Nationalized Banks, Green Biz, and Government Contracts
BY Ryan McCarthy
When banks collapse We're not saying it's going to happen. But if your bank collapses — or is nationalized - the Wall Street Journal has a breakdown of what it could mean. Your accounts will be protected, of course, up to $250,000 by the FDIC. Interestingly, the WSJ predicts one upside to nationalization: "Nationalized banks are more likely to loosen the lending spigots. Banks would start making loans that they wouldn't otherwise make today, such as to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit. There would be more pressure to make loans to achieve social objectives."
Got government contracts? Now that Obama has been sworn in (twice), small business owners are seeking reassurances that they'll see government contracts from the stimulus bill. The SBA's track record of ensuring that the Congressionally-mandated 23 percent of contracts go to small firms isn't impressive. Now, Independent Street reports that the American Small Business League, an organization devoted to ensuring that federal dollars go to small businesses, worries that Obama's SBA will extend its advocacy to larger, venture-backed firms.
Get mad, make money, save the economy. That's the ridiculous prescription of an article in Time magazine (flagged by Alley Insider). Time says our emotional responses to a bum economy--sadness and anger--may actually help jumpstart a recovery. Sad people tend to spend more money than those who aren't sad and anger is even better, at least according to the article. "Feeling angry usually makes people more willing to take risks," Time argues. "Taking great risk to chase great reward is, arguably, the essence of capitalism; a couple of kids max out their credit cards and work late nights in a garage, and a few years later, they sell YouTube for $1.6 billion."
Business travel gets less pleasant. The Wall Street Journal offers a surprisingly detailed report on the efforts of the hotel industry to cut costs. In addition to the usual suspects--cutting back on staff and restaurant hours--hotels are going further. Wyndham has decided to remove one of each towel from every room. And it's not just towels: Marriott is reducing fruit offered to guests at breakfast, while a Holiday Inn has discontinued its delicious--but apparently, wasteful--all you can eat breakfast buffet. Other casualties: in room hand lotion and lobby coffee. Finally, the human cost of the recession hits home.
Seven sins of success. Threadless's Jeffrey Kalmikoff has been thinking about mistakes he's made in creating his wildly successful t-shirt company (check out our story on the company here), and blogged them in the format of the deadly sins. Here's envy: "Increasingly smarter ideas are being pushed around the web every day, which can easily lead to many days full of face-palming for not being the-one-to-think-of-it-first....Think of your focus as the width and stability of a tightrope as you're walking along being bombarded with new ideas and concepts. The less you focus on the current mechanics your own projects, the easier it will be knocked off the tightrope when trying to pay attention to everything else that's going on."
The Entrepreneurial Agenda on Bizbox. Slate's small business blog has picked up Robb Mandelbaum's latest post, which outlines the Bush SBA's decision to extend the comment period for the rule enforcing the law requiring that 5 percent of federal contracts go to women-owned businesses. Read Robb's post for more on the change. Also, Bizbox has a nice LinkedIn success story.
Green go-getters. BusinessPundit takes a look at 25 of the most promising green businesses in America. Some highlights: Dean Kamen's water purifier, a high altitude wind power scheme, and a gigantic organic farming co-op. Also, included are some of our favorites including former Inc. cover subjects like ZipCar and Elon Musk's Tesla Motors.