Monthly Archives: July 2010

Milken: Economy not as gloomy as you may think

In contrast to the depressing attitude of many pundits and politicians, a new study by the Milken Institute says there is clear evidence that the economy is doing better than generally believed.

“Despite the formidable obstacles in its path, the U.S. economy remains flexible and resilient — and right now, it has more underlying momentum than is generally acknowledged. Our projections show cause for measured optimism: A return to modest but sustainable growth is close at hand,” says the report “From Recession to Recovery: Analyzing America’s Return to Growth”.

Tha author of the California think tank’s report, Ross C. DeVol, admits his analysis runs counter to “the dark tone of the current debate about where the economy is headed.”

 

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Flying — It’s all about customer service

Posted by guest blogger Kevin Slimp, a columnist, speaker and director of the Institute of Newspaper Technology.

Jim Evans is the Vice President of Marketing for the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority. I’ve never met him, but I hope to. He seems like a very nice guy.

Jim has written to me several times about my recent problems getting to Knoxville on Delta airlines. He even went so far as to contact someone with authority at Delta to have them look into these difficulties. Jim is very good at his job. Delta could learn a lot from him.

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One more reason to pass the small biz lending plan

UPDATE: Politics rears its head, small business loses.

Republicans block small business lending bill

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The National Small Business Association’s mid-year economic report doesn’t offer much encouragement to those looking for reasons to be optimistic about the economy.

But the report offers the best argument yet for passage of the $30 billion small business lending program being considered by the Senate.

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Competitive lockpicking — this is sport?

Protecting your business and home from the bad guys is tough enough and now there’s “locksport.”

Competitive+Lockpicking.jpgApparently there’s a competitive movement afoot “that involves learning the theory of locks, analyzing the devices and figuring out ways to quickly defeat the systems without destroying them,” the Associated Press reports.

Sport? Would  that be the summer or winter Olympics?

Sems a bit odd to me.

How long will it be before we see this police report?

“But, Officer, we were just practicing locksport!”

The Open Organization of Lockpickers

Photo: Associated Press/ Josh Reynolds

In this July 2, 2010 photo, competitive lockpicker Schuyler Towne, center, teaches Alex Kalamaroff, right, about a type of lock during a competitive lockpicking class. in Somerville, Mass.

 

Kevin’s adventures with Delta continue

Posted by guest blogger Kevin Slimp, a columnist, speaker and director of the Institute of Newspaper Technology.

As a writer, sometimes stories come too easy. Such has been the case with my Delta
Kevin_Slimp.jpg
dilemma over the past two months.

You may have read my guest column for the News Sentinel July 18 concerning my recent problems flying – or more aptly, not flying – Delta airlines. Seems I  have the luck of booking a lot of flights that never make it to their destinations.

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Brookings: Metro markets key to export growth

Metropolitan areas will play a major role in increasing U.S. exports, says a new study by the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy organization.

Knoxville is one of the smaller metro markets in the country, but it is holding its own when it comes to export growth, according to “Export Nation,” the study released Monday.

Metro Knoxville currently is the 72nd largest export market in the country, producing about $3.5 billion worth of exported goods and services, the study says.

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Clinton wedding good for the economy

I was at the gym this morning working off last night’s M&M Pretzels when I had a great idea to help the economy.

To be fair, the credit should go to Fox news.

The Fox folk were making fun of how much former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are paying for their daughter Chelsea’s upcoming wedding — $3 million, maybe as much as $5 million, according to various reports.

As the Fox story played across the screen, I thought, sure, this is a lot of money and I hope my girls don’t get any ideas, but what a boost to the economy.

 

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Meeting set on Knoxville trade with Japan

Developing business connections between companies in Knoxville and Kitakyushu, Japan  will be the focus of a meeting Thursday at the Knoxville Chamber.

A business delegation from Kitakyushu will be in town to meet with local businesses and government officials to talk about trade opportunities.

Any chamber member can attend, but the focus of the meeting will be on environmental- and energy-related business.

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Does FedEx outlook bode well for economy? — Yes

Global delivery company FedEx today boosted its earnings forecast, providing a glimmer of hope for better times in 2011.

The Memphis-based company upped its earnings outlook for its current quarter and the fiscal year that ends next May.

Earns+FedEx(2).jpgThe answer to the headline question is “yes,” especially when you consider that FedEx’s competitor UPS last week raised its own earnings outlook.

 

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Analysts get it wrong — ET companies doing well

Second quarter earnings are turning out pretty good for publicly traded companies with East Tennessee connections — much to the surprise of analysts.

restaurant03.SY%2311158.jpgOn Thursday, Greeneville-based air freight company Forward Air reported its 2Q profit nearly tripled and Maryville-based restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday reported a profit of $21 million, up 45 percent from a year ago.

Earlier this month, aluminum maker Alcoa reported a profit of $136 million, a reversal of fortune from a loss of $454M a year ago. Even First Horizon National Corp., parent of First Tennessee bank, has returned to profitability with a slender profit of $2.7 million, or 1 cent per share.

Will the trend continue? Will analysts predictions be any better?

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