The High Cost of Pulling Riches from Silicon Valley Salt Mines

I didn’t even need to open to the Business section of today’s Sunday Times to find a disgusting article about wealth, status and the American dream. For today, the article is conveniently splashed across the front page. Hal Steger, the gentle creature depicted above, is a marketing executive worth $3.5 million. The $1.3 million house […]

Consumer Resistance Mounts

Do you need proof that 99.9% of the ads currently in circulation suck? If you do need such evidence, Associated Press has it. Consumers put away their wallets in June, sending retail sales crashing by the sharpest amount in nearly two years. The Commerce Department reported today that retail sales fell by 0.9 percent last […]

Stock Market Soars While Consumer Spending Tightens

According to Associated Press, consumer confidence is down. High gas prices, the specter of higher interest rates and faltering home sales have Americans worried. The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that sales of existing homes plunged in March by the largest amount in nearly two decades. The group said that sales of existing […]

Black Gold Has More Luster Than Gold Gold

Sometimes a company succeeds and advertising has nothing to do with it. Instead, market conditions, political favors and an insatiable appetite for their product create wealth on a scale that is hard to fully comprehend. ExxonMobil is such a company. According to USA Today, ExxonMobil earned $39.5 billion last year, making it the most profitable […]

Want Affordable Luxury? Rent It.

Ruth La Ferla of The New York Times knows how to make an impression on the impressionable. During the round of parties preceding the New York Fashion Week, Stephen Knoll, a hair stylist, gave my satchel- size Yves Saint Laurent Muse bag the once-over. “Handsome,” he murmured. Then he focused on my Marni coat, with […]

Bubbles Preceed The Bath

USA Today’s tech guru, Kevin Maney, is soft on Web 2.0. The tech industry is frothing. It is spewing companies and Web doohickeys and blog amalgamizers and Internet contraptions like video social-networking wiki cooking sites. Money is flying into ventures that most people east of Palo Alto, Calif., would find incomprehensible. Web 2.0 is a […]

Make Your Play. The Whole World’s Waiting.

Tired of your ad world occupation? Here are some other ventures to consider. 1. Build cheap Wi-Fi networks for Brazilian resorts. 2. Become a biodiesel producer in Argentina. 3. Create an ad network for India’s mobile content developers. 4. Launch an exclusive social network for Russian millionaires. 5. Open an American-style restaurant in one of […]

Rising Gas Prices Precipitate Executive Delusions

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, in a foolish moment, told USA Today $4.00/gallon gas will not lead to fewer auto sales. Despite the speculation about how high prices could run after the cutoff this week of BP’s Alaskan crude, Wagoner says he thinks vehicle sales are unlikely to nose-dive. “We have actually been a little […]

Show ‘Em The Money

USA TODAY: Blogs. 99-cent music downloads. Podcasts. Phoning home via the Internet. Online social networking. It’s the golden age of the Internet. But you wouldn’t know it if you’ve just been watching Internet stocks. Outside of Google and a few other choice names, it’s hard to find an Internet company that gets investors’ juices flowing […]

Bet The House On It

USA Today: The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a financial marketplace dealing in the value of everything from interest rates and foreign currencies to pork bellies, has committed to offer trading next year in a category many consumers take personally: U.S. home prices. Housing-price futures, based on the median home price in each of 10 U.S. cities, […]