slide

Wall Street predicts election aftermath

With President Obama currently leading in the polls, Wall Street financial advisors have begun sending letters to their clients making predictions about what will happen if the president is re-elected. The curious common thread in these missives is that the most important outcome for the economy, regardless whether Mitt Romney…

slide

Howard’s Econogram, or Crisis at a Glance

A whole lot of economic reports have come out this week, some good, some bad, all of them easily twisted or misunderstood by people who either have a political agenda or find expression in economic reports for their dislike of countries (those spendthrift Greeks!) or professions (those darn bankers!) Here’s…

slide

Music Post: When composers recompose other composers

Some of Arnold Schoenberg’s best work is by Handel and Brahms. Schoenberg arranged a Handel concerto for string quartet and orchestra until it was no longer recognizably by a Baroque composer. He made orchestral works out of some Brahms chamber pieces. If you can set aside the nagging feeling that…

slide

Music Post: Why I hate “Moon River” (sorry, Andy Williams)

When I came into work this morning Ramsay Wharton was yelling across the newsroom asking a question about Andy Williams, and I couldn’t think of any reason for Ramsay to be asking a question about Andy Williams within an hour of going on the air unless Andy Williams had died….

slide

Porkolypse Now: the story behind the gag headlines

The story began with a press release from the National Pig Association of Britain, which called on supermarkets to pay a good price for pork products so pig producers could cover their soaring costs in a time of drought. A farm story. Most editors ignore farm news. But the release…

slide

What economists know that politicians don’t

The National Association of Business Economists polled its members and found that most of them think Congress should repeal its “fiscal cliff” across-the-board spending cuts for year’s end. And not only that, it should not cut any federal spending at all until the economy is better. Does this mean the…

slide

On the beach with Five-0

Nina Tassler is president of CBS Entertainment. You might have thought she would spend Sunday in Los Angeles at the Emmy awards. She did not. She spent it here. She wanted to see Sunset on the Beach for herself. She wanted to see how a crowd of thousands liked “Hawaii…

slide

Ruminations in B flat

One of the key pieces I played on my public radio show this morning was the finale of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, which happens to be in B flat major. Interesting coincidence, because B flat major is a key with two flats (B is flatted, obviously, and so is E) and…

slide

Music Post: A little traveling music, please

When I broke into radio as a teenager, most listeners were tuned to AM stations, so a lot has changed since then. In 1970, stations were just starting to use the term “cross-noon” for the 10 a.m.-3 p.m. daypart that formerly was called “housewife time.” But an older colleague forgot…

slide

Wanted: some fresh ideas for movies

In the 1996 movie “Executive Decision,” a special forces team is trying to board a hijacked jetliner in midair when something goes horribly wrong and the team leader is killed, despite the fact that he is Steven Seagal, given second billing for the film, and film is only half over….