Posts by Morgan Korn
- Daily Ticker1 day ago
There are celebrity clothing lines, fragrances, headphones, jewelry, restaurants -- you name it. Now add celebrity wines as the latest business venture to take Hollywood by storm. At least 60 celebrities including Drew Barrymore, Sam Neill, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Antonio Banderas, Emilio Estevez and Kyle MacLachlan are producing high-quality wines. Some are even winning international awards: The 2012 vintage of Pitt and Jolie's Chateau Miraval Rose was named the best rosé in the world by Wine Spectator. Six thousand bottles of the rosé were available for sale last March and all sold out within minutes.
Sommeliers and oenophiles can taste the dried red berry, tangerine, melon and spice notes in the Pitt-Jolie rosé, but few wine lovers have the trained palattes to distinguish the nunanced flavor. The rosé's popularity probably has more to do with Brad and Angelina than its high accolades, says Food & Wine's executive wine editor Ray Isle. But our fascination with all-things celebrity only goes so far.
"If the wine is not very good consumers won't drink it," Isle notes. "Sometimes celebrity wines sell better, sometimes they tank."
- Daily Ticker6 days ago
Is General Motors (GM) talking out of both sides of its mouth? Reuters reports that GM has been offering deep discounts on its pickup trucks to lure buyers at the same time telling Wall Street analysts that it "intends to maintain premium pricing and margins" on the trucks. Reuters was given access to data that showed GM was increasing the incentives on its trucks last month; discounts averaged up to $5,972 on the Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models and $3,593 on the Silverado 1500, according to Reuters.
"GM is in a conundrum," says Dan Colarusso, executive editor at Reuters. The Detroit automaker needs to discount on the lower end, he explains, and reassure Wall Street that the company is making money on its trucks.
"Trucks make Detroit," he adds. "Trucks are the margin drivers..they make everything else possible."
- Daily Ticker9 days ago
About 1.6 million adult Americans earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour--and 2 million earn less than the federal minimum. Ralph Nader, the consumer-rights crusader, argues that Congress should boost the federal minimum to at least $10.50 an hour. If adjusted for inflation, the hourly wage should actually be $10.67, Nader says.
- Daily Ticker10 days ago
Forget Hillary or Rand Paul. Could Oprah or Bill Gates be the country's next president? Ralph Nader, famed consumer advocate, political activist and author of Told You So: The Big Book of Weekly Columns , has published his presidential wish list and the chosen 20 are not what you'd expect from Nader. First, they're all wealthy (billionaires or multimillionaires) and only a select few are longtime progressives.
Nader shot to fame when he criticized the U.S. auto industry’s safety practices in the 1960s, and his controversial exposes have led to many consumer-protection reforms over the years.
Nader explains in the video above that these individuals (full list below) have the potential to shake up the "stale two-party tyranny" system that excludes independent and third-party candidates. (Nader is a former four-time presidential candidate, having run in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008). Six in 10 Americans says a third party is needed according to an October 2013 Gallup poll.
- Daily Ticker13 days ago
Everything is moving to the cloud these days -- including, possibly, your job.
One-third of U.S. workers are indpendent contractors, up from a mere 6% 25 years ago. And the need for a physical workplace is becoming extinct, says Tim Houlne, CEO of Working Solutions and author of The New World of Work: From the Cube to the Cloud . Working Solutions, a call-center operator based in Plano, Texas, employs about 5,000 agents across the country who all work from home. Houlne says the following three trends have encouraged more companies to hire workers who can log in from anywhere and work in the cloud:
Work is being fractionalized. Companies increasingly split projects among employees, allowing one to pick up where another left off.
Careers are being virtualized. A decent computer setup and a broadband connection are all many workers need to get the job done, allowing more people to work from home and more companies to shave the costs of maintaining an office.
Talent is globalized. Many companies can hire workers wherever they want, allowing them to find the skilled workers they need at costs they can afford.
- Daily Ticker15 days ago
The U.S. will become the world's largest oil producer by 2015, surpassing Russia and Saudia Arabia, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said late last year. America could also become energy independent in the next two decades because of the booming natural gas revolution taking place in several states. Few would argue that energy independence is a negative; the issue has been the safety and environmental impact of how natural gas is drilled -- the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
- Daily Ticker16 days ago
No one knows for sure exactly how Netflix's (NFLX) agreement with Comcast (CMCSA) will impact consumers and the cable industry. The deal that was agreed to on Sunday -- Netflix paying the nation's largest cable and broadband provider to get direct access to Comcast's customers at faster speeds -- has been described as a game changer for the industry.
Mark Kiesel, deputy CIO at PIMCO, says the move by Netflix was ingenious.
"if I was Netflix I would want to sign an agreement with Comcast because you're talking about a company with a combined 30 million subscribers...That is 6x larger than the next largest rival Cox," he tells The Daily Ticker.
- Daily Ticker17 days ago
Janet Yellen's confirmation as chair of the Federal Reserve was historic because no woman has ever served at the helm of the 101-year-old central bank.
- Daily Ticker20 days ago
The White House released details of President Obama's fiscal 2015 budget and already the "partisan sniping" has begun, says The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task.
President Obama wants to increase domestic spending by $56 billion next year -- a "pimple in the government's budget" notes Task. The spending would be targeted at job training, manufacturing and early-childhood education. Republicans are accusing Obama of abandoning efforts to reduce the nation's long-term debt. The official budget proposal will be unveiled March 4.
Is the budget a sign that the president has stopped trying to negotiate with Republicans? Possibly, says Yahoo Finance's Jeff Macke, and that's expected of a second-term president who is concerned with his presidential legacy.
- Daily Ticker22 days ago
A new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office poses serious questions about raising the federal minimum wage, an issue backed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. The report found that raising the hourly wage to $10.10 an hour would result in a loss of 500,000 jobs by the second half of 2016.
The CBO analysis also concluded that a higher minimum wage would lift 900,000 American families out of poverty and increase the incomes of 16.5 million workers.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, or an annual salary of $15,080 for a full-time worker.
The last time Congress hiked hourly wages was in July 2009, when President George W. Bush signed a 70-cent increase into law.