Webster Bank has joined TD Bank in remaining open on Presidents Day. Workers at Webster will get a floating holiday to be used later. It’s a growing trend in the workplace. What’s becoming of our shared national identity as holidays vanish to be replaced with personal, isolated time off?
Archive for February, 2011
On Friday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy lauded a Rell administration project to create a paperless unemployment insurance payment system for saving the state $300,000 a month.
“This is absolutely the type of move the state needs to shift towards across all realms of governmental services – doing more with less,” Gov. Malloy said in a press release. “The electronic method will provide an even better unemployment insurance program for this state, while at the same time saving more than $3.6 million a year in unnecessary paper, printing and mailing costs.”
In order to arrive at his $3.6 million savings, the state would have to continue to issue about 140,000 unemployment benefit checks a week for the rest of the year.
In effect, the expectation is things will get no better or worse on the job front this year.
This does match expectations of many economists, who say job growth will remain elusive this year.
We can look on the bright side. The new Gov didn’t crow over the potential for even bigger savings in this program if we lose even more jobs.
New York-basedi First Niagara told the State Labor Department it will cut 219 jobs when it completes the acquisition of NewAlliance. Layoffs are expected at NewAlliance’s New Haven and Manchester operations beginning in mid April, First Niagara said.
Shareholders of the two banks approved the $1.5 billion deal in December, but Connecticut officials are probing the deal after objections from New Haven’s mayor. Both banks are federally regulated.
About 1,000 people in Connecticut had their unemployment benefits delayed after they signed up to get debit cards issued through a check cashing company.
This week, the Labor Department started to only issue unemployment payments through direct deposit to bank accounts or onto debit cards issued by Chase Bank with the approval of the department.
But in an apparent move to stay in the game of providing payments to those who do not have bank accounts, the check cashiers created their own card.
The check cashing companies issued their own cards and took personal information from those awaiting UI payments, promising quicker access to the money.
Apparently, the check cashiers expected to be able to have customers’ UI payments direct deposited into the check cashiers’ account.
The Labor Department, however, did not do this and the payments were not made.
It’s unclear what happens next, whether the check cashiers will be able to continue forward with their programs. But for now, the Labor Department is advising people only to use the debit card issued by Chase.
I’m not sure what this says, but last week, we pried Super Bowl predictions from aerospace, financial experts and a lone economist. Only the economist, Don Klepper-Smith took Green Bay. Klepper-Smith even gave us the score, GB 30 and Pitt. 24.
“I was pretty close!… only 2 points off,” was his delighted reaction to the outcome. As the world knows, Green Bay won 31-25.
Let’s hope Don sees unemployment heading down dramatically in coming months…
While critics are crowing over the artistic values of commercials — Eminem’s stirring Chrysler moment, the Darth Vadar kid and the Volkswagon — the real test will be in coming weeks and whether people actually buy.
The days of having a jazzy commercial without generating sales, ala BK’s creepy commercials of nearly a decade ago, are over. It’s back to checking the balance sheet for those shelling out the cash for SB commercials.
On a side note, InBev appears to still be stumbling with its Budweiser campaign. It appears confused when it comes to peddling the working man’s brew.
But they did a nice job with Stella Artois piece. Sophisticated European setting and music number fit the beer.
The Wall Street Journal has a good piece today, Feb. 03, on the U.S. Army’s hunt for the next rifle.
But it got me thinking about the state of gun making here in Connecticut.
There was a time when it would have been a lock for a U.S. gun maker, and likely a Connecticut one, to win such a contract.
Yankee ingenuity was a key ingredient to the gun making indsutry in the U.S.
But the industry is just a shell of itself today.
To be sure, Colt up in Hartford appears to be the front runner for the new rifle contract. It holds a piece of the contract, along with a foreign partner, right now.
Ruger is still headquarters in Southport, but whether it will take a shot at the contract remains to be seen.
Beyond that, competition in Connecticut is lacking.
Marlin Firearms said last year it will close its North Haven rifle factory this year.
Winchester moved out of New Haven in 2006.
And Remington is a name used to refer to a derelict factory in Bridgeport.
Cost cutting and, to some degree, a failure to invest in updating factories, took their toll on Connecticut gun makers. The executives of those companies ultimately decided it was cheaper to open new factories in other parts of the nation and world.
While many weapons are still made here in the U.S., there is a real chance that the next rifle will be imported.
And it will be strange indeed, if it happens. Stranger still because after all, Connecticut and the Northeast are still filled with ingenuity, but apparently, the stuff is too expensive to use.
The Super Bowl will be in the Black—and Gold that is according to aerospace analysts and financial advisors. But a lone economist, looking at some of the intangibles, says Green Bay is due.
This Sunday, the Packers and Steelers square off in the big game in Dallas. Beer, chicken wings and chili sales should jump in the days leading up the game as people prepare for parties. Hold Hormel and Doritos. (We know Doritos is owned by PepsiCo.)
The Packers are actually favored by 2.5 points right now, but several financial and aerospace experts see Pittsburgh winning.
Doug Royce and Ray “Jaws” Jaworowski, both aerospace guys in Newtown, said they have Pittsburgh taking the NFL crown this year.
Paul Schatz, a Woodbridge financial advisor, also picked the Steelers.
“I am rooting so hard for Green Bay, but I think Pittsburgh will win. In a nutshell, good defense usually beats good offense. Pitt has been there before with the coach and the QB.”
Schatz agreed good defense isn’t such a bad idea these days in the market, either.
Greg Drahuschak, market strategist for a top advisory firm, issued a disclosure before giving his pick.
He said he grew up in Steeler country and so he’s biased, but he also sees his team waking away with the title.
“It’s the nature of the way the Steelers have won this season and their approach,” he said, indicating Pittsburgh is a no nonsense smash-mouth team.
But Donald Klepper-Smith, the most recent chair of the council of economic advisors to the Governor, was the lone voice calling it for the Wisconsin team.
“I’m going with Green Bay, the underdog,” Klepper-Smith said. “The people in Wisconsin wear cheese on their heads to protect themselves from the snow. After years of enduring the God-forsaken white stuff, they are deserving.”
Klepper-Smith even gave us a score,
Green Bay 30, Pittsburgh 24.
Have fun watching.