Must-Read Money Stories for Wednesday, March 15

by March 15, 2017
People who love airline food will find life is looking up in coach. (Image via Pixabay)

For people who love airline food, things are looking up in coach. (Image by Ryan McGuire via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain)

Neiman Marcus on the block

Challenges from online retailers and a drop in the fortunes of its Texan customers have left Dallas-based Neiman Marcus with a pile of debt. On Tuesday, Reuters reports that the luxury retailer is exploring its next steps, including changes to its capital structure or even a sale of the company. Hudson’s Bay Co., which owns the Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue chains, is in talks to acquire Neiman’s, albeit without taking on the debt. No word as to how that can be achieved.

Ackman knows when to fold ’em

Widely respected for his stock savvy, billionaire investor William Ackman finally admitted that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International was a lost cause. The New York Times reports that after close of trade on Monday, Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, announced it had sold its entire stake in the troubled pharma company: 27 million shares and options. In contrast to the post-election market surge, Valeant stocks, priced at $257 in the summer of 2015, suffered a steady decline and closed at under $11 on Tuesday. Among other troubles, Valeant had come under government scrutiny for aggressive accounting and exploitive drug pricing.

Mile-high food fight

In February, Delta Air Lines announced that it would provide free meals to its coach customers on select flights. Now American Airlines has joined the battle for long-haul coach clients by serving back-of-the-plane meals on its longest domestic flights. The Wall Street Journals reports that passengers on Airbus A321 flights between the coasts will be treated to Continental breakfasts and boxed lunches. No word on how airport sandwich purveyors are reacting to the news.

SNL’s summer surprise

Riding its highest ratings in 25 years, Saturday Night Live will make a rare August appearance on the airways. According to a Tuesday report from USA Today, NBC will air four half-hour episodes of the show’s Weekend Update news sketch. The scorching political scene has given the sketch show a 22 percent ratings jump from last year, with its February 11th episode, with Alec Baldwin impersonating Donald Trump, its biggest audience in six years.