Jill Malandrino, correspondent for TheStreet, explains how the Paychex-IHS Small Business Jobs Index shows increased growth for the 12-month period leading up to June, 2014. According to Martin Mucci, CEO of Paychex, there has been growth of 0.23 percent spread over the 12 months leading to June. He pointed out that the National Index is near an historic high despite the fact that it went down to 101.07. The Index also shows that the mountain region has continued to lead the small business growth rate.
Mucci explained that the high-tech sector is the key to growth in the mountain region with some help from real estate improvements. Washington State and Texas are doing best. In Texas Dallas is ranked as the top performing metro area. Seattle and San Francisco came in second and third place.
When asked why the Mid-Atlantic States don’t show as much growth, Mucci answered that since the eastern seaboard did not crash as hard during the recession, its recovery would not be as dramatic as what we are seeing in the south and south-east.
As far as how small business owners feel about job growth, Mucci said that the small business sector is showing continued optimism about the economic recovery.
CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, Bill Ackman discusses the Herbalife investigation with Stephanie Ruhle. The investigation, which has been going on for about two years, is being conducted by the Federal Trade Commission. Ackman has been active for the last year and a half, trying to get a regulatory interest in the company. According to Ruhle, Ackman has not achieved his goal, however. Despite his best efforts, the price of the company’s stock has not been significantly affected.
With many examples Ackman shows that he has achieved his goals. For instance, he sites that the day after Pershing Square’s China presentation the FTC launched a formal investigation of Herbalife; the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation of the company; and the FBI has begun a criminal investigation. There are also several attorneys general who have launched investigations into Herbalife.
On July 22 Pershing Square will disclose at a New York City event an issue that has not been discussed before: an inside look at “nutrition clubs.” According to Ackman, evidence which has been collected over the past year shows conclusively that nutrition clubs, which Herbalife is just one example of, are “complete frauds.”
Andrew Parker, Aerospace Correspondent for the Financial Times, interviewed the chief executive of Airbus Group, Tom Enders, at the Farnborough air show. Enders discussed the competitive edge Airbus should have over Boeing now that they have launched a new version of Airbus’s popular A330. The A330 is more fuel efficient and has improved aerodynamics. Enders explained that the new plane will increase the range it can fly, creating for Airbus a stronger portfolio than they have ever had in the past.
Considering a new plane that is to be delivered to Qatar by the end of the year, the Airbus 350, the competitor with the Dreamliner, Enders discussed the difficulties of keeping up with demand so that they can fulfill the increasing number of orders for the plane that is expected.
Also discussed was how Airbus can compete better with the US defense market. Enders said that Airbus has resigned themselves that they are not going to be able to compete with the US defense establishment, but are happy to continue in their small niche. Airbus still owns the largest defense business in Europe, Enders emphasized.
Curious what people with unlimited resources spend their numerous greenbacks on? Bloomberg Ranx put together a list of four astronomically expensive luxury items that only the world’s richest 1% can afford to own.
• The most expensive car of 2014 in the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster. Only nine of these amazing luxury vehicles were produced so far this year. They can reach a top speed of 221 mph and can be yours for a mere $4.5 million. Why not get two?
• Cars seem to be all the rage these days, and not just recent models. In the classic car department the Mercedes-Benz 1954 W196R “Silver Arrow” has the distinct designation as the most expensive car ever sold at auction. Only 14 vehicles were ever produced. An anonymous bidder took this baby home for $33,636,351. Wow!
• It seems billionaires are not happy just staying put, since they seem to be spending the big bucks on means of transportation. The second most expensive billionaire’s toy turns out to be an airplane. Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov purchased his very own custom Airbus A340-300X. This airplane which has a 9000 mile range on just one tank of gas can hold 375 of Usmanov’s best friends. It is actually larger than the plane that Vladimir Putin uses for his jaunts around the Russia and beyond. But what the heck, for only $500 million who wouldn’t run out and buy their own plane?
• The most expensive luxury toy is another way to get around the world, just a bit slower than in a plane, and a bit more relaxing then speeding around in a car. A yacht dubbed the Eclipse, and owned by another Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. The Eclipse is a generous 536 feet long, has two swimming pools, a mini-submarine, and set Abramovich back about $1.5 billion.
Global X Management CEO Bruno Del Ama, Graham Fisher’s Joshua Rosner and Bloomberg’s Julie Hyman all take turns commenting on Google’s purchase of startup Songza Media. Here, they speak with Trish Regan on “Street Smart”.
They discuss that it’s certainly not surprising that Google wants to get into the very hot music business. Google has already tried to display Facebook with Google Plus and has had a very hard time doing so. Amazon has already entered this market with streaming music for their Prime subscribers. However, Amazon is only offering music that is six months old. This makes it questionable if Amazon will be a force in this space. Google, of course, is trying to become a real player here and time will tell if it succeeds in doing so.
Recently, the Clean Energy View Radio Show host June Stoyer sat down to talk with energy expert Michael R. Brower. He is the President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy. He explains that the American Council is an umbrella group that helps the United States to use clean and renewable energy.
The Renewable Energy Finance Forum is an annual event in its 11th year. It is the most go-to event in renewable energy in the United States at the moment. They have 66 speakers in the 2.5 days of their event. These include the Director General of the International Renewable Energy center, private law firms, investment bankers and many others.
He explains that the changes in the renewable energy technology have been logarithmic in nature. He discusses the changes going up in clean energy and the way that people can be involved.
Wall Street’s Bull Market Making Investors Smile
This month marks the 5th anniversary of the current Bull market on Wall Street, making it one of the longest and strongest in history. Yet US stock ownership is at a record low and less than half of Americans trust banks and financial services. In the last two weeks, the New York attorney general and the Commodities Futures and Trading Commissioner in Washington have both launched investigations into high frequency computerized stock trading that now controls more than half the market.
In best-selling author Michael Lewis’s new book Flash Boys, the argument is put that the stock market is now rigged to benefit the group of insiders who have made tens of millions of dollars exploiting computerized trading.
The Museum of American Finance
The New York Stock Exchange was recently visited by representatives from The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the nation’s only independent museum dedicated to finance. Along with them, to ring the Opening Bell, were representatives from R.W. Pressprich, a NY Based institutional broker dealer, and the Boys’ Club of New York. For the second consecutive year, R.W. Pressprich has sponsored free student admission during the summer and financial education programs at the Museum for Boys’ Club of New York members.
From Tuesday through Friday from 10-4, students are invited to tour the Museum free of charge as a result of R.W. Pressprich’s efforts.
The waste management company, Wheelabrator Westchester, continues to find innovative ways to transform waste into safe, clean, renewable energy for nearby homes and businesses. Recently after nearly 30- years of service to Westchester County, the Wheelabrator Waste 2 Energy facility located in Peekshill, New York, announced a first of its kind renewable energy partnership, with White Plains Linen, the county’s largest commercial laundry operation. The new partnership enables Wheelabrator Westchester to provide White Plains Linen with clean, renewable steam to power its laundry facility. This steam power will decrease its use of natural gas and enable the business to reduce its carbon footprint by 90 percent.
Stephanie Ruhle reports on Bloomberg the breaking news from the Third Point website of Dan Loeb who criticized the business model of the Sotheby’s. Loeb criticized the directors of Sotheby’s for being “short term investors” something Loeb himself has been accused of.
“We believe the Company’s slide is a consequence of failed leadership by a Board of Directors who collectively own a scant 0.87 % stake,” Loeb stated on his website, the Third Point.
Loeb’s long, seven-page letter is a response to a letter sent by Sotheby’s not just to Loeb but to also their shareholders. Sotheby’s letter stated that ‘Dan Loeb was unable to act constructively as a director, adding no relevant skills, experience or expertise.”
Loeb lobs it back, saying in his letter that Sotheby’s has made no sincere effort to cut costs, the money is going to the wrong place, the model they employ to attract listings so they don’t end up at Christies is all wrong. In addition, Loeb states,
“Sotheby’s current challenges are well-known consequences of poor corporate governance and malfunctioning board processes. Our view is that Sotheby’s sorely lacks innovation and creativity at its most senior levels and requires an infusion of leadership, accountability and transparency.”