Explaining Southern California's economy

How will small banks handle Bank Transfer Day?

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An Occupy Wall Street image for Bank Transfer Day.

Even though Bank of America has made the unusual decision to rescind its proposed $5 debit-card fee, apparently bowing to the consumer revolt that this fee provoked, plenty of customers may still move their accounts to credit unions and community banks on Bank Transfer Day this Saturday. Credit unions are launching efforts to promote themselves to prospective depositors; some are also expanding their banking hours.

There's skepticism that customers really will migrate from big banks to small banks en masse; a previous attempt to spur a revolt, promoted by the Huffington Post, didn't have much impact. And even if hundred of thousands of customers make the move, that's unlikely to significantly damage large banks, like BofA, Wells Fargo, and Chase, which have billions in deposits. There would need to be a Bank Transfer Day...pretty much every day to make a difference.

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Reportings: MF Global; Yahoo takeover; debit-card fees; Tribune bankruptcy

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Person using debit card

MF Global, the bankrupt wannabe global investment bank run by Goldman Sachs alum and former New Jersey governor Job Corzine, may have been mixing client money with its own funds, a definite no-no: "'While we are unable to determine the precise scope of the firm's violation at this time, we are investigating the circumstances of the firm's failure,'" [Chicago Mercantile exchange CEO Craig] Donohue said in a conference call about his company's quarterly financial results. (LAT)

 

Henry Blodget still wants to be the CEO of Yahoo, but now he wants the board to resign — because that's what Steve would demand: "Steve [Jobs] taught many people many things, and one of the things he has now taught me is that you need to set your terms upfront. Especially when dealing with a board that is, slowly but surely, destroying a once-great company." (BI)


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Video: Kim Kardashian and Ben Bernanke discuss economics, not divorce

[Note: This is fully SFW, but there's no shortage of double entendre.] Kim Kardashian has been married to New Jersey Net Kris Humphries for a mere 3-months but will soon be married no more.

Luckily, she has a promising career ahead as an economist. So says Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in the above video. I make no claims for its accuracy, but Kardashian is probably what you would call a born capitalist, so why not? I hear there's an opening at the Kansas City Fed, and post-divorce, Kim may want a change of scenery. 

Make sure you stick around for the end, when Ben and Kim discuss quantitative easing and Chinese ownership of U.S. assets.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure all 217 views of this on YouTube originated at 20th and Constitution in our nation's capital.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.

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Is this what Occupy Wall Street is all about?

Wall Street Protest Spreads To Other Cities

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 01: Protesters hold signs after a march to Los Angeles City Hall during the "Occupy Los Angeles" demonstration in solidarity with the ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" protest in New York City on October 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The protesters slogan, "We are the 99 percent," calls attention to the fact that marchers are not part of the one percent of Americans who hold a vast portion of the nation's wealth. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

I've been meaning to link to this post from a wonky econoblog, The Slack Wire, for a while, but I haven't gotten around to it. Given that I haven't posted about the Occupy Movement for a week or so, it seems like a good time:

The key thing is that at one point, large businesses really were run by people who, while autocratic within the firm and often vicious in defense of their privileges, really did identify with the particular businesses they managed and focused their energy on their survival and growth, and even on the sheer disinterested desire to do their kind of business well. You can find a few businesses that are still run like this -- I've been meaning to write a post on Steve Jobs -- but by far the dominant ethos among managers today is that a business exists only to enrich its shareholders, including, of course, senior managers themselves. Which they have done very successfully....

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The rage of the business traveler: Give us 'high touch' service

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A sign informs travelers about Millimeter Wave Detection technology used in full body scanners at Midway Airport in Chicago, Illinois.

In this economy, if you have a job, you should probably be happy. But if you have a job and you have to travel for it, that happiness might be under extreme stress. This is from the LA Times:

A survey released last week found that business executives rank rude hotel staff, intrusive security procedures and "steerage-like treatment" on crowded commercial planes as the worst parts of traveling for business.

Asked to pick the things they hate most about travel, 86% of executives said airport security screenings, 76% chose tiny, dirty commercial planes and 74% said impersonal treatment by hotel staff, according to the survey of about 3,000 business executives by Vitesse Worldwide, an executive travel firm in Connecticut.

"What comes through loud and clear is that an executive traveler isn't asking for high-priced service as much as high touch," said Shawn Abaspor, chief executive of Vitesse Worldwide.

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