From the category archives:


And I’m free, oh! free fallin’

by Cy Caine on August 11, 2010

The title notwithstanding, this post isn’t about a classic Tom Petty song.

According to the progress bar on my Kindle, I am about 19% of the way through Freefall: American, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz.  I started reading this just a few days ago after learning that Stiglitz would be giving a talk to the Columbia alumni community in NYC on October 12th.  (I’m planning to attend.)

I’ll reserve final judgement until I finish the book.  If you have been following news accounts related to the financial crash and the ensuing Great Recession, a lot of the ground Stiglitz covers won’t be new to you.  However, he lays out in a way is clear, compelling and sure to get your blood boiling at least just a little bit.  His narrative reinforces the conclusions that (a) the mess we are in wasn’t inevitable and (b) the sub-optimal policy repsonses of the Bush and Obama administrations took a bad situation and made it worse.

As  I noted above, I am only about one-fifth of the way through the book.  Thus far I have found most interesting Stiglitz’ seven principles for a well-designed stimulus program: [click to continue…]


Encouraging Economic News

by Cy Caine on March 24, 2010

Very encouraging to see a story on this week that magazine ad sales for April and May are heading higher.  Hearst Magazines’ chief marketing officer, Michael Clinton, reports that sales for April rose 12% compared to the same period last year. Now Clinton says May will be even better. Ad sales across 13 of Hearst’s main titles are already up 17% for May, he says, and the month isn’t fully booked yet. Hearst won’t report official numbers until mid-April.  The story reports that the growth is being driven by Hearst’s “big books” like Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Oprah and House Beautiful.  The ad climate seems to be improving for the magazine business. Overall ad spending for magazines will rise this year by 1.9%, to $9.4 billion, predicts a recent study from Outsell. For consumer titles (as opposed to b-to-b), spending will climb 4.2%.

While I take this as a very encouraging sign in terms of the direction our economy will take over the next 12 to 24 months, this won’t change the long term trend for print magazine revenue, either for advertising or circulation.  In fact, according to a recently released Outsell report (Annual Advertising and Marketing Study 2010: Total US and B2B Advertising), “For the first time, advertisers plan to spend more on digital and online marketing and advertising (in 2010), 32.5% of the total, than on print, 30.3%, an industry milestone crossover event.”  I am not alone in expecting this trend to continue.

Interesting commentary on the Outsell report (as the report itself is behind a very tall pay wall):  US advertisers to spend more on digital than print: study Print Magazine Advertising to Grow in 2010 Despite Popularity of Online


Should I stay or should I go now?

February 5, 2010

Update on 6/18/2011 – Well, what the heck do I know.  The house referenced below at 454 Fairway Road ultimately did sell for $1,100,000 on May 5th, 2010.  But I stand by my other comments below.  Oh, and we finally did purchase a house.  We move in on July 7th. =============== I developed more than a […]

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