Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let's look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.
1. Wii will wait
Sometimes it's not what you do but rather what you don't do that earns you a nod in this weekly overview of corporate gaffes. Nintendo (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) makes the cut this week by letting its competitors make their cuts first.
Nintendo has been able to sit on a $250 price for its Wii since the revolutionary console hit the market. But Nintendo's stubbornness is one of the reasons why the gaming industry is in a funk. Video-game hardware and software sales have fallen in each of the past five quarters.
A price cut is inevitable for the Wii. It can't let its two console rivals eat up all of the holiday sales.
2. Let's call it the SkyCrock
One of the biggest mistakes out of the Sirius XM Radio
This week's SkyDock announcement should have corrected the contractual oversight. The car dock is an actual receiver, using Apple's
The problem? This is the XM SkyDock, not the Sirius SkyDock. Stern is on Sirius, so a basic $12.95 monthly subscription isn't enough. SkyDock users will have to pay $16.99 a month for an XM subscription that includes the most popular Sirius content -- including Stern.
Why didn't this come out as the Sirius SkyDock -- or at least come in both flavors?
3. Would you like some white lies with that?
Three months ago, Burger King
We found out this week, when the country's second-largest burger chain posted negative comps for the first time in more than five years. Yet instead of acknowledging that the streak is toast, it simply rewrote its bragging rights. Since the streak ended during the company's fiscal fourth quarter, Burger King simply decided to thump its chest over a six-year streak of positive global comps. That's no lie, but I'd have preferred a more forthright approach.
4. Google wants to show you the money
LendingTree claims that Mortech is helping Google compete for prospective mortgage leads, by assisting the search giant in building a system similar to its own site that displays various sponsored lenders. Mortech helps power LendingTree's site.
Poor Google. It rarely tries to telegraph its future moves, and now it seems as if it's having its diary pages read before a courtroom.
5. It's going to be a bumpy flight
Making money consistently has always been a challenge for the legacy carriers, but nickel-and-diming passengers isn't the solution.
Travelers are getting smarter about shopping around. Frequent-flyer programs are carrying less weight these days, as redemption terms get stingier and loyalty is tested with every new fee introduction.
It won't be long before passengers have had enough. Let's hope we never get to the point where customers are being charged $10 for a bag of cocktail peanuts.
Let's beat the Dumb Drum:
Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Nintendo is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. That certainly wouldn't be a dumb move.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of dumb and smart business moves. Investors can learn plenty from both. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.