Minyanville's Business Briefs Exposed
Business Briefs from a uniquely Minyanville perspective.
Editor's Note: Relax, it's only money.
Here in the 'Ville we like to keep things smart, but we also love to laugh. All work and no play...you know how it goes. With that in mind we proudly introduce The "Off-Balance Sheet", a place where Minyans can experience humorous takes on the world of finance, personal stories from our Professors and Minyans and all the other stuff that makes life worth living. So take a break from the flickering ticks and dive in.
The business world can be tough. After all, it's a dog-eat-dog world out there. So after a busy week of eating... uh... dogs... or something... we find it helps take the edge off to consider the week's top Business Briefs from a uniquely Minyanville perspective.
Oil Consumption Decline Blamed On Increased Energy Drink Sales
Oil consumption in the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development declined for the first time in more than 20 years last year, according to the International Energy Agency. Industry-watchers blamed the decline in the consumption of oil on changing tastes, healthier lifestyles and an increase in the consumption of flavored energy drinks.
Johnson Controls Fall Short of Expectations
Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) on Friday said its fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 2 percent, as revenue declined due to a lack of demand for Johnson Controls in its key market segment, men. Analysts polled by Minyanville, however, predicted a surge in demand for more and improved Johnson Controls ahead of the weekend.
Analyst Downgrade Creates Bitter Gang Rivalry
Harley-Davidson (HOG) said on Friday that while U.S. sales were flat, strong international sales helped drive fourth quarter profits up 9.7 percent. Meanwhile, analysts at Robert W. Baird, AG Edwards, and Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to "neutral", but immediately raised it back to "strong buy" after an analyst was shanked on his way to the subway by a member of the Mongols.
Federal Prosecutors Vowel More Investigation
Federal prosecutors are intensifying their probe into stock-option manipulation by former Monster.com general counsel Myron Olesnyckyj. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office says other high-ranking Monster executives may soon be named in the investigation, including Al Fydswrioznk, Nancy Pjklsdfertgvbr, Jim Rlopperasimovnd, and Zbignieurwekndk Johnson.
Power Company Blamed for Power Failure
New York state regulators released a report yesterday placing the blame for last July's blackout in the borough of Queens squarely in the lap of utility Consolidated Edison (ED). The New York Public Service Commission maintains that Con Ed failed to respond quickly enough, leaving more than 174,000 people without power for almost a week. Con Ed later issued a statement of their own, applauding the Commission for taking just seven months to inform the public that the power failure was the power company's fault.
Time Editor Briefly Considers Assigning Layoff Story to Soon-To-Be-Laid Off Time Reporter
Time Inc. laid off nearly 300 people yesterday at its top magazines, including its most profitable magazine, People, which is shutting down bureaus in Washington, Miami, Chicago and Austin, Texas, and is changing its name to Person. The cuts will also affect Fortune magazine, which is reportedly laying off the gardner and personal trainer and changing its name to Fairly Well Off.
Ford Chief Secretly Vows to Quietly Make Up for Lost Company Perk in Office Supplies
Mark Fields, the chief of Ford's North American business, told employees on Thursday he will no longer use the company jet to fly home for free to South Florida from Detroit on weekends, a perk that reportedly cost the company as much as $200,000 per quarter. In related news, Mr. Fields also announced that effective immediately the North American division of Ford will cease production of cars and instead make free private jets that he can use to fly down to his home in South Florida from Detroit on weekends.
TJX Companies Customer Data Stolen by Savvy Bargain Hunting Hackers
TJX Companies, the retailer that operates TJ Maxx and Marshalls discount clothing chains, said sensitive customer data was obtained by identity thieves. Authorities have narrowed the list of suspects to a gang of computer hackers wearing very nice, if slightly ill-fitting, designer clothes with a few small, but barely noticeable, imperfections.
Trade Tensions Rise as Chinese Blame McDonald's for MSG Dumping
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) opened its first drive-thru in Beijing on Friday, launching a partnership with a major Chinese oil company to set up dozens of drive-thrus around the city. The menu features several differences from Western McDonalds menus, notably the McMSG sandwich.
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