Tag Archives: business

A survey of 400 chief financial officers finds that nearly half plan to cut back on employment because of Obamacare.

A survey of 400 chief financial officers finds that nearly half plan to cut back on employment because of Obamacare.

And there’s also this:

Besides altering the makeup of their workforces, companies said they also plan to change the health benefit packages offered to employees. “Two-thirds of companies will change health benefits in response to ACA,” reads the Fuqua/CFO Magazine report summary. Forty-four percent of CFOs said they are considering reducing health benefits for employees. Thirty-eight percent said that employees and retirees may be forced to contribute more to their health plans.

“The inadequacies of the ACA website have grabbed a lot of attention, even though many of those issues have been or can be fixed,” said John Graham, Duke Fuqua School of Business finance professor and director of the survey, in a press release. “Our survey points to a more detrimental and potentially long-lasting problem. An unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act will be a reduction in full-time employment growth in the United States,” the study says. [emphasis mine]

So, tell me again why the Republicans in Congress should not challenge the Democrats over Obamacare?

The volume of U.S. air traffic hit a ten year low last year.

The volume of U.S. air traffic hit a ten year low last year.

Though the state of the economy has a lot to do with this, another factor are the millions of travelers like myself who now choose to drive rather than fly to avoid TSA abuse and unreasonable baggage fees. The airlines themselves have to got stop doing things that hurt their customers and instead back those customers to the hilt, even if it means challenging the federal government’s efforts to control air travel.

And in a related story: TSA screeners force a woman to go through the body scanner three times after telling her she had a “cute” figure.

The astonishing collapse of MF Global

The astonishing collapse of MF Global.

The failure of broker MF Global is a unique event in the annals of American corporate history: To my knowledge, it’s the first time a CEO singlehandedly bankrupted his firm through actions that the board of directors was not only knowledgeable of, but had indeed expressly sanctioned. “That takes some talent!” quipped Roderick Hills, a former chairman of the SEC.

The article is long, detailed, and thorough. It describes a deep corruption that should chill the spine of anyone who has money in the investment world.

I must note that I do not advocate more regulations to eliminate this corruption. Such regulations never work. Take for example this quote from the article, describing the accounting systems that are required by law to prevent a client’s funds from being misused:

As noted above, it’s a major part of the CEO’s job to put the proper systems in place. In fact, regulations implemented through Sarbanes-Oxley — a bill that Corzine co-wrote while he was a senator — require that the CEO and CFO sign off on the effectiveness of the controls over financial reporting. … If those proper “controls and procedures” were in place, a breach of segregated client funds should have set off loud, blaring, obnoxious alarms that would have alerted management to that breach.

In the case of Jon Corzine and MF Global, those controls were obviously not in place, and thus the Sarbanes-Oxley bill wasn’t worth the paper that Corzine used to write the bill.

Rather than more regulations, what works is very simple and can be summed by two words: “Buyer beware.” Investors (as well as voters considering the political ambitions of Corzine and his friends) have to be more skeptical of whom they put their trust in. You have to protect yourself. You can’t ask others to do it for you.

66 Percent of CEOs Plan to Freeze or Downsize Workforce Size

Two-thirds of the country’s CEOs plan to freeze or downsize their workforce over the next year, according to a new survey.

“As I approach my 44th year in business, the last 20 as CEO, I can never remember a time when I felt so disenfranchised from our leadership in Washington. They seem determined to continue their ongoing anti-business attitude and to frustrate small and mid-sized businesses by uncertainty on taxes, government regulations, and simply too many bureaucratic restrictions. We desperately need a change in Washington.”

I guarantee that much of this reluctance to hire stems from uncertainty and fear of Obamacare and the regulations it brings.

Dow dives below 12,000

The Dow today dived below 12,000, a nine-month low.

The report above tries to look past the just signed debt agreement, but I wonder if maybe it was the debt deal itself that worried investors, since the deal really did little to gain control of the federal government’s out-of-control spending.

Update: “The joint committee process is yet another promise by Congress that it will get spending under control — just not now, but rather some time in the future, always in the future.”

New York City business owners sick over ObamaCare

New York City business owners are sick over Obamacare.

Small to mid-size businesses, which generate close to 70 percent of US jobs, fear ObamaCare could bury them in colossal bills and future paperwork, and are now paying the price as premiums have soared in anticipation of the new regulation. “ObamaCare has been very negative for our business,” Moishe Heimowitz, principal at First Medcare, a 50-employee medical practice based in Canarsie, told The Post. “The high costs of ObamaCare and our present health-care costs have impeded our efforts to hire more people.” [emphasis mine]

Obamacare has done nothing it promised. Why don’t we just bite the bullet, show some courage, and repeal the damn thing before it does more harm?

Cable subscribers flee to internet

More technology disruption! Cable companies are losing subscribers, and it appears they are shifting their video viewing to the internet. Key quote:

Consumers who use the Internet to get their movies and TV shows bypass not just the cable companies, but the cable networks that produce the content. The move could have the same disruptive effect on the TV and movie industries as digital downloads have had on music.

New Zealand might lose $700 million in movie business due to union

Talk about stupid: New Zealand might lose $700 million in movie production business due to a boycott by an Australian-based actors union. Fun quote:

Fifteen hundred workers, including directors, technicians and crew who [oppose the actors union], met at . . . Miramar Studios at 5pm for an emergency meeting this evening. By 7pm, they were storming the Actors Equity meeting in the city.

Jeff Foust analysis of the New Space business

Jeff Foust of the Space Review has written an excellent analysis today explaining why some new space companies have succeeded (SpaceX) and some have failed (Rocketplane). Key quote:

If your business plan requires hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, and your founders don’t have that money available themselves, it may be wise to reconsider that plan in favor of an effort that can bootstrap itself with much less funding.