VOL. 36 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 6, 2012
Cardiothoracic surgeon Walter Merrill, M.D., a member of the Vanderbilt faculty from 1983 until 2002, has returned to Vanderbilt to become chief of staff of Vanderbilt University Hospital.
“How’s the market?” continues to be the most oft asked question to those in the residential real estate business. The answer: “It’s great.” Of course the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors data reflects a strong market that should show sales for the first quarter up more than 30 percent.
THE WORLDLY INVESTOR
Politics Returns Last week, politicians grabbed headlines and moved markets. First, stimulator-in-chief Ben Bernanke goosed markets to multi-year highs by pledging his continued devotion to easy money. Thankfully, he has learned that “conversational easing,” simply talking about quantitative easing, achieves the desired result without the inflationary hangover of the act itself. Rates fell and equities rose as fears of premature rate hikes abated. The Fed has been using the microphone as effectively as the printing press lately … good Central Bankers!
Intrusive marketing gets a bad rap. It’s often thought of as overly invasive and a turnoff to customers. Done thoughtlessly and in poor taste, it certainly can be. However, savvy brands understand the power of taking your prospective customer off guard and breaking through all of the advertising clutter competing for their attention.
SMART STUFF 4 WORK
My spouse and I had the opportunity to visit a very nice resort on an island in the Caribbean. The resort had many fine restaurants, pools, shops and other recreation areas. It also had a matrix of paths and sidewalks connecting the various facilities.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – It’s crossword tourney time again, and here I am at the 35th installment of the world’s oldest event of its kind – the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
KAY'S COOKING CORNER
This past week, I was lucky enough to tag along behind my husband to a business meeting in Seattle. It was a quick trip – we flew up, he had a meeting the next day, and then we flew back.
TOKYO (AP) — Faced with mounting losses, Sony Corp. said Thursday it will slash 10,000 jobs, or about 6 percent of its global workforce, and try to turn around its money-losing TV business over the next two years.
BRENTWOOD (AP) - Tractor Supply Co.'s first-quarter revenue climbed 22 percent to $1.02 billion, helped partly by warmer weather and strong customer response to its spring products. The performance, which was the first time the company's first-quarter revenue topped $1 billion, beat Wall Street's expectations, and Tractor Supply raised its full-year outlook.
NASHVILLE (AP) - American rocker and songwriter John Mellencamp will have his first museum exhibition of paintings he created at the Tennessee State Museum.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The former finance director of a history association and her husband have pleaded not guilty to embezzlement charges.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has voted to give the governor the power to appoint - or fire - the head of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has voted to begin phasing out Tennessee's inheritance tax and to lower the state's sales tax on groceries.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to overhaul state civil service rules headed to him Thursday to become law despite opposition from some lawmakers whose constituents are uncomfortable with parts of the legislation.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The House on Wednesday delayed a vote on a bill to give the state's education commissioner the ability to waive state laws in order to grant public schools more flexibility after several members raised concerns that the measure could amount to a power grab by the executive branch.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill to make confidential the names of applicants to lead the state's two university systems and each public college or university hit a speed bump in the state House on Wednesday after easily clearing the Senate earlier in the week.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam's effort to close off public access to company information used to decide economic development grants was withdrawn Wednesday.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to drug test people as a condition to receive welfare is advancing in the House despite a state attorney general opinion saying the legislation is constitutionally suspect.
NEW YORK (AP) — Encouraging signs from two of the most important zones of the world economy, the powerhouse of China and the debt-burdened countries of Europe, drove the U.S. stock market Thursday to one of its best days this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for U.S. economic growth is looking slightly better.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage dropped near its all-time low this week, making home-buying and refinancing a bargain for those who can qualify.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — More U.S. homes are entering the foreclosure process, setting the stage for a surge in properties repossessed by lenders this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought unemployment benefits last week, pushing the number of applicants to the highest level in two months.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell in February to the lowest point in four months because American exports rose to an all-time high while imports dropped.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale prices were flat in March after a drop in energy prices offset rising costs for food and pickup trucks. The figures suggest that modest growth isn't spurring inflation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney has come up with an "amazing statistic" and Republicans inside and outside his presidential campaign are doing their utmost to spread it around: "92.3 percent of all the jobs lost during the Obama years have been lost by women."
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11
NASHVILLE (AP) - Keith Urban was slyly dropping hints about the surprises he had in store at the All For The Hall benefit concert this week, but little did he know the night's biggest surprise was aimed at him.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The sponsor of a state Senate proposal that seeks to encourage the commercial slaughter of horses in Tennessee withdrew the measure Wednesday, but said he likely will revive it if a similar bill makes progress in the House.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has approved Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to overhaul state civil service rules after agreeing to changes needed to bring the Tennessee State Employees Association on board.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Opponents of a bill to change legal requirements for cosmetic procedures have staged a protest at the legislative office complex in Nashville.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that seeks to crack down on the tattooing of minors is headed for a vote on the House floor.
NEW YORK (AP) — Investors on Wednesday all but forgot the previous day's burdens and sent stocks soaring. It was a stark turnaround from the day before, when they'd pushed the market into a free-fall on worries about European debt and corporate earnings in the U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey of business conditions across the United States suggests last month's pullback in hiring may prove to be temporary.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. budget deficit is running slightly lower than last year's through the first six months of the budget year but is still on track to top $1 trillion for a fourth straight year.
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. government has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple Inc. and book publishers. It said Wednesday that the publishers conspired with Apple to raise retail electronic-book prices to limit competition.
NEW YORK (AP) — The price of natural gas has dropped below $2 for the first time in more than a decade.
Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. said Wednesday it will pay $800 million upfront to buy the privately held U.S. gout treatment maker URL Pharma Inc.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Republican Governors Association says Rick Santorum's withdrawal from the presidential sweepstakes should signal party conservatives to unify behind Mitt Romney.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says his call for raising taxes on millionaires is not a redistribution of wealth, but a way to free up money for crucial investments in the U.S. economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A possible misunderstanding about President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could cloud Supreme Court deliberations on its fate, leaving the impression that the law's insurance requirement is more onerous than it actually is.
TUESDAY, APRIL 10
LEBANON (AP) - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. has adopted a new shareholder rights plan, or "poison pill," in an attempt to ward off investment firm Biglari Holdings Inc. or anyone else from acquiring control of the restaurant chain without offering a premium to all its shareholders.
NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is scheduled to visit mortgage bankers in Nashville and community leaders in Franklin on Tuesday.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to lift a cap on contributions from political action committees has been withdrawn in the House.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Legislation to protect teachers who allow students to criticize evolution and other scientific theories will become law without the governor's signature.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to do away with the state's early graduation program is advancing in the House.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A House committee has killed a bill to require insurance companies to pay for oral chemotherapy treatments.
NASHVILLE (AP) - The House has rushed four bills out of subcommittee to guarantee workers the right to store firearms in vehicles parked on company lots.
NASHVILLE (AP) — House Democrats are complaining that the Republican majority is moving too quickly through the legislative process.
NASHVILLE (AP) — Randy Travis is being sued by his ex-wife and former manager.
NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market extended its longest and deepest slump of the year Tuesday, caught between a recurring nightmare of European debt and the beginning of uncertain corporate earnings reports at home.
NEW YORK (AP) — Oil closed at a two-month low on more troubling signs for the world economy.
NEW YORK (AP) — Reebok and Nike have settled their dispute over Tim Tebow New York Jets jerseys.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. drivers will pay an average of 24 cents more per gallon for gasoline during this summer's travel season, the government says.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers posted slightly more job openings and stepped up overall hiring in February. The figures suggest that modest job gains may continue in the coming months.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesale businesses stepped up restocking in February, while more expensive gasoline drove sales higher.
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple, already the world's most valuable company, hit the $600 billion level for the first time Tuesday.
TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. more than doubled its projected annual loss to 520 billion yen ($6.4 billion), its worst red ink ever, due to a massive tax charge.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government plans to propose new rules on Tuesday that will give homeowners more ways to avoid foreclosure and get an accurate accounting of their monthly mortgage payments.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Reigniting a debate about the bottom line for President Barack Obama's health care law, a leading conservative economist estimates in a study to be released Tuesday that the overhaul will add at least $340 billion to the deficit, not reduce it.
MONDAY, APRIL 9
NASHVILLE (AP) — Worried he might lose some of his singing ability, Keith Urban actually emerged from his surgery to remove a polyp and a nodule from his vocal cords with benefits he never imagined.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday it would probably be close to the signing deadline before he decided whether to sign a bill to protect teachers who allow students to criticize evolution and other scientific theories, such as global warming.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Charles Widener and his wife believe being personally involved in their children's academics is essential to the youngsters succeeding - not just in school but in life.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Volkswagen is conducting a national search to fill the most specialized of 1,000 new jobs at its Chattanooga plant.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing sharply lower after investors delivered their verdict on disappointing job growth in March. It's only the second four-day losing streak of the year for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500.
NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T Inc. on Monday said that it had agreed to sell a majority stake in its Yellow Pages business to the private-equity firm Cerberus Capital for $950 million.
NEW YORK (AP) — AOL says it has agreed to sell 800 of its patents and their related applications to Microsoft and grant it a license for its remaining patents for a total about $1.06 billion in cash.
NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices fell Monday on concerns about the economic recovery.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Students like Delano Coffy are at the heart of brewing political fights and court battles over whether public dollars should go to school vouchers to help make private schools more affordable.
FRIDAY, APRIL 6
NASHVILLE (AP) - Fifty-nine challengers have filed papers to run against 10 incumbents in the U.S. House and Senate.
NASHVILLE (AP) - You can get a tattoo and meet horror film stars at a festival Friday through Sunday in Nashville.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has been handed a petition with more than 3,000 signatures urging him to veto a proposal that would protect teachers who allow students to criticize evolution and other scientific theories, such as global warming.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A Tennessee attorney general's opinion says a legislative proposal to require large deposits before people could mount a legal challenge to a horse slaughterhouse is constitutionally suspect.
NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's attorney general says a proposal that would drug test people as a condition of receiving welfare is still questionable despite being amended.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal that would allow school board members to participate in meetings remotely is headed to the governor for his consideration.
NASHVILLE (AP) - A bill seeking to guarantee people the right to store firearms in vehicles parked at work - regardless of their employers' wishes - has likely died for the year, House Speaker Beth Harwell said Thursday.
NASHVILLE (AP) - At least 10 former state lawmakers are trying to return to the Tennessee General Assembly, while eight Democratic incumbents will be vying for four seats following this year's redistricting process.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal that would require Tennessee charter schools to be subject to the state's open meetings law is headed to the governor for his consideration.
NASHVILLE (AP) — A measure that would require "family life education" curricula taught in schools to be abstinence-centered has passed the Senate.
NASHVILLE (AP) - State Rep. Curry Todd, who faces drunken driving and gun charges following an arrest last year, skipped a House vote Thursday on a bill to give judges the ability to compel blood tests for drivers who refuse to give breath alcohol tests when they are arrested.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. job market slowed in March as companies hit the brakes on hiring amid uncertainty about the economy's growth prospects. The unemployment rate dipped, but mostly because more Americans stopped looking for work.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has issued policy guidelines for banks turning foreclosed homes they own into rentals, a trend that could help boost falling home prices.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Driving is becoming so last century.
BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets were muted Friday in holiday-thinned trade ahead of a monthly U.S. hiring report.
NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers from discounter Target to department-store chain Macy's reported better-than-expected sales in March in the latest sign that Americans are feeling better about the economy.
NEW YORK (AP) — Two months into J.C. Penney's transformation, its workers are starting to feel the pain.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, suggesting employers kept hiring in March at a healthy pace.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was mostly unchanged this week, as the cost of home-buying and refinancing stayed near record lows.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama signed bipartisan jobs legislation Thursday that will help small businesses and make it easier for startups to raise capital, saying it could be a "game-changer" for entrepreneurs dreaming of founding the next Microsoft or Facebook.
WASHINGTON (AP) — IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman has warned that congressional delay in dealing with tax breaks that have already expired or are set to expire at the end of this year could lead to havoc during next year's filing season.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. has terminated its relationship with a conservative group seen by some as an incubator for a string of new state voter ID laws and a marketer of laws like Florida's "Stand Your Ground" self-defense statute.