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Must Read Financial Blogs: How Amazon Could Split Netflix and iTunes to Win Streaming Video

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Minyanville's daily roundup of some of the best financial commentary from around the Web.

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Feel free to send along your own suggestions for blog content that you've read or written.

Epicenter
Link: How Amazon Could Split Netflix and iTunes to Win Streaming Video

"Everyone knows that Amazon wants to extend its digital media offerings. Any online retailer of analog media would. Its executives know the long-term trends for sales of DVDs, Blu-Rays and their players. The company that dominates e-book and e-reader sales was already beaten first to digital music by Apple. Jeff Bezos never wants that to happen again. Everything from the Kindle Fire's video support, to cloud storage for Amazon Video On Demand, to free subscription-based video for Amazon Prime suggests that Bezos wants to make a play for digital television and movies. Media company sources speaking to Claire Atkinson at The New York Post say that a standalone, subscription-based video service separate from Amazon Prime is in the works, a direct challenge to Netflix's streaming service. In Netflix's letter to investors following its recent quarterly results, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings writes that he and his team fully expect Amazon to launch a competing service, challenging them for both customers and content. (For related content, see Warner Bros. Pushing More Netflix Subscribers to Piracy.)

Bits
Link: Here Come the Cloud Cartels

"The substance of the report, however, is plain: cloud and mobile computing combined will rapidly improve, dislodging many incumbents in enterprise computing, and vastly empowering a few others, becoming what Forrester calls "computing cartels" that control millions of servers in data centers around the globe. These cartels, the report says, will include Amazon, Cisco Systems, Google, I.B.M., Microsoft, Oracle and a few competitors. Like most of these reports, it does not name losers, though Hewlett-Packard and Dell were among those noticeably absent." (Also read How Cloud Computing Could Change Consumption and Our Economy.)

Zero Hedge
Link: Presenting The "Superbowl Market Indicator" Or Why A Giants Victory Means Market Pain

"Considering that the only thing more irrelevant in a period of centrally-planned financial suppression than fundamentals are historical chart patterns, such as the recently resurgent 'Golden Cross', which will have no bearing at all on a market which lives and dies by every eyebrow twitch of the Chairsatan and his central planning cartel cronies, we have decided to present yet another just as worthless, if much more fun market "predictor" - presenting the Superbowl Market Indicator, or the relative performance of the S&P following an NFC vs an AFC team winning the championship final. And not only that, but as SMRA adds, "on the three occasions when the Giants won the big game, the S&P 500 was lower by an average of -6.6% from the day of the Super Bowl through year-end." So while clueless pundits wax philosophical about precious metal and/or zombified "crosses", feel free to rebuke them that a Manning win will obliterate any possible gains from that particular irrelevant chart formation."

All Things D
Link: Facebook (Eye)PO: Tracking the Truth of the Biggest Deal of Web 2.0

"But here's one thing that's clearly on its way for the much anticipated Facebook IPO: There will be no lack of media hype, elaborate obfuscation by rivals and a plethora of inaccurate hoo-ha that is about to be unleashed upon the world, related to the financial transaction that is expected to be one of the biggest deals in tech in a while. (I'd imagine that the crafty Google+ peeps are now hard at work on a list of trouble it could make for Facebook during its quiet period.) In that spirit - via what I am calling the Facebook (Eye)PO Tracker - I'll be shining some much needed light on some of the hijinks, if I can, going back to stories to see how close they were to reality." (Also read The Facebook IPO: Google All Over Again, and a New Tech Bull Market?)

Credit Writedowns
Link: Banking Wasn't Meant to Be Like This

"The inherently symbiotic relationship between banks and governments recently has been reversed. In medieval times, wealthy bankers lent to kings and princes as their major customers. But now it is the banks that are needy, relying on governments for funding – capped by the post-2008 bailouts to save them from going bankrupt from their bad private-sector loans and gambles. Yet the banks now browbeat governments – not by having ready cash but by threatening to go bust and drag the economy down with them if they are not given control of public tax policy, spending and planning. The process has gone furthest in the United States. Joseph Stiglitz characterizes the Obama administration's vast transfer of money and pubic debt to the banks as a "privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses. It is a 'partnership' in which one partner robs the other." Prof. Bill Black describes banks as becoming criminogenic and innovating "control fraud." High finance has corrupted regulatory agencies, falsified account-keeping by "mark to model" trickery, and financed the campaigns of its supporters to disable public oversight. The effect is to leave banks in control of how the economy's allocates its credit and resources." (See also How Central Bankers Manage a Balance Sheet.)

Twitter: @Minyanville

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