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

’Tis the season to put retailers in the black

By Jack Markowitz
Ten ways of looking at Thanksgiving — only nine of which involve business: • First, it’s a workhorse of a holiday. It begins with a religious idea but adapts wonderfully well to all religions and even outside religion. Everyone has ...

Markowitz: Ideas can help — if politicians will let them

By Jack Markowitz
It’s raining ideas out there this season. Some might do just the watering that business, profits and jobs need to grow faster. A lower corporate income tax would almost certainly bring profits home to America that the existing 35 ...

Markowitz: Discuss spending, avoid relationship woes

By Jack Markowitz
How un-romantic. It turns out that the source of most strife in marriage isn’t his forgetting their anniversaries or her resenting his golf dates with buddies. It’s money. Having differences over the dollar is the No. 1 predictor of divorce, ...

Bogle’s ‘bearish’ market forecast doesn’t bode well for pensions

By Jack Markowitz
“Bogle sounds the bugle again” — that could be an old headline — this time over stock market returns. They’re not going to be as rich as people have grown used to, he says. And the blahs could last a ...

Fall in love with a car over and over

By Jack Markowitz
There’s an old saying that America has a love affair with the automobile. Dealers in the United States are on track this year to sell more than 17 million new cars, SUVs, pickups, the whole lovable chorus line. But for ...

Markowitz: When it’s time to vote, remember tax day

By Jack Markowitz
Here we are, halfway around the year from the season of most pain and suffering with the income tax. Remember last April? Businesses and households were collaborating with — and hating — the annual skimoff of their income by government. ...

Fraud will cost VW much more than cash

By Jack Markowitz
Leave it to Volkswagen. The world’s largest automaker has rolled out a state-of-the-art corporate screw-up. This one offends everybody: customers, dealers, regulators, shareholders, environmentalists and lawmakers. Only in the offices of class action lawyers can there be any joy ...

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) ...

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