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Retired business editor Jack Markowitz writes Thursdays. Jack Markowitz can be reached via e-mail or at 412-380-8551

Bear sharpens claws on ‘old Pittsburgh’

By Jack Markowitz
Seems like a bear market is where you find it. It roared right into Pittsburgh in the third quarter, and the blood-letting was most visible in the clawed stocks of traditional basic industries — what might be called “old Pittsburgh” ...

Divestiture: What if folks stopped going to DiCaprio movies?

By Jack Markowitz
Unless they change their ways, the following companies active in Pittsburgh can kiss good-bye to any chance of attracting Leonardo DiCaprio as an investor: Consol Energy, Dominion Resources, EQT and First Energy, to name the most obvious. All are into ...

Markowitz: With costs so high, give ‘Grannycare’ some consideration

By Jack Markowitz
Let’s not count out that old-fashioned social unit, the multi-generation household – children, parents and grandparents all living under the same roof. Horrors, you might say! Unthinkable! It would be an end to privacy, a travesty of “the American dream.” Yet ...

Markowitz: Doomsday prophet pins it on Fed’s moves

By Jack Markowitz
Oh, the suspense of September. Will the Federal Reserve allow the leaf to drop that everyone’s been watching for? That is, a rise in officially set interest rates at last. If it happens next week (and it’s no certainty) ...

Markowitz: Notes sour and true heard at Labor Day

By Jack Markowitz
Labor Day is coming; you can almost hear Vice President Joe Biden and the bands marshalling: Trumpets! — for organized labor being as “strong as ever” and “more needed than ever before.” But government employment aside, union membership is ...

Markowitz: Snapshots of Europe: Open roads, winding lanes, hushed cathedrals beckon

By Jack Markowitz
Mile after mile through the golden farmlands of France and Germany, a tourist misses one thing: farmhouses. There are major haystacks and snaky irrigation machines that spray in quarter-mile circles as in Kansas and Nebraska, but no apparent “homesteaders.” ...

Markowitz: Diligence still in demand, even in Europe

By Jack Markowitz
All the world loves a worker. And anybody in business who loves good workers has a natural antagonist in the government. Because one way or another, by tax, regulation, quota, restriction or forms, forms, forms, it becomes harder to ...

European tourism can be a great teacher

By Jack Markowitz
Business isn’t everything. It’s nice to see commercialism keep a distance from scenes of wartime heroism and sacrifice. The D-Day beaches of Europe still reach the heart and mind unpriced. At the end of an interstate-quality turnpike, through a French ...

Markowitz: Building a fortune was simple

By Jack Markowitz
Verna Oller’s way of life cannot be recommended for everyone. Some lifestyle between hers and how the “1 percent” live would probably be about right. Yet Mrs. Oller survived in health to a ripe age — very ripe — sticking ...

Markowitz: Always look on bright side of a crisis

By Jack Markowitz
Business people could take a leaf from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who once advised never to let a crisis go to waste. His sense was political, but the formula fits any opportunity in business or the economy. Take the demographic ...

Fifth and Smithfield will flourish again

By Jack Markowitz
Pittsburgh has witnessed the life cycle of an industry. Macy’s will hold a final sale at its Fifth and Smithfield flagship Downtown — and will keep selling at a dozen smaller suburban stores — but an American institution, the ...

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