NewsFeeds 5.21.09

Downturn, boomers will alter everything, Va. researcher says (Daily Progress)
A tanking economy and aging population will result in a new frugality with intergenerational households, changes in transportation modes and more seniors spending their final years at home, warns John Martin.

Recession helps drive Advance Auto’s profit (Roanoke Times)
The company’s leg up is auto parts. As Americans buy fewer new cars, and choose to drive the cars and trucks they already own, they’re more inclined to spend on repair and maintenance.

Feeling the Squeeze, Exclusive Country Clubs Get the Common Touch (Washington Post)
The National Golf Foundation has identified more than 500 clubs at serious risk of closing, and a recent survey of club managers showed that twice as many members resigned during the past 12 months than during a typical year. Look for the local angle from RBS in coming weeks.

Test Anxiety (The New Republic)
The concern is that, while the government’s numbers are defensible, there are simply hundreds of ways the stress tests could be off the mark. One easy-to-see example is the subset of securities–like mortgage-backed securities–the banks acquired for investment purposes and plan to hold for years. The 19 major banks have portfolios of such securities collectively worth hundreds of billions of dollars–many of which are now trading at deep discounts–and yet the stress test only anticipated about $35 billion worth of losses in this category. It’s not hard to imagine the losses being much higher–if, for example, the mortgages backing certain securities go into default.

Think Twice About Being First to Market (BusinessWeek)
New research offers fresh insight on when to launch a product or service, and shows that being first to market isn’t always a competitive advantage.

What Vetting? How Senior Execs Get Their Jobs (BNET)
A marvelous stat in the current Harvard Business Review suggests that many executives in your company were hired with only the pretense of vetting by senior leadership. In a third of 500 companies surveyed recently, candidates for senior executive positions went through only one to five interviews.

Downturn, boomers will alter everything, Va. researcher says (Daily Progress)
A tanking economy and aging population will result in a new frugality with intergenerational households, changes in transportation modes and more seniors spending their final years at home, warns John Martin.

Recession helps drive Advance Auto’s profit (Roanoke Times)
The company’s leg up is auto parts. As Americans buy fewer new cars, and choose to drive the cars and trucks they already own, they’re more inclined to spend on repair and maintenance.

Feeling the Squeeze, Exclusive Country Clubs Get the Common Touch (Washington Post)
The National Golf Foundation has identified more than 500 clubs at serious risk of closing, and a recent survey of club managers showed that twice as many members resigned during the past 12 months than during a typical year. Look for the local angle from RBS in coming weeks.

Test Anxiety (The New Republic)
The concern is that, while the government’s numbers are defensible, there are simply hundreds of ways the stress tests could be off the mark. One easy-to-see example is the subset of securities–like mortgage-backed securities–the banks acquired for investment purposes and plan to hold for years. The 19 major banks have portfolios of such securities collectively worth hundreds of billions of dollars–many of which are now trading at deep discounts–and yet the stress test only anticipated about $35 billion worth of losses in this category. It’s not hard to imagine the losses being much higher–if, for example, the mortgages backing certain securities go into default.

Think Twice About Being First to Market (BusinessWeek)
New research offers fresh insight on when to launch a product or service, and shows that being first to market isn’t always a competitive advantage.

What Vetting? How Senior Execs Get Their Jobs (BNET)
A marvelous stat in the current Harvard Business Review suggests that many executives in your company were hired with only the pretense of vetting by senior leadership. In a third of 500 companies surveyed recently, candidates for senior executive positions went through only one to five interviews.

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