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September 18, 2012

Buffett: My cancer treatment is done

Filed under: business, canada — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 6:28 am

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he has completed treatment for a mild case of prostate cancer, according to a published report.

Speaking Friday to executives of newspapers he has recently acquired, Buffett was quoted by The Omaha World-Herald as saying “It’s a great day for me. Today I had my 44th and last day of radiation.” The World-Herald is owned by , Fortune 500), Buffett’s investing company.

In a letter to shareholders in April, Buffett disclosed that he had Stage 1 prostate cancer. Buffett, who is now 82, said at the time that the cancer was “not remotely life-threatening.”

Less than a month later, Buffett told shareholders gathered in Omaha, Neb., that the cancer was “a non-event.”

“Maybe I’ll get shot by a jealous husband, but this is a really minor thing,” he said about the risk to his life.

Buffett, one of the world’s richest men as a result of his investing prowess, has yet to publicly reveal a succession plan, though he says he has already informed Berkshire’s board about his preferred candidates. Upon his departure, Buffett’s job will be divided between a CEO in charge of operations and one or more executives in charge of investments.

The World-Herald quoted Buffett as saying he’s relieved to be done with the radiation.

“I’ll be feeling the side effects for a few weeks yet, but I am so glad to say that’s over,” Buffett said.


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July 27, 2012

Spain at 7% Stresses Inadequacies of Rescue Options: Euro Credit - Bloomberg

Filed under: business, canada — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 12:56 am

Money managers with more than $800 billion are betting European policy makers can only offer Spain a temporary respite from record borrowing costs.

Yields on Spain

July 17, 2012

Low-cost ways to put off pricey home repairs

Filed under: business, loans — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:48 pm

You change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles or so, get your teeth cleaned regularly, and rebalance your investments once a year. So why wouldn’t you undertake similar preventive maintenance on your house?

Having to replace just one of its hardest-working surfaces — from roofing to exterior paint, hardwood floors to lawn — would cost you thousands. But you can stave off that pain with simple, often-overlooked upkeep procedures and slight tweaks to the way you already approach routine chores.

Exterior paint: The biggest controllable threat to the paint on your house is the landscaping around it, says architect Karen Sweeney, director of facilities for two Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Chicago.

Overgrown foundation plantings rub away paint — and bring moisture and bugs onto the finish.

The fix: Prune bushes to keep them at least a foot away from the house; a landscaper might do it for $200 if he’s already there.

Roofing: You can’t stop nature from damaging your roof, but you can address the harm coming from within by adding ventilation to your attic. Without proper airflow, that space can get 35° to 55°F hotter than the outside temperature, roasting the roof from below.

The fix: Have a contractor add airflow by installing high and low attic vents; they can go in the walls or the roof itself, depending on the situation ($500 to $1,000).

Hardwood floors: Every grimy boot and dragged chair brings you closer to the day when you’ll have to refinish the floors. "But sanding floorboards makes them a little thinner, bouncier, and creakier," says Sweeney. "And after three times there’s nothing left to sand."

The fix: Hire a floor guy to "screen," or sand away most of the old finish — without touching the wood — and apply new polyurethane ($1,000 to $1,500 for a typical first floor, half the cost of refinishing).

Lawns: Many DIYers and pros do the grass serious harm when they mow.

"People like the look of a close-cropped lawn," says University of Tennessee agriculture professor John Stier, a consultant to Major League Baseball grounds crews.

See also: Plug the cash drains and stop wasting money

But in the North, grass shorter than 2½ to 3½ inches is less drought resistant and invites insects and weeds (in the South, one inch is fine).

The fix: Set the mower higher and never remove more than a third of the grass height at a time. Says Stier: "Think of mowing as a trim, not a crewcut."  


June 29, 2012

EU Leaders Ease Debt-Crisis Rules on Spain - Bloomberg

Filed under: business, canada — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 4:36 am

Euro-area leaders agreed to relax conditions on emergency loans for Spanish banks and possible help for Italy as an outflanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave in on expanded steps to stem the debt crisis.

After 13 1/2 hours of talks ending at 4:30 a.m. in Brussels today, chiefs of the 17 euro countries dropped the requirement that taxpayers get preferred creditor status on aid to Spain

May 29, 2012

Europeans dislike the euro, but don

Filed under: business, term — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:20 pm


May 24, 2012

Noda Risks Party Rupture in Push to Pass Japan

Filed under: business, finance — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 8:36 pm

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda

April 3, 2012

ATK laying off 325 in Fenton

Filed under: business, legal — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:32 am

ATK Sporting Group, a maker of tactical gear and shooting supplies, is scaling back its operations locally and laying off 325 employees in Fenton.

Employees were notified this week of the layoffs, which are effective within the next 60 to 90 days.

A small number of about 20 to 30 employees, primarily in the design unit, will continue working at the company’s leased facilities on Biltmore Drive. “We’re going to maintain a presence there, but most of the operations will cease,” said Jason Nash, a spokesman for Anoka, Minn.-based ATK Sporting Group.

The Fenton facilities formerly housed the headquarters of Eagle Industries, a company founded in 1982 that ATK acquired in 2009. At the time of the acquisition, Eagle employed 2,300 people in multiple locations.

Also this week, ATK announced the permanent closure of a manufacturing facility in Onalaska, Wisc flexcheck cash advance., that makes gun scope mounts and replacement gun stocks. That facility employs 130 people.

Nash said the decisions to close the Wisconsin facility and downsize the Fenton operations were made after evaluating the company’s companywide facilities and its future needs. “As part of that, we’re rationalizing our footprint to set ourselves up for future growth,” he said. 

ATK Sporting Group is owned by ATK, a Fortune 500 aerospace, defense, and commercial products company based in Arlington, Va. The company had sales of $4.84 billion in its 2011 fiscal year.


March 1, 2012

France easily sells $10.8 billion in bond auctions

Filed under: business, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:24 pm

The French treasury says it sold euro8 billion ($10.8 billion) in bonds amid relative calm on financial markets ahead of a two-day summit of European leaders aimed at charting a path back to growth.

On the secondary market, where bonds trade openly after they’re issued, the yield, or interest rate, on France’s 10-year bonds fell by nearly 0.10 percentage point Thursday to 2.78 percent. That’s below the 3 percent level widely considered a benchmark of investor confidence.

Earlier this year, Standard & Poor’s downgraded France because of concerns over its economy as well as Europe’s ability to get a grip on a debt crisis that’s been raging for nearly two years. The decision was widely anticipated so the impact has been fairly muted.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects “last month” to “earlier this year”.)


February 17, 2012

Ore. investment research president charged in NYC

Filed under: business, management — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 4:28 pm

The president of an Oregon investment research firm has been arrested on conspiracy and securities fraud charges in New York City.

John Kinnucan of Portland, Ore., was awaiting an initial court appearance Friday in Manhattan. He was arrested late Thursday.

The president of Broadband Research LLC is accused of obtaining secrets about publicly traded companies and selling the information to Broadband’s clients.

Prosecutors say those clients included hedge funds and money managers.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says Kinnucan used financial incentives, fancy meals and other inducements to curry favor with public company insiders.

Authorities say Kinnucan then obtained inside information about earnings reports between 2008 and 2010 and relayed the numbers to his clients.

It was not immediately clear who will represent Kinnucan in court.


February 14, 2012

US stocks down as Greek bailout debate winds on

Filed under: business, online — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 2:28 pm

It wasn’t the Valentine’s Day investors were hoping for.

Stocks opened lower on Wall Street Tuesday, weighed down by disappointing news about January retail sales in the U.S. and continuing economic struggles in Europe.

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 22 points to 12,852 in early trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 3 points to 1,349. The Nasdaq fell 8 points to 2,923.

The government reported that U.S. retail sales rose 0.4 percent last month, missing the 0.7 percent growth analysts had predicted.

Late Monday Moody’s downgraded its debt ratings on six European countries, including Italy, Portugal and Spain. Moody’s also said it might cut France, Austria and the U.K. as well. Greek leaders said the country’s economy shrank 7 percent in the fourth quarter.


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