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VOL. 124 | NO. 53 | Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting Around the Market

Credit eases for small businesses

Loan money for small businesses has begun to drip from frozen credit markets, but a plan announced this week by President Barack Obama intends to unthaw them further.

Next Stop: Norfolk Southern’s intermodal plans take shape

The freight trains that rumble through Memphis are hard to ignore, especially the ones that parallel or bisect main thoroughfares and disrupt traffic. But even people who don’t cross railroad tracks during their commutes are likely to hear the distant blare of horns at some point during the day as locomotives make their way into and out of the city.

Couple Helps Entrepreneurs Get Their Groove On

As job prospects dwindle in labor markets around the country, plucky entrepreneurs don’t appear to be waiting as long for the sound of opportunity’s knock. A headline in The New York Times over the weekend read: “Weary of Looking for Work, Some Create Their Own.”

Teachers Boo Cash About Health Care Decision

There’s nothing quite like the political force teachers – retired teachers in particular – bring to a discussion.

50 Jobs Shed From Stanford Investigation

The court-appointed receiver overseeing the assets of Stanford Financial Group has given the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development a little more detail about the employees who lost their jobs at Stanford following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation of the larger company. The SEC has described it as a massive Ponzi scheme.

Jaguar Logistics Notches Up In Tough Economy

In a city where logistics is big business, sometimes it’s important for companies to think big to become big.

New Group Takes Over Captain D’s Eateries

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Paulette Delk this week approved the sale of 20 Captain D’s restaurants – including 13 in the Memphis area – to a new owner following the 2007 bankruptcy of the restaurant’s previous local ownership.

Memphis Civil Verdict Upheld in Salvadoran Torture

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A civil court verdict holding a former commander of El Salvador's security forces responsible for human rights abuses in his native country in the 1980s was upheld Tuesday by a U.S. appeals court.

AIG Bonuses Won't Stand, Dem Senators Declare

WASHINGTON (AP) - Talking tougher by the hour, livid Democrats confronted beleaguered insurance giant AIG with an ultimatum Tuesday: Give back $165 million in post-bailout bonuses or watch Congress tax it away with emergency legislation.

BNSF CEO Receives Compensation Valued at $14.6M

NEW YORK (AP) – The chief executive of the country’s second-largest railroad received total compensation valued at $14.6 million in 2008, a 16 percent increase from the year before, according to a proxy statement filed Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rosa Becomes GM at Holiday Inn-Wolfchase

Chris Rosa has been named general manger of the Holiday Inn and Suites Memphis-Wolfchase. Rosa will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the property. He previously served as vice president of operations for Equity Estates, general manger at the Sheraton Meadowlands and area manger of the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta. Rosa also has been named General Manager of the Year by Patriot American Hotels and Hotelier of the Year by the Connecticut Hospitality Association.

Wal-Mart Revamps Own Label Amid Store-Brand Boom

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Wal-Mart is stepping up the competition to draw cost-conscious shoppers, promising that store-brand products from cereal to cookies will be tastier, smell better and look more attractive.

New Home Construction Logs Unexpected Gain

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of new housing projects that builders broke ground on in February rose sharply, defying economists' forecasts for yet another drop in activity.

Target Investor Plans to Nominate 5 to Board

NEW YORK (AP) - One of Target Corp.'s biggest shareholders said Tuesday that he plans to nominate five candidates to the company's board at its annual shareholders meeting in May, against the discount retailer's wishes.

Caterpillar to Lay Off 2,454 Workers in 3 States

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Caterpillar Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to lay off more than 2,400 employees at five plants in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia as the heavy equipment maker continues to cut costs amid the global economic downturn.

Housing Starts Surge; Wholesale Prices Edge Up

WASHINGTON (AP) - Housing construction posted a surprisingly large increase in February, bolstered by strength in all parts of the country except the West.

Michigan AG Discusses Countrywide Settlement Money

DETROIT (AP) - Nearly $10 million from a state settlement with mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. will go to about 3,700 borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced Tuesday.

House Panel Nixes 'Do Not Serve Alcohol' Licenses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A proposal to give recovering alcoholics the option of having "Do Not Serve Alcohol" written on their driver's licenses has failed in a House subcommittee.

Obama Defends Tackling Many Problems at Same Time

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama pushed back Tuesday against criticism that he's trying to take on too many issues at once, defending a $3.6 trillion budget that seeks to shore up the economy while also overhauling health care, energy and education.

IRS Giving Relief to Some Madoff Investors

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Internal Revenue Service issued guidelines Tuesday that will allow relief and refunds for some Bernard Madoff victims who were taxed for investment earnings that turned out to be nonexistent.

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PROPERTY SALES 79 396 11,921
MORTGAGES 90 443 13,870
BUILDING PERMITS 191 975 25,139
BANKRUPTCIES 56 289 7,762

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