Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How Do You Like Me Now? -- June 17, 2015

This is really quite incredible. Starbucks buys a bakery chain, most of which is located in San Francisco, and then closes all its cafes. Bloomberg is reporting:
Starbucks Corp. will close all 23 La Boulange bakery cafes by the end of September, even as it continues to use the brand to sell food at its coffee shops.
“Starbucks has determined La Boulange stores are not sustainable for the company’s long-term growth,” the Seattle-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. “The La Boulange brand will continue to play a significant role in the future of Starbucks food in stores.”
Starbucks agreed to buy the San Francisco-based Bay Bread and its La Boulange brand in 2012 for $100 million. The French-themed bakery sold homemade granola, flank steak sandwiches and organic bread.
Homemade granola ... homemade ... homemade in San Francisco ... .. I wonder what Starbucks found in that homemade granola -- inquiring minds want to know...

How Do You Like Me Now, Toby Keith

Back to La Boulange -- it looks like the owners got a good deal; the employees are looking for new jobs. How do you like Starbucks now?

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The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2015 was 1.9 percent on June 16, unchanged from June 11. The nowcast for real GDP growth ticked up to 2.0 percent after yesterday morning's industrial production release from the Federal Reserve boosted the forecasts of real investment in petroleum and natural gas well structures and motor vehicle and parts dealer inventories. The GDP nowcast moved back down to 1.9 percent after this morning's housing starts release from the U.S. Census Bureau reduced the forecast for real residential investment growth from 8.8 percent to 6.8 percent.
The Fed, today:
Federal Reserve policymakers on Wednesday kept the central bank’s benchmark short-term interest rate near zero, opting against the first increase since 2006 after determining the economy still isn’t strong enough to handle it.
Fed officials sharply downgraded their economic forecast for this year. They projected the economy would grow between 1.8% and 2% this year, well below the range of 2.3% to 2.7% in its last forecast in March.
If they’re correct, annual growth would be the worst since 2011 and would be far from the breakout performance some economists had hoped for this year.

The reaction was a bit delayed, but finally investors noted it. SRE is up toay, slightly over 1%.

Well, That Was Easy

More love lost. Former Nokia CEO leaving Microsoft.

Dance Me To The End of Love, Leonard Cohen

That Glow Didn't Last Long

There are five sports stories on the front-page of the internet edition of The Wall Street Journal today; none of them are on the new NBA champions.

Best Non-Bakken Story Of The Day

Treehouse for corporate meetings, with non-stop beer

Whisky For My Men, Beer For My Horses, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson

Speaking of which, how do you remember whether to spell it "whiskey" or "whisky"? It's easy. If the origin is a country with no "e" in it, it's "whisky" without the "e" (Japan, Scotland, Canada). If it's from a country with an "e" in it, it's "whiskey" with an "e" in is (United States, Ireland). There is at least one exception to the rule: George Dickel Tennessee Whisky.


I slogged through and finally finished This Side of Paradise. It was not a pretty sight. Wow, what a pain. But I'm glad I finished it. The novel will haunt me for quite some time, and that's how I judge fiction.

At the end of this particular copy, were the contemporary book reviews. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book. I will have to read parts of Fitzgerald's book again. But I am eager now to re-read Catcher in the Rye.

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