Monthly Archives: April 2010

Sometimes good isn’t good enough

The U.S. gross domestic product grew at a rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter and consumer spending increased by 3.6 percent, the government reported today.

Normally, these kind of numbers would be cause for celebration, but investors weren’t impressed, pushing the Dow down more than 100 points in late afternoon trading.

Some analysts were expecting slightly higher growth in the GDP and some experts noted that 1Q growth was down from 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

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Tennessee good for biz, magazine says

Tennesseeis the third best state for business on Chief Executive magazine’s Best/Worst States for Business 2010.  That’s up from No. 5 last year.

Texas and North Carolina were the top two for 2010. The magazine rated states on taxation, workforce and living environment.

For what it’s worth, three high tax states — California, New York and Michigan — anchored the bottom of the list.

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Bredesen co-chairs webcast on jobs

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen on Monday will co-chair a U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Chamber Foundation webcast to discuss job creation and economic growth.

Bredesen will be joined by six other governors — Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota; Gov. Jack Markell, Delaware; Gov. Bill Richardson, New Mexico; Gov. Donald Carcieri, Rhode Island; Gov. Rick Perry, Texas and Gov. Joe Manchin, West Virginia.

The event highlights the chamber’s job creation campaign, American Free Enterprise. Dream Big.

The webcast can be accessed here.

Party of no, says yes — for now

It looks like the Republicans finally grew tired of being on the wrong side of public opinion. Some sort of financial regulation reform is likely now that the GOP has given up on a filibuster.

The next question is will the Democrats produce a bill that actually works.

Here’s more perspective.

Fox Business News: US Senate clears hurdle on financial-overhaul bill

CNN: GOP ends filibuster blocking financial reform debate

The New York Times: Republicans Allow Debate on Financial Overhaul

Dumb e-mail mistakes

Repeat after me: E-mail can get you in trouble.

One would think that by now allegedly smart people — like the boys at Goldman Sachs — would understand that e-mail lasts forever. If you write something stupid or incriminating, eventually it will come back to haunt you.

If your language is particularly colorful, it will go viral and your mother is going to hear about your potty mouth from people she doesn’t know.

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Free money from the IRS

The IRS today announced a bit of good news for employers and employees. That’s a sentence you rarely read.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, “health coverage provided for an employee’s children under 27 years of age is now generally tax-free to the employee,” according to a press release.

What this means is that companies with cafeteria plans can allow employees “to begin making pre-tax contributions to pay for this expanded benefit,” the IRS said. The release defines cafeteria plans as those “that allow employees to choose from a menu of tax-free benefit options and cash or taxable benefits.”

Details on the IRS guidance are available here.

Read the full press release here.

Palin e-mail hacker vs. past computer crimes

With a jury deciding David C. Kernell’s fate in the Sarah Palin e-mail hacking case, I find myself wondering that if he is convicted how will his sentence compare to the sentences of other computer hacking cases.

Will Kernell lose as many years of freedom as did Kevin Mitnick or a William Randolph Royere III?

Mitnick, you may recall, was once labeled the most wanted computer criminal in U.S. history. Royere is less well known, perhaps, but equally interesting in the annals of hacking crime.

For your brief reading pleasure, contrast and compare the Kernell case with that of Mitnick and Royere.

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Teens battle older workers for summer jobs

Teen hiring is expected to improve this summer as the economic recovery gathers strength, but the competition for jobs will be intense, says global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“It is unlikely that summer employment gains among teens will reach pre-recession levels, but we should definitely see increased hiring compared to 2008 and 2009, which experienced the weakest summer teen job growth since the 1950s,” John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a press release issued today.

However, teens looking for summer jobs in retail and food service “may compete with recent college graduates or older workers who need to supplement retirement income,” Challenger said.

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