Monthly Archives: October 2012
BRUSSELS—A plan to set mandatory quotas for the percentage of women on Europe’s company boards was scotched Tuesday—at least for now—when the European Union’s executive body split over the proposal.
The initiative—pushed by Commission Vice President Viviane Reding—is among the most far-reaching proposals yet taken in a major economy to ensure better gender balance among company executives. But her plan ran into heavy opposition among other colleagues who forced a watering down of the proposal.
The centerpiece of Ms. Reding’s plan was an effort to oblige company boards to allocate 40% of their seats to women by 2020 or face EU fines. Ms. Reding cited figures this month showing that 86.5% of EU board members are men while fewer than 3% of company chairpersons are female.
According to two people familiar with the two-hour debate on the proposals, Ms. Reding’s plan had raised concerns among the Commission’s legal services and was opposed by a number of female commissioners. One said that had they voted on the proposal on Tuesday, Ms. Reding “would have lost badly.”
According to the officials, Ms. Reding presented a compromise right at the end of the meeting which drops the legal obligation of the EU to enforce the 40% target. However the compromise proposal came too late to win immediate backing from commissioners. The people said Ms. Reding had earlier said she wasn’t prepared to present a Plan B.
Marking the end of an era, Newsweek confirmed Thursday that it will transition to all-digital by the beginning of next year.
In its overview of the State of the News Media in 2011, the Pew Research Center‘s Project for Excellence in Journalism noted, “Among the major sectors, only newspapers suffered continued revenue declines last year—an unmistakable sign that the structural economic problems facing newspapers are more severe than those of other media. When the final tallies are in, we estimate 1,000 to 1,500 more newsroom jobs will have been lost—meaning newspaper newsrooms are 30% smaller than in 2000.”
Is this the end of print media as we know it?
Newspaper circulation declined in North America and Europe, by 9.2 percent and 2.9 percent respectively in the period between 2004 and 2009. However, it increased 16.4 percent in South America, 16.1 percent in Asia and 14.2 percent in Africa during the same period, according to a study by Columbia University titled “The Future of Print Media.”
Two countries in which newspapers have actually seen an increase in popularity are Brazil and India.
Just this past week, The New York Times announced that it would be launching a Portuguese language online edition in 2013, likely in an effort to attract the large readership base in Brazil. On Oct. 2, The Financial Times announced that it would be expanding into the Latin American market, with a newspaper print site in São Paulo.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)– This year was supposed to be the year of the plug-in car but, as 2012 draws to a close, it looks like the electric car market still isn’t fully charged.
By the end of 2012, most major automakers will have a plug-in car of some type on the market, but plug-in cars still make up just one tenth of one percent of all cars sold in America. So have automakers gotten ahead of themselves and produced too many?
Promoters of electric cars say no. They acknowledge that while there are many types of electric cars out there, they’re not available in enough places or in large enough numbers.
A big reason for there being a small supply of electrics but many models has to do with regulations in California. Rules there require that automakers that want to sell any cars in that state — A.K.A., every automaker — must also sell a certain number of so-called zero-emission cars there. That has led many automakers to produce “compliance cars” that exist solely to meet California’s requirements. These cars vary from the excellent Honda Fit EV, which it’s a shame they don’t sell everywhere, to the truly awful Mitsubishi iMiEV.
If those cars only sell in tiny numbers, electric car proponents say, it doesn’t reflect the potential market.
In most of the United States, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf are the only two plug-in cars available from popular automakers. Together, they make up nearly 100 percent of all electric cars sold in America. Beyond that, there’s also the pricey Tesla Model S all-electric luxury sedan which is slowly entering the market.
If you want to run, first you have to learn how to walk.
And if you want to invest, first you have to learn how to save.
A lot of people get it backward: They want to make a fortune in the stock market, even as their personal finances are in disarray.
Unless you want to borrow to invest – not a strategy I recommend – you’ll have to spend less than you make, and invest the difference. For most working stiffs, that’s the surest way to building wealth.
As Benjamin Franklin said: “Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich.”
With that in mind, today I present five easy ways to save money now. As these examples illustrate, being frugal doesn’t mean you have to feel deprived.
Cut your cable
Some of my friends spend upward of $80 a month on cable. I cancelled my cable years ago and had an antenna installed on my roof for a grand total of $350. Now I watch high-definition television over-the-air for free, and so do a growing number of my neighbours. All you need is a newer HDTV with a built-in digital tuner. Annual savings: $960.
Make your own lattes at home
Instead of handing over more than $4 for a grande latte at Starbucks, you can easily make your own specialty coffees at home. And no, you don’t need a $1,000 espresso machine. Pick up a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker for about $20, and a hand milk-frother (mine’s a Frabosk) for about $35, and you’ll be enjoying homemade lattes and cappuccinos for about one-tenth the price. Annual savings based on 365 beverages a year: $1,314. Tip: skim milk froths the best.