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Current Event Quiz 10/31

October 31, 2008 --

1. The US launched air strikes into what nation this week?

2. Which company did not see their profits rise over 30% this week?
A) Viacom
B) Comcast
C) Sony

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Oregon NFIB: Strengthen small business voice on Election Day

October 30, 2008 --

Harlan Levy, State Director, Oregon NFIB
My Voice in Oregon Newsletter, Oct/Nov. 2008

Keep talking and keep leading, Oregon small business owner. You are pulling more voters into the polling place than just yourself. The power of the small business voting bloc is one of the mightiest in the nation, and it will be measured next month on Election Day, when the entire nation will march to the polls and choose candidates up and down the ballot. Here’s what you should know about your size and influence in polls and surveys taken by NFIB, USA Today/CNN/Gallup, Strategy One, Penn and Schoen Associates, Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, and the Winston Group:

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What to expect from the market in the next few months

October 29, 2008 --

By Mark G. Neil,
Pres. Northwest Wealth Advisors
Radio Host, Your Money & Your Life, KBNP AM 1410

As we move closer to the elections and arguably the most important decision our country has to make in nearly a decade, I thought it appropriate to update you on our thoughts and strategies going forward.

In the short term we are expecting a bounce up in the markets after the election.  While we can never be certain who the winner is until after the elections are over, we do know that there will be a new president and a new administration. The resulting changes and good feelings that accompany that transition should bode well for the markets in the short term. 

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Oregon Golf chain falls victim to credit crunch

October 28, 2008 --

By Oregon Biz Report,

Oregon Golf is one of those Oregon home grown companies you hate to see disappear.  This month all three of their stores have closed.  Hurting the chain was the inability to get a bank loan in the crippling credit crunch.   Banks are tightening up and this is putting small businesses in a bind.

A sign on the door simply read, “Oregon Golf has gone out of business.  We appreciated your support over the years.”

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Small Business Financial Crisis

October 27, 2008 --

From Bill Conerly, Businomics, Conerly Consulting LLC

The world of finance for small and medium businesses was changing even before this year’s financial crisis–but now the changes are galloping.  Money is moving around the world like never before.  When you borrow money, even from an American loan officer working for an American bank, the money may well have come from China or Kuwait.

Securitization of business is common–and you may never know that your loan is being securitized.

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Test Yourself on Current Affairs with Biz Quiz 10/24

October 24, 2008 --

1. Amazon.com posted a 48% profit increase this week.  But what was the bad news that caused its stock to drop?
A) eBay passed Amazon in sales for the first time
B) Forecasted difficult holiday sales
C) Their side investments were depleted during the market crisis
D) They announced a shake-up in their management

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Chart: Billions lost by the biggest CEO’s

October 23, 2008 --

Steven Hall and Partners reports the equity share of CEO’s investment in their own company and the loss.

CEO, company, Equity Loss
Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway:   -$9.6 Billion
Larry Ellison, Oracle:    -$6.6 Billion
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft:    -$4.8 Billion
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com:   -$4.2 Billion
Rupert Murdoch, News. Corp.:   – $3.9 Billion

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Full-page newspaper ads try to calm economic jitters

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Guest Opinion, Portland

The market crisis has created a wave of full-page and pull-color ads to hit national and local newspapers. Yesterday US Bank aimed for confidence when they placed a full-page ad in The Oregonian stating in large bold headlines “Bank Solid. Bank US Bank”. The ad further states “Since 1863…Our prudent approach to banking, strong balance sheet and solid position have put us in a better position to serve you.”

Also in The Oregonian this week, UBS Financial Services went for large full color advertisement with the headline “You and Us. The World changes. Our commitment doesn’t.” The ad further stated “Markets may be volatile, old certainties may waver. But you can be sure that at UBS, our commitment to our clients has not changed.” Clearly the banks and financial firms are addressing market fears head-on in order to stem customers pulling deposits and making panic stock sells.

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Roundabouts expand in Oregon

October 22, 2008 --

By Nike Kern,

As traffic congestion and high fuel costs continue to become a hot topic though out our state, the use of roundabouts are beginning to be more widely discussed and implemented by city planners and traffic specialists. The innovative concept has once again found its way back into the mindsets of Americans who enjoy the effectiveness and safety of using traffic circles.

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Looking at human emotion and the stock market crisis

October 21, 2008 --

By Mark G. Neil,
Pres. Northwest Wealth Advisors
Radio Host, Your Money & Your Life, KBNP AM 1410

It is during times like these that I am reminded of two observations on life and the markets.

First in the context of life, our most worrisome times always happen at night.  Whether you are worried about your portfolio or the health and safety of a family member, that anxiety always seems to peak around 2 or 3 AM as you awaken for some inexplicable reason and then spend an hour or so thinking about the worst case scenarios.  Fortunately things do look better in the morning because we can then get up and do something to reduce that anxiety.  For me often times those wakeful hours are fairly productive as I rethink strategies, conversations or steps that I am implementing.  It also helps that as you age, I think you can get by on less sleep.  I don’t have any good advice for you regarding those wakeful nights, but perhaps the discussion that follows may help in some way

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