What Was Wall Street Thinking? Banks Fire Rich Customers, Microsoft & Google Bicker, Porn Plays, Canadian Couch Potatoes

If you're complaining about the microscopic yields that your modest savings are collecting at the local bank, it could be worse: You could have a lot of money in the bank.

Bank of New York (BK) sent notices to its richest clients last week, alerting anyone that has deposited more than $50 million in their accounts since the end of last month that an annual fee of at least 0.13% will be charged on the excess deposits.

Holding cash isn't as lucrative as it used to be for banks. Demand for consumer loans has waned, and even the Federal Reserve's 0.25% payout may be in jeopardy. Banks also have to pay up for FDIC coverage on deposits, and chunky accounts have capital-raising implications.

Having said all of this, do you really want to be the first bank to dismiss your wealthiest accounts this way? Investors refer to Bank of New York as BONY, given its acronym, but this seems more like a bonehead move than a BONY one.

That wasn't the only boneheaded event on Wall Street last week.

Tech Big Boys Do Battle

(MSFT) and Google (GOOG) are becoming mortal enemies with every passing chess piece move, but they rarely resort to old-school public bickering the way they did last week.

The war of words began when Google publicly accused Microsoft of teaming up with several tech giants to acquire patents that can be used to attack Google's Android platform.

That may seem fair, but then Microsoft fired back with a zinger. The world's largest software company dug up an email where it had invited the world's largest search company to participate in the patent acquisition. Ouch!

Google then fired back, arguing that it didn't believe Mr. Softy's offer was genuine at the time. Buying the patents as part of a consortium of blue-chip tech stocks wouldn't have necessarily prevented the other buyers from gunning for Android. Ouch!

Who is right? Who is wrong? Now that we're in a battle to see who has the last word in public, we're really seeing two tech giants belittle themselves for something that could have been handled behind closed doors to avoid mutual embarrassment.

Pop Porn

Kudos to The Wall Street Journal for digging into three words out of DirecTV (DTV) CFO Patrick Doyle's mouth during last week's conference call.

Doyle referred to "lower adult buys" as being a drag on pay-per-view performance, and most outlets glossed over the implications. Consumers associate DirecTV with a wide range of cable channels and its exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket football package, but satellite television and cable providers still profit from the sale of titillating mature content.

The challenge for the industry these days is that free ad-based websites -- streaming hardcore pornography -- are growing in popularity. Now that web-tethered televisions and flash-enabled tablets are making the content more portable, it's a challenge for softer adult content to command premiums over raunchier low-budget content that is freely available in cyberspace.

"Porn sells" may be an old adage, but one also has to remember why Playboy recently went private at a buyout price in the single digits. DirecTV is obviously relying more on pigskin than porn to bring home the bacon, but the shifting model does have at least minor financial implications for some unlikely companies.

It's Not Easy to Round Up 30,000 Canadians

(NFLX) issued a statement on Thursday, claiming that it now has a million subscribers for its Canadian streaming service. Most investors are applauding the video giant's ability to attract a million subscribers to a disc-less service in its first 10 months.

The problem here is that Netflix closed out its second quarter with 970,000 Canadian accounts. The statement claims that it crossed the important milestone in July, but it must have been late July since the press release didn't go out until four days into August.

This would indicate either high churn levels or a serious deceleration in subscriber growth. I was all over this during Netflix's last month's quarterly report: "After launching its streaming service during the third quarter [of 2010], Netflix added 380,000 Canadian customers during the fourth," I wrote at the time. "Just 290,000 net new accounts were tacked on during this year's freshman quarter, and a mere 160,000 net additions were generated this past quarter. The end result is that Canada is growing, but the rate is slowing."

Is this a seasonal slowdown or did it just take a long time to get the press release out after identifying its millionth Canadian subscriber? We'll have a clearer snapshot here when Netflix's third quarter report rolls out in two months.

Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does own shares in Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Microsoft, and Netflix.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Behavioral Finance

Why do investors make the decisions that they do?

View Course »

Basics Of The Stock Market

Stock Market 101 - everything you need to know but were afraid to ask!

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

i never thot id live to see the day, the fat cats on wall st. would start to crumble, but look what is happening. i was too young to witness the crash back in the 30,s but like most have heard about it. they say it rained bodies down on wall st.

well im old now, and ive worked hard all my life, paid taxes, just to see the rich steal from the middle class to aquire larg ammounts of cash to make more money with. ive always been poor...( no wait that isnt right) ive never been poor, but ive been broke a hell of a lot of times.

the thing of it is, we hard working folk who help make the country what it was,(and i use the past tense) knew how to get by with what we had survive. there isnt one of those types in washington or on wall st. who know how to keep the wheel turning when it starts to run out of grease.

in short. the very same people who caused all this mess and suffering for the poor and middle class are behind a rock and a hard place, because they never learned what we did. get by with what you have in your hand. there is no more for them to stee from us , and that is the only way they ever learned to survive.....grist form the mill......

August 08 2011 at 4:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

HOLY CRAP Brickhead!!! your past flamming MAD Your going to stroke out!! We are all p*ssed but you have taken it to a new level, Take it easy !! We will get a grip on things, Your anger is going to eat you up, Man I'm sorry that things are freeking you out!!!!!!!!!

August 08 2011 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And Now The Financial Wall Alley & Red Plague PIGGS
They Lay down to sleep,
As Satan SOARS around piglets feet,
And Tickle Tickle Tickle
They suck on Satans pickle
And swallow his spew down deep.

August 08 2011 at 2:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brickhead's comment

Shut up

August 08 2011 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

U want to isolate specific investors Wall Alley & Red Plague PIGGS?
U mess with the Kingdom of Christ in 2011, 201x, 201.
U PIGGS bring in yours & your PIGG bloodlines End Time.
What do U think Obama has plans for 2 legged American returning Warriors?
10,000 more FBI agents PIGGS.
Still, not as close to U as Satan’s anal serpentine trident which hovers.
DOUBLE TROUBLE, but U have NO vision.
FBI swarms trading PIGGS of the Wall Alley.
Fidelity, Wells Fargo, ETFC, Ameriprise, Hudson, Knight Securities, CNBC trading PIGGS, NYSE Floor, ARCA PIGGS and MANY MORE.
& Wall Alley shall be handled by Middle America stripped away from EVIL Man & Red Plague PIGGS.
Koranieville LUVs U Wall Alley PIGGS, simply because they wed jew jew BEES Candyman.

August 08 2011 at 2:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The President made it quite clear WHO are the PIGGS in America.
Red Plague, Wall Alley, Financial Institutions & Hedge Funds, little Oil.
They all work hand in hand to pull away Americas savings.
Satan rises high over U wall alley PIGGS and your NUCLEAR INDOCTRINATION IS HERE.
China, Russia, Middle East has lots of luv for SHORT timers.
Koranieville weds U wall alley PIGGS forever and brings u wonderful gifts.
Christ walks far far away from EVIL Man.
America looks forward to the news headlines –
Wall Alley NUKED along with all the PIGGS bloodlines.

August 08 2011 at 2:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Many subscribers have reported corruption within E-Trade.
These PIGGS launder portfolios and the FBI is moving into the Tampa PIGGs hole and elsewhere looking at the corruption of how they loot their subscribers.
FBI plans on shutting this place down.
U see E-Trade PIGGS – U think U can get away with Tampa & MM PIGGS.
U all will be ******* on the anal serpentine trident of Satan VERY SOON – say goodbye to your families but Satan takes those PIGGS too.
Satan shorts your PIGG stock DOWN to negative Infinity along with GS & BP.
Seek Shelter E-Trade PIGGS
Have a Great PIGGS day

August 08 2011 at 2:17 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The only crisis in America is the Red Plague & Wall Alley PIGGS.
The #1 terrorist organization in the world is the Wall Alley Red Plague Team.
NOT IRAQ, NOT Afghanistan.
And 200 million want these PIGGS taken care of the same way we did in Iraq.
Middle America OWNs THESE PIGGS NOW and they will ALL be RIFLED DOWN by Satan.

Dead People –
5 million across NYC
The smell of Satan’s Stench and the burning of 2 leggeds across NYC & Wall Alley PIGGS
Wall Alley PIGGS Gone
$1 Billion Fine – Fidelity PIGGS
$1 Billion Fine – Wells Fargo PIGGS
$1 Billion Fine Ameriprise PIGGS
$1 Billion Fine E-Trade PIGGS
$1 Billion Fine CNBC & OFF THE AIR Piglets as they wait for their Idol & God – Satan.
Middle East Koranieville after ju ju bees of Wall Alley PIGG AND GET THEM.
Russia & China realize American PIGGS shorted their monetary illegally along with Middle and lower America because they are PIGG traders and traders of treason.
China Russia polish NUKES …………Satan GETS IT ON.
Wall Alley 2 legged PIGGS found with so much of Satan’s spew in belly not even an Industrial PUMP can get it out.
Something WONDERFUL about to happen.
CONTINUOUS busts across the the Wall Alley by FBI & US Militia and forced entry at the PIGGS illegal homes that were bought with illegal money. U are ALL DEAD PIGGS. The Wall Alley PIGG mafia GETS NUKED IN NYC and 200 million Americans CANNOT wait for Satan to cananbalize his PIGGS. Beware NYC PIGGS – paranoid before u enter and before u leave that building, but no matter as YOUR HOMES PIGGS ARE NOW OURS. WE KNOW WHERE ALL U RED PLAGUE and Wall Alley PIGGS live. Try keeping 200 million out.
China, Russia – Nuke these American PIG bitches – the sooner the MORE WONDERFUL.
Radiate the PIGGS
The LAUGHING STOCK UNETHICAL PIGG OF THE WORLD – Wall Alley and a big blackhead in America that needs to be wiped out TODAY. The money does NOT matter to America. Only the PIGGS DEATHS do.

August 08 2011 at 2:17 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brickhead's comment


August 08 2011 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

• U Wall Alley PIGGS and Red Plague illegally SHORT our Koranie & THE World.
• U Wall Alley PIGGS and Red Plague illegally SHORT our roobull.
• U Wall Alley PIGGS and Red Plague illegally SHORT our yuanie. The new world currency is going 2 b Chinese if u did not know. Chinese take American women and put to work in rice patties.
How stupid are U NYC? The Wall Alley PIGGS are #1 world target barbecue pork hot n spicy is how Satan and his Legion LIKES IT.
What do U think these other Countries think?
Satan conjures U PIGGS. Have U checked above GS ju ju bee yet?
America – Do U remember the FAKE terror alerts from the Nostradamus Clown Bush PIGG Red Plague administration?
WELL we don’t have time for games. THIS IS REAL.
The Mayans knew it & Edgar Casey too. 1000 % correcto.
EVIL begets EVIL in 2010, 2011, 201x.
The Blue administration works to unwind the Red Plague serpent coil that takes the world DOWN & DOWN.
EVIL Man pays up to the PIPER & Kingdom of Christ.
Satan COMES FOR the American Wall Alley PIGG and FLIES HIGH.
Keep Your Guard Up America.
Satan is gonna make U a STAR.

August 08 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brickhead's comment

SHut Up

August 08 2011 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The SHORTING of the Worlds and United States monetaries by the Wall Alley and Red Plague PIGGS.
BRINGS U Satan American Wall Alley and Red Plague PIGGS.
The hole U cannot get out of is the hole Satan has prepared for U.
U call for Satan in 2011, 201x, 201 and U GET HIM.
A Team of 4, they score they score and reward the US parasitic leech.
And now the war of words ignites the world fire for
#1 piglets barbecue pork hot n spicy is the way Satan and his Legion likes it

August 08 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brickhead's comment

You need to pipe down brickhead ! Your flying flaming ranting is not gonna work !!! May God forgive you !

August 08 2011 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

American Good Man and the World now CALL U Wall Alley & Red Plague -
Lets see your hand PIGGS?
What due we CALL U
We CALL U A ph@#%^cking PIGG
Funny funny funny how U launder the worlds money now u get what’s cuming to u.
Yummy yummy yummy into Satan’s tummy goes the Wall Alley & Red PIGGS 2
Look at how the American PIGG media sets up another Wall Alley PIGG world SHORTING recession to feed the Beast of the world – The Great Satan Wall Alley PIGGS and ALL associated.
Your place is on his plate added to his GS/British PIGG combo #1 barbecue pork hot n spicy the way he and his Legion likes it.
Satan’s OPTION is a STRANGLE & HOLD as he places his anal serpentine trident UP U PIGGS for your ecstatic delight. Satan luvs U and weds u.
Russia, China, Iran & North Korea a team of 4, the score they score. The hole of 911 will be a sink hole compared to the bottomless hole of Satan. The American PIGG financial agent and Red Plague are more than leeches. They not only SUCK, but they BREED EVIL throughout Good Mans World THESE PIGGS.
Satan DOUBLE DIPS U in salt after his legion RIPS your flesh off PIGGS.
His Legion spins the clouds reverse above U into a daarck knight and daarckest of Infinity.
U are MY piglets - Shake Buildings, SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE
Red Plague and Wall Alley PIGGS BOUNTY & REWARD posted in Kingdom of Christ.

August 08 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply