Tag Archive | "economy"

Having trouble getting your car fixed?

In all the hoopla, hand-wringing, and teeth-gnashing crashing around and about the auto industry meltdown — as newly-minted experts in business, industry, and economics sound off over their omelettes in every diner from Puyallup to Poughkeepsie about the wisdom of bailouts, the real fallout is starting to hit Main Street in an unexpected and unremarked [...]

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The Roundup May 29

The good news first: the bad news is not as bad as we thought. Revised commerce department figures showed on Friday that US gross domestic product declined by an annualised rate of 5.7 per cent in the first three months of the year, compared with last month’s estimate of 6.1 per cent. The decline was [...]

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The Roundup May 8 Madmen Edition

Since the auto industry is the number one media advertiser in the world, there’s alot of madmen who are going to get really mad when GM and Chrysler go bankrupt. In Chrysler’s Chapter 11 filing last week, Omnicom Group’s BBDO Detroit is listed as its second-largest unsecured creditor, owed $58.1 million. It’s believed, however, that [...]

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Everyone’s entitled to my opinion about the bank stress tests!

I’ve just spent a happy-go-lucky morning reviewing the Treasury’s bank stress test white paper.Humble little nothing-winning non-economist me believes that the stress tests are 98% government PR and 2% meaningful — which is a step up from just about everything coming out of the Bush White House. The stress tests were simply meant to calm [...]

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The Biz Roundup January 8

Seven-point-two The economy lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008, government figures showed, the most since World War II ended in 1945. Nearly two million of those losses were in the last four months alone, a sign that the recession accelerated as the financial crisis intensified, and should drag on well into the new year. Meanwhile [...]

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California scotches paychecks in favor of IOU’s

You heard it hear first. Some California employees have been told today that their next paycheck may be an IOU. That’s right. A piece of paper that says “not convertible to money.” As fantastic as that seems, the whole surreal situation takes a turn for the weird: some banks and credit unions will accept these [...]

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Globalized capitalism, globalized New Deal

The American Prospect announces a global New Deal in its cover story. Money quote: Barack Obama may well seek a new New Deal to right a profoundly dysfunctional American economy. But he faces one constraint that Franklin Roosevelt didn’t have to confront in the 1930s: The economy that Roosevelt saved was fundamentally a national economy [...]

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Why are we trying to stop the slide in home prices?

Tim Cavanaugh in this month’s issue of Reason states the obvious about the housing market (“House of Pain”). We all knew that housing prices had gone way, way out of control, particularly in markets like mine (Los Angeles), where people were buying small fixer-uppers-just-to-make-them-a-fixer-upper homes for nearly half a million dollars. The type of homes [...]

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The Post-Employment Economy Part 2

In my first post about the post-employment economy, I talked in general about the transition between the employment economy of the last few decades and what the post-employment economy is gearing up to look like. In this part, I want to talk about how seductive wages, as opposed to earnings, are, and I’ll start with [...]

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The Biz Roundup January 3

We never see a headline about a breadline today. In the midst of the deepest recession in the experience of most Americans, many professional forecasters are optimistically heading into the new year declaring that the worst may soon be over. For this rosy picture to play out, they are counting on the Obama administration and [...]

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The Biz Roundup January 1

Let’s start the new year out right. With a bailout. “What we are asking,” said Daniel R. DiMicco, chairman and chief executive of the Nucor Corporation, a giant steel maker, “is that our government deal with the worst economic slowdown in our lifetime through a recovery program that has in every provision a ‘buy America’ [...]

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The Biz Roundup December 30

And the first one voted off the island is . . . eToys! On Monday, the Parent Company, an Internet retailer of children’s products, had the dubious distinction of apparently becoming the first well-known retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after Christmas. The company, whose majority owner is the hedge-fund firm D.E. Shaw [...]

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The Post-Employment Economy, Part 1

Over the past twelve months, I have been giving talks in various and sundry places, like trade groups, conferences, and a couple biz schools here and there on what I call the “post-employment economy.” In many ways, my still-in-flux thoughts about a “post-employment” world is one of the driving principles behind the Shoestring Venture series. [...]

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A mortgage bail-out?

Because mortgage problems and foreclosure rates are not only impacting the economy at large, but small businesses and entrepreneurs in particular (I have five clients that have either gone out of business or have gone into hibernation because they are directly involved in things like home renovation, i.e., cabinet manufacturers, etc.), it seems reasonable that [...]

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The Biz Roundup December 22

If the shoe fits, throw it. No, seriously folks, shoe me the money! Wacka wacka! Although his assertion has been impossible to verify — cobblers from Lebanon, China and Iraq have also staked claims to what is quickly becoming some of the most famous footwear in the world — orders for Mr. Baydan’s shoes, formerly [...]

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About those business plans you were making . . .

As a subscriber to Macroeconomic Advisors, I get all the dry and dusty latest. They’ve just released a report forecasting the length and strength of the current economic downturn. I won’t bore you with details, so let’s plunge the fork right in the meat: Given the deteriorating fundamentals, the limited room for further use of [...]

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What happens after the auto company shakeout

Bailouts shmailouts. Everyone knows somebody is going to fold their tent, close the doors, buy the farm, and go the way of the dinosaur in the auto industry. Since this recession is poised to break the 16 month record and become the longest business downturn since the Great Depression, the shakeout in the auto industry [...]

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The Biz Roundup December 10

Hey! Send me money! I’ll be happy to pay you negative interest! What a deal! Just email me! :: The U.S. Treasury Department said it sold four-week bills at a high rate of 0.000 percent, a level never before seen, in a $30 billion auction. When Treasury bill rates turn negative it shows that investors [...]

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Thomas Friedman agrees . . .

On December 6, I posted Another Reason to Let the Big Three Go Bankrupt, where I argued that the business and economic model the large car companies are based on may not be suitable to the post-gasoline or post-carbon automotive industry: In all the discussion about the GM, Ford, and Chrysler bailout, one significant piece [...]

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Computer games are flying off the shelves

In the one sunny room in the retail version of the Addams family mansion, computer games are going like hotcakes. Even Activision is going to market with a Guitar Hero World Tour that will empty some Guitar Schmuck’s wallet by some 190 bucks, although there is some concern that a few Guitar Suckers will gobsmack [...]

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