I don't know if it will deliver unto you the same sort of gratification you get from, say, voting for an American icon, er ...idol, but The Wall Street Journal this morning is running a poll about whether Chrysler should merge with General Motors. As of 7:40 a.m. EST, sentiment was running towards nay in one form or another.
"Yes" received 68 votes (34.9%); "no, it should merge with another company" got 75 nods (38.5%), and just plain "no, it should remain independent" received 52 affirmations (26.7%). There were 195 votes; for the record, we abstained.
It's all part of a more traditional form of journalism that gives the reader what it thinks we need to know, that being the fact that Chrysler is considering joining the existing manufacturing and development alliance between Nissan and Renault. Still, Chrysler's majority owner, Cerberus Capital Management LP, would prefer a deal with GM in which it takes control of Chrysler, sources say.
A Brandweek article maintains that whoever purchases or aligns with Chrysler will be doing so primarily to wrap its paws around brand Jeep.
Late-breaking word has it that billionaire financier Kirk Kerkorian is shedding his stake in Ford to focus on the gaming, hospitality, and oil and gas industries. There may or may not be a moral there, but there's definitely a developing story. Read the whole story...
Only France, Greece and Spain have bucked the trend of a widening gap between rich and poor over the past 20 years, according to a report issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The greatest inequality in incomes was found in Mexico and Turkey, followed by Portugal and the United States. Denmark and Sweden were the most equal societies in terms of income.
"Rich households in America have been leaving both middle and poorer income groups behind," says the OECD. "This has happened in many countries but nowhere has this trend been so stark as in the United States," says the OECD.
The average annual income of the richest 10% in the U.S. -- $93,000 -- was the highest in the OECD. The poorest 10% earned $5,800, "about 20% lower than the average for OECD countries," according to the study. The biggest reason for the increase in inequality was changes in the labor market, with low-skilled workers experiencing "ever-greater problems in finding jobs." Read the whole story...
The Post reports that Goldman Sachs honcho Lloyd Blankfein "is behind a deal to help bankroll" a $100 million venture between the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys to start a concessions company that will improve the food experience at the stadiums each team is building and expect to occupy next year.
The story, by Paul Tharp and Irene Plagianos, focuses on the business aspects of the deal. It points out, for example, that the arrangement is a blow to Aramark, which has $12 billion in annual revenue and went private last year in a deal financed largely by Goldman Sachs. It quotes Yankee scion Hal Steinbrenner: "Fans want, and deserve, a better experience for their sports entertainment dollars."
The Times' Richard Sandomir , on the other hand, leads with the fact that the announcement came "with a bonus DVD of a chat between George Steinbrenner, the principal owner of the Yankees, and Jerry Jones, the Cowboys' owner."
Sandomir then generously provides some of the sappy dialogue between the two. In the end, you can't help but feel bad for George -- "his face puffy and his eyes covered by sunglasses" -- who is becoming a sentimental favorite as quickly as his actual influence recedes. Thankfully, however, neither story refers to The Boss as iconic. Read the whole story...
I did a whole riff on the overuse of "iconic" on Monday only to spot this headline in Adweek this morning: "Iconic Bakery IBC Taps Grey." Ironic they should name the bakery Iconic, I thought.
Iconic, it turns out, is an adjective, and IBC stands for Interstate Bakeries Corp., the maker of Wonder Bread, Twinkies, Home Pride, Beefsteak "and the recently launched natural bread line Nature's Pride."
While we're on the subject of Wonder, does iconic pass down from generation to generation, like the snootiness of bluebloods? In other words, is Nature's Pride iconic at birth?
But wait, there's more. Now faux spokesicon Juan Valdez has become an iconic brand in and of himself.
Yes, indeedy, it has been a slow news morning. Read the whole story...
MillerCoors CMO Andy England cites weakness in the "malternative" segment. Retailers are being asked to put Sparks where Zima used to be. Read the whole story...