I hope everyone has a great Christmas.
It’s been a special holiday season at our house. We’ve had visits from family and we’re headed to see the grandkids next week.
We had a bit of excitement a couple of days ago when the chimney caught fire. Thankfully, it burned itself out and there was no damage.
Here’s a “thank-you” to the crew from Rural Metro that checked to make sure the chimney was safe to use.
Happy New Year!
If you are a fan of tax breaks — the more obscure the better — spend a little time this holiday weekend reading the tax law President Obama signed recently.
There are tax breaks for windmills, rum subsidies, race horses and other goodies.
Or check out this story. It’s a quicker read.
More on the tax cuts from the White House White Board:
Tax Cuts, Unemployment Insurance & Jobs
If I was a believer in conspiracy theories — and maybe I am — oil and gasoline prices spiking just in time for the holiday travel season would make me wonder.
Oil is higher than it’s been in more than two years and the national average for gasoline has jumped over $3 a gallon.
Makes me wonder.
CNNMoney Video: Pain the gas
Gas prices top $3 a gallon
Travel picking up this holiday
Photo: Vehicles stop for fuel at the Raceway on Western Ave. on Tuesday, December 21, 2010. (Knoxville News Sentinel/ Saul Young).
Several reports in the last few weeks indicate the credit crunch may be easing. Banks may be making loans again after too many months of sitting on their vaults.
For way too long creditworthy small businesses have had a difficult time getting the financing they need to grow and create jobs.
If reports of an easing credit crunch are true, it’s about time. Now, if we can convice the big business to start spending some of the record profits they’ve been hoarding, we might see a real dent in the jobless rate.
WSJ’s Marketbeat blog: Shocker!: Banks are starting to lend again
Unemployed workers anywhere in the U.S. can get free job hunting advice next week.
Global outplacement consultancyChallenger, Gray & Christmas plans to hold its 25th annual job search call-in on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, job seekers can call 312-422-5010 and speak to a job search counselor.
With the Christmas shopping season entering the stretch run, Consumer Reports’ latest survey offers an interesting look at consumer attitudes.
Half of us are “enthusiastic” about the holiday shopping season, but almost one-third of Americans say they are worse off financially than they were last year, according to the Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll.
The number of companies planning to give employees bonuses in 2010 is virtually unchanged from last year, according to a new survey.
Sixty-three percent of the HR professionals surveyed by the global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. said their companies planned to give year-end bonuses. Down slightly from 64 percent a year ago.
Of the companies planning to hand out bonuses, 30 percent said the dollar amount will be about the same as last year, while 16 percent said the checks will be smaller than in 2009.
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. is getting closer to buying Virgin Media’s stake in UKTV, but the deal is at a delicate stage and may not happen, according to published reports in Europe and the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal reports: “A deal with Scripps could be announced in coming weeks, though the talks could still fall apart at the last minute, the people familiar with the matter said.”
The economy got a double dose of good news today — retail spending was up for the fifth straight month in November and inflation remains in check.
But the best news for the economy may have been President Obama’s meeting at the White House with some folks who know how to make money — Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.
The deadline for nominating employers for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support
Freedom Award is less than five weeks away.
National Guard and Reserve members and their familiers have until Jan. 17, 2011 to nominate employers for the award which is given annually to recognize businesses for outstanding support of Guard and Reserve members.