October 2008

October 2008

October 2008

Economic news: “No complaint is more common than that of a scarcity of money.” ~ Adam Smith

It’s Siberia for “hot, hot, hot.” Out with the old (as in “so yesterday”) and in with the new. According to UNC Professor Connie Eble, “hot,” which once sizzled, has fizzled on campus. It has entered the Graveyard of Dated Slang, she says, where also rest “nerd,” “man!” and “cool.” Its new placeholder in the colloquial current? “Fierce.”

Lunch or labor. Senior executives polled at the 1,000 largest companies nationwide say their lunch break has dwindled to 35 minutes, compared to 42 minutes five years ago. Many managers claim to work through lunch more than half of the workweek. Take a walk. Get a sandwich. Heck, buy a candy bar.

News turbulence, slightly delayed. United Airlines suffered a billion-dollar loss in value last month after a six-year-old Chicago Tribune article about the company’s 2002 bankruptcy filing suddenly resurfaced on a Bloomberg news feed, then on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Web site. Trading was suspended. The airline demanded a retraction. An investigation is underway.

Court or bank? You decide. Plaintiffs who go to trial may not realize the gamble they are taking when they decline a settlement offer. Settling is generally more lucrative than going to trial, says The National Law Journal. A study highlighting 2,100 cases that went to trial from 2002 to 2005 shows the verdict brought them less money than the settlement offer in six out of ten cases.

Magister’s return. Middle school students are keen on Latin, especially in remote areas of New Mexico,
Alaska and Vermont. The number of students taking the National Latin Exam increased to more than 134,000 last year, compared to 101,000 in 1998. Similarly, the number of students taking the advanced placement test in Latin has almost doubled in the past 10 years.

The Myopic Manager. Improve employee morale, the board told the new boss. Support is slipping.
Complaints are rising. There’s talk of union organizing. The new leader announced the formation of an
employee choir. Sing if you must, but the first step is always to determine with precision the discords of
employee unrest.

Thanks for reading.

Nancy Davis, former Vice President of Investor Relations at BellSouth, joins our practice in that area. She is experienced in every phase of investor management in critical times.

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