Friday, March 6, 2015

Archive: January, 2011

POSTED: Monday, January 31, 2011, 11:45 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

It’s been a year since President Obama set a goal of doubling the nation’s exports by 2015.

That would mean going from $1.57 trillion in exports in 2009 to $3.14 trillion five years later, which would be phenomenal unless we double imports at the same time.

However, it’s also unlikely to happen without more small businesses jumping into global markets. After all, how many more Boeing 737s, John Deere tractors, and Caterpillar backhoes can the world absorb?

POSTED: Friday, January 28, 2011, 10:39 AM
Filed Under: Financial Services

The chief executive officer of Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. can still pack a room, although these days that room is more often than not a bankruptcy courtroom.

But there was Bryan Marsal, a self-described “old workout guy,” speaking to several hundred people Tuesday at La Salle University’s Economic Outlook event at the Union League of Philadelphia.

Marsal operates in a world “where the economy intersects with corporate success and failure,” Paul R. Brazina, dean of La Salle’s business school, said in his introduction.

POSTED: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 1:14 PM
Filed Under: Politics, Taxes

How prevalent are those tax incentives for movies and TV series?

A compilation by the National Conference of State Legislatures has 45 states and Puerto Rico providing them. Pennsylvania has an active program. New Jersey suspended its for fiscal year 2011.

Here's a link to the full list, in case you're scouting locations to make your next movie.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 12:41 PM

I think I can guess your reaction if I told you that, on average, just 2 percent of chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies are fired annually.

That’s not enough! Off with their heads!

And it would be a natural sentiment even if we weren’t muddling through our 19th month of economic recovery. We’re impatient with anemic job growth and persistent long-term unemployment.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 11:00 AM
Filed Under: Politics, Taxes

Businesses and other employers in Chester County, who appeared to be in a no-win situation earlier this month, have gotten a reprieve from the Tax Man.

While all Pennsylvania counties will change how they collect local earned-income tax in 2012, Chester County has pushed to be an early adopter, making the changes effective Jan. 1, 2011.

The problem is that the official state forms that employers needed to provide to their workers in order to document the correct withholding weren’t ready. Sounds like just a paperwork shuffle, right?

POSTED: Monday, January 24, 2011, 3:06 PM

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may have collapsed in September 2008, but that doesn't mean it's gone.

Once one of the biggest investment banks, Lehman "lives" on in bankruptcy court as its current CEO tries to unwind the tangled mess that was the one of the nation's largest investment banking firms.

Bryan Marsal, who is also a founder and co-CEO of Alvarez & Marsal, a turnaround firm, will be the featured speaker at La Salle University's 10th annual Economic Outlook Forum at the Union League of Philadelphia on Jan. 25 at noon.

POSTED: Monday, January 24, 2011, 12:25 PM

The debate over inflation - even at a time when the major economic barometers detect little if any of it - will never abate.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Jan. 14 that the Consumer Price Index for December rose 0.5 percent. Economists like to focus on the core index, excluding volatile food and energy, which rose just 0.1 percent.

That exclusion irks a lot of people who call me. Their receipts from the grocery store and gas station tell a different story. Food and energy costs them more now, and they can’t exclude either from their core budgets.

POSTED: Friday, January 21, 2011, 12:05 AM

The swoon may be over for the venture capital industry nationally with the number of deals and the amount invested rising in 2010 for the first time since 2007. But regionally the action was more subdued.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree Report, released Friday, shows some improvement for an industry that has never returned to the manic heights it reached during the days of Internet Bubble 1.0 in 2000.

The question is: With nosebleed valuations of $50 billion for Facebook and $15 billion for Groupon being bandied about, are we in the middle of another Internet bubble?

About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at

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