It’s Not Puerto Rico’s De-fault. Yet; VW Sales Stink Worse Than Emissions; Amazon Coasts to Black Friday Sales Highs

In the name of the ‘claw’…

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Image courtesy of Pansa/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The good news is that Puerto Rico didn’t default on a scheduled loan payment today. That’s awesome news if only because defaults have a nasty little way of creating lawsuits and freaking out investors. The bad news is that the commonwealth does expect to default on a payment down the road even if it did just manage to eke out a $354 million payment today on principal and interest bonds. Of that $354 million, $267 million of that was guaranteed by Puerto Rico. Phew. All this happened even as the commonwealth continues to talk – and plead, no doubt – with its creditors to get them to eat some of that ugly $70 billion debt looming menacingly above its economy. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla explained that Puerto Rico is running out of money which is a fact that has failed to surprise… no one. The Governor used a “Clawback Provision” for top priority payments that carry constitutional protection. In this case, revenues that were promised to public corporations were instead clawed back (catchy, huh?) and used to keep public services operating. Not sure who wins here. In any case, if Puerto Rico defaults on a payment at some point in the future, it wouldn’t be a first. The commonwealth already defaulted on a $58 million payment back in August when it paid a very very small portion of it to the tune of $628,000. Another zero added to the end of that check might have mitigated the situation even a smidge. Or not.

No good November…

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Image courtesy of ponsulak/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sales at Volkswagen dropped a lot, much to the surprise of…no one. Still unable to shake off its emissions software rigging scandal, the car company saw November sales tank a whopping 25%, selling just under 24,000 cars even when ridiculously deep discounts were being offered on VW automobiles. Especially hit hard were sales of Jettas and Passats. Passats were actually down 60%! Even those adorable Beetles saw sales decreasing 39%. Oddly enough, sales of its crossover vehicle, Tiguan, were up 88%, having sold 3,907 of them. Go figure. I guess the price was right. Really right. Experts, however, feel numbers could pick up, albeit slightly, if VW would just share with the rest of the world its plan -assuming they actually have one – of how it intends to right its wrongs and repair the offending vehicles that continue tooling around our roads, polluting the air we breath. There are some 500,000 cars in the U.S. that need some fixing as they are emitting 40 times the legal limit of pollutants. And did I even mention that the scandal has spread to India where another 323,700 of the company’s automobiles were just recalled? Well, I just did now so…you’re welcome.

Sales away…

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Image courtesy of atibodyphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In more unsurprising news, Amazon had a very good weekend and presumably excellent Cyber-Monday, as well. Especially excellent because consumers weren’t just using the site to buy merchandise, they were using it to buy Amazon merchandise. Shoppers scooped up Amazon Fire Tablets and Fire TV sticks making them Black Friday best-sellers. In fact, the company sold six times more Fire TV streaming devices than it did last year at this time and three times as many Amazaon Tablets than it did last year during this period. Another top seller was Amazon’s Echo, a nifty little device that does just about everything except for laundry, pretty much. But don’t expect Amazon to give you specifics on numbers since they don’t that sort of thing. Ever. If you happened to have been out and about on Black Friday, you might have noticed that the crowds weren’t as large as in years past. That’s because online purchases outnumbered purchases made in real stores as consumers realized they don’t have to brush their teeth and actually get dressed to score those awesome Black Friday deals. Wal-Mart saw twice as much online action than it did last year with half of its purchases coming from mobile devices. Even target.com saw major action, apparently selling an iPad every second. Does that include even the times when the site went down?

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One response to “It’s Not Puerto Rico’s De-fault. Yet; VW Sales Stink Worse Than Emissions; Amazon Coasts to Black Friday Sales Highs

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