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Pay to Stay prison program NBC News

Prisoners as consumers: Behind bars is some big business

We write a lot about consumer demographics, from college students to young parents to Baby Boomers – but there’s one cohort of spenders that tends to get overlooked even though it comprises a pretty significant market:  Prisoners. NBCNews recently ran a very interesting piece, “Prison inmates offer captive market for gadget makers,” that was rich […]

Nokia Microsoft

Microsoft layoff news prompts a look at job cuts

Word last week that Microsoft will be jettisoning 18,000 workers raises the specter of mass layoffs, a frequent occurrence several years ago but one we haven’t heard much about lately. A few industries stand out in terms of recent job cut numbers, according to the outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas; the firm’s monthly jobs […]

New Domain Names Donuts Inc.

Fresh peg on new domain names: “dot-vodka,” “dot-Christmas,” “dot-fail”

Looking for a business story that spans the corporate world, small companies and even consumers & personal finance? The 2014 rollout of new top-level domain names is underway, but flying surprisingly under most radar screens.   If you haven’t yet written about the upcoming availability of hundreds of alternatives to good old .com and .net, you’ve […]

Furniture Delivery

Does the summer home sales bounce help furniture dealers, related industries?

With existing home sales for May posting their best gain since 2011, as USA Today reports, and this week’s new home sales report expected to show a modest increase, according to Business Insider, you might want to take a mid-year checkup of the real estate market’s spin-off effect on other lines of business. I was […]

Drowsy Drivers sign and truck

Beyond crash headlines: Why does trucker pay still reward maximum miles?

It’s always surprising how little the trucking industry is covered by the financial press, considering just about all of the material goods used by consumers and businesses has been on a truck at one time or another; the supply chain is an integral part of any business. Usually we only hear about trucking following tragic […]

May is Bike Month

Spin a story about an overlooked industry from National Bike Month

May is rife with those industry holidays and observances, and one that might make an intriguing launchpad for stories that don’t often make the biz writers’ radar screen is National Bike Month. In 2012 (most recent figures available), sales of new people-powered two-wheelers were more than $3.66 billion in the U.S., according to Bicycle Retailer […]

As World Cup excitement mounts, find local ties to Brazil's economy

As World Cup excitement mounts, find local ties to Brazil’s economy

Only a few weeks remain until the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil – and the much-watched football (or soccer, to those of us in the United States) tournament will bring all eyes to South America’s largest economy. FIFA, by the way, stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association and the league, […]

New Car Sales Chevy Code Acura NSX BMW i8

Will 2014 new car sales build on last year’s momentum?

Last year’s new car sales in the United States proved a turning point of sorts, soaring 50 percent higher than the dismal post-recession slump of 2009, as CNN Money reported in January.  While the annual sales pace was still 2 million vehicles off the heyday of 10 years ago, consumers (who had been hanging on […]

Aetna Proxy notice 2013

Proxy season stories: Time to address pay inequality, perks

We’re at the brink of proxy season now; one of the most interesting times of year to be a business journalist. Proxy statements – or formally, a company’s DEF 14A – are one of the more revealing documents that the Securities and Exchange Commission requires of publicly traded corporations.  They’re issued once a year in […]