When the four banks still offering customers payday loan-like services announced they would discontinue their often under-fire products, they likely knew their bottom-line would take a hit. One of those institutions, First Third Bank announced this week that changes to its program resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in revenue, providing an example of why it can be difficult to persuade lenders to ditch the profit-making, but financially devastating programs. [More]
All those baggage fees added so far this year appear to be bringing in the big bucks for U.S. airlines. A new report found that airlines brought in nearly $1 billion last quarter by charging customers for hauling their belongings. And while that seems like a lot of dough, it’s just a drop in the bucket for the industry. [More]
Being POTUS makes you age prematurely, and Lady Gaga is stuck in a 360 deal that takes a cut of everything she does. Screw that, I wanna be CEO. The Wall Street Journal has listed the top paid CEOs of the last decade, which is topped by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison at $1.84 billion. Steve Jobs comes in fourth with $749 million, and Capital One’s Richard Fairbank is fifth at $569 million. The WSJ also notes that “four of the top 25 CEOs worked at financial companies, two on Wall Street.” [More]
If we owned a Blockbuster franchise, we’d seriously think about just renting out the space to a bunch of Redbox kiosks. Blockbuster reported a 42% drop in revenue for the first quarter of 2009, which CEO Jim Keyes blamed on people going out to watch movies at theaters instead. Regarding the Redbox threat, Keyes said they hope to have 3,000 kiosks functioning by the end of the year. Redbox, on the other hand, has about 12,000. [Reuters]
The United States is $10.2 trillion in debt. Like countless Americans, our government has spent beyond its means and needs help getting back on its feet. We recently received a panicked email from White House Budget Director Jim Nussle…
Here’s the real reason for an airline to switch to credit-card-only sales on board its flights: people spend more. Southwest Airlines’ customer service veep, Daryl Krause, told the Dallas Morning News that “since Southwest began accept credit cards (and no longer taking cash) on Sept. 9, its drink sales are up about 8 percent.” Since in general “the goal was one more drink sale per flight,” we wonder whether that wasn’t the real reason for going cashless all along.
Kick open the exit doors and release the inflatable slides, Spirit is outfitting their entire fleet with cabin-saturating ads. Billed as Spirit’s “latest innovation,” the ads will litter “seat backs, window shades, overhead bins, tray tables, drink carts, napkins, cups, menus (what menus?) boarding passes, trash bags, soap dispensers,” and probably even barf bags.
EBay’s highly criticized fee changes—lower listing prices but a 67% increase in seller fees—kicked in last week, and next month eBay’s payment service PayPal will start holding certain deposits for up to 21 days if PayPal considers the transaction “high risk.” PayPal earns interest on any money it holds—and it’s perfectly legal because PayPal is a deposit broker and not a bank. If you do find your money stuck in “high risk” detention, there’s only one way you can attempt to earn money from the delay, and that’s by sticking it in PayPal’s Money Market Fund.
Mastercard reported on Sunday that, after a slight bump around Black Friday, sales of women’s clothing has dropped again, down 6% even while sales of men’s clothing has gone up 4.5%. They think it has to do with an overall weak year for women’s fashion, and the fact that mothers tend to cut back on new clothes for themselves first when faced with a tighter budget. The silver lining: there may be considerable discounts at women’s clothing retailers in the immediate future as they try to bump up sales at the last minute.