It’s a bit of a crazy time for air travel right now. When a United passenger was dragged off an airplane earlier this year, it seemed like an explosion of incidents started hitting the news. But, where’s the root of the problem? Is someone at the airlines telling employees they should cancel passenger tickets when the customer does something they don’t like? Or, is management focused on other areas? A recent New York Times article suggests the latter. Top airline executives are financially rewarded for profitability. Short term profitability at […]
American Express won a battle on how the relationship with retailers who accept their credit cards works. While it may not be a positive for retailers, it’s probably a good thing for customers like you and me.
In an era of high occupancy, hotels are finding ways to increase ancillary revenue even as rates are going up. Hilton is testing a new fee that won’t make many customers happy if it sticks around.
Evolution is a part of any industry. Finding better ways to target customers for rewards is the current evolution phase of the airline industry. This, at the same time that they fight a battle against low-cost carriers, and not on their own terms. So, are these choices? Or has the die already been cast?
Uber and Airbnb are two of the most successful travel startups in recent memory. They’ve signed up tons of customers, opening up new markets on a ferocious pace. And, they keep raising cash to fuel that growth. But, are they really worth as much as they say they are?
The past week has been a brutal one for the bank I’ve patronized since I was a child. An uncertain market beat up the stock price all week long. The NY Times wrote a very telling article about the things Citi did to help themselves get here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/business/23citi.html?_r=1&hp Among other interesting tidbits, I did not know that Robert E. Rubin, a veteran of the Clinton administration, was such a valuable advisor to Citi. It’s unclear how much he knew about their risk assessment practices, but the article makes it very […]
Biggest one-day gain in Dow history. Just when I think I have things figured out, tomorrow will be a completely different day with the bond markets re-opened. On a separate note, here’s a good article on Apple. I’ve been an Apple guy for about 2 years now, after a painful ten year hiatus with Windows. A sub-$1K laptop is definitely a great strategy for Apple. It doesn’t do any real good for me directly, since I like my MacBook Pro. But attracting more users to the Mac platform as a […]
Thanks to someone reading the blog, I now know that *just* the bond market will be closed today. This means that Treasury bonds won’t be bought or sold, so I have no idea how the market will react to that. For that matter, I have no idea how the market will react, period. I had a discussion on Friday about the VIX, a volatility-measuring device. I had read an article that said once it got above 40, that usually meant we had seen the bottom. Well, it set a new […]
We saw the worst week of our lives on Wall Street this week. While this should have been scary for me, the sum total of my investments are some sizable IRAs, which I’ve had enough discipline not to check the balance of. After the stock market got done throwing up on itself, I made my first foray into individual stocks, and bought a healthy position in a very stable company. I bought it because of the dividend, since I think the stock market is just as likely to go up […]
This has definitely been a scary few weeks. I have a friend who had to declare bankruptcy and shut down his restaurant. I have friends and family that have lost thousands of dollars a day over the past few weeks. And a month later, I still don’t really know what’s going to happen. I was too young when the real estate market crashed in the 80s. So, I don’t really remember the effect it had on society. I invest fairly conservatively, so we have plenty of money in the bank. […]