Stocks surged in the United States and around the world today as markets reacted to the latest news out of Europe. We’ve had so many deals and false starts, but it looks like serious progress might be at hand in Europe.
By the end of a vital two-day summit here, European diplomacy had played out like soccer, with Spain and Italy — the two nations headed to the Euro 2012 finals — emerging victorious and the Germans returning home in shock.
After a marathon 14 hours of talks, Berlin unexpectedly agreed to concessions clearing the way for a deal that could help both Madrid and Rome in their desperate efforts to stave off economic collapse.
The agreement, while conditional on the creation of a regulatory body, addressed the core of the questions facing Europe: Who will cover the tab for its 2½-year-old debt crisis, and how?
Under the terms of the deal, troubled euro-zone countries would have more options for aid, including using a pool of European rescue funds to directly recapitalize ailing banks. That, in turn, would spare governments the humiliation of having to ask for aid themselves to channel to domestic banks, sidestepping the kind of intrusive financial inspections imposed on Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
The big change has to do with the decision to directly fund the troubled banks. Check out the whole article for the story, but it looks like Germany will cave here.
The Senate on Thursday completed a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that cuts farm subsidies and land conservation spending by about $2 billion a year but largely protects sugar growers and some 46 million food stamp beneficiaries.
The 64-35 vote for passage defied political odds. Many inside and outside of Congress had predicted that legislation so expensive and so complicated would have little chance of advancing in an election year.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called it “one of the finest moments in the Senate in recent times in terms of how you pass a bill.”
Is there a better example of what’s wrong with our politics?
Vacation clubs are a strange thing. On the one hand, they have the potential to be very good ways to save some money on the kinds of vacations you like to take. On the other hand, they can also become nightmares if you picked one of the shady types of vacation club. It can be extremely hard to tell which kind of club membership you have before it’s too late. The following may help you figure it out while there’s still time to back out.
Lots of Hoops to Jump Through
As a general rule, the better a company is, the less hoops they make you jump through to use their services. A vacation club that makes you adhere to a million rules typically has fees set up to grow their profits at your expense. The more work you have to do for your vacation, the more ridiculous the entire idea becomes. Seriously, why should a vacation involve a bunch of work?
Too Much Legalese
Legalese is a nice way to tell you that a company essentially owns your soul. In many cases, legalese is simply a company trying to keep itself from getting sued over silly things it has no control over. However, when a vacation club posts more legal disclaimers than you’d expect to find on a plutonium supplier’s website, it makes you wonder what kinds of travel club complaints they may have faced in the past. Don’t just wonder â€” do your research.
Who Owns the Company?
If you can’t easily find out who owns the travel club, that’s a serious problem. Usually, the owners of any kind of company are clearly marked at the bottom of the website. Generally this is for intellectual property protection reasons, but it also marks the fact that a website is owned by a legitimate business. If the business isn’t legit, no markings make it harder to find the owners in case a lawsuit comes up.
Where are the Owners Located?
Sometimes off-shore companies are on the level, but often they aren’t. In most cases, you want to deal only with vacation clubs that are located in your home country. The exception to that is clubs that are located in the country where the vacations in question take place. If the club isn’t located somewhere that the owners could easily be found if necessary, this is a huge red flag.
What are You Paying For?
If you can’t easily say in one sentence what you’re paying for, you’ve been duped already. Often a scam company will lead you through a long spiel about what they offer, and make it sound so convincing and great that you’re tempted to sign up without even knowing what you’re getting yourself into. If they put on the pressure and want you to sign up immediately, walk away quickly.
By following just a few common sense tips, you will be able to find a vacation club that will suit your needs.
Every now and then, there comes a great fix for a broken system. For the healthcare system, mobile health or mHealth is the latest so called silver bullet. mHealth applications are health monitoring applications. The latest report by IMS titled Wireless Opportunities in Health and Wellness Monitoring -2012 Edition has some big forecasts. It says that the market of self-monitoring for disorders like high blood-pressure and high blood sugar levels is growing faster than the market for tele-medicine. The primary reason for this is that consumer-adoption rates are higher with mHealth than provider-adoption rates with tele-health. From a business perspective, mHealth avoids many problems that tele-health runs into – mainly the question of who pays for it. Consumers who download the app, pay for it.
As a consumer, what does all this mean for you? And where should you start? If you own a SmartPhone, check out Microsoft Vault. You need to make an account with Microsoft HealthVault like an email account, enter your health interests and MS-HealthVault recommends which app you need. Let’s say you need to keep track of your prescriptions. Microsoft Vault will recommend apps like Walgreens or CVS. Once you sync the app with your HealthVault account, managing prescriptions becomes simple. You can order refills, track the status of your order, receive reminders for prescriptions refills, and receive notifications when they are ready to be picked up.
Another set of empowering tools are peripherals like the blood-pressure monitors. Consumers can connect these to the SmartPhone to track the readings, see the trend in blood-pressure. However, the most value is derived when a consumer can, in real-time, upload the information and share it with his physician via a wireless connection. For most applications, the providers do not require any special adaptations to their IT systems.
For a consumer, these developments signify the coming of not just self-monitoring but also a new level of accountability.
It marked a 12th consecutive month of sales gains of more than 20% for the company, which has gained about two percentage points in U.S. market share to nearly 11%. Total sales were 150,041.
And it comes as Chrysler prepares later this month to roll out its key new car introduction for the year, the Fiat-based Dodge Dart, above, that it aims to get the company back into the small-car game. Dart is an enlarged, Americanized version of Fiat’s sporty Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
All the company’s brands — Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat — posted year-over-year gains in May. Fiat was up most, 128% to a record month as the tiny 500 finally gains some traction.
But the Chrysler brand was heroic — up 81%, as the 200 sedan zoomed 87% and the big 300 rocketed 140% for its best May since 2007.
The administration would be wise to emphasize this news at a time when the unemployment rate is getting plenty of attention.
Kathy Ireland still looks great, but more importantly she’s become an incredible businesswoman. Here’s she’s interviewed on Morning Joe and she discusses her success. She focuses on learning from failure and the importance of persistence in business. She’s another example of supermodel moguls who have figured out how to leverage their celebrity into business careers.
After ditching costly Super Bowl ads, General Motors is betting a five-year sponsorship of the Manchester United soccer club will bolster its Chevrolet line in the first test of the brand’s new global marketing strategy.
Manchester United, the 19-time English champion football team, has a worldwide reach that fits with the automaker’s desire to make Chevrolet a global icon, Paul Edwards, GM executive director of global marketing strategy, said in an interview prior to the announcement.
“It’s clear that global football presented us with a significant opportunity to spread Chevrolet around the world,” he said. “We recognized that it’s not only the world’s biggest sport but also the world’s most engaged fans.”
The agreement follows GM’s decision this month to halt paid advertising on Facebook and forgo next year’s Super Bowl championship game of the National Football League in the U.S. The decision to sponsor Manchester United isn’t related to GM’s move to stop Super Bowl advertising, Mr. Edwards said. Still, the numbers are compelling.
When Manchester United played against Manchester City, “that audience around the world scaled to 600 million people,” Mr. Edwards said. “Compare that to the Super Bowl here in the States, which is roughly 110, 115 million, and you’re talking five times that audience watching one regular-season game. It’s significant.”
It’s an interesting approach, and it probably makes sense for such a global brand, especially for world vehicles like the Chevy Cruze. If it works for Chevy they’ll roll this out to Cadillac as well. Read the whole article for more insight into the strategy.