Archive for April, 2010

Applied for a bank loan?

Have you or your business tried to get a bank loan lately?

AJC reporter Paul Donsky writes about a couple turned down by eight banks before getting a loan to build an animal clinic.

Not too long ago, banks competed fiercely to make loans amid a roaring economy, Donsky writes. The recession forced many to rein in lending to protect dwindling capital levels, while also cutting loan demand from both businesses and consumers.

But lending hasn’t stopped, Donsky reports. Even in a horrid economy, and with banks being more selective, some businesses can get cash and some families can refinance mortgages or buy cars.

What’s been your experience?

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Power Breakfast: Airlines lose $1.7 billion to volcanic ash, transportation bill, bank loans, arts, Coke, Synovus, Goldman

Airlines have lost at least $1.7 billion due to travel disruptions caused by the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, an industry group said Wednesday as hundreds of planes finally landed or took off from airports around Europe, Associated Press reports.

Airlines lost revenues of $400 million each day during the first three days of grounding, IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani told a news conference in Berlin, AP reported. At one stage, 29 percent of global aviation and 1.2 million passengers a day were affected by the airspace closure ordered by European governments, who feared the risk that volcanic ash could pose to airplanes.

“For an industry that lost $9.4 billion last year and was forecast to lose a further $2.8 billion in 2010, this crisis is devastating,” Bisignani said.

For its part, Delta Air Lines canceled 400 trans-Atlantic flights through Monday, at a cost of some $5 million a day, or $20 million since volcanic ash first disrupted aviation, AJC …

Continue reading Power Breakfast: Airlines lose $1.7 billion to volcanic ash, transportation bill, bank loans, arts, Coke, Synovus, Goldman »

Economic snapshot of administrative assistants on their day

We’ve written a good bit about executive compensation — and the excesses.

Since today is Administrative Professionals Day — honoring the secretarial employees who work for the execs — here’s a few facts about the people in that field. The numbers come from the International Association of Administrative Professionals and U.S. Labor Department.

– There were 4.2 million administrative assistants and secretaries in the U.S. in 2008. There were another 1.4 million supervisors of those employees.

– It’s a growing field: 362,000 administrative assistant and secretarial positions will be added in the U.S. between 2008 and 2016. That’s growth of 8.5 percent. Also, 82,000 office supervisor positions will be added.

– The average annual earnings for executive secretaries and administrative assistants was $40,030 in 2008.

– But average starting salaries are expected to fall by 3.7 percent for administrative assistants in 2010.

For instant updates, follow me on …

Continue reading Economic snapshot of administrative assistants on their day »

Coke needs management succession plan

Dear Coke Board of Directors:

Welcome to Duluth.

Muhtar Kent

Muhtar Kent

Since your company has been performing relatively well recently, I’m sure you’ll enjoy a warmer reception during the annual shareholders’ meeting Wednesday at the Gwinnett Center than many other boards will this meeting season.

Not to throw a damper on things, but I’d like to raise an issue I think you need to address, but have not — at least as far as I or other Coke followers know.

The issue is management succession. This is something most of corporate America does very poorly. And you yourselves have had a mixed record over the past decade.

Before you picked Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent and plucked his predecessor, Neville Isdell, from the golf courses of Barbados, you stumbled with your previous two selections — Douglas Ivester and Doug Daft.

“The CEO succession process is broken in North America and is no better in many other parts of the world,” author Ram Charan wrote in Harvard Business …

Continue reading Coke needs management succession plan »

Power Breakfast: Volcano affecting Atlanta businesses, electric rates, DeKalb avoids layoffs, MARTA, Goldman

The volcanic ash over Europe has cast a cloud over some businesses with Atlanta ties, AJC reporters David Markiewicz and Kelly Yamanouchi write.

Chief among them is Delta Air Lines, which could be losing more revenue than any other U.S. carrier.

And shipping giant UPS, which delivers 2 million packages a day outside the U.S. Its main European air hub in Cologne, Germany, has had to stop outbound shipments from Europe and could not say Monday when they will begin again, Markiewicz and Yamanouchi report.

As airlines prepared to resume more flights Tuesday, AirlineFinancials.com analyst Robert Herbst estimated Delta is losing $10.4 million in revenue daily, with a daily operating loss of $6.5 million after accounting for savings from unused fuel and other operating expenses. That’s the highest amount among the U.S. carriers.

The Boyd Group, an aviation consulting firm, estimated Delta lost $29.4 million in revenue through Sunday, also the highest among U.S. …

Continue reading Power Breakfast: Volcano affecting Atlanta businesses, electric rates, DeKalb avoids layoffs, MARTA, Goldman »

Air travel: Have you heard from stranded family, friends?

With most of Europe’s air space shut down by volcanic ash, we’re wondering if you’ve heard from stranded family members or friends. If so, what have they experienced?

Are they sleeping in the airport or have they managed to get a hotel room? Or they being gouged by inflated prices because of the demand?

Do they think officials are doing the right thing by being cautious? Or are officials over-reacting? What do you think?

Airline officials and some pilots say that passengerless test flights show it is safe, Associated Press reports.

But meteorologists warn that the skies over Europe remain unstable from an Icelandic volcano that continues to spew ash capable of knocking out jet engines, AP writes.

Finally, did your family member or friend say how airline employees were treating passengers?

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Continue reading Air travel: Have you heard from stranded family, friends? »

Power Breakfast: Volcanic ash still disrupting flights, Toyota, state budget, traffic, prison labor, Goldman

For a fifth straight day, the volcanic ash cloud is disrupting air travel and finances in Europe.

The Washington Post reports that less than one-third of flights were taking off Monday.

AJC reporter Kristi Swartz reports that Delta has called off 49 flights for Monday.

And the Associated Press is reporting that the chaos is leaving some passengers with major financial headaches.

Also in the AJC:

In other media:

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Continue reading Power Breakfast: Volcanic ash still disrupting flights, Toyota, state budget, traffic, prison labor, Goldman »

Power Breakfast: East Lake golf sponsors, AirTran hiring, Tea Party, tax filers, Delta, Spectrum

It’s hard to get over golf after covering the Masters last week. So forgive me if I highlight a golf business story today.

AJC reporter Leon Stafford writes that East Lake Golf Club will remain the site of the PGA Tour finale thanks to a sponsorship agreement inked by Coca-Cola and the Southern Co.

The pair extended their sponsorship of the Tour Championship at East Lake, which concludes the PGA Tour and determines the winner of the sport’s FedExCup. This year’s Tour Championship will be played Sept. 22-26.

“The Masters, for a lot of us in Georgia, is the start of the golf season, and this is kind of the end of it,” said Todd Rhinehart, executive director of the Tour Championship.

Stafford writes that Coke signed a deal to continue as a presenting sponsor of the tour through 2016. It also will continue to be the tour’s official soft drink. Southern Co. will remain a supporter of the tour, as well as its official energy sponsor.

The deals keep the FedExCup …

Continue reading Power Breakfast: East Lake golf sponsors, AirTran hiring, Tea Party, tax filers, Delta, Spectrum »

Power Breakfast: Tax Day help, jobless rate, auto insurance, Ga. Dome, UPS, Toyota

Today is Tax Day.

If you’re a procrastinator, here are two links that may help you:

Also in the AJC:

In other media:

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Continue reading Power Breakfast: Tax Day help, jobless rate, auto insurance, Ga. Dome, UPS, Toyota »

State unemployment rate rises to record 10.6% in March

Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to a record 10.6 percent in March. That was up from 10.5 percent in February, the state labor department said Thursday.

A year ago, the jobless rate was 9 percent, the labor department said.

For 30 consecutive months, Georgia’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is now 9.7 percent. The number of jobless workers in the state increased to 497,500, from 494,321 in February.

There was some positive news in the report.

In March, 69,265 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits — a decline of 27,041 from March 2009. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, construction, and administrative and support services.

Also, the number of payroll jobs in March increased 10,500 from February, to total 3,795,400.

Still, the number of payroll jobs have decreased 112,300 from March of 2009.

“Georgia’s unemployment rate continues to rise, however, …

Continue reading State unemployment rate rises to record 10.6% in March »