Small-biz lender CIT on the verge of collapse, again. The CIT Group, one of the nation's largest lenders to small business, is in talks today with its bondholders to restructure the company's $30 billion debt load, a move that could determine the company's future. Failure to come to an agreement could force CIT to file for what would be the fifth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history and send shockwaves to the businesses that rely on it. As the Washington Post reports, CIT has been on shaky financial ground for months, receiving $2.3 billion in TARP funds late last year and posting billions of dollars in losses since. CIT provides loans to roughly 1 million companies, including critical short-term financing to help manufacturers deliver goods to retailers before they receive payment for their merchandise.
The dangers of working in the fast lane. Interesting story in the New York Times about the perils of multi-tasking while behind the wheel. For many of the business road-warriors who have turned their cars into mobile work spaces--complete with laptops, cell phones, and Blackberries--being able to handle many things at once is a point of pride. But beyond the obvious dangers of driving while distracted, running an office from the driver's seat can also have serious implications for your business as well. Researchers say that splitting your attention between driving and working often leads to distracted conversations and bad decisions. Far more serious is the fact that some families of people killed by distracted drivers have successfully sued the driver's employer for tens of millions of dollars.
Who's cool under 30?. We just launched our annual 30 Under 30 package, which honors the most promising entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Check out the list, which includes the founders of Justin.TV, Hype Machine, and Mashable, then and tell us which ones you like best. And if we missed someone, don't forget to tell us that too. You can find us on Twitter or you can just leave a comment below.
Apple to produce e-book tablet?. Gizmodo's Brian Lam strings together a some reporting, rumors, and hunches and comes to an interesting conclusion: Apple is very close to releasing a tablet computer for reading books and magazines. Lam says that executives with top media companies--including the New York Times--have been to the company's Cupertino headquarters recently and he hears that Apple has been getting lots of shipments of books. All this is happening despite the fact that founder Steve Jobs once famously said, "People don't read anymore." Jobs's entrance into the nascent e-book market could spell trouble for a clutch of startups like Plastic Logic, which is developing its own e-reader. (Via the Huffington Post.)
Small businesses exempt from new EPA rules. In continuing its efforts to reduce the effects of global warming, the Obama administration has been pushing for new controls on emissions of carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases. As reported by Reuters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed greenhouse rule would focus on large industrial facilities, such as power plants, factories, and refineries, that emit at least 25,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. SMBs like farms, restaurants, and smaller facilities, would be excluded from from the rule.
From inner city to corner office. As profiled in the New York Times, filmmaker Mary Mazzio is taking a second look at how entrepreneurs tick. In her first movie, Lemonade Stories she examined the impact of mothers on entrepreneurs. In her new flick, Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon, she follows a group of at-risk youths from Harlem to Compton as they prepare for a business plan contest run by the non-profit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. The goal: to inspire as many brand spanking new entrepreneurs as possible. "I hope millions of kids see it," said Steve Mariotti, the founder of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. For some youngster out there, he said, "it will be life-changing." Sports fans may remember Mary Mazzio from her previous life as an Olympic rower. For a look at Mazzio in action, as well as other Olympians-turned-entrepreneurs, check out this slideshow of gold medal millionaires.
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