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When all else fails, go private: BlackBerry deal

Jeff Brown, Special to CNBC.com
Monday, 23 Sep 2013 | 4:00 PM ET
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Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.

BlackBerry's new insurance policy

Notes:

When all else fails, "go private" has been good advice for many troubled companies, including those in the fast-changing personal technology sector. Take Dell, and now, BlackBerry.

It seems like just a century or so ago, before iPhones and Android gadgets, that BlackBerry ruled the wireless-device roost. But it's been on the ropes for years, and Monday said it has agreed in principle to be acquired by Fairfax Financial, a Canadian insurance company—Canada's Berkshire Hathaway, according to some—for $9 a share, which is in the stock's recent trading range, and way below the $18 per share the company had spiked to earlier this year. The company would be taken private.

Quote:

"It takes away a big risk that was actually holding back their business. A lot of people were worried about whether BlackBerry had any future, which means that IT departments were being hesitant to invest in it. By going private they assure that they have a longer-term future ... which makes corporate America more confident that they are not going to waste money by upgrading to the new BlackBerry systems."—CNBC's John Carney

A protest Friday in the Miami office of a Florida state lawmaker against his opposition to expansion of health-care coverage.
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A protest Friday in the Miami office of a Florida state lawmaker against his opposition to expansion of health-care coverage.

Obamacare defund fatigue hits Americans

Notes:

With Republicans trying to defund Obamacare as a condition of passing a budget, what do Americans think? A solid majority of 59 percent oppose defunding if that means shutting down the government, according to a CNBC poll. If a shutdown is not a factor, a plurality still opposes defunding, 44 percent to 38 percent. But there's no shortage of Obamacare concerns, especially from the business sector: is it discouraging hiring?

Quote:

"We're out there on Main Street and Obamacare is affecting the job hiring picture. Whether it's in the numbers or not, it is affecting small- and medium-sized businesses. They're not going to hire until they know what their costs are going to be."—Bob Funk of Express Employment Professionals

Apple Store employees greet customers who are purchasing the new iPhone on Sept. 20, 2013, in Palo Alto, Calif.
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Apple Store employees greet customers who are purchasing the new iPhone on Sept. 20, 2013, in Palo Alto, Calif.

Reports of Apple's death greatly exaggerated

Notes:

Last week's gripes that the new Apple iPhones were just incremental improvements may have been premature. Monday, Apple said the new 5C and 5S phones had set sales records, with 9 million purchased in just the first few days. Apple raised its revenue estimate.

Quote:

"Some companies would be happy to sell that many in a year. ... Worries about declining revenue and EPS next year are off the table."—CNBC's Josh Lipton

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Can the wisdom of crowds corner the housing market, or blow it up?

Notes:

Want to invest in real estate? Traditionally, you had to buy on your own or with partners, or invest through a REIT. Now there's another option: crowdfunding, the online system used by inventors, charities and political candidates—and most recently a big hit in the lending space dominated by traditional banks.

Last year's federal JOBS Act allows marketing real estate investment shares to accredited investors. And Washington, D.C.-firm Fundrise found a legal way to solicit nonaccredited investors, raising an average of $1,000 each from hundreds of people for a commercial building. Investors share ownership, divvy up rents and get perks from business occupants.

Quote:

"The public will help you build your real estate, but actually over time you realize that the public is an incredible partner, is an incredible asset ... you actually get a social power that wasn't possible before."—Fundrise co-founder Ben Miller

—By Jeff Brown, Special to CNBC.com.

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