neither did cell phones, satellite TV, the Internet, and computers were something only mad scientists had.

The Euro didn’t exist, the dollar was god and the NASDAQ which has given rise to Apple, Google. Microsoft, and  well you a know a whole tech publicly traded economy , didn’t even exist until 1971.

Yes 1969 was a long time ago.

Yes I’m ancient.

But back then it was a small world dominated by just a few countries that produced most of the good sold around the world.

As we all know today its quite different.


What prompts this post is my trip to Asia which started with a visit to Singapore to attend ICANN and which concluded with a two+ week trek through Thailand.

Thailand is a beautiful country with some fantastic beaches, mountains, wildlife and people.

But a headline in the newspaper here the other day caught my eye and inspired this post.

There were elections here just about 10 days ago where the 1st women Prime Minister in the history of Thailand was elected (image a women being elected to head up a country like Thailand before the US;  but I digress).

So the big topic of the day here in Thailand now that elections are over is should the minimum wage be raised to 300 Baht a day.

Baht is the currency of Thailand.

The current conversion rate is that 30 Baht equals $1 US dollar.

So yes the proposal that the new administration want’s to pass here would RAISE the minimum wage of workers to $10 US a day.

A day.

But that is only in the big cities.

Smaller towns would not get this huge increase.

Currently the minimum wage in say Bangkok is 215 Baht a day or $2.15 a DAY US.

Not only is the new government looking to increase the minimum wage for laborers, but it wants to raise the minimum wage on starting salaries of those with Bachelor Degrees (management) from 11,000 Baht per month to 15,000 Baht per month (yes $500 a month US for college graduate management types)

The headlines in “The Nation” newspaper in Thailand blared that the increase in the minimum wage to 300 Baht a day and 15,000 for managers might cause Thailand to lose its competitive advantage in the world increasing its cost by 26% thereby making its goods more expensive on the world market:

“The Centre for International Studies at the University of of the Thai Chamber of Commerce warned yesterday that the policy to increase the  minimum wage was likely to undermine exports.  Am increase in the minimum wage will mean higher costs, and decreased revenue and efficiency.”"

“”Production costs would soar by 31.5% in the services sector and 26.5% for manufactured goods.”

Other government officials worried that such an increase in the minimum wage would draw an influx of laborers from Cambodia Laos and Burma which would apparently jump at the chance to make $10 US a day.

A letter to the editor on the same day also caught my eye:

“”Exploited  Workers deserve Higher Wage:

“300 Baht a day is a good start  but not enough.  Thai workers have been suppressed for too long. Companies that own international franchaises have been ripping off Thai workers for ages.

Consider this.”

“In Thailand prices of food and drinks for example at McDonald’s Starbucks, KFC Dunkin Donuts are comparable to those in the US.  But over there workers earn a minimum wage of $7,25 per hour while their Thai counter parts make about $1 an hour.”

“Surely those workers deserve more than 300 Baht a day and those employed by five-star hotels where room rates are comparable to ones in London and New York City”

While I can’t say I visited McDonald’s while I was in Thailand I would say that a five star hotel in Thailand (Four Seasons,  etc) is going to cost somewhere around $1K a night plus 10% “service charge” that none of the workers seem to get and a 7% sales tax, which is on par with a lot of US cities, actually world cities.

So I can’t really argue with the commentators logic but I will say he had a lot more balls than I do, writing his piece and signing his name proudly displaying the city in Thailand where he lives,  when I proudly waited until I was long out of Asian airspace before posting this story.

So what does it all mean?

Well its clearly too much for one little domainer to figure out.

But when a country is considering raising a minimum wage to a level of $10 US a day and worried about its ability to compete in the world global market, well I think its something for all of us to give thought to.

So while I don’t have an answer, I do have a conclusion:

It’s sure not a small world.



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Good News: The Recession Ended Over A Year Ago, How’s That Working Out For You?

September 20th, 2010 Comments off

News comes today from the National Bureau of Economic Research,  that the recession that “officially” began in December 2007 “officially” ended over a year ago, in June 2009,

“In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month,”

“The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II.”

“Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.”

“In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity”

“Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.”

“The committee decided that any future downturn of the economy would be a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in December 2007.”"


As far as I can tell, the housing market has gotten worse not better since June 2009, the job market hasn’t gotten any better and we are facing  tax hike on the only people making and thereby spending any money next year.

Recession was over last year guys, how is it working out for you?


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Gold Vs. Google: 9 Month Update: Gold Up 20%, Google Down 6%

May 25th, 2010 Comments off

Back in late September 2009 Google hit $500 a share and gold hit $1,000 on the same day prompting us to post whether Gold or Google was a better investment.

We told you at the time we would keep you updated and its time for the 9 month update.

Since our orginal post, Gold has continued its climb and currently sits at just about $1,200 a ounce, or 20% higher

Google on the other hand as we sit here today, is around $470 a share, about 6% lower.

So if you bought 1,000 of each 9 months ago your gold would be worth $1,200 and shares of Google would be worth about $940.

We will see where things are in September.

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