July 22, 2015 |
Onetime Philadelphian Melody Gardot, a jazz folkie with a Billie Holiday-like quiver to her voice, had a personal misfortune that might have spelled the end of a music career. Now 30, the pianist, then a fashion major at Community College of Philadelphia, was struck by a sport-utility vehicle in 2003, an accident that shattered her pelvis and left her with extreme photosensitivity, as well as autonomic nervous system dysfunction that makes her hypersensitive to loud noise. It's hard not to read that backstory into the quirky calm of Gardot albums - spare, reedy efforts like 2008's Worrisome Heart and 2009's My One and Only Thrill , or the lush, samba-inflected The Absence of 2012.
July 2, 2015
EVERY Philadelphian owes a debt of gratitude to Alexander Hamilton. He is much more than the somewhat dour face on the $10 bill. The man was the first treasury secretary of the United States, established the first major national bank and almost single-handedly wrote the U.S. Constitution (with some able assistance from James Madison.) It is this last achievement that ensures that Philadelphia will be eternally associated with the greatest single document written by men. But the "men" part has become a bit problematic in recent years, given the fact that there is not one piece of paper currency that bears the image of an important historical female.
June 24, 2015 |
Many Americans today may have little knowledge of the man on the $10 bill: Alexander Hamilton, the onetime Philadelphian famous for his early contributions to the country's financial system and the Federalist papers. But some with a more personal connection to the founding father - his direct descendants - are grappling with the Treasury Department's recent decision to demote their ancestor, who may share the ten-spot in some capacity when it is redesigned in 2020 to feature a woman.
March 17, 2015 |
Every nation, it seems, is devaluing its currency. The governments of Japan, Canada, the eurozone, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Russia, and some South American countries are all debasing their currencies - deliberately, to help their economies. What it does is make imports from those countries significantly cheaper than U.S. products. You don't have to be a genius to figure out that, as a result, demand for American products will slow and foreign imports will displace homegrown goods.
January 29, 2015 |
Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. might grow, or break up, or some combination of both. Chief executive officer Ian Read said Tuesday that Pfizer will keep looking for companies to buy and is taking the next steps to see whether its pieces are worth more than the sum of its parts. Pfizer has said that it tried to buy AstraZeneca in 2014, and it reportedly inquired about buying Actavis and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. AstraZeneca, Teva, and Actavis all have operations in the Philadelphia region.
January 25, 2015 |
COLUMBUS, Ohio - With each cent the Canadian dollar drops in relation to its American counterpart, so too may Ron Hextall's chances to hasten the Flyers' rebuild. At the NHL's Board of Governors meetings in Florida in early December, commissioner Gary Bettman suggested next season's salary cap might rise to $73 million from this year's $69 million limit. When he made that prediction, the Canadian loonie was trading at 89 cents to one American dollar. Yesterday, it closed at 80 cents on the market.
December 8, 2013 |
They met by night, in the glow of a Wells Fargo ATM. Twenty men ages 20 to (if you count me) 60. Some dark conspiracy? No. This was a meet-up of the Philly Bitcoin Society at 30th Street Station on Thursday. Announced on Meetup.com, Facebook, and elsewhere, this was a gathering of people excited by one thing: Bitcoin. Wait. What? Bitcoin is a Web-based system of monetary exchange. It went live in January 2009. Its inventor's pseudonym is Satoshi Nakamoto, one of the world's most famous fictional people.
August 5, 2013 |
John V. Gedeon, 101, of Abington, a retired printer and engraver who helped print the nation's currency, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday, July 23, at Abington Hospice at Warminster. He stayed vigorous and mentally sharp, writing his own checks until a week before his death, said his daughter, Kathy Gedeon Scott. Born in Cleveland, Mr. Gedeon graduated from West Technical High School in 1930. He worked for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, where he managed and operated printing presses and engraving machinery to print money.
July 1, 2013 |
Processing a credit-card charge for overseas purchases used to be pretty simple. You swiped your card while on vacation, your bank changed the money from pesos or euros into greenbacks, and the amount you spent appeared on your bill. Maybe you paid a small conversion fee, but you also got a competitive exchange rate. Not anymore. Just ask Jae Cuadra, who recently tried to buy a round-trip train ticket between the Swiss cities of Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. The purchase at a train station in Interlaken went on his Capital One Visa card, which doesn't charge to convert foreign currencies.
February 20, 2013 |
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said he urged finance chiefs from the Group of 20 nations to be prudent when talking about currency movements. During a G-20 meeting in Moscow last week, "I urged all parties to very, very strong verbal discipline" because "the less we talk about it, the better it is," Draghi told European lawmakers in Brussels on Monday. "Exchange rates should reflect fundamentals" and "looking at the real and nominal exchange rates of the euro, it is by and large around its long-term averages," he added.