Monday, October 28, 2013

New Normal, Mediocrity

IBM's 'New Normal' of Mediocrity
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "Quicksand" was the best way I could describe IBM's (IBM) recent revenue performances, which have been in a perpetual decline over ...

Memphis airport figuring out new normal after Delta
Memphis Business Journal
Although flights are down, Memphis International Airport is seeing a slight bump in passengers whose journey either starts or ends in the Bluff City.

Georgia's Surprising New Normal - by Michael Cecire
Foreign Policy (blog)
Georgia's Surprising New Normal. For the first time in recent memory, Georgia's presidential race isn't about the big names....

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Train Disasters, New Normal

Ottawa must improve rail safety or disasters will be the 'new normal ...
The Globe and Mail
Train disasters such as Saturday's derailment in Alberta will become the “newnormal” unless Ottawa tightens safety rules for shipping dangerous goods by rail, ...

The Globe and Mail

Train disasters the 'new normal' unless rail safety rules are changed ...
The Province
TORONTO — Train disasters such as Saturday's derailment in Alberta will become the “new normal” unless Ottawa tightens safety rules for shipping dangerous ...

Train disasters could become the 'new normal', Greenpeace ...
CTV News
Train disasters could become the 'new normal', Greenpeace Canada warns ... this will become thenew normal," he said Saturday in a phone interview from ...

Train disasters the 'new normal': group
Cambridge Times
TORONTO - Train disasters such as Saturday's derailment in Alberta will become the "new normal" unless Ottawa tightens safety rules for shipping dangerous ...

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Henry Evans, mute quadriplegic, robotics pioneer

Q&A with Henry Evans, mute quadriplegic and robotics pioneer - " . . . .In the next few hours, Evans' life would change dramatically. Diagnosed with a strokelike brainstem disorder, the father of four was left mute and quadriplegic, his mental faculties fully intact, but able to move only one finger. After years of therapy, Evans has thrived. Using a head-tracking device and a laser pointer to spell out words on a letter board, he has written a cookbook, launched a small winery that his wife tends to, and started working with researchers on using robots to help the severely disabled become more self-sufficient. . . ." (read more at link above)

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Monday, October 21, 2013

New Normal Low Return World

Living in a low return world | Abnormal Returns: " . . . Two points. The first is that technology and demography are not destiny. One can come up with any number of scenarios (good and bad) that would disturb this trend towards lower returns. The second is that a low-return world has huge implications for personal financial planning for society as a whole. US pension plans continue to project what seem to be too-high nominal financial market returns. If investors, both large and small, are unable to generate a return on their savings then it may be the case that savings, in addition to lifestyle changes, need to occur to allow for comfortable retirements. As Bernstein notes technology certainly plays a positive role here but so would a mandatory savings regime. These trends are longer term in nature and much will happen in the meantime to perturb financial markets. However as you go about thinking about working and financial lives keep in mind that while much in our lives has improved we cannot assume that financial market returns will provide us with abundant returns to boot."

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Friday, October 18, 2013

American Police Now Look Like Military in the Obama Police State

America's police are looking more and more like the military | Michael Shank and Elizabeth Beavers | Comment is free | "America's streets are looking more and more like a war zone. Last week, in a small county in upstate New York with a population of roughly 120,000 people, county legislators approved the receipt of a 20-ton Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, donated by the US Defense Department to the county sheriff. Between the Armored Personnel Carriers locking down main streets in major American cities – mimicking our MRAPs in Afghanistan – or Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) and Special Forces units canvassing our country, if we're not careful, this militarization of our domestic policing will make-over America, and fast. Here's how it all happened. A little-known Pentagon program has been quietly militarizing American police forces for years. A total of $4.2bn worth of equipment has been distributed by the Defense Department to municipal law enforcement agencies, with a record $546m in 2012 alone. . . ."

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tax Subsidies, Plant and Equipment, Anti-Growth

RealClearMarkets - Why Tax Subsidies For Plant & Equipment Are Anti-Growth" . . . when the tax code is written to encourage equipment buys through subsidy of same, the availability of capital goods is distorted. While FedEx may hold off on buying new delivery trucks absent tax subidies that lower the cost of doing so, it may enter the market for new capital goods if the subsidy is offered. If so, FedEx's accession of always limited equipment may deter a future Dennis Washington from buying what's needed to start a business thanks to the tax subsidy making competition for capital goods greater than it would otherwise be. . . ." (read more at the link above)

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Broken American Dream, New Normal

America’s Broken Dream by Carol Graham - Project Syndicate: " . . . Reducing inequality will require long-term, comprehensive solutions, such as fiscal-policy reforms that reward public investment in health and education without adding disincentives to an already cumbersome tax code. But pursuing such measures requires significant political will, which the US seems to be lacking. Indeed, given political paralysis at the national level, initiating a constructive debate about an issue as divisive and consequential as inequality will depend largely on the American public. If more people recognized the constraints that inequality places on their future prospects, they would be likely to press policymakers to confront it. . . . " (read more at link above)

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Scared Workers, New Normal

RealClearMarkets - In Today's World, Workers Are Scared: "The weak job market has a semi-permanence unlike anything seen since World War II, and the effects on public opinion extend beyond the unemployed. "People's expectations have been really ratcheted down for what they can expect for themselves and their children," says EPI economist Lawrence Mishel. There's a sense "that the economy just doesn't produce good jobs anymore." Possible job loss becomes more threatening because finding a new job is harder. Says Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center: "Security is valued more than money because it's so fragile.""

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Keynes, Old Keynesians, New Keynesians, New Normal

Why Keynes wouldn’t have too rosy a view of our economic future: "The technical term for this sickness is the output gap, or the gap between what we could be producing and what we are producing. It’s been remarkably constant through the “recovery.” As Neil Irwin wrote earlier this year, professional projections from the Federal Reserve have argued for several years now that a recovery — in which the economy closes this output gap and job growth soars — is just around the corner. And as of this year, they’re still insisting a turnaround is imminent. Once again they are saying that economy is weak right now, but it’ll close the gap in a year or two. But what if the gap never closes? What if it could stay on this parallel track forever? The answer matters. It matters for how, or whether, the Great Recession will end. Thus it matters for government policy. But it also matters because this question has historically been one of the most contentious in economic theory. It is what separates John Maynard Keynes from his predecessors, and it is what separates “Old Keynesians” from “New Keynesians.”"

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall of Lehman, What Might Have Been, New Normal

What Might Have Been, and the Fall of Lehman - "The decision not to rescue Lehman has been called a mistake and worse. Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister at the time, called it “horrendous.” No one suggested Lehman deserved to be saved. But the argument has been made that the crisis might have been less severe if it had been saved, because Lehman’s failure created remarkable uncertainty in the market as investors became confused about the role of the government and whether it was picking winners and losers. The government had bailed out Bear Stearns and then nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but left Lehman for dead only to turn around and save A.I.G. Henry M. Paulson Jr., the Treasury secretary at the time, has suggested that the government didn’t have a choice because it lacked the proper tools to take over Lehman without a willing buyer. The British government pulled the plug on Barclays’s 11th-hour bid, a brilliant decision in retrospect." (read more at link above)

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Friday, October 4, 2013

New Normal, Vacant Buildings

Downtown St. Louis already has a relatively high office vacancy rate: 13.8 percent of higher-end "Class A" space sits empty, according to brokerage firm CBRE.

ST. LOUIS: AT&T to vacate downtown St. Louis building - Business Breaking News - "One of the largest office buildings in downtown St. Louis will be mostly vacant by 2015 after AT&T announced plans to move employees out of the building and relocate them elsewhere around the St. Louis area. AT&T announced Thursday that it will move about 2,000 workers out of the 44-story building to other buildings downtown and to west St. Louis County. The company says it no longer needs the space as more employees work from home."

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Normal, Obamacare Effects, Who is getting hired?

Since we know that the population has grown by over 13,000,000 since 2007 yet we have 1.8 million less jobs since then, what does this tell us?  Jobs were lost in every age bracket but the 55+ group, with 16-19 dropping 22.6%, 20-24 falling 2.6%, 25-54 going down 5.9% and 55+ going up 22.7%. (source infra)

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Where are the Jobs? Who Has Them? Who's Likely to Get Them?: " . . . Ironically, older part-time workers remaining in or reentering the labor force will be cheaper to hire in many cases than younger workers. The reason is Boomers 65 and older will be covered by Medicare (not Obamacare) and will not require as many benefits as will younger workers, especially those with families. . . ." (read more at link above)

The New Normal: All of the net increase in jobs in the Obama Presidency is going to the 55+ age group. So how's that Hope and Change working out for you?

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New Normal - Google News