Sunday, February 28, 2010

Interesting Research Article/Story

The First Step to Brand Confidence

The bleak outlook for the economy has forced many businesses to evaluate their mission, their vision, and their brand. We often brag about the 'American Success Engine' when the victories are evident and in clear sight. But I am of a different opinion about what makes us as Americans special in comparison to the rest of the world. The Success Engine starts now, in this necessary time of pruning. The space is being defined for many, and the obstacles are clear. Everyday you turn the lights on in the office, GET THAT MONEY BABY!!! As my old business mentor once told me, "If you don't make it happen, it ain't gonna happen".

But this doesn't address the outlook for the future. Unless you are among those within the Commanding Heights, you have to find some way to establish a competitive edge. If you've looked around lately, you should have noticed that the leaders have addressed the one thing that reaches the customer in midst of confusion - the familiar. Step One to building your brand: Find out what really matters to your potential customer - no one cares how you feel about your product. Once you realize that it's not the engineering quality, but the cool blinking lights, pick yourself off the floor and go work on some cool blinking lights. You can use the extra cash to comfort you in your time of disappointment.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

NYTimes: Xerox’s New Chief Tries to Redefine Its Culture

I would like to think that a company that has promoted an African-
American woman CEO to replace the prevoius female CEO has already
redefined its culture. Further more, it should have no problem
adjusting the culture down the road.

From The New York Times:

Xerox's New Chief Tries to Redefine Its Culture

Ursula Burns, the new C.E.O. of Xerox, wants its 130,000 employees to
take more initiative and to become more fearless and frank with one

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Thank You,

Kenyatta Lovett

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Understanding Supply-Chain and the Bullwhip Effect

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- Kenyatta Lovett

Gallery: Robot Bartenders Sling Cocktails for Carbon-Based Drinkers |

I'm not sure how I feel about a robot bartender. Making a good Vodka and tonic is only part of the story!

I wanted to share this article from with you:

Gallery: Robot Bartenders Sling Cocktails for Carbon-Based Drinkers
> The secret to a great cocktail, most connoisseurs would agree, has something to do with the ice, the liquor, the glass — and the bartender. But what if the bartender is not a warm-blooded human with a sympathetic ear, but rather a cold, soulless machine made of pistons, valves and [...]

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- Kenyatta Lovett

(BN) Bernanke Likely to Assure Congress Higher Interest Rates Aren't Imminent

So, when is it appropriate to have interest rates beyond the 'norm'?

Bloomberg News, sent from my iPhone.

Fed's Bernanke to Assure Congress Higher Rates Not Imminent

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will probably assure Congress that the central bank is mindful of the lack of job growth in the U.S. and an increase in the benchmark interest rate isn't imminent after the Fed's decision to raise the cost of direct loans to banks.

The Fed chief will deliver his semi-annual report on the economy and interest rates to House and Senate panels Feb. 24- 25. Fed officials last month forecast growth of 2.8 percent to 3.5 percent this year, and minutes of their January meeting showed they are seeking more evidence the recovery is sustainable.

New York Fed President William Dudley indicated yesterday that policy makers need to focus now on maintaining growth rather than fighting inflation, citing a smaller-than-forecast increase in the consumer-price index for January reported by the Labor Department. Another measure of prices, which excludes energy and food, dropped for the first time since 1982.

"Monetary policy is about the economy," Dudley, a voting member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, told reporters after a speech in San Juan, Puerto Rico. "We need to see solid growth and job creation."

Consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in January from December, and so-called core prices unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent. The report "showed there's no inflation pressure," Dudley said. "So our focus needs to be on growth and jobs."

The Fed on Feb. 18 said its decision to increase the discount rate by a quarter-point to 0.75 percent represented a "normalization" of lending rather than a change in policy. Officials also repeated that economic conditions warrant low levels in the federal funds rate "for an extended period."

That's a phrase Bernanke is likely to repeat to lawmakers next week, said Ethan Harris, head of economics for North America at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

'Real Healing'

"He is going to say it over and over again," Harris said. "Fed tightening doesn't happen until there is real healing in the job market, and the job market hasn't even turned positive."

U.S. stocks erased losses yesterday after the consumer- price report eased concern that the Fed will need to raise its benchmark rate to fight inflation.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to close at 1,109.17 in New York after earlier declining as much as 0.5 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent to 10,402.35.

"The Fed is aware of the risk of higher inflation," said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. LLC in New York. "But that concern is counter-balanced by the belief that the unemployment rate is likely to stay high for 2010."

Exaggerated Expectations

Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said expectations for a rate increase were exaggerated.

"The idea that's in markets that there's a high probability that we'll raise rates later this year is overblown," Bullard said in response to audience questions after a speech in Memphis, Tennessee Feb. 18. "There's also some probability, maybe more, that this will extend into 2011."

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told a Georgia business audience the same day that policy "remains accommodative." Fed Governor Elizabeth Duke, speaking in Norfolk, Virginia, said the steps "do not signal any change in the outlook for monetary policy."

In a press release accompanying the discount rate increase, the 56-year-old Fed chairman and his colleagues at the Board of Governors took care to say the outlook for monetary policy "remains about as it was" when the FOMC met in January.

'Downside Risks'

Minutes of the January meeting reflect Dudley's comments that the world's largest economy, while improving, still faces "some significant downside risks."

Business contacts expressed "great reluctance to build inventories, increase payrolls, and expand capacity," the minutes said. Officials forecast average unemployment of 9.5 percent to 9.7 percent in the final three months of the year, little improvement from the current 9.7 percent rate.

Dudley repeated that increasing the discount rate is the central bank's last step in ending emergency liquidity for markets and not a signal the Fed is prepared to tighten credit.

"Think of this as the last adjustment tied to the end of all the liquidity facilities," Dudley told reporters. "Think of this as the last piece of that package, rather than the first piece of a new package."

Emergency Facilities

U.S. central bankers closed four emergency lending facilities this month and are preparing to reverse or neutralize the more than $1 trillion in excess bank reserves they have pumped into the banking system. The discount-rate increase will encourage banks to borrow in private markets rather than from the Fed, the statement said.

Before August 2007, the discount rate was set at one percentage point above the federal funds rate. As subprime mortgage defaults began to ripple through the financial system in August 2007, the Fed reduced the spread to half a percentage point.

The Fed has kept the benchmark rate for overnight lending between banks in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008. Dudley said the Fed won't necessarily restore the original spread between the discount rate and the federal funds rate.

"We don't have a clear goal that 50 or 100 basis points will be the final resting place," he said. "We felt 25 points wasn't appropriate once we got to a situation where bank liquidity had returned and banks could borrow from each other more easily."

To contact the reporters on this story: Craig Torres in Washington at Jerry Hart in Miami at

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- Kenyatta Lovett

Monday, February 08, 2010

Super Bowl Commercials

No comment.

Sunday, February 07, 2010