Updates for 8/30

The Alloy Steel International conference call

Alloy Steel CEO Gene Kostecki and CFO Barry Woodhouse were kind enough to spend the better part of an hour on the phone with me this evening. I transcribed their answers to the shareholder questions they addressed on the call, and agreed to send those questions and answers to them for their review, prior to posting them here. Once they’ve reviewed and sent me back the questions and answers, I will post them.

“Equity market structure caters to the interests of the few”

Somewhat related to our call was this letter to the editor of the Financial Times by David Weild IV, former Vice Chairman of NASDAQ (registration required). An excerpt:

The US stock market is in secular decline. We have 40 percent fewer public companies today than at the peak in 1997. When SEC Commissioner Kathleen L. Casey asked a panel of trading experts during the SEC panel discussions on equity market structure: “Have small cap stocks experienced liquidity benefits from electronic trading?” almost to a person these experts said: “No, they have not.” This is troubling because 70 percent of public companies are smaller than $250 million in market value — smaller than “small cap”.

Increasingly, it is clear, the stock market caters to the interests of a few — large trading concerns and large investment banks — while undermining the interests of small public companies, small broker dealers, fundamental investors, the US economy, and jobs.

A new comment on an old post: Peddling a feminist fantasy

Copywriter, photographer, and Etsy seller Nichole Brown, of Northern NJ and Paris (aka @littlebrownpen) offers her take on the Etsy debate:

I am a seller on etsy and here are my three cents:

1. No one debates that the real winner here is etsy. Selling the dream to sellers is a good model. Just ask the top ten sellers on etsy, all of whom sell supplies to other sellers on etsy (jewelry and crafting supplies).

2.Etsy offers two things to small business owners: a simple platform from which to initially sell their handmade items (test the market) and built in foot traffic. Lots of foot traffic.

3. Whereas Ebay and Amazon are places you go to find a deal on something you already know about or want (that Sony flatscreen, ink cartridges, Miles Davis’ greatest hits), etsy is a place to go to when you want to find something original. People who understand etsy know that it’s a great place to buy original art.

Are there stay at home moms with lofty dreams? Sure. But etsy has nothing to do with stuffing envelopes. For the smart small business owner, it’s a channel with hundreds of thousands of eyeballs. And once you understand how to get those eyeballs (ante up your .20 relist fee multiple times a day and stay on top of search ALWAYS), your ROI is pretty damn great.

That is if you are selling something people want.

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