On Thursday, during a procedural vote, it's widely expected that he will emerge with enough support to move to the next stage: a final confirmation hearing. Although it's been a rocky road, business writers from AOL's Seed.com network were overwhelmingly in favor of another term. Here are a few excerpts.
The company has plenty going for it. It has millions of loyal subscribers and sales of "smart" phones are expected to climb this year, in sharp contrast to the outlook for the overall wireless industry. But the company faces some headwinds as well. Increased competition, a lagging stock price and concerns that its expansion into the consumer market could take a bite out of profits down the road.
An Australian court recently ruled that the site could be used by a lender to serve "virtual" papers to a couple, notifying them that their house would be repossessed for failing to keep up with their mortgage payments.
It's just the latest example of how lenders, colleges and employers are all becoming hip to the social-networking scene and how keeping your profile online for the world to see could actually hurt you in the long run.
There have been several cases of posts on social-networking sites backfiring on individuals -- from students being denied college enrollment or degrees, job seekers missing out on their dream job and even a college football player being kicked off the team -- all because of an inappropriate comment or photo on their profiles.
So before you add your profile, post a message on your friend's wall or update your photo album, you may want to consider how it will reflect on you or just who may find it online.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed isn't the only foreign investor giving a vote of confidence to struggling Citigroup (NYSE: C). Mexican-based Inbursa bank, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, recently took a significant stake in the company, spending about $150 million to buy 29 million Citigroup shares, according to published reports.
Citigroup's stock price had been under significant pressure in recent weeks, which was later exacerbated when it announced that it would cut 53,000 jobs. Last week, shares dropped below $5 for the first time since 1994. But late Sunday, the government announced that it would give the bank an additional $20 billion and would absorb up to $300 billion in potential losses, a model some experts should be used to deal with other struggling institutions. The move also seems to be sitting well with investors including Slim, marked by a 60% jump earlier this week.
But Citi isn't the only company that Slim, one of the richest men in the world, has had his eyes on. Regulatory filings show that he recently boosted his stake in luxury retailer Saks (NYSE: SKS), buying nearly 7.6 million shares of the company over a four-day period. Saks is one of many luxury retailers suffering during the economic turmoil as even the rich cut down on spending. But with Slim's move, he is now the company's largest shareholder.
We may have broken the ultimate barrier to diversity with the election of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, but the ranks of minorities in top positions at Fortune 500 companies remain thin and are steadily declining.
Late Monday, Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) CEO John Thompson announced plans to retire from the post in March, but will remain on as chairman. Also planning to move out of the corner office until a replacement is found is the CEO of struggling Web portal Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), Jerry Yang.
Their pending exits continue a string of other high-profile minority CEOs over the past year due to various reasons, ranging from Dick Parsons at Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), to Stan O'Neal at Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) to Alwyn Lewis at Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD) and William Perez at Wrigley.
Our president-elect showed just how momentous this milestone is during his acceptance speech when he told of a 106-year-old voter from Atlanta named Ann Nixon Cooper who "was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin." Obama's election is truly a time for celebration for the African-American community and, I'd argue, the nation.
Did I vote for Obama just because he is black? Certainly not. But he definitely won and lost votes solely for this reason. Yes, he is of mixed race, but let's be honest, we all see a black man.
Our economy -- the number one issue for me in this election -- is in shambles. As the business news editor for AOL, I've watched in horror this year as we've covered a beaten down stock market, the collapse of once-venerable firms like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns and the changing landscape on Wall Street. We've seen a real estate crisis that has resulted in record-level foreclosures and plunging home prices and close to a million jobs lost. I have no doubt that between Obama and John McCain, Obama is the right person for the job during this troubled time for our country.
Nearly 10 banks have failed so far this year and as financial institutions struggle with billions of dollars worth of sour mortgage portfolios, you can best believe that more failures will soon follow. And after analyzing recent collapses, a pattern seems to be developing.
Recent Bank Closures:
- IndyMac Bancorp., seized on July 11 -- a Friday.
- 1st National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank, both seized on July 25 -- another Friday
- And on Aug. 1, First Priority Bank of Bradenton, Fla., seized on -- you guessed it -- a Friday.
Whatever your pick, be forewarned. Mind your assets -- it's OK to be fashionably late for the party. Cheers!
The bank came out late in the day saying that it does its business through its banking operations and "does not rely on commercial paper" after a report took a shot at the bank's credit quality. But despite that reassurance, investors are left to wonder just how sound Washington Mutual really is.
And who can blame them? The collapse of the once-venerable Bear Stearns and the failure of California-based thrift IndyMac prove that it's hard to give even the biggest, most respected ones a safety seal of approval. And with expectations that more will fail (see list of those at risk), I've gotten curious about how my own bank is faring.
While I've been more than impressed with my bank, Chevy Chase 's services, a new tool from bankrate.com that lets you check the safety of your hometown bank, has me more than a little concerned. The Safe & Sound rating system uses a series of 22 tests to measure the capital adequacy, asset quality, profitability and liquidity of each financial institution.\
Without giving away my adjusted gross income, I always knew that I wouldn't get the full $600 that was distributed to most single taxpayers, but I wasn't exactly sure if I'd get a fraction of that. And I don't mean to seem ungrateful or anything, but when I read the letter and found out that I would receive a windfall of $6.95, as you can imagine, I was kind of taken aback, so I immediately called friends and family members to inform them of my newfound fortune.
I mean, what exactly is a person to do with $6.95 in this day and age anyway? With soaring inflation, I'll be lucky to buy myself a one-way bus ticket down the block.
At least consumers with full-sized payments took to the malls in the second quarter, boosting retail sales – let's see how long that lasts. But I just don't know how my $6.95 is going to stimulate anything. I've narrowed my list of options. Here's what I've been grappling with.