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Starbucks recently took back control of its Medical ATX / PC Power packaged coffee distribution business from long-time partner Kraft Foods (KFT). Starbucks wasn’t thrilled with Kraft’s performance as a distributor and was therefore legally justified to terminate their agreement. Now that the legal mess is over, Starbucks can focus on the lucrative grocery business while exploring new deals in the smaller, but steadily growing one-cup brewing market.
Starbucks knows when it has a winner on its hands. The slim little Via single shot instant AC Power Cables packets were an instantaneous hit, generating $100 million in sales in just 10 months, a milestone VIA achieved three times faster than its widely-recognized Frappuccinos, according to my BNET colleague Carol Tice.
Following that successfu lMedical Wall Mountintroduction, Starbucks is delving into another kind of single shot. Joining Courtesy Products, a national provider of in-room coffee service to hotels, Starbucks will provide ground coffees in up to 500,000 luxury and premium hotel rooms across the U.S. It’s a single-serving of a sure thing as 95 percent of Courtesy’s hotel customers surveyed said they prefer the company’s single-cup system over traditional in-room offerings.
“If these Medical ATX / PC Power changes are enforceable and enforced, it will make a significant difference,” said Michael Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending. But he said it would require the banks to make radical changes: “This is very hands-on, time-intensive, one-off stuff.”
Good deal for AC Power Cables banks
Which is exactly why the Medical Desktop financial industry’s allies on Capitol Hill are already running interference. As Rep. Patrick McHenry, a Republican in bank-friendly North Carolina, told industry rag American Banker:
It does seem that the [Obama] administration is looking at this settlement to revamp their failed foreclosure mitigation programs, which I find very troubling.
Crucially, such Wall Mount Switchers requirements would be enforceable under the law. Loan servicers that participate in federal anti-foreclosure initiatives, like HAMP, routinely ignore program guidelines. That would give state legals officials, who are driving the settlement talks, leverage to crack down on servicers that abuse homeowners.
The DIN Rail Mount Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also would play a prominent role in overseeing servicers. For instance, firms would have to detail for the new financial industry watchdog how they calculate the so-called net present value of a home, the test servicers perform to decide if it is cheaper to offer borrowers a loan modification or to foreclose.
As usual, the devil is in the Medical Power Supplies details. For instance, it’s not clear exactly what input regulators will have in setting NPV formulas. I’m also eager to see if the proposal requires banks to reduce second mortgages. But anything that pushes banks to lower loan balances — for borrowers who are able to make their payments, that is — is a step in the right direction
# Stipulate a Open Frame Switchers modification time-line, requiring servicers to notify borrowers that they have a received their request for relief within 10 days and whether they have been approved within 30 days
# Bar servicers from foreclosing on any U-Frame / Fan Covered borrower who is under review for a loan modification
# Cap fees imposed on delinquent borrowers, which experts say often pushes people into foreclosure
# Require servicers to verify that they are charging homeowners the correct loan amount
# Make banks write down at least $20 billion in loan balances for “underwater” borrowers, with the money used to fund modifications
# Offer a permanent Desktop Switchers loan modification to any borrower enrolled in a trial mod who successfully makes three consecutive mortgage payments.
# Require a third-party to examine why a borrower was rejected for modification
The most important web design thing to note about the U.S. government’s proposed mortgage modification settlement with the nation’s five largest banks is that it is an opening, not closing, move in what is certain to be an extended chess match.
Federal and state graphic design officials have outlined what amounts to a broad wish-list for how banks should service loans and handle foreclosures. Banks are already resisting the 27-page plan, and some financial regulators appear to favor taking a lighter approach. Here’s what the settlement would do:
* Require loan servicers to assign a single datasheet design employee or company point of contact to work with borrowers who have applied for a modification
* Force servicers to consider reducing the mortgage principal for borrowers whose loans exceed the value of their homes and who have applied for a modification
- Medical ATX / PC Power spending boosts employment, it also represents the surest way to reduce the deficit. As Jeff Madrick, a senior fellow in economics at The New School in New York, explains:
[T]he AC Power Cables deficit would have likely been far larger without the $800 billion Obama stimulus of 2009: contrary to popular intuition, additional spending helped the government from going into further debt by spurring on the recovery when conditions were so weak, thereby raising tax revenues.
With the Medical Desktop economy remaining fragile and with states around the country taking an axe to their spending, it’s even more critical that the government not withdraw into a cocoon. However the public is predisposed to view Obama now, they’ll be singing his praises if jobs and the economy come back strong.
Small Wall Mount Switchers point (that also applies to this post), but it’s usually a mistake to infer too much from a single poll. As the Gallup numbers show, confidence can swing significantly from one week to the next, and it will almost certainly rise if the situation in the Middle East cools down and gas prices fall.
More important, I interpret the DIN Rail Mount numbers differently. By a wide margin, Americans’ top economic concern is job creation and economic growth, according to NBC/WSJ; reducing the deficit is a distant second. So whatever unease people feel about public spending — concerns that as Gallup notes are being whipped up by the media — their attention remains squarely on jobs.
And what’s the best thing Obama can do to boost Medical Power Supplies employment? Spend. Although it could have been better designed, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 unquestionably created jobs and spurred economic growth. By contrast, Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi estimates that a House Republican proposal to slash the federal budget this year by $61 billion would cost 700,000 jobs in 2012.
The Open Frame Switchers firm said that increased media attention on state and federal budget woes, along with stubbornly high unemployment, also may be sapping morale.
Vox populi: It’s all about U-Frame / Fan Covered jobs.
William Galston, a former policy adviser to Bill Clinton and now a wonk at think-tank the Brookings Institution, says sagging public confidence in the state of the economy puts pressure on the Obama administration to curb federal Desktop Switchers spending. He cites the NBC/WSJ poll in noting that 62 percent of people fear the president won’t do enough to shrink the deficit, while only 26 percent think he’ll cut too much, adding:
Unless [Obama] gets more involved, the public predisposition to see him as fiscally faint-hearted could harden into the judgment that he’s part of the problem, not the solution.
Even as the web design job picture brightens, people are feeling gloomier about the future. According to a new NBC/WSJ survey, 29 percent of Americans expect the U.S. economy to improve over the next year, while the same percentage think it will get worse. That’s a far more pessimistic outlook than the January poll, when 40 percent of respondents thought things would get better and only 17 percent feared the economy was fading.
A Gallup poll this week shows a similar graphic design decline in confidence. The polling firm’s Economic Confidence Index, which in January had risen to its highest level in three years, is down sharply over the last month. In early February, 43 percent of people expected the economy to improve — now that figure is at 33 percent, while a larger share also believe things will get worse.
One guess about why datasheet design folks are downbeat (hint: Fill up your car lately?). Says Gallup:
The slump in confidence is likely tied to gas prices, which have risen sharply amid growing political instability in the Middle East, most notably in Libya. The U.S. Department of Energy reported an increase in gas prices from an average $3.14 per gallon nationwide during the week ending Feb. 14 to $3.38 this past week.
For five years now, the Corn Refiners Association has been waging a losing battle aimed at convincing Medical ATX / PC Power Americans that high fructose corn syrup is not all that bad. Now it’s lit upon a new plan that may actually work — changing the vilified sweetener’s name to the neutral, healthier-sounding moniker “corn sugar.”
The Corn Refiners Association, which represents AC Power Cables makers of HFCS like Cargill, ADM (ADM) and Corn Products International (CPO), has petitioned the FDA to allow for what’s known as an an alternative label declaration, arguing that “the words ‘high fructose corn syrup’ have caused confusion.” Already it’s leading to howls of “cornwasing” by foes of HFCS.
Although prominent Medical Desktop scientists say it’s no worse for your health than sugar, HFCS has been shunned by a large percentage of shoppers who believe the syrup is a toxic concoction that can lead to greater risk of health problems like obesity, diabetes and liver disease. Many people go out of their way to avoid it, even while simultaneously loading their carts with packages of processed foods sweetened with sugar.