Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cuban Crisis

The payroll for Mark Cuban's pro basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks, is pegged at $92 million and change this season, according to the web site But Mark Cuban can afford it, because he's one of the Information Age gurus who didn't bomb out a decade ago. Forbes magazine last year reported his net worth at $2.8 billion. Why, then, would Mark Cuban mess around with a paltry $750,000 insider trading crime, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleges in a filing today?

Even the lowest-paid Dallas Maverick, benchwarmer Nick Fazekas, makes a reported $711,517. Of course, that's nothing next to Jason Kidd at $21,372,000, or Dirk Nowitzki at $17,178,100.

But Mark Cuban is charged in federal court by the SEC. He is accused of selling 600,000 shares of, an Internet search operation, while he possessed confidential information. To avoid a $750,000 loss, that's only a buck-and-a-quarter per share, and if this whole deal is true, Cuban sold high.

The alleged violation of antifraud federal securities laws transpired in June 2004, and even though the Dallas Mavericks didn't make the National Basketball Association finals that season, owner Mark Cuban's mind may have elsewhere at that time of year. Those who still follow the pro game know Cuban for dressing in blue jeans and T-shirts (or team jerseys), sitting behind the team bench and shouting at the referees. There's no skybox at Reunion Arena for Mark Cuban, and estimates that he has paid $1,665,000 in fines to league offices, which distresses Cuban to such an extent that he gives matching money to charity.

Mark Cuban sure seems to enjoy life more than your average stuffy billionaire, even though a coveted NBA championship has eluded the Dallas Mavericks, and they got knocked out of last spring's playoffs in the first round. At least they are making the playoffs, which was not true eight years ago before he obtained the franchise for $285 million from H. Ross Perot Jr.
What can you say about a guy who once complained that the league's manager of officials (Ed T. Rush) was so lousy, he "wouldn't be able to manage a Dairy Queen?" The Dairy Queen folks were either truly offended and/or saw a chance for publicity, and so Mark Cuban managed a Dairy Queen for a day.

In this case, it seems Cuban may be in line for a stiff civil fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission. If the SEC follows through, the NBA may have to wait in line.

Where to find Christmas Deals?

Christmas is a time for joy and gift giving, and at times it can be hard to find the best gifts at prices that won't break your back. Have you ever wondered where to buy the hottest Christmas gifts at inexpensive prices? Many of us have, and it turns out that the competition between big box stores such as Target and Wal-Mart are heating up. From Black Friday to Christmas, some of the greatest sales on consumer electronics that we'll see in years are almost here. Basically, all this is due to the state of the economy and competition between larger stores. Fact is, while smaller businesses are closing their doors and shutting down, big box stores like Target and Wal-Mart are doing great.


For some it may feel that Target has been in the shadow of other stores for years. However, Target is now ready to ready to jump out in the world where Wal-Mart is the main competition for it. If you've been following the Saturday newspaper in your local area then maybe you have seen the advertisements for buy two get one free Wii games, which is pretty impressive but was just a one day sale.

Expect Target to have some extremely amazing sales coming up for Christmas on Hi-Definition televisions, Blu-Ray players, and even Laptops. According to ABI Research, Blu-Ray players may even drop to $150-$200 range for the Holiday season.


Much like Target, Wal-Mart is in competition mode and is ready to slash prices for the Holiday season. Most notable of all is Wal-Mart's sale on Playstation 3, which includes two Playstation 3 games and four Blu-Ray movies for $488. Also, Wal-Mart even has sales on Hi-Definition televisions just like Target and other larger stores.

Looking for a laptop? Rather then going to the local pawnshop for deals, why not try shopping at Wal-Mart. Recently Wal-Mart slashed prices on Laptops, and now sell laptops from $348 and up.

Best Buy-
A quick look at Best Buy website will reveal that they now have a sale on select television models for 5% to 15% off. Do you want a laptop or personal computer? Best Buy has a sale on laptops, ranging from $150 to $250 off on laptops, and $80 to $288 on personal computers. Of course all of these prices could be changed any time, but many expect them to be slashed before Christmas gets here.

Needless to say, all three of these amazing stores will have great sales for the Holiday seasons. Right now all of the prices are low, and they will only get lower, as the economy remains in the dumps, companies will look for new ways to reach the consumer and sell merchandise.