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Seven And A Half Things To Know: Google's Big Mistake

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GOOGLE MISTAKE
Google paid a heavy price for its disappointing quarter and earnings-release fail. | AP

Mark Gongloff is off the newsletter this morning, so today's 7.5 Things are brought to you by Jillian Berman.

Thing One: Google's Big Mistake: Oops. In a rare misstep for Google, the tech darling released its quarterly earnings a few hours ahead of schedule, causing a panic, Twitter jokes and the company’s stock to plunge. The early release of Google’s third-quarter earnings, which the company later blamed on its printer RR Donnelley & Sons Co, even included a note that a quote from Google CEO Larry Page still needed to be added to the press release. Later, Page apologized for the misstep, telling analysts “I’m sorry for the scramble earlier today,” according to the Financial Times.

What Page couldn’t apologize for, however, is that Google’s results were pretty terrible. The company’s profits plunged 20 percent from a year ago, according to the Wall Street Journal, and the early release mistake combined with Google’s poor results slashed $22 billion off the tech giant’s value in the stock market.

Investors, who have grown used to Google being a blockbuster, were shocked at the company’s poor results, which indicated that its core advertising business is hurting, according to Reuters. Still, the disappointment isn’t totally new; Google’s January earnings sent the company’s stock plunging 8 percent, according to the FT.

Luckily for everyone, America’s favorite weird-haired mogul offered advice for dealing with the panic, even though a fawning CNBC anchor was the only one that asked him. His words of wisdom: To fire the printing company of course.

Thing Two: European Leaders Finally Agree To Do Something: In their latest plan to save their struggling region, European leaders agreed to put a bank supervisor in charge of overseeing banks in the eurozone, a move that will let bailout funds be given directly to banks throughout the area, according to the WSJ. Officials say the step would help struggling countries like Spain, whose governments are too overrun with financial problems to support their own banks.

It may be some time before the plan is up and running, though. All 6,000 banks in the region are expected to come under the supervision of the European Central Bank by 2014, according to Reuters. In her typical curmudgeon fashion, German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted that it will take more than a few months to get the system in place.

As The New York Times notes, delaying the implementation of the plan could benefit Merkel. Ideally she’d like to avoid recapitalizing Spanish banks until after Germany's September 2013 national elections.

Thing Three: 25 Years And No Lessons Learned: Twenty-five years ago today, the stock market suffered one of its biggest plunges in history, unfortunately it looks like we’re no more protected from a similar disaster now than we were back then. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 23 percent on Oct. 19, 1987, otherwise known as Black Monday, as investors lost confidence and tried to pull their money out all at the same time, but “the exit door wasn’t big enough,” E.E. “Buzzy” Geduld, 69 a man who oversaw 60 traders at the time, told Bloomberg. Geduld notes that while trading volumes have grown in the last 2 decades, the exit door hasn’t.

Black Friday marked the beginning of an era of the market getting destroyed by stupid computers, according to the NYT. But despite the crash and subsequent computer-trading-related disasters, Wall Street is still insisting on using robots for trading.

Thing Four: The End Of An Era: You can kiss the days of perusing glossy pages filled with week-old articles, artsy photos and ads goodbye, so says Tina Brown. The editor of Newsweek and the Daily Beast announced Thursday that the 80-plus-year-old magazine would stop printing in December. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to enjoy everything Newsweek has to offer, if you can afford a tablet and a subscription.

Brown made the move seem all but inevitable, telling The NYT, “You can’t turn back what is an inexorable trend.” And she might be right; the magazine’s circulation has been cut in half since 2005, according to the WSJ. And that’s not the only number that’s dropping: Brown said the move to digital will also mean layoffs.

Thing Five: Greg Smith's Too Many Minutes Of Fame: Look’s like Greg Smith may be able to squeeze a few more than 15 minutes of fame out of his NYT op-ed. His book, which is slated to come out Monday, has already managed to land in the hands of a lot of media outlets, including us here at The Huffington Post, who have uncovered some not-so-shocking revelations, like that Goldman made some “morally ambiguous” transactions, or that Goldman was pretty focused on profit.

Still, Goldman went on the offensive, giving Bloomberg TV info about the company’s internal probe into Smith’s allegations. As you might expect, the probe found that it wasn’t the “toxic” environment that Smith noted in the piece that made him leave. Instead, they claim Smith left because he was turned down for a promotion and a raise that would have doubled his salary to more than $1 million. Well, it looks like he’ll be getting those millions anyway.

Thing Six: Facebook Takes Over The World: In its quest to take over the world, Facebook is aggressively expanding in India, but in typical Facebook fashion, the company is having trouble figuring out how to make money off its new users. Facebook now has 65 million users in India, up from 10 million in 2010, according to the WSJ. But luring marketers and advertisers, as well as dealing with an environment of not-so-reliable internet service, are two challenges the social network must overcome before it can make money in India and use the wisdom gained to expand to other emerging markets.

Thing Seven: Pay Critic To Lose Some Pay: James Gorman will have to put his money where his mouth is. The Morgan Stanley CEO, who constantly notes that Wall Street is getting paid too much, stands to lose stock valued at $2.9 million as the bank misses certain goals, according to Bloomberg. But things probably won’t be too rough for Gorman, he was paid about $10.5 million in 2011.

Thing Seven And A Half: One Terrible Plane Ride: If you think commercial flights have strict rules, you obviously haven’t been on Abercrombie and Fitch’s corporate jet. As The Huffington Post’s Alice Hines reports, Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries demands that all flight attendants where a uniform of jeans, boxer briefs, polo shirts and flip flops, spritz themselves with cologne regularly and only respond to him and his partner’s requests with the phrase “no problem.”

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Calendar Du Jour:

Economic Data:

10:00 a.m. ET: Existing Home Sales for September

Corporate Earnings:

General Electric

Honeywell

McDonald's

Heard On The Tweets:

@bobivry: Hearing mortgage ads on radio. It's morning in America.

@PendingLarry: To be fair, we released our earnings yesterday afternoon on Google Plus.

@thegarance: How I learned of Newsweek's end of print: Twitter chatter followed by Googling a story. Print's problem in a nutshell.

@jess_mc: And when the radical priest came to get me released, we was all on the cover of HuffPo.

@JennyJohnsonHi5: I'd rather change a tire than a diaper.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Goldman Sachs officials had appeared on Bloomberg TV. Instead, Bloomberg TV reported the results of Goldman's investigation into Greg Smith's allegations.

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