Welcome to a new weekly report on digital finance, tech policy and commentary. Drawing on 30+ years of experience covering Washington and Wall Street, Gary Arlen returns to the Dealerscope family with insights to help you navigate the "digital" and "capital" aspects of the business during these days when the policy implications have broader impact and the people making these decisions are often new faces to the industry. The word connotes money and government. Wall Street and Washington. In today's unsettling environment, business decisions and federal policy-making are increasingly intertwined. The electronics industry faces challenges from both sides of the "capital" equation: overwhelming economic pressures amidst unprecedented political directives.
Hence, the arrival of "Digital Capital," a weekly report and analysis about developments that affect the consumer electronics business. This online examination draws on my 30-plus years of monitoring the convergence and emergence of new opportunities in the CE and associated industries. It also marks my happy return to the Dealerscope family, where I spent several enjoyable years earlier this decade exploring the creation of new digital businesses.
Today's atmosphere crackles with more challenges than ever. There are too many moving parts: financial deals, investment relationships, strategic alliances - including the curious inter-species breeding of hardware and software/service ventures. The explosion of wireless and mobile technologies are particularly confusing, especially in the new regulatory climate. Old stand-by issues, such as copyright and patent protection, plus the revival of mergers-and-acquisitions will trigger new rearrangements of the CE landscape. Foreign trade and environmental issues also rank high on the industry's agenda - and on Washington's checklist. Federal "stimulus" investments will ripple into through this sector. The shakeout of big-box retailers - and the aftermath - affects everyone in the CE value chain.