c.2013 New York Times News Service
c.2013 New York Times News Service
LOGAN AND PRODUCER ON LEAVE AT CBS OVER FLAWED BENGHAZI REPORT
CBS News correspondent Lara Logan and her producer, Max McClellan, made serious errors in an Oct. 27 report on the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, and will take leaves of absence, the network said Tuesday. Four Americans died in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The moves follow weeks of criticism directed at a “60 Minutes” report that was based on an interview with a hired security agent, Dylan Davies, whose comments were later discredited. CBS did not specify the length of the leave of absence.
IMF SHIFTS ITS APPROACH TO BAILOUTS
The International Monetary Fund, convinced that Europe erred in forcing debtor countries like Greece and Portugal to bear nearly all the pain of recovery on their own, is pushing hard for a plan that would impose upfront losses on bondholders the next time a country in the euro area requests a bailout. But the proposal — which is still being hashed out — is encountering stiff resistance, not just from the powerful global banking lobby, but also from European policymakers and, more recently, the U.S. government, which is the IMF’s largest financial contributor.
IN SILICON VALLEY, PARTYING LIKE IT’S 1999 AGAIN
These are fabulous times in Silicon Valley. Mere youths are turning down deals that would make them and their great-grandchildren wealthy beyond imagining. They are confident that even better deals await. “Man, it feels more and more like 1999 every day,” tweeted Bill Gurley, one of the valley’s leading venture capitalists. “Risk is being discounted tremendously.” This is generating huge attention and an undercurrent of concern. In Silicon Valley, it may not be 1999 yet, but that fateful year — a moment when no one thought there was any risk to the wildest idea — can be seen on the horizon.
NEW BOOM IN SUBPRIME LENDING
Wall Street and private equity firms, hedge funds and other opaque financing pools have grown frustrated by low returns on other forms of debt and turned instead to riskier but more lucrative bets on ever-smaller companies. The risks are coming in the form of what is known as a leveraged loan, a lightly regulated stepsibling to junk bonds. Leveraged loans became popular before the 2008 collapse then nearly disappeared. But they are now back in force, with volumes of $548.4 billion this year through Nov. 14, already exceeding the precrisis level of $535.2 billion in 2007.
RETAILERS SEEK SOCIAL NETWORKS TO COMPLEMENT WHAT THEY ALREADY DO: SELL THINGS
“Showrooming” is no longer a bad word. Just a few years ago, the retail industry was deeply shaken by a growing trend in store browsing. Some stores explored blocking Internet service in stores. But ultimately, most major retailers decided that many customers would be on their phones regardless of what stores did — so they decided to get on their customers’ screens. With online retail competition increasing, nowhere is that frantic embrace more evident this year than in the parade of partnerships and projects traditional retailers have formed with digital companies, many of them for the holidays.
A TAKEOVER TARGET BIDS FOR ITS SUITOR
Men’s Wearhouse didn’t like the feeling of being up for sale. The discount retailer had recently rebuffed takeover efforts by a smaller rival, Jos. A. Bank, arguing that the timing was opportunistic and the offer insufficient. But it turns out Men’s Wearhouse is interested in doing a deal. It just wants to be the one writing the check. On Tuesday, Men’s Wearhouse turned the tables on Jos. A. Bank and bid $55 a share in cash to acquire its one-time suitor. It is rare for the prey to become the predator, a strategy that harks back to the 1980s.
AUTO INDUSTRY TURNS TO CROWDFUNDING TO DRAW THE YOUNG
While automakers and dealers lament that younger buyers have neither money nor brand loyalty when it comes to buying a car, a host of services are looking to the crowd to help them save for what could be the biggest purchase they will make for years. Geared toward first-time buyers, these services are trying to turn car-buying into a social experience. “Automakers and dealers are going to have to identify new ways to engage these customers and deliver a showroom experience that enhances the process for shopping for a vehicle,” said Joe Vitale, global automotive leader at Deloitte & Touche.
MALLS WORK ON THEIR SECURITY BUT KEEP IT IN THE BACKGROUND
As millions of Americans descend on the country’s shopping malls this week for the holiday shopping season, few may notice new security measures intended to prevent violence like the recent shooting at a mall in Paramus, N.J. With multiple entrances, numerous parking levels and webs of corridors, the very design of a mall provides an assailant with endless opportunities for cover. But the strategies often employed by law enforcement agencies to prevent attacks — like metal detectors — may discourage consumers. So, mall operators are increasingly turning to subtler, less visible measures to keep a watchful eye on shoppers’ activities.