March 11, 2010 Past Issues/Subscribe Printer Friendly Version Advertise Join NBMBAA
       
Top News
Unemployment rose in most states in January – even breaking records in several states, according to government data released Wednesday. Joblessness in five states – California (12.5 percent), South Carolina (12.6 percent) , Florida (11.9 percent), Georgia (10.4 percent) and North Carolina (11.1 percent) – hit a record high.

The Senate voted Wednesday to extend a host of soon-to-expire elements of last year's economic stimulus measure, including help for the jobless and money to help financially strapped states pay for health care for the poor.

Foreclosure filings in the U.S. rose 6% from a year earlier and fell 2% from January 2010, RealtyTrac reported on Thursday. These filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – affected more than 308,500 U.S. properties in February. That's 1 of every 418 U.S. housing units, the Irvine, CA consulting firm reported.

Career
The recent scrutiny of executive compensation has compelled a growing number of employers to scale back their robust salary and bonus offerings for corporate employees. The discontinuation of lofty incentive plans, expensive job perks, and exorbitant employee benefits to reward hard work is leaving many executives relying on old-fashioned self-motivation to sustain their career drive and achievements.

Finding the right career path is tricky. Though we all hope to choose correctly when we start working after college, many young people find out after a few years of experience in the field they trained for that they really want to do something else entirely. So what to do? Is there another option besides heading back to school to get some new skills?

Joe Hankin was on the fast track to law school. The 25-year-old Maryland native graduated early from Brown University and soon landed a paralegal job at a corporate law firm in New York City. After two and a half years, however, he had a change of heart.

Diversity in the Workplace
The U.S. Census Bureau is scouring Texas for an oddly elusive worker: the Spanish-speaking American who qualifies for the job. Texas is home to more Hispanics than any other state except California, and the pool of job seekers should be brimming due to the highest unemployment rate in years. Yet the agency can't seem to come up with enough workers.

Education
College men participate in campus activities at disproportionately low rates, but deliberate efforts to recruit them can help, according to the findings of a two-year study of 14 institutions that was presented here on Tuesday at the annual conference of Naspa – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

International
Haitian President René Préval emerged from a round of talks at the White House and Capitol Hill on Wednesday, optimistic that President Barack Obama and lawmakers are receptive to helping the shattered country with direct aid to the government.

Public and private sector workers in Greece began another general strike today to protest against spending cuts imposed to alleviate the country's debt crisis.

Technology
Malicious hackers have pounced on a newly patched Adobe PDF Reader vulnerability to plant Trojan downloaders on tardy Windows users.

Twitter may be a fast-growing social network, but most of its 50 million accounts merely follow other users rather than posting their own messages.

Entrepreneurship
Prime Time has finally arrived. After all the planning and plotting, your startup is ready for launch. The shingle bearing your company's name has been hung. The website is live. Like a bull in the chute, your sales team is clawing the ground, frothing at the mouth, hungry to corner and close prospects. Time for one last pep talk... "OK, everybody," you say, your voice rising to a crescendo,"let's get out there and... nurture!"

Whatever your reason is for starting your own business, it can be a very exciting time. Whenever I start a new company – I have launched three and invested in countless others – electricity pulses through my veins as I think about the possibilities.

The Economy
Ten years ago, the Nasdaq composite index hit its all-time high of 5,048, and the so-called bubble burst. The stock exchange, home to a lot of the Internet and telecom stocks that shot into the stratosphere during the dot-com boom, is still recovering. On Wednesday, it closed at 2,358 – only half of the high.

About 52 percent of all North American employees surveyed said they were 'totally committed' to their jobs, compared with 47 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 36 percent in Europe.

Personal Finance
Today, Bank of America announced its intention to end its automatic overdraft fees on debit and ATM transactions this summer. Instead of incurring a fee, the transaction will just be denied, unless a customer has chosen to opt-in to overdraft "protection.

The embarrassment suffered by Toyota is likely to have a bracing effect on other automakers causing a potential tsunami of recalls, industry sources say. But all those recalls might not make you any safer, experts say. In fact, the flood of alerts might just make things more dangerous.

Corporate America
Riding surging prices of his various telecom holdings, including giant mobile outfit America Movil, Mexican tycoon Carlo Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth and nab the top spot on the 2010 Forbes list of the World's Billionaires.

Another week, another opportunity for AIG's rivals to expand at the American insurer's expense. Days after sealing a $35.5 billion deal for its Asian life-insurance operations with Britain's Prudential, the firm, which is being dismembered to recoup bail-out costs, agreed on March 8th to sell another crown jewel, Alico.

Government
In the legislative scrum of Congress, winning means building a broad coalition. That's why victims of Bernard Madoff and accused Texas Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford are banding together to lobby for something neither group is influential enough to secure alone: a law that would help them recover some of their money.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are headed to the White House for a meeting on jobs today, and they'll have a few words to say about how President Barack Obama is doing his.

Leadership
President Obama has repeatedly called for an up-or-down vote on health care reform. But the only way House Democrats may be able to pass health care reform is by not holding an up-or-down vote. Follow me, Alice, and I'll try to explain.

When Ayanna Pressley decided to take a shot at a seat on the city council in her adopted hometown of Boston, Mass., she was committed to winning by any means necessary. This meant cashing in her 401(k) retirement plan – earned over 16 years as a Democratic operative in Boston and in Washington for Sen. John Kerry and other lawmakers.

Lifestyle
Airlines are pushing back against new rules that give fliers more rights. They are threatening to cancel scores of flights in response to a new rule that would prohibit airlines from keeping passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours without giving travelers the opportunity to get off the plane.

For the second year, Fortune has joined forces with Wallpaper* magazine to crown the top 10 new or newly reopened hotels for business travelers. The winners, chosen from a group of 50, are located in global hubs from Beijing to Zurich.

 
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