Archive: September, 2008
Monday’s 777-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average seems to have shaken up people for whom the ongoing credit crisis was merely background noise.
Working people worry about the money they’ve diverted into 401(k) plans or IRAs over the years. Those on fixed incomes fret about the decline in the value of their assets.
Well, I have news for you: the professionals are concerned too.
What can financial-sector crises in Finland, Norway and Sweden in the early 1990s tell us about what’s going on in the U.S. today?
Quite a lot actually.
See if this sounds familiar: A country runs a big current account deficit. It experiences a huge increase in lending growth. Financial markets are deregulated. Then comes a shock, and a financial crisis begins and deepens.
Try not to read too much into this, but only one stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose on Monday.
That would be Camden's own Campbell Soup Co.
The S&P 500 fell 106.62 points to close at 1,106.39 - a drop of 8.8 percent. And in a rare occurence, 499 of those stocks fell.
One of the fastest-growing Philadelphia-area companies is getting a new name.
NeatReceipts Inc. ranked No. 66 on the latest Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fast-growers. As of today, it’s been rebranded as the Neat Co. because, co-founder Rafi Spero said, it had outgrown its name.
The company started out six years ago selling a receipt-scanning device in airport kiosks. Now it has a number office hardware and software products to help business people digitize and organize their paper documents.
More than 160 economists last week signed an open letter to the leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate expressing concern over the $700 billion financial-sector bailout plan.
Emanating from the lauded University of Chicago economics department, the letter criticizes the plan’s fairness, ambiguity and long-term effects. (Besides 44 Chicago school signatories, there were 14 from the University of Pennsylvania.)
The Chicago school pans Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s initiative as a “subsidy to investors at taxpayers’ expense.” The economists agree that “bold action” is needed to keep the financial system functioning, but this bailout isn’t it.
In what is usually the quiet before earnings season begins, all stocks were whipped around last week by the drama in Washington over the financial-sector bailout.
So I’d be careful reading too much into the 26 percent decline in the stock price of Omega Flex Inc. Its shares closed at $22.95 on Friday. The Exton-based maker of flexible metal hose did not issue any press releases last week.
The biggest gainer among local stocks was Nobel Learning Communities Inc., the West Chester operator of private schools. Shares rose 25 percent to close Friday at $15.93. It received an unsolicited $17 per share offer from Knowledge Learning Corp. , of Portland, Ore.
Anyone else hear the echoes of 1992 in the federal seizure and quick sale of Washington Mutual Inc. to JPMorgan Chase & Co.?
I'm thinking about Meritor Savings Bank, better known by the bank's storefront name of Philadelphia Savings Fund Society.
On Friday, Dec. 11, 1992, regulators seized Meritor and immediately sold 27 branches and $2.5 billion in deposits to Mellon Bank Corp. for $181 million. Meritor shareholders were wiped out.
Merck & Co. Inc. becomes the latest pharmaceutical company to agree to disclose how much money it gives to health-related institutions.
But it will go one step further: Merck will specify payments it makes to doctors.
It announced the moves one day after Eli Lilly & Co. became the first drug maker to agree to spell out how much it pays doctors for speeches and advisory services. Lilly will disclose any payment more than $500.