Friday, February 12, 2016

Archive: January, 2011

POSTED: Monday, January 31, 2011, 1:02 PM

I thought Republicans were the pay-your-bills, personal-responsibility, sound-money party.

It was Democrats, from Andrew Jackson's break-the-Bank campaign, through anti-Wall Street idol William Jennings Bryan, to ex-Cleveland Mayor, US Rep and Presidential dark-horse Dennis Kucinich on today's left wing, who have wanted to water down the dollar and help small farmers, urban homebuyers and other mass constituencies escape their promises to capitalist creditors.

But now, ex-U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich and ex-Florida Gov. John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, both GOP Presidential hopefuls, have joined the stiff-your-creditors movement. They risk unleashing America's inner deadbeat on a mass scale.

POSTED: Monday, January 31, 2011, 8:27 AM

Jeffrey Black has left his job as boss of Limerick-based mini-manufacturing conglomerate Teleflex Inc. "by mutual agreement" with Teleflex's board, Teleflex says here.

BensonB Smith, former president of medical-device maker CR Bard and a Teleflex director since 2005, has replaced Black (son of ex Teleflex boss Lennox Smith) as Teleflex CEO and chairman.

Teleflex in recent years has sold a series of electrical equipment businesses to concentrate more on medical device components.

POSTED: Monday, January 31, 2011, 8:17 AM

Sunoco, the Philadelphia-based oil-coal-retail gasoline company, says it will cut pre-tax earnings for 2012 next year by $60 million in settling a price dispute with steelmaker Arcelor Mittal (which owns the former Lukens Steel and many more around the world) over steel fuel (coke) produced by Sunoco's Suncoke Energy division.

Sunoco said it had previously prepared to meet the expected cost. Sunoco plans to  separate SunCoke into a separate company. More here in Sunoco's statement.

POSTED: Monday, January 31, 2011, 3:31 PM

The National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute say the typical US college endowment added almost 10 cents for every $1 invested, during 2010, as alumni started giving again and the investment markets continued their recovery from 2007's collapse.

This isn't just a result of investment values rising. It also includes the impact of endowment spending at schools that are using the recession to build more and cheaper; money management fees, highest at big schools that tend to buy more real estate and other private investments; and new gifts from alumni and other donors.

The biggest US endowment, Harvard rose just 5%, to $27.6 billion; Yale, 2%, to $16.7 billion. By contrast, No. 3 Princeton's rose 14%, to $14.9 billion.

POSTED: Friday, January 28, 2011, 2:43 PM

It's not over yet, but: After a nearly 20-year legal fight, federal appeals court voted 6-4 today that the Court of Federal Claims properly awarded investors, led by Frank Slattery, in the failed Meritor Savings Bank/Philadelphia Savings Fund Society (PSFS), some $276 million in damages and compensation from the government's 1992 takeover of the troubled Philadelphia bank and its forced sale to Mellon.

Lawyers for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. had challenged the claims court's award. The case now goes back to the claims court for final orders, pending a possible Supreme Court appeal.

Slattery and other investors argued the government wrongly forced the bank out of business, wiping out investors' shares, after changing the rules for how PSFS should measure its capital reserves. FDIC officials said the bank made so many bad business loans, it would have failed anyway.

POSTED: Friday, January 28, 2011, 10:25 AM

Profit reports from a string of Philadelphia-area banks shows they're still suffering from - in some cases, the banks are disappearing because of - bad construction loans and falling property values from the mid-2000s financial crisis and the resulting business slowdown that's thrown millions out of work.

1) Susquehanna Bancshares will have to mark down $31 million in troubled loans at Abington Bancorp as Susquehanna buys the smaller institution. More than half the mark-downs are for construction loans that aren't being repaid on time (or at all), Sandler O'Neill bank analyst Frank Schiraldi told clients in a report today.

Schiraldi is "neutral" toward the Abington deal; though the acquired bank is weighted with problem loans and is much smaller than Susquehanna, the takeover does give Susquehanna nearly 5% of the market in wealthy Montgomery County, up from a little over 1% now. Abington branches will take the Susquehanna name; none will likely be closed.

POSTED: Friday, January 28, 2011, 9:40 AM

Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans are demanding resignations by their rival parties State House of Representatives leaders, says CapitolWire's Under the Dome report, after GOP House speaker Mike Turzai and Democratic minority leader Frank Dermody's troops tried to out-yell each other.

The Democrats were trying to sink majority Republicans' bills by weighing them down with amendments; the Republicans proposed kicking Democrats off committees and limiting debate.

Hear what it sounded like from public radio's WITF here.  See also the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's account here.

POSTED: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 10:40 AM

The national Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission of financial heavies has issued a split verdict about what caused the 2007-08 financial crisis and the resulting mass unemployment of 20 million Americans, after more than a year of hearings and study. The 10 members split three ways:

1) The six Democrats all blame government, and say this can be fixed.

2) Three Republicans blame the free market, and says you have to expect this sort of thing from time to time.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

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