Monthly Archives: July 2011

Report casts unflattering light on Miller Energy

East Tennessee-based oil and gas company Miller Energy Resources is attracting some
Miller_Energy02.jpgunflattering online chatter.

TheStreetSweeper has a particularly critical report that questions the value of the company’s Alaskan assets, among other things.

StreetSweeper also takes a jab at Miller CEO Scott Boruff’s purchase a few weeks ago of Villa Collina, a 36,720-square-foot mansion Knoxville; and his use of a company airplane for trips to the Florida beach and “to or from a small town in Delaware – located near the home of the CEO’s girlfriend …”

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Interest rate cut on energy efficiency loans

Pathway Lending is making it easier for Tennessee businesses to survive the summer heat wave and cut their cooling bills.

bjgreenreport06_MP_13101.jpgThe Nashville-based lender announced it has chopped the interest rate to 3 percent from 5 percent for the Energy Efficiency Loan Program.

The reduced rate is available through Sept. 30. EELP loans can be used to finance projects such as energy efficient manufacturing equipment, building retrofits and renewable energy systems.

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Alcoa CEO: Spending cuts, revenue increase both needed

A long-term solution to the federal budget deficit must include spending cuts and increased
032610alcoa9_mc12884.JPG revenue,  Alcoa Inc. Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld told the CNBC Squawk Box crew this morning.

Kleinfeld called a downgrade in the US credit rating or a default  “a nuclear option” and urged Congress and the President must come to terms on a plan that “gets us over the hump.”

The current debate is sucking the air out of the economy, Kleinfeld said, but he’s optimistic  a deal will be reached on the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline.

I’m not so confident a deal beating the deadline, but Kleinfeld is right about one thing it will take spending cuts and increased revenue to solve the deficit problem. Not just one, but both.

Kleinfeld Squawk Box interview: Getting America Back on Track

Consumer confidence up despite political bickering

Consumer confidence edged higher in July, despite the doom and gloom flowing out of Consumer Confidence.JPGWashington, according to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index released today.

The Index rose nearly two points to 59.5, up from 57.6 in June. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected the July index to decline to 56.

Although the Index rose – indicating improved optimism about the economy – consumers still have mixed feelings about how the economy is doing.

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Knoxville makes Kiplinger ‘Best Value’ cities list

Knoxville scored some valuable national publicity today, ranking fifth on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s list of the Top Ten “Best Value Cities” of 2011.

No.1 is Omaha, Neb., followed by Charlotte, N.C., and Nashville.

The rankings are based in part on population growth, unemployment rate, income growth, housing costs and other data. The magazine cites the city’s low taxes, affordable housing, entertainment options and revitalized downtown among the reasons it made the Top Ten.

Here’s some of what Kiplinger’s says about Knoxville:

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Internet sales taxes and Jerry Garcia ties

Here’s my column in Sunday’s News Sentinel and Knoxvillebiz.com. The bottom line of the column is that online retailers no longer should be allowed to get away with not collecting state sales taxes — tax law should be applied equally to all retailers.

It’s no surprise that several readers took issue with my point of view. My favorite reader comment was from rustyvango#1397221: “just another tie wearing money grubber who should be dealt with most harshly for being stupid enough to write this column.GO GET HIM!!!!!”

I appreciate all reader comments, but there is reason to insult my ties. I like my Jerry Garcia collection — they’re beautiful ties.

Survey: Back-to-school spending flat

The second biggest retail event of the year is here – back-to-school spending. K-12 and college spending is expected to reach $68.8 billion a year, the National Retail Federation reported Thursday.

Only the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season generates more retail revenue.

Back-to-school spending per family will be flat, according NRF’s 2011 Back-to-School survey.
The average family with K-12 kids will spend $603.63 on school supplies, electronics and clothes, according to the survey.

How much will you spend?

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Murdoch lawyered up, he should of manned up

It was evident from his televised testimony during a Parliament hearing that Rupert Murdoch had lawyered up. He should have manned up.
Murdoch Web 2_0.JPGIt’s one thing to say your underlings let you down and their underlings let them down.

But not once did the head of the powerful News Corp. organization accept responsibility for the phone hacking scandal.
My guess is that the best lawyers that money can buy told the media baron just how far he could go.
Apaprently, being a man was going too far.

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Debt ceiling controversy threatens Tenn. credit rating

The Associated Press reports that Moody’s Investor Service may downgrade Tennessee’s credit rating.

If that happens, it would cost state taxpayers plenty.

Avoiding a downgrade is another reason why Tennesseans should insist that Congress and the White House compromise on the debt ceiling issue.

Here’s why Moody’s has put Tennessee on notice:

 

 

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UT institute scores another ‘Rainmaker’

The University of Tennessee’s Global Supply Chain Institute has added a sixth “Rainmaker.” Logistics trade magazine DC Velocity has named J. Paul Dittmann, executive director of the institute, an industry “Rainmaker,” UT announced today.
Velocity annually honors the most influential people in various areas of the supply chain management profession.
Dittman is the sixth UT faculty member to receive the honor.

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