Friday, October 22, 2010
G-20 Nations Meet
The finance ministers of the G20 nations - a group of industrial and developing nations - are meeting over the weekend in South Korea. The meeting is significant especially after US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner called on the G-20 nations to stop manipulating currencies to avert a trade war. But his proposal met a cool reception on the first day of a two-day meeting. Large exporting nations including Japan, Germany and China whose export-led growth models have built up major trade surpluses, are opposing such a solution. This issue highlights how the unity of the G-20 has been tested by slow growth in rich countries and attempts by emerging market economies to preserve their export competitiveness by holding down their exchange rates.
Sources: WSJ, NY Times
Starbucks Testing Beer & Wine Sales
Starbucks is testing a revamped and redesigned marketing approach at one Seattle location. The test store — designed to generate more business after 2 p.m. — also serves beer, wine, and gourmet delicacies. According to some, "This is a serious gamble for a chain that's spent four decades and billions of dollars establishing a highly recognized brand." Others say, "The new wine-bar approach is a great strategy for developing a whole new after-work business. Independent coffeehouses have long morphed into wine bars when night falls, so this makes perfect sense."
Sources: The Week, USA Today, BNET
Verizon's 3rd Quarter Profits Drop
The New York based telecommunications company reported that its third-quarter earnings fell 25% as the carrier added fewer subscribers than AT&T Inc. Earnings fell to to $881 million, or 31 cents a share, from $1.18 billion, or 41 cents a share, in the year-ago period.
Sources: WSJ, MarketWatch