Category Archives: Business

Tesla Raises Price Of $35,000 Model 3

(AP) — The lowest priced Tesla is now more expensive. The luxury electric high-performance car-maker confirmed Tuesday that it has raised the price of its Model 3. The previously 35-thousand dollar Model 3 now costs 35-thousand-400 dollars.

Tesla had billed the Model 3 as the company’s car for the masses, but during the first two years of its production only more expensive, optioned-up Model 3s were available. That was done to pump up Tesla’s cash flow and the 400 dollar price hike could help.

If Tesla keeps up its first-quarter sales rate, the higher price would generate an extra 20-million dollars in revenue per quarter.

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Fall Of A Dynasty: Greed Could Mean The End For Big Baller Brand

(Los Angeles, CA) –  The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:10, For the love of money is the root of all evil. And it looks like money could end up being the downfall of the Big Baller Brand.
Love him or hate him, LaVar Ball  with his valiant and often boisterous personality has positioned his three sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo to be a 1,2,3 punch dynasty in the NBA. He’s groomed his boys to be disciplined in life and the game of basketball and as they transform to current and future NBA stars, the marketing almost works itself.
Who wouldn’t be interested in three brothers, at one point, lined up to dominate High School, College and NBA basketball all at the same time. Fans are banking on decades of the Ball brothers showing out, especially the youngest one. It made perfect financial sense to turn the Ball Brand into a real business.
That’s what family friend Alan Foster said when he saw the attention and publicity surrounding LaVar’s sons and LaVar as he stirred up controversy and interest (often negative) pretty much everywhere he went.  Some say that controversy is what’s keeping middle son LiAngelo out of the league right now while others, from the beginning, understood the father of three’s vision and the mechanics of his abrasive ways.
I’ll admit.  For the longest, I just wanted pops to be quiet. I was one that was skeptical until I took the time to watch the family’s reality show on Facebook Watch, “Ball in The Family”.
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What I saw was a well orchestrated and organized household designed to turn LaVar Ball and Tina Ball’s sons, and any of their friends who were willing to put in the work, into bonafide basketball beasts and respectable young men. LaVar ball doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke and detests tattoos (until his son Gelo got not one, but a few and Lonzo soon followed). And then there’s the dynamic between him and his wife and his commitment to her after she suffered a stroke.  It’s safe to say that Tina Ball brings out LaVar’s soft side. Yes, he has one.
With help from both LaVar and Tina’s parents along with his brothers, there’s a strong family support system and everyone plays his or her role in the family business.  Alan Foster, whose son befriended Lonzo in middle school, pitched an idea to LaVar that would turn the creation of professional endorsement deals and signature shoes for an NBA rookie on its head.  Forget NIKE, forget Adidas, Rebook and any other athletic brand. Let’s do our own.  The Big Baller Brand. Subsequently, overpriced shoes, hats, t-shirts and hoodies with triple BBBs emblazoned on them became the gear to have.
They even have a girl’s line.
Ball in The Family started airing on Facebook Watch and the dynasty had officially begun.
At the start of his rookie season, Lonzo Ball hit the court for the Los Angeles Lakers in his own signature shoe created by the Big Baller Brand. Major pop-up shops across the world soon followed and the JBA league which was a direct marketing tool for the Triple BBBs took off as well. Minus Lonzo suffering from continuous ankle problems (which the Lakers reportedly think are caused by his triple BBBs shoes) business was booming.
Melo Ball's 16th Birthday
Alan Foster was leading the way. He served as LaVar’s business partner, advisor and was purported to be the one who organized LaMelo’s move to SPIRE Institute in Ohio and kept close contact with LiAngelo’s agent to keep LaVar abreast on what moves were possible in advance for his middle son. LaVar trusted him blindly to not only manage the family business but some of Lonzo’s personal business as well. Afterall, Foster is a Co-Owner of BBB so it seemed like a win/win.
Alan held a near 17% stake in the company while Lonzo was the majority holder with over 51% percent leaving just over 30% presumably for LaVar, Melo and Gelo to split. I’m pretty sure Lonzo initially funded the Big Baller Brand.  He had just signed a 3-year 22 million dollar deal with the Lakers when BBB started.
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There was only one instance that appeared to be a red flag but with new startups some bumps in the road are expected.  On one episode of Ball In The Family a number of JBA players hadn’t been paid. Deposits were quickly made, but it made you question how money was being transferred for both payments and purchases.  It’s no secret that the other triple BBB – The Better Business Bureau isn’t too fond of the Big Baller Brand.  There has been a number of complaints from consumers. But again, with startups you expect a few wrinkles.
But what you don’t expect is to have the Co-Owner and friend of the family embezzle $1.5 million dollars in the first year and a half of the company’s existence and Lonzo Ball’s professional career.  However, when the Co-Owner is a convicted fraudster……it’s more than plausible. In fact financial misdeeds are not new to Foster.
According to federal records, in 2002, he was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering as part of a scheme that defrauded 70 investors of $4 million. Foster was also ordered to pay $3.7 million in restitution to victims.
Lonzo told ESPN that he believes, “Alan Foster used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”
Lonzo also scrubbed all visuals of the Big Baller Brand and logo including the triple BBBs tattoo that he had on his forearm.  It’s been replaced by a pair of dice showing allegiance to his two younger brothers with the numbers 1,2,3.
All three of the Ball brothers have stopped following the Big Baller Brand on social media as well. And ..I’m sure that won’t be the end of it.

Boeing Says Final Touches Are Being Put On 737 Max Software Upgrade

(Chicago, IL-AP) – Boeing is putting the final touches on a software upgrade and revision of pilot training for the 737 Max. The upgrade is meant to target the aircraft’s flight control system.

News of the upgrade comes after it was determined that a deadly crash involving a 737 Max 8 in Ethiopia had “clear similarities” to another deadly crash involving the same type of plane in Indonesia last October. Sources say the upgraded software for the 737 Max is expected to be released in a week to ten days, after which new pilot training will be rolled out. Airlines around the world have grounded the 737 Max as a precaution.

General Motors Responds To Angry Tweets From President Trump

(Detroit, MI-AP) – General Motors is responding to several tweets by President Trump ripping into the automaker for shutting down production at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio. On Twitter Sunday, Trump said he’d asked CEO Mary Barra to sell the plant or “do something quickly,” and accused the automaker of letting down the country.

GM responded late Sunday evening by saying the future of the Lordstown plant and several others will be resolved between the automaker and the United Auto Workers under the terms of the national agreement. The company plans to close four plants in the U.S. and one in Canada as part of a restructuring.

Sephora Drops Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Amid College Scandal

(Los Angeles, CA-AP) — The fallout from the college cheating scandal continues for the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin.

The makeup company Sephora has reportedly dropped its partnership with Olivia Jade. TMZ is reporting that the 19-year old YouTube star was behind a product called the Olivia Jade x Sephora palette and the partnership has been terminated, effective immediately.

Loughlin and her husband are accused of handing over around half a million dollars in bribes so their kids can get into USC.

Schumer: GM Plant Closings, Layoffs Are “Gut Punch” To Workers

(Washington, DC-AP) — Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says GM plant closings and layoffs are a “gut punch” to workers in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland.

On the Senate floor today, Schumer said GM got a “windfall” in the big Republican tax bill last year. He also criticized President Trump for making numerous campaign promises to keep factories and plants open. Schumer said many of Trump’s promises have turned out to be “bankrupt.”

GM will close several plants in the U.S. and Canada while slashing 15 percent of its salaried workforce. The company will offer fewer cars for sale while boosting production of trucks, SUVs and crossover vehicles.

Trade Will Top Agenda At G20

(Washington, DC-AP) — Trade will top the agenda at the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina. Chief White House economist Larry Kudlow told reporters today that President Trump is open to making a deal to end the U.S. trade war with China.

Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi and Kudlow insisted that any trade agreement must be reciprocal. The summit is scheduled in Buenos Aires on Friday and Saturday. The G20 consists of the top industrialized nations in the world.

Amazon Announces Split Headquarters In Arlington, NYC

(Arlington, VA-AP) — Amazon is announcing it will split its new headquarters between Arlington, Virginia and New York City. The online retail giant made the official announcement this morning, saying it would invest five-billion-dollars and 50-thousand new jobs between the two headquarters.

The new facility in Arlington will be located in National Landing, and the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. Hiring at both the new facilities begins in 2019.

Versace Now Officially Belongs To Michael Kors

(SL) – Here’s what $2.1 billion can do for you. In one of the most strategic and profitable purchases in fashion history, Michael Kors announced that Versace will now hold a spot under its House.

Michael Kors will expand under the new name Capri Holdings Limited but Donatella Versace, sister of Gianni Versace who created the line, says the label will continue to be a luxury label. She’ll also remain the house’s creative director.

The Versace family, including Donatella’s brother Santo and daughter Allegra, will also receive around $176 million USD worth of group stock in addition to the money they received for the sale.

According to reports in Bloomberg, Versace will aim to expand in areas such as accessories (which Idol hopes will make up 60% of the brand’s total business), its retail presence — including online and around 100 new stores — and the Asian market. Overall, the plan is to turn Versace into a $2 billion USD a year company, up from its forecast 2018 revenue of $850 billion USD.

 

Suge Knight Takes Plea Deal, Will Serve 28 Years in Prison

(Los Angeles, CA) – If there was ever a real bogey man, ask anybody in the music industry and they’d probably say Suge Knight was it.  Using a street mentality and no limit scare and enforcement tactics, the former football player was able to turn Death Row Records into one of the most profitable labels in the business. With a roster that once included Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Dr. Dre, it’s easy to see how Knight was able to build the empire that he did.

But in the faithful words of Reality star Nene Leakes,’You never win when you’re dirty.’ And that empire crumbled about as fast as it was built and life and business continued to roll downhill for knight.

His recent troubles involve manslaughter in which Suge was seen on video running over a man in his truck at a Compton burger establishment three years ago. His trial for murder, attmepted murder and hit-and-run was set to start with jury selection on Monday.  But, the former Death Row Executive was in court yesterday to enter a no contest plea to voluntary manslaughter and see a host of other charges dropped. In the deal, he’ll serve 28 years in prison.