Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let’s take a look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.
1. Tesla doesn’t live up to the hype
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk got the market worked up when a Twitter post promised a “really exciting” announcement where he was going to put his money where his mouth is.
Well, the actual announcement on Tuesday wasn’t much of a earth-shaker. It turns out that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s going to offer its Model S sedan in the form of a three-year “lease” program. It’s not technically a lease. It’s a loan where the lender shells out the down payment in exchange for the tax credit. Musk himself guarantees to buy back the cars after three years if the showroom doesn’t, hence the promise of putting his money where his mouth is.
Really? This was the news that was so exciting that it was ultimately bumped to this week so it wouldn’t get in the way of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s March quarter?
Pundits have also taken Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s math to task. The pitch claims that lease customers will have an effective cost of $500 a month, but drivers will actually be paying quite a bit more than that. The cost takes into account savings on gasoline skimping, but it also includes tax breaks available in just six states and the ability to take a business deduction on the car.
The Washington Post points out that the actual monthly payment for a Model S lease will be closer to $1,200.
2. Manatees have feelings, too
Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) got into some hot water this week when a discrepancy on its website was called out.
A Mossimo kimono maxi dress was available as “Dark Heather Gray” for the misses sizes, but the same hue is labeled “Manatee Gray” for plus sizes.
Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) aimed to rectify the situation, pointing out that it has other items that are classified as “Manatee Gray.” That’s true. There are shirts, footwear, and home furnishings with that option. There’s even a pair of skinny jeans with that color. However, it still looks bad when just the plus-size option for an identical dress was the only one labeled that way.
3. Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) goes old-school
Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) has quietly introduced one of the more bizarre video streaming services this week.