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Archive: September, 2009

POSTED: Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 8:05 AM

The presidents of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks give lots of speeches throughout a year.

They are often dry and usually try to explain a president’s view on inflation, interest rates and the economy.

So there was Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia president and CEO Charles I. Plosser at Lafayette College in Easton Tuesday night giving a talk on “Demystifying the Federal Reserve.”

POSTED: Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 2:05 AM
Filed Under: Energy, Utilities

Political commentators keep describing the climate-change legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June as stalled in the U.S. Senate.

Perhaps, but the latest drama is unfolding outside the political arena, in the offices of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is fielding some uncomfortable criticism over its opposition to the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

The U.S. Chamber is used to being tarred by labor and environmental groups. But this time, the revolt is from within. Three large utilities say they will leave the chamber over the issue.



POSTED: Monday, September 28, 2009, 2:05 AM

Last week, the McKinsey Global Institute released statistics on the mightly blow struck by the financial crisis.

The value of the world’s financial assets fell by $16 trillion to $178 trillion. That’s still a lot of dough, but the disruption touched more than our 401(k) plans.

Looking at the flow of capital into and out of countries, McKinsey calculated an 82 percent decline to $1.9 trillion in 2008 from $10.5 trillion in 2007.

POSTED: Saturday, September 26, 2009, 8:06 AM

Nuclear weapons will trump economic harmony every time.

News about the existence of a second uranium enrichment plant in Iran certainly made the statement by the leaders of the Group of Twenty sound merely like a global to-do list.

But the G-20 Summit that ended in Pittsburgh Friday was the clearest sign yet that China, India and other developing nations are critical to the stability of the world economy.

POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2009, 2:59 PM

Bob Eisenbeis, the chief monetary economist for Cumberland Advisors in Vineland, N.J., definitely sees the G-20 imposing limits on bankers pay, but he's convinced that banks will get around them.

How? Through innovation or by redefining pay, he said.

Great, that'll restore faith in banking.

POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2009, 11:13 AM

The difference between Thursday and Friday is one of anticipation.

My walk through the downtown to reach the Mellon Arena was much like yesterday. Little traffic on the streets, scattered pedestrians. But there was much more of a visible security presence, likely in preparation for a major march by protesters expected around midday.

I heard more sirens wailing today. They seemed even more piercing without the noise of everyday traffic and sidewalk chatter.

POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2009, 7:50 AM

Does hosting the G-20 Summit provide enough of a sense of civic pride to overcome the sheer difficulty many Pittsburgh residents have had in doing something as simple as making your bus for your commute home?

I stood with several hardy travellers Thursday evening at Wood Street and the Boulevard of the Allies, waiting for an airport-bound Port Authority bus.

Plenty of buses passed, but for an hour none was the 28X. The Port Authority had warned that the dinner at the Phipps Conservatory in the Oakland section for the world leaders and their spouses would disrupt several bus routes, including the 28X.

POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2009, 7:22 AM

Here's how smart Pittsburgh attorney Michael Bleier is: He was in Washington Thursday, thus avoiding the security net thrown over the downtown.

And what a net it was. The security zone around the David L. Lawrence Convention Center where the Group of Twenty is meeting served to keep what must be a bustling area any other workday very quiet.

To me, it felt like the downtowns of most U.S. cities early on a Sunday morning. The sidewalks were largely empty, except for the police, National Guard and other security personnel at every intersection.

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

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