Read all about it! This Week’s Top Line News Summary – 10/19/09


It’s Monday, so it’s time again for our weekly preview of this week’s headlines in the B2B sectors we work in the most.  Last week we focused on banking, insurance, and real estate; this week we’re going to several other corners of the business world. We found some interesting nuggets today from three different sectors: markets, HR management and personal finance – so have at it!

Markets: Dow climbs back above 10000 as investors bid stocks higher Monday with the busiest week of profit announcements yet in the third-quarter reporting season kicked off. According to this morning’s WSJ, so far the third-quarter earnings season played out well for investors, who last week pushed major indexes to fresh one-year highs. However a few big names, including IBM and Johnson & Johnson, have tumbled after reporting weaker revenue than expected. 

HR/Management:  General Motors is treading in wavy water as a search for an outsider to replace its CEO is complicated by pay restrictions from the Treasury Department.  According to Saturday’s WSJ, GM executives met with the Treasury’s pay czar and were told that they could offer the new GM CEO a significant amount of stock but no more than a $1 million annual salary.

Personal Finance: Businesses are now taking more control of workers’ 401(k)s, retreating from the 30-year experiment with employees running their own accounts. According to Saturday’s WSJ, the greater employer control is a philosophical shift in 401(k)s and other defined-contribution plans, which held $3.5 trillion at the end of last year. The new, more-paternalistic approach, with employers making most of the decisions, resembles a defined-benefit pension plan – but unlike a pension plan, individuals bear all the investment risk. Will employees embrace this new model where they surrender choice but not risk? Or will this spark a movement towards other retirement savings strategies where they have more say in their investments?  Time will tell!

What are YOU reading this week?

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