Chipotle stock is falling on the news of a big David Einhorn short position that he rationalizes in terms of increased competition from Taco Bell.
I don't know that I agree with that financial analysis, but Taco Bell's upscale repositioning with the Cantina Bell sub-brand in order to better-compete with surging Chipotle is my favorite example of competition leading to quality improvements and dynamism in an oft-neglected sector.
"Gourmet" is a big overstatement, but Cantina Bell food—like Chipotle—is indeed better than what Taco Bell had before. Chipotle's proven that there's a market for higher-quality pseudo-Mexican fast food in the United States, but fortunately like many valuable innovations you can't patent this idea and Taco Bell and other competitors are able to imitate it and push the overall quality of American dining options up.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right Target
Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget
It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is
I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights
Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.
Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
In Defense of HR
Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.