March 13, 2012
If a former U.S. secretary of the Treasury is diversifying away from the American dollar, the rest of us had better pay attention. Robert Rubin, who as U.S. Treasury secretary in the 1990s heralded a strong-dollar policy, last week announced that he has too much of his personal investments tied up in the greenback. A "disproportionate amount" of his assets are in cash and he "should be more allocated away from the dollar," Rubin, 73, told the TradeTech conference in New York.
March 11, 2012 |
We're used to the occasional gap between what some politicians claim and - how to put this delicately? - the facts. But even with suitably low standards, there was something breathtaking - a gap the size of the Grand Canyon - in Newt Gingrich's comments last week on gasoline prices. The former House speaker was urging Super Tuesday supporters to inculcate their friends with his vision of $2.50-a-gallon gas as a key reason to elect him to the White House. "Point out three numbers to them," Gingrich said.
March 11, 2012
John R. Lott Jr. and Grover G. Norquist are coauthors of the just-released book Debacle: Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future (John Wiley & Sons) With regular gas prices topping $3.70 last weekend, angry politicians are blaming the higher prices on speculators and greedy oil companies. On Monday, The Hill newspaper reported that 23 senators and 45 congressmen, all Democrats except for one independent, called for urgent action against the "speculators" they hold responsible.
February 12, 2012 |
Money's tight for Pennsylvania. But last month, a state agency went to Wall Street and borrowed $107 million to enrich a California hedge fund, a Wall Street bank, and other speculators in a Harrisburg office building. Result: Investors who bought bonds tied to the city's Forum Place at deep discounts are being paid full price to turn them in, giving them millions in profit. But state officials say that's still a good deal for taxpayers - because the new arrangement will allow state workers to park their cars at a discount.
February 6, 2012 |
It would, of course, be futile to speculate about how Jimi Hendrix would have evolved had he lived past the age of 27. But given his wide-ranging tastes and rumors of planned collaborations with the likes of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, it seems safe to assume that he would have at least crossed paths with the jazz-rock fusioneers of the 1970s. One possible outcome of such an alternative history was suggested at the Painted Bride on Saturday night. Guitarist David "Fuze" Fiuczynski played an eclectic set of radically rearranged songs by the late guitar wizard and others, from what vocalist Freedom Bremner referred to as "the Hendrix diaspora.
January 31, 2012 |
Over the summer, Alden Global Capital acquired 100 percent of the Yardley-based Journal Register Co. newspaper chain when it bought the shares owned by fellow hedge fund investors. Now Alden Global may be looking to reduce or sell its stake in the publisher of The Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, according to a report in the New York Post over the weekend. Word of the possible sale by the New York hedge fund that reportedly controls 30 percent of Philadelphia Media Network Inc. fanned speculation among employees and readers that the newspapers and Philly.com website might be headed to their third ownership change since 2006.
November 30, 2011 |
American Airlines and its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday to cut costs and restructure in a time of economic uncertainty and volatile fuel prices. The move prompted speculation that American might tie the knot with another big airline. The most likely suitor: US Airways Group Inc., Philadelphia's dominant airline. "We believe today's filing by American potentially works to the advantage of US Airways," analyst Kevin Crissey, of UBS Securities L.L.C., wrote in a client note.
November 20, 2011 |
Seven games. After 220 games, the most of any Eagles coach ever, the ninth most of any NFL coach who stayed with one franchise, Andy Reid's future in Philadelphia has come down to just seven games. Or has it? In this city, in the newspapers, on the talk radio airwaves, by the office water coolers, Reid's days appear to be numbered after the Eagles' 3-6 start. It is the most disappointing start in Philadelphia sports history since the roof blew off the Spectrum. The question being debated by Eagles observers from Allegheny to Andorra is: What kind of finish will it take for owner Jeffrey Lurie and team president Joe Banner to pull the plug on Reid's monolithic reign?
October 17, 2011 |
As rumors swirled over the summer that Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman was on her way out, many reacted by pointing fingers. Some claimed Mayor Nutter, State Rep. Dwight Evans, or former School Reform Commission Chairman Robert Archie Jr. were pressuring Ackerman to step down after three years. Others said Ackerman was engineering a buyout for her own departure. Nicholas D. Torres, cofounder of the online Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal, thought neither the speculation nor the blame was productive and decided to do something else: He rounded up local education experts and asked them to contribute essays for a special blog to look ahead, decide what the district needed in its next leader, and suggest ways to make sure that leader would be held accountable for delivering it. "We thought, 'However it plays out, how do we do it right in the future?
October 3, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - New Jersey Gov. Christie needs to decide soon whether to seek the GOP presidential nomination, Republicans said on the Sunday television news shows. On Sunday, Christie met with New Jersey National Guard members but stayed away from reporters, ignoring questions about whether he would run for president. He traveled to Sea Girt for a private breakfast with veterans and an awards ceremony for guardsmen at the National Guard Training Center. National Guard soldiers were instructed to keep reporters, photographers, and attendees cordoned off as Christie left.