Tag Archives: economy

Obama Surges In Latest Gallup Poll

Perhaps driven by this week’s horrific financial news, Barack Obama’s polling numbers have him back in the lead (according to Gallup, at least) for the first time in two weeks. Separate Gallup tracking shows that consumer confidence has become significantly more negative as this week progressed, signifying that Americans are clearly paying attention to the major problems facing Wall Street …

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Wall Street Melts Down

Lehman Brothers, bankrupt. Merrill Lynch, sold. AIG, “days to survive.” In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself on Sunday to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy protection and hurtled toward liquidation after it …

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You Can’t Get There From Here (Directly)

Squeezed by fuel costs, airlines are cutting nonstop service between New York and 25 cities. [N]onstop flights between New York City and 25 other cities – including upstate Binghamton and Tucson – will disappear. Service to another 55 cities will be cut, according to Crain’s New York Business. “We’re losing service to a lot of cities,” Rick Seaney, chief executive …

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Ingredients Costs Bankrupting Eateries

Mrs. Field’s has filed for bankruptcy because the cost of flour and milk has gotten too high. The company’s 500 cookie stores and hundreds of TCBY Yogurt franchises will continue to operate while a plan is developed to pay creditors. Many other restaurant groups are struggling, you may recall that casual dining chains Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale abruptly closed …

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Gone: Bennigans, Steak & Ale

Metromedia Restaurant Group, the parent company of Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale, abruptly declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy yesterday and more than 300 locations nationwide were immediately closed. A few privately owned franchises will remain open for now. Industry watchers knew Metromedia was in trouble, but were shocked at how quickly the shut-down came. Other national casual dining chains may follow …

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Bush’s Legacy: Worst Deficit Ever

Dubya’s done gone crazy with the nation’s credit card and we’ll be paying it off until gas comes free with bubble gum. President Bush’s budget chief blamed the faltering economy and the bipartisan stimulus package for the record $482 billion deficit the White House predicted for the 2009 budget year. The White House blames a faltering economy [JMG: Also his …

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Brother, Can You Spare A Billion?

Thanks to dictator Robert Mugabe’s fubar regime, hyperinflation in Zimbabwe has forced the government to cease printing their $500M notes (above) and switch to $25 and $50 billion Zimbabwean dollar notes. The price of a newspaper in Zimbabwe is now $25B ZD. At the time of yesterday’s above-linked story, a beer in a Zimbabwean bar was $150B ZD, or $6 …

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Trickle Down Economics

According to a press release from a porn industry group, the biggest beneficiaries of last month’s economy stimulus checks from the government may be porn sites. An unforeseen and surprising beneficiary of the Economic Stimulus Plan, a plan that George Bush contends will “boost our economy and encourage job creation,” has surfaced this week. An independent market-research firm, AIMRCo (Adult …

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Starbucks To Close 600 Outlets

Oh no! Now you’ll have to walk two blocks to find one! As many as 12,000 Starbucks workers will lose their jobs when the company begins closing 600 U.S. stores this summer. The Seattle coffee company is cutting 5 percent of its U.S. locations as part of a wide-ranging effort to boost its bottom line and its stock price. The …

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And Then There Were None

Six months after the announcement that the Virgin Megastore in Union Square will be closing in early 2009, today comes the news of the same fate for the Times Square store, leaving Manhattan with zero music retail chain outlets. Unless you count joints like Best Buy or Starbucks, which I totally don’t. Says the company that bought Virgin Megastores North …

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Gay Marriages To Boost CA Economy

Via the Los Angeles Times: Forget economic stimulus checks. Same-sex marriages may give California just the financial boost it needs. Wedding planners, bakers and hotels began booking more business almost immediately after the state Supreme Court’s May 15 decision overturning a ban on gay marriage. Citing pent-up demand, one UCLA study projects that same-sex unions could provide a $370-million shot …

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More Airline Woes

Now, American: American Airlines said Wednesday that it would soon start charging passengers $15 to check their first bag each way, or $30 round-trip, if they are flying on a discounted fare. The airline’s new policy — to take effect June 15 — comes only two weeks after many major carriers, including American, began charging $25 each way for checking …

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Food Rationing Story Widens

Yesterday’s food rationing story has gotten much wider play. From USA Today: The global food crisis is hitting consumers in the USA, with the nation’s top retailer announcing that it’s rationing rice because of “supply and demand trends,” according to Reuters. “We are limiting the sale of Jasmine, Basmati and Long Grain White Rices to four bags per member visit,” …

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Leading Economic Indicator

Here in the “breadbasket of the world”, food rationing. Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks. At a Costco Warehouse in Mountain View, Calif., yesterday, shoppers grew …

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And The Overhead Bins Get More Crowded

Thrilling news. Five of the six major airlines in the United States plan to start charging coach passengers as much as $25 next month to check a second bag, the latest move in their quest to offset high fuel prices. But while the airlines, and even some industry specialists, say they expect the fees will primarily affect leisure travelers, business …

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€ign Of The Times

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Bankruptcy Roll Call

Things are getting very grim for the nation’s retailers, which is no surprise to anybody who has seen the graveyard of empty storefronts dotting the malls. Bankrupt retailers: Sharper Image, Levitz, Fortunoff, Lillian Vernon, Linens ‘n’ Things, Wickes, Harvey Electronics, Bombay, Domain. Wobbly retailers: Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Lane Bryant, Lowe’s, Office Depot, Foot Locker, Zales, Ann Taylor. Some of …

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And Next, They’ll Fix It So The Door To Your House Won’t Open

Here’s a sign of the times. A California company is selling car dealers a device that disables your car when your payment is late. A Riverside County company is cashing in on the subprime credit crunch. Murrieta-based, Sekurus, sells a device that will disable a driver’s car if a payment is missed. The so-called ‘On-Time’ device is actually a little …

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Food Stamps Nearing Record Use

The number of Americans relying on food stamps is nearing records not seen since the 1960s. Driven by a painful mix of layoffs and rising food and fuel prices, the number of Americans receiving food stamps is projected to reach 28 million in the coming year, the highest level since the aid program began in the 1960s. The number of …

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Fed Make Emergency Interest Rate Cut

Yikes. It’s gonna be a grim day on Wall Street. The Federal Reserve, responding to an international stock sell-off and the likelihood of a sharp drop in America on Tuesday morning, cut its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point. The Federal Open Market Committee lowered its target for the federal funds rate on overnight loans between banks …

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