Things are Getting a Little Seated at Yahoo!; IRS Has Close to $1 Billion Up for Grabs; Wall Street’s Crazy ‘Bout a Sharp-Dressed Man

Board to tears……


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Yahoo added two directors to its board, bringing the grand total to nine seats, all in the hopes of making things that much more difficult to deflect attacks from hedge fund Starboard Value. Starboard Value has not been shy about expressing its disapproval over the way CEO Marissa Mayer has been handling matters at the tech giant. Starboard is on a mission to make an attack and win seats on the board so it can run the company in its own special way. The new folks coming to fill those seats are former Morgan Stanley executive Catherine Friedman and former Broadcom Corp CEO Eric Brandt. The seats originally belonged to tech entrepreneur Max Levchin and Charles Schwab. Yes, that Charles Schwab. But both vacated their seats amidst all the squabbling at Yahoo over how to run the company without losing tons of cash in the process. Board re-election comes later in the year but nominations are due this month and the process should be a fun little corporate spectacle as Yahoo has been under some fierce pressure to sell off its core web assets, including Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Mail. Among the potential suitors who are rumored to be interested in picking up those core assets are Verizon and Time, And now, instead of looking to grow the company, Marissa Mayer has switched courses and would be really happy to just execute a $400 million cost-cutting plan. That’s in addition to shareholder pressure of trying to spinoff of the company’s sizable share in Alibaba, without actually having to pay any taxes on the deal. That effort should be entertaining in and of itself.

In it to claim it…


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The IRS is sitting on close to $1 billion in outstanding refunds from 2012. The question is, can you claim any of it? Well there are an estimated one million taxpayers who qualify for a piece of that pie since they apparently failed to file their 2012 IRS tax return. Taxpayers get a three-year window to file a claim based on the return due date which this year happens to be April 18, 2016. All you’ll need to do is fill out the 2012 1040 form and collect the w-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 from that same year. Just check out the IRS website if you don’t believe me. But filer be warned: If you didn’t bother filing your 2013 and 2014 return, then don’t bother collecting your refund just yet as it may just get withheld. The IRS, however, wants you to claim your refund, otherwise all that cash goes into the hands of the U.S. Treasury. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said, “We especially encourage students and others who didn’t earn much money to look into this situation because they may still be entitled to a refund.”And I guess the IRS just isn’t that into the treasury if they are so eager for you to claim that money. Texas and California are the states with the most unclaimed refunds. And the average refund that could be collected clocks in at $718. So what are you waiting for?

A little less dapper…


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Tailored Brands, a.k.a. the company that owns Men’s Wearhouse and Jos A. Bank, finally experienced some Wall Street lovin’ as the stock jumped more than 11% today. The company hasn’t had a jump like this in two years and it’s all because the company announced that it would be closing about 250 of its stores this year out of over 700 that are dotted all over the country. It’s not that Wall Street didn’t care for the company’s merchandise, it’s that Wall Street didn’t like that consumers weren’t buying enough of it and the company was bleeding money. The company’s revenue took a nasty beating after brass decided to chuck Jos A. Bank’s “Buy One Get Three free” promotion back in October. This move apparently upset consumers who shopped at the chain for just that reason. Executives felt, however, that the promo cheapened the line, especially when the promo ended up in an “SNL” skit where the apparel was called “effectively cheaper than paper towels.” Ouch. Cheap or not, customers let the company know how they felt by sending sales down 32%, while Men’s Wearhouse managed to take in a 4.3% gain. The stock lost 30 cents a share in its fourth quarter, which was miraculously not as bad as the 37 cents analyst predicted the stock would lose.


Springing Unemployment, GrubHub Grab and High Frequency Drama

Look out unemployment, here comes Spring…

Image courtesy of cooldesign/

Image courtesy of cooldesign/

Weather, that fickle pernicious economic backstabber couldn’t stand in the way of the 192,000 jobs that were added last month, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.  However, experts were expecting that number to be a bit higher. They’re still satisfied, though, since unemployment stayed at a stubborn 6.7% – but to be fair, experts weren’t expecting that figure to budge from its perch anyway. If that doesn’t make you giddy, then how about the fact that there were actually more jobs added in January and February than previously reported. I know you can’t stand all this excitement but wait…there’s more!  The private sector has replaced/regained/re…whatever all the jobs it lost since December 2007 – which was the beginning of the ugly, terrible, horrible period we abhorrently call The Great Recession.

GrubHub is taking a big bite out of Wall Street today…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

The latest IPO to grab Wall Street’s conditional love is GrubHub, the Chicago based online service that gets a commission from a restaurant every time YOU order from their website. The company which also owns and Menupages raised a hefty $192 million and the stock flew over 40% today. It’s currently serving over 28,000 eating establishments from San Francisco to London with sooooooo very many more businesses to go. Nothing like an established and profitable business to get the stock market to look your way.

High frequency trading: Insider or Outsider?

Image courtesy of rattigon/

Image courtesy of rattigon/

In the ongoing high-speed trader saga, following Michael Lewis’s book, “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” where he accuses some traders of rigging the stock market, US Attorney General Eric Holder joined in the fun: “I can confirm that we at the United States Justice Department are investigating this practice to determine whether it violates insider trading laws.” High-frequency/high speed traders use computer algorithms to execute transactions in milliseconds anticipating trades before they happen. Charles Schwab, the famed founder of the discount trading firm, called high-frequency trading a “growing cancer.” So clearly he’s not feeling the love there. Dems have ideas for taxing the practice into oblivion.  Republicans have plans not to pass those ideas. High-frequency traders have plans to continue what they are doing since they believe they provide liquidity to the market.