Big Fish Get Bigger

November 23, 2020 COVID-19 unleashed a tsunami of destruction. Whole industries are transforming, and some are being wiped out altogether. The industry that’s perhaps been damaged most by the pandemic is the restaurant business. It’s been gutted. According to Yelp and the Wall Street Journal, almost 22,000 restaurants closed their doors forever from March 1-September …

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Unwelcome Signs of the Times

November 16, 2020 The lingering pandemic is having profound negative effects. Consider how job loss and other financial stresses often affect a person’s ability to pay rent. Despite generous stimulus and government support minimizing the problem for a while, it appears things are starting to get worse. September data revealed metro areas with the biggest …

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14 Years to Get There

As I’ve said before, predictions of a strong economic rebound are far too optimistic. In May we received a jobs report showing a whopping 2.5 million new jobs created and an unemployment rate that dipped to 13.3 percent. This set off a wave of optimism pointing towards growth in the second half of 2020. But as …

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Gambling’s New Frontier

Speculative bubbles are always around. Usually, they end up poorly – think the tech and housing bubbles earlier this century. Now, one of the craziest speculative bubbles going is bankrupt stocks. Bankruptcy-bound Chesapeake Energy’s stock went up 182 percent. Hertz went up 115 percent. JCPenney went up 96 percent. Every one of these stocks isn’t …

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Can Hospitality Be Rescued?

The show “Bar Rescue” features hospitality industry veteran Jon Taffer using his know-how to improve bars and restaurants’ bottom lines. He knows what works. Unfortunately, his outlook for American hospitality establishments is gloomy. Taffer said 40 percent of them probably won’t survive this pandemic, which is rather scary. His main concern centers on the difference between sustaining …

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