Author Archives: Steve Odland

Retail Sales Hit By Weather And Slow Economy

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/after-the-bell/index.html#/v/3336671654001 In this appearance on After the Bell on Fox Business Network on March 13, 2014, Steve Odland explains how  February 2014 retail sales grew by only .3% and January sales were adjusted down to -.6%.  So unfortunately, while February … Continue reading

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Weather Can Have An Impact On GDP

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000246285 Experts say that 30% of our GDP is vulnerable to weather Weather in January hit GDP by about a half percentage point With February storms, could hit another half point dragging Q1 GDP below 3% to close to 2% … Continue reading

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Weak Holiday Sales Will Lead to January Mark-downs

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000234251&__source=yahoo%7cheadline%7cquote%7cvideo%7c&par=yahoo Holiday sales grew only 2.7%, the lowest level since the depth of the Great Recession in 2009. And this is on top of a weak year ago.  Further, GDP grew $4.1% in the third quarter mostly due to inventory … Continue reading

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How America’s Credit Card Security Be Improved

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2967004291001/how-can-americas-credit-card-technology-be-improved/ In this segment on the Cavuto Show with Charles Payne on December 23, 2013, Steve Odland discusses the Target credit card data breach and what steps retailers and consumers can take to safeguard their data.

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Retail Bricks & Mortar Needs To Create A Compelling Shopping Experience To Survive

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2940071166001/how-can-brick-and-mortar-stores-survive-the-online-surge/ In this appearance on Varney & Co. on December 16, 2013, Steve Odland says that the only way traditional bricks and mortar retailers can survive long term versus online retailers is to create a compelling shopping experience, get competitive … Continue reading

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Sorry Is Good, New Healthcare Policy Would Be Better

http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/your-world-cavuto/index.html#http://video.foxnews.com/v/2836017978001/former-office-depot-ceo-whole-obamacare-system-in-chaos/?playlist_id=86929 In this interview with Neil Cavuto on Your World, Steve Odland argues that “sorry” is good, but now we need a fix to the ACA issues.  And not just the website, a policy fix to allow private competition, tort … Continue reading

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Small Businesses Are Being Deluged With Uncertainty

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/is-washington-in-need-of-a-total-rebranding-l~NpvTsdSZ6kqHClX6u9rg.html http://www.bloomberg.com/video/obamacare-critics-surveillance-11-14-6hq3lqqdTbGcMAyd7s9Rog.html In this November 14, 2013 appearance as guest host on Bloomberg Surveillance, Steve Odland addresses a number of economic issues including small business, health care, taxes, regulation, etc.  

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Affordable Care Website: A Man-Made Disaster

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2778597475001/former-office-depot-ceo-obamacare-was-a-man-made-disaster/ In this appearance on Cavuto on October 28, 2013, Steve Odland argues that the ACA government website is a disaster–but a man-made one.  Time and money will fix it.  But the larger issue is whether this portends the kind … Continue reading

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What the Budget Conference Can Accomplish

What the Budget Conference Can Accomplish This post assesses the task facing the budget negotiators on Capitol Hill.  It concludes that those negotiators could achieve real progress by laying out a budget plan based on those fundamental issues on which … Continue reading

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Low Consumer Confidence=Lack of Confidence In Government Policy

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000209842&play=1   In this interview on CNBC on 10/21/13 Steve Odland argues that consumer confidence is poor and that is negatively impacting consumer spending (70% of GDP) and small business investment.  Government policy needs long term change to improve confidence: … Continue reading

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We Cannot Default: We Need Long-Term Reform

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2733031415001/should-dc-focus-on-long-term-issues-like-tax-entitlement-reform/   Committee for Economic Development CEO Steve Odland on the government shutdown and debt ceiling on Fox Business After The Bell, 10/9/13.

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Washington: We Need A Long-Term Strategy

http://live.wsj.com/video/government-shutdown-what-do-ceos-think-2013-10-11-91152319/3706B5F1-35F3-4748-BCBE-4DDFCE1E34C6.html#!3706B5F1-35F3-4748-BCBE-4DDFCE1E34C6 Steve Odland, Committee for Economic Development CEO, explains the fears felt by corporate executives over the budget battle and the debt ceiling, and the possibility of an agreement that could delay a resolution by up to six weeks in … Continue reading

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Auto Sales Up, But Recovery From Recession Is Poor

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/u-s-auto-sales-up-in-august-KmlGbzSnRQy2RBfWfqDt7w.html In this appearance on Bloomberg’s Taking Stock on September 4, 2013, I discuss the double digit growth rate of auto sales in the U.S. in August, 2013.  While the sales are up and tracking to a 15.5M unit sales … Continue reading

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Raising The Minimum Wage Will Result In Fewer Jobs

http://www.video.theblaze.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=29879969&topic_id=38204812 I appeared on the Andrew Wilkow show on August 20, 2013 to discuss the efforts by some groups to raise the minimum wage.  The objective of having people make more money and move up the ladder is part of … Continue reading

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Small Businesses Under Pressure, Not Creating Jobs

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000192312 On August 21, 2013 I appeared on CNBC Squawk on the Street to argue that the U.S. economy is in a no growth period and desperately needs job growth as demonstrated by the struggles of the office products industry. … Continue reading

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Raising The Minimum Wage Will Destroy Jobs

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2602569652001/minimum-wage-wars-continue/?playlist_id=933116618001 The government and some workers are advocating to raise the Federal Minimum Wage from $7.25 per hour to $9.00 per hour.  In this video from Fox Business, I argue that a raise at the national level will disproportionately hurt … Continue reading

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CEOs Should Engage In Policy

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2591688091001/zuckerberg-likes-politics/   Business leaders have an enormous stake in the actions taken by our political leaders.  Over 70% of the GDP is driven directly by the private sector and the remainder is government spending fueled by taxes provided by businesses … Continue reading

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Shadow Labor Force

By Joe Minarik, The Committee For Economic Development The  Federal Reserve faces a real challenge making monetary policy.  The unprecedented combination of a hesitant recovery from a near-Great-Depression downturn, plus the eventual need to reverse the pedal-to-the-metal interest rates and … Continue reading

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Markets Are Ignoring Economic Reality

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2405337181001/markets-not-taking-bernanke-comments-seriously/ In this clip from the May 23, 2013 Cavuto show, Steve Odland articulates how U.S. markets are not taking our economic situation seriously.  China manufacturing numbers have moved negative, meaning the world engine for economic growth is slowing.  This … Continue reading

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Small Businesses Under Duress

In their April 12 earnings release, J.P. Morgan warned about the economy and the impact on small business.  Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, said: “Small businesses remain cautious about the recovery and fiscal uncertainty, and are not investing their capital. … Continue reading

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Business Lacks Confidence to Add Jobs

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/cavuto/index.html#http://video.foxnews.com/v/2278069970001/business-lacking-confidence-in-government-policies/?playlist_id=87065   Businesses are beseiged by new regulations, rising taxes, costly mandates from the new healthcare regulations, etc.  And so, they are not adding jobs.  The percentage of Americans working is at its lowest point since 1979 despite the unemployment … Continue reading

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Cyprus Situation Threatening to Small Business

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/cavuto/index.html#http://video.foxnews.com/v/2255649962001/italy-more-of-a-concern-for-europe-than-cyprus/?playlist_id=87065 The situation in Cyprus is worrisome.  It’s not just threatening to Cypriots, or Europeans.     When governments start seizing assets to pay down the debt it is a threat to everyone.  Europeans are saying this is a new … Continue reading

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Save Our Economy

Odland and Minarik: It’s Time to Act to Save Our Economy Fundamental changes and sound long-term policies are needed soon By Steve Odland and Joe Minarik Printed in Roll Call, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:17 p.m.   Our elected leaders are … Continue reading

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Government Policies Hurt Small Business

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2161028856001/   In this appearance on Cavuto 2/12/13, Steve Odland argues that government policies hurt small businesses.  Currently, high debt levels, deficit spending, and regulatory policy are causing businesses to hold back on investment in the U.S. and delay or … Continue reading

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Stop The Spending!

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/cavuto/index.html#/v/2071492689001/can-dc-still-tackle-spending-cuts/?playlist_id=87065   See Steve Odland’s appearance on Cavuto 1/3/13 arguing for fundamental tax and spending reform.   — Steve Odland

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Beware Of Regulations

The regulatory wave that has been hidden in Washington DC awaiting the finalization of the election finally will wash over small businesses.  These are not voluntary rules.  Small businesses will need to incur significant costs just to comply but non-compliance … Continue reading

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We Need Economic Reform

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/cavuto/index.html#/v/1954628590001/former-office-depot-ceo-americans-need-reform-to-happen/?playlist_id=87065 11/7/12 appearance on Neil Cavuto. Small businesses need certainty.  They also need lower taxes, not higher taxes.  So the Fiscal Cliff is coming and it needs immediate attention.  But if we allow the rates to rise and if we … Continue reading

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Income Tax Increases Will Hit Small Business

A July 2012 Ernst & Young study shows that income taxes scheduled to rise as part of the “fiscal cliff” at the start of next year will have a negative impact on small business.  You can view the entire report … Continue reading

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What Is The Role Of Government In Business?

How Much of a Role Should Government Have in Business? Steve Odland on government’s impact on businesses and Americans.  10/3/12

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Odland Appearance On Fox Business To Discuss Romney

http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/cavuto/index.html#/v/1809233108001/former-office-depot-ceo-on-romneys-business-background/?playlist_id=87065   I appeared August 28, 2012 on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox Business to discuss Mitt Romney’s business experience.  Click on the link above to watch.   — Steve Odland

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Back To School?

It’s that time of year again–Back to School time.  Hundreds of small businesses hold their breaths each year as this make-or-break season kicks in.  Prior years have been tough.  Consumer confidence has been low and wallets have stayed relatively closed. … Continue reading

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Businesses Are Built By People

http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443931404577551344018773450.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read Small Business owners are fuming over comments that the government is responsible for their business success rather than them.  Of course the government contributes to the overall good of the nation including defense, infrastructure, basic research, etc.  But it … Continue reading

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Off the Tax Cliff He Goes

Below is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal.  Once again, it highlights how unfriendly current policies are toward small business. — Steve Odland http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304022004577516860274008588.html?mod=googlenews_wsj&mg=reno64-wsj July 9, 2012, 7:38 p.m. ET Off the Tax Cliff He Goes President Obama … Continue reading

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Small Businesses Lead Recoveries

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=1154541423 This clip from June 2009 discusses the importance of small businesses in job creation and driving economic recovery.  To do so, these small businesses need confidence in tax policy, in healthcare policy, and in less regulation.  They also need … Continue reading

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When Forming A New Business Consider Tax Impact

Many people are forming new businesses at the bottom of this economic downturn.  This is common at this point in an economic cycle.  But it’s critical to think about the structure of your new business from a legal perspective and … Continue reading

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Small Business Drives The Economy

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=1154541423 This video clip from the summer of 2009 highlighted the role of small businesses in driving economic recovery.  All the principles outlined in this appearance are applicable to the economic situation today.  The economy is not recovering quickly.  This … Continue reading

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Take Cover Before The Storm

Small businesses are very vulnerable to the weather.  Storms like tornadoes, hurricanes, straight-line wind, etc. can knock out the workplace for a home-based businesses.  In turn, this could have serious financial ramifications.  Here are some practical steps to prepare: Locate … Continue reading

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Save Money on Your Home Insurance

A lot of small businesses work from home.  Insuring your home, and place of work, is important to reduce risk.  You want to cut costs in your business, but how can you do it for your home insurance? Of course, … Continue reading

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Government Spending Must Stop

http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveodland/2012/04/09/the-spending-must-stop/ Our government spending is out of control.  Debt has increased from about $9 trillion a few years ago to nearly $16 trillion today.  Our debt per taxpayer is $138,000.  And yet, Washington seems to be oblivious to what is … Continue reading

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U.S.: Highest Tax Rates In The World

It’s official as of April 1, 2012: the U.S. now has the highest corporate tax rates in the world.  It seems appropriate that this happened on April Fools Day.  On that day Japan lowered its corporate rates so that the … Continue reading

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Small Businesses Face Higher Borrowing Costs

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577308010791373308.html?mod=WSJ_SmallBusiness_LEFTTopStories Small businesses face rising borrowing costs.  From credit cards to bank loans, the businesses that usually provide the job growth following recessions are under undue pressure with the lack of affordable capital.  This is unfortunate. Small businesses need capital … Continue reading

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States Need To Lower Taxes, Cut Spending

http://youtu.be/VCN2j1NLkfE Here is an appearance by Steve Odland on Neil Cavuto 3/23/12 discussing the Illinois State Lottery’s decision to sell lottery tickets online.  While this may help raise some revenue, the larger issue is that spending is too high and … Continue reading

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The State Of Spending

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/office-depot-ceo-on-state-of-spending/3xtk9saa CNBC Fast Money from 6/24/10.  The subject of this video is the state of consumer and small business spending.  Small businesses had yet to come back and start spending.  They had not begun to create jobs.  Things were not … Continue reading

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Small Business Outlook Uncertain Still

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/small-business-outlook/3xm97n22?cpkey=55cbeae7-0506-443f-b5cd-59208c3f38c2 Here is commentary from an appearance I made on The Kudlow Report in September 2010.  Unfortunately, very little has changed from the situation a year and a half ago.  Small businesses face economic uncertainty, tax increases, lack of liquidity, … Continue reading

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Honda Civic Still A Winner

http://www.torquenews.com/1082/2012-honda-civic-still-winner Honda introduced the new 2012 Civic last year just as Japan was reeling from the dual impacts of the earthquake/tsunami natural disasters.  As a result of the events, supply was severely limited and sales suffered.  In 2012 sales have … Continue reading

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Geneva Motor Show

http://www.torquenews.com/1082/four-european-cars-you-cant-ignore-geneva-auto-show The International Geneva Motor Show is running now through March 18.  Here are some important new designs and models. — Steve Odland

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Silly Interview Questions

http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveodland/2012/03/05/silly-interview-questions/ It’s the silly season again.  No, not the political races—the interviewing season.  For thousands of people this is a time of year when they are subjected to the stress and strain of interviews.  College seniors are interviewing for permanent … Continue reading

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JOBS Act Has Bi-Partisan Support

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act, is six bills offered by different GOP lawmakers that have earned bipartisan support.  Among the measures in the JOBS Act are items to ease regulations on raising capital and organizing before the … Continue reading

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NASCAR’s Back!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveodland/2012/02/27/nascars-back/ NASCAR may be big business but small businesses all over work to supply the sport.  So here’s to every small business that make NASCAR what it is.  “Gentlemen, start your engines.” — Steve Odland

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Mercedes-Benz Introduces the SL63 AMG

http://www.torquenews.com/1082/mercedes-benz-introduces-sl63-amg-rumor-says-it-may-ante-sl65

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5 Ways For Small Businesses To Control Costs

http://blogs.forbes.com/steveodland/ Here are five ways for small businesses to control costs: 1) Renegotiate all contracts annually. 2) Discuss with customers how to take steps out of the mutual supply chain. 3) Match payment terms with inventory turns. 4) Ask vendors … Continue reading

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Small Business Outlook

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/small-business-outlook/3xm97n22?cpkey=55cbeae7-0506-443f-b5cd-59208c3f38c2%7C%7C%7C This clip from 9/16/10 is still appropriate today.  Temporary tax cuts rarely create long term benefit.  Small businesses need tax certainty. — Steve Odland

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Porsche Macan: The Baby Cayenne

http://www.torquenews.com/1082/porsche-macan-baby-cayenne   Most of my articles deal with small business on this blog.  But I wrote this artice for TorqueNews regarding the newly announced Porsche Macan.  Hope you enjoy. — Steve Odland

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To Do List For Small Businesses

http://www.huliq.com/13309/do-list-small-businesses-after-tough-2011 Here’s a simple To Do List for Small Businesses in 2012. — Steve Odland  

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Take Care Of Small Businesses

Steve Odland on Fox News Sunday This clip from a 2009 Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace show outlines the issues facing small businesses still today.  Small businesses were hurt disproportionately in this economic crisis.  Housing has hurt not only … Continue reading

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How to Go Green

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-nX4dn-zs4 Here’s a short clip from a video produced discussing Office Depot’s green marketing efforts.  Enjoy. — Steve Odland

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5 Policies To Aid Housing

The housing market still is a drag on economic recovery.  As inventory continues to exceed demand, prices are still under pressure, and asset values must continually be revalued lower. As these assets are reduced in value, banks and other lending … Continue reading

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We Must Know Our Customers

Businesses of all sizes have customers.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be in business!  But having customers and knowing our customers are two different things.  Regardless of our business, we must know our customers. When small towns emerged in this … Continue reading

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Small Businesses Should Fight Regulatory Costs

Regulation by government bodies imposes a huge cost on U.S. businesses, but it is especially onerous for small businesses.  The costs include changes needed in the business to comply, legal advice to understand rules, penalties and fines, etc.  Prices from … Continue reading

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Demanding Demand

This was written in 2010 for Huffington Post. It was written to urge business and government to work together to encourage productive economic growth. As I said then and is true now: “It will be the private sector that leads … Continue reading

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10 Things to Do At Year End

Small businesses generally had a tough year in 2011.  Once again, the economy was difficult, customers were not in buying moods, and growth was tough.  But still, small businesses faired well if they managed their businesses conservatively.  ‘Tis the season … Continue reading

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Small Business Needs Tax Certainty

There has been a huge debate recently about the job situation in the private sector.  The solution embraced over the last couple years has been temporary tax incentives and temporary Federal Reserve actions.  The extension of the “Bush Tax Cuts,” … Continue reading

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Corporations Are Holding Cash—Why?

American corporations have a record $2.1 trillion in cash on their balance sheets this fall.  One point of view is that this is terrible:  these companies deliberately must be extending the economic issues by not spending cash on creating jobs.  … Continue reading

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Unemployment Rate Drops–Then Where Are the Jobs?

Yesterday the Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate dropped from 9.0% in October to 8.6% in November. So, does this means nirvana is just around the corner?  Are our problems are over?  With .4% drop per month, will we … Continue reading

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Small Businesses Should Support Cash Repatriation

America’s small businesses usually create most of the jobs in an economic recovery.  But they don’t do this in a vacuum.  Much is made about “big business” versus “small business.”  But it’s not one or the other.  Small businesses exist … Continue reading

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Fox Business 2010 Back To School

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4294915/office-depot-ceo-on-back-to-school-sales Commentary on the 2010 Back to School season on Fox Business. — Steve Odland

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