Iceland blaming banks for its economic collapse; Obama pushes for space exploration, airline pilots living in trailers. I join The Wall Street Jounal’s News Hub in New York to talk about it all.
Archive for April, 2010
The North Face is part of a $7 billion corporation that couldn’t handle a gag by a teenager who looks just like Alfred E. Neuman. Click here to read column. I also talked about it on Fox Business News with David Asman.
Ask Al / Comments Off
The recession isn’t officially over until the National Bureau of Economic Research says it’s over. But NBER isn’t likely to do that for quite some time.
On Monday, the official arbiter of economic cycles, released a statement from it’s April 8 meeting, concluding that it’s not quite ready to call the recession, which began in December 2007, over.
“Many indicators are quite preliminary at this time and will be revised in coming months,” the group said in a statement.
Click here to read NBER’s statement. It’s not unusual for NBER to declare an end or a beginning of a recession more than a year after the fact. That’s because economic data is subject to revisions, months and months, after it is initially generated.
Still, a lot of the numbers aren’t so good.
Foreclosures, which set off this mess, continue at a record clip. Unemployment continues at nearly 10%. Commercial real estate woes linger on. Companies, while profitable, have yet to show significant top-line revenue growth. But the stock market is roaring back over 11,000, and there are enough signs of recovery – or at least economic stabilization – to have many economists declaring that the recession ended some time last year.
A recession is often in the eye of the beholder. How’s the recession treating you? Think it’s over?
Al On TV / Comments Off
United Airlines is reportedly back in merger talks with US Air, as both companies continue to bleed cash.
I talk about this off-again, on-again deal with Eric Kahnert of Denver’s 9News.
When will the foreclosure crisis end? Not this year.
I talk about it on a panel on Denver’s PBS.
Click here to watch.
A good friend of mine drove her BMW to the country club today, all tee-ed off about my column in which a handful of millionaires complained that their taxes were just too low and that all millionaires should have to pay higher taxes.
“What a bunch of jack-holes,” she complained over her cell phone. “Do they really think …. Wait, hold on a second, I’ve got to tee-off.”
She put her husband on the phone. He complained, too, until it was his turn to hit the ball.
I love it when a column I write interrupts a round of golf.
Click here to read column.
Media / Comments Off
Half of everybody is on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter or some other social networking site.
According to a survey released today by Arbitron Inc., 48% of Americans age 12 and older have posted a profile on at least one social networking site. That’s twice what it was just two years ago when 24% were doing this online.
According to the study, this includes:
• 78% of teens
• 77% of people age 18-24
• 65% of adults aged 25-34
• 51% of folks age 35-44
We have officially become a nation of digital voyeurs and narcissists. Heck, I’m 48 and I’m doing it, too.
Of those who have a profile, 30% use social networking several times a day.
Arbitron also asked Americans what media is “most essential” to their lives. For the first time, more people said the Internet than TV. Of those polled:
• 42% said the Internet
• 37% said television
• 14% said radio
• 5% said newspapers
Kids these days. They don’t read newspapers. They don’t even rot their brains watching TV.
Click here to read more details on the study.
And if you want to read me, I guess you’ll have to “friend” me on Facebook. Click here for my Facebook profile.
Wall Street / Comments Off
Gambling is easy when you do it with other people’s money. Just ask Morgan Stanley. The giant Wall Street firm is about to take a substantial loss on its $1.2 billion investment in an Atlantic City casino.
Click here to read column.
A just-released Harris Poll shows the housing bubble is still collapsing.
Of mortgage holders polled:
* 24% said they think they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
* 11% said they are having “a great deal of difficulty” in paying off their mortgage.
* 18% said they are having “some difficulty.”
* 65% are concerned that their families’ incomes “will not be enough to cover all their costs and expenses this year.”
“These findings underline the very large number of people whose homes are worth less than their outstanding mortgages and the even larger numbers who are worried about covering their costs and expenses generally,” Harris said in a press release. “If the percentages are converted into numbers, approximately 27 million adults believe they are “under water” – that their houses are worth less than their mortgage debts.”
Click here to read the full report.