Wolf Street


Mortal Mindy's picture

Wolf Street on TTIP & Secret Negotiations


"Europe’s “chosen politicians” will get to see only the EU’s negotiating positions; for the moment, the U.S. refuses to show even a tantalizing glimpse of its hand. And European politicians will come away with just half the picture....

"Not only will TTIP sharpen economic disparities in Europe, it will also pit a politically fragmented Europe against a much more united, more efficient rival (the U.S.). As Defraigne warns, this could end up shattering Europe’s already flimsy political cohesion as well as the broader international geopolitical order:

Negotiations are fundamentally asymmetric. The idea of building a bloc between Europe and the United States versus the rest of the world appears to be an alliance from the past designed to prevent the advent of a new international order that is more balanced…, more multipolar and multilateral. I don’t believe we are going in this direction when we make an alliance with the United States. We are playing with fire, both with Europe and with the world’s geopolitical balance! "

Hmmm, 'flimsy political cohesion ...'

Benefitz Betty's picture

Bricks & Mortar


"Is jacking up ticket prices helpful in this environment? 

Movie theaters are an essential part of brick-and-mortar.

The Commerce Department doesn’t include ticket sales in its retail sales figures. It includes ticket sales in “admissions to the arts, movies, sporting events, and other entertainment and recreational activities,” which figure into the vast group of “personal consumption expenditures,”  not retail sales. Yet ticket sales figure into the scenario of malls where many theaters a located, and they’re part of the broader brick-and-mortar environment that is under full attack by the Internet.

People can watch movies at home in many ways. Movies can be purchased at the spur of them moment from Amazon, Netflix, and others. They can be streamed, downloaded, or obtained via DVDs and other technologies. If people can wait a while, they can watch the recent releases by the big studios when they become available online. Consumers have never had so many sit-at-home alternatives to going to the movies.

While studios have been able to prop up their revenues more or less with ever higher ticket prices, and while they also cash in massively from digital sales, fewer and fewer people are showing up at the movie theaters.

Theaters have responded by making seats wider and more comfortable, and by providing more legroom, and by giving a cushy feel to make sort of an event out of it – rather than an economy-class experience. This is supposed to justify the ticket prices. But the extortionately priced soda and popcorn (what they put on it is not butter) are still the same.

And as the declining number of tickets sold shows – despite increases in the population and the surge of the millennials into prime movie-watching age – it appears to be a losing battle to get Americans to go out to brick-and-mortar movie theaters. And jacking up ticket prices in this environment of nearly unlimited choices isn’t exactly helpful."




"Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff was due out on Tuesday but publication was advanced to Friday and it is now on sale."