Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Archive: July, 2012

POSTED: Friday, July 27, 2012, 10:30 AM

Bruce Springsteen became a multimillionaire rock star because he couldn't sit still long enough to be a dentist or IT salesman and he didn't want to mess with the nasty blue-collar jobs he sings about -- and he was persistent, writes David Remnick in this New Yorker profile. (It's long but my 14-year-old pianist-guitarist-drummer read every word.)

Besides deep-diving Springsteen's Shore roots, early Philly exposure, and the guys like drummer Vini Lopez who he left behind -- and the many he brought along -- Springsteen also shows how to build a successful career outside the old college/professional/tradesman/small-business models -- a lesson for young people in these tough times -- writes Forbes' Deborah L. Jacobs here. [link fixed]

Springsteen's "Career Lessons," according to Jacobs:

POSTED: Friday, July 27, 2012, 8:00 PM

And plans to post again starting August 13

POSTED: Friday, July 27, 2012, 7:56 PM

Damien Park saw this coming:

On July 16, I noted the sudden resignation of Barry Pennypacker as boss at Chesterbrook-based industrial-equipment maker Gardner Denver Inc., which moved here from the Midwest two years ago because Pennypacker, a Montgomery County native, said he wanted to be closer to investors and customers. 

Gardenr Denver's new boss, Michael Larsen, wasn't talking. But Philadelphia-based activist-investor consultant Damien J. Park pointed out Pennypacker's disappearance coincided with a big share purchase by activist investor ValueAct Capital. 

POSTED: Friday, July 27, 2012, 3:39 PM

Complaining that "the laws designed to protect taxpayers from undue debt failed" Harrisburg taxpayers, the PA Senate Local Government Committee plans hearings Aug. 29 to review last January's scathing forensic report on the failure of the Harrisburg Authority's $300 million garbage incinerator renovation, state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., R-30, said in a statement today.

Is this step toward reform for real? The plan for hearings comes six monhs after the audit landed with a muffled thud -- but less than one day after reporter Chris Pabst at CBS TV 21 reported, citing unnamed sources, that federal investigators and a grand jury are probing the cozy political-contractor public-finance axis that helped nearly bankrupt the capital city.

The incinerator's financial failure has driven the state capital city into receivership under a state law, supported by Gov. Corbett, that has left city government fighting creditors and the state receiver's office over control of city assets. Eichelbarger says he wants to know if state law needs to be changed -- or just enforced.

POSTED: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 11:02 AM

Banks shut 767 more U.S. branches than they opened over the past year; more closed in Pennsylvania than in any other state, and Philadelphia lost more than any other metro area, says this report by Virginia-based SNL Financial LC.

Pennsylvania banks shut 119 bank branches, and opened just 36 new ones, for a net loss of 83, by SNL's count. The means the state lost about 2 percent of its bank-branch network last year; the state has 4,754 offices in all as of July 19, says the FDIC, the federal agency that insures bank deposits. List here.

Georgia, which has suffered a rash of bank failures in the metro Atlanta real estate crash, lost the second-higest number of branches, 51. New Jersey lost a net 31 of its 3,307 branches. Delaware was one of just four states where more banks opened than shut.

POSTED: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 10:35 AM

Financial economist Ed Yardeni, in his note to clients today, says Citigroup founder Sandy Weill isn't the only contributor to the U.S. bank blow-up to have second thoughts about the wisdom of mashing high-risk securities traders and investment bankers with sober commercial and consumer loan-and-deposit companies.

Weill, who had the support of then-President Clinton and Fed chief Alan Greenspan, Sen. Phil Gramm and his ally Republicans along with Democrats like current Vice President Joe Biden, ex-Treasury Secretaries Larry Summers and Bob Rubin, and other Washington enablers, now finds himself on the side of big-bank critics like FDIC boss Sheila Bair, ex-Fed chief Paul Volcker, and Neil Barofsky, former Special Inspector General for the TARP bank-bailout program, who has written a book about banking collaborators in government. called, appropriately, Bailout.  

Weill isn't the first Great Big Bank backer to recant, Yardeni notes.

POSTED: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 7:01 PM

"CBS 21 News has learned that the United States Justice Department is conducting a wide-ranging criminal investigation into financial transactions during the administration of former Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed," WHPT-TV says here.

"Multiple sources have confirmed that a secret federal grand jury has convened in Williamsport to investigate Harrisburg's financial mess, specifically financial transactions involving current and former city officials, including former Mayor Stephen Reed.

"We also have been told that the justice department is ramping up the investigation, bringing more agents into Harrisburg. However, they are not working in the federal building. They are working off-site so they can continue their work in secret."

POSTED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 1:32 PM

He'd rather have spent his time warning about the European threat to the American economy, or the need for tax reform. But Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner spent most of his visit to Congress this morning defending his failure to tell the public or prosecutors that bankers were artificially lowering the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (Libor), the world benchmark used to set loan, bond and derivative interest rates, back in 2008, when he was head of the New York Federal Reserve.

Geithner saw Libor lying as "something akin to jay walking, as opposed to highway robbery," complained Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.

"You have appeared before this committee countless times since 2008," so "why did you never mention it to the committee?" asked Rep. Scott Garnett, R-NJ.

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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