The entire economy is hoarding cash like Apple
Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
The logic seems simple enough: the Fed keeps interest rates low so individuals and businesses can borrow, and their spending will lift the economy. So what's gone wrong? U.S. banks have $2.3 trillion available to lend, up nearly $96 billion in just the past month. Prior to the financial crisis, these deposits typically ran at less than $2 billion. But instead of earning 4.5 percent on new car loans, or 10 percent on personal loans, banks are just depositing all this liquidity back into Fed coffers and earning a mere 0.25 percent. Apparently, banks prefer that meager but guaranteed return to the risk of consumer lending, which seems dicey because Washington just can't get its fiscal act together.
"What we have here is a case where the transmission channel between the monetary policy and the real economy is clogged up ... The obvious question is: what is the Fed doing to repair, and restore, this dysfunctional process of financial intermediation? They may be doing something, but I don't see anything."—Michael Ivanovitch president of MSI Global
Your best recruits can't write a sentence
Everyone knows that employers can find it hard to get workers with the reading, writing and math skills needed in today's workplace. But the problem isn't confined to workers just out of high school or community college—graduates from top-quality colleges and MBA programs are coming up short, too. Some experts blame the texting culture, others fault the colleges and grad schools. In response, employers are asking high-level job candidates for writing samples and often assigning new hires to writing training. Right Management, the workforce management arm of Manpower, has recently seen a 20 to 25 percent increase in the number of clients investing in communication skills and other career development programs for employees.
"Sometimes we ask for writing samples even prior to the interview process, and I will take a look at that. I've been doing this for so long, I have a pretty good sense of what's fixable and what's terminal."—Garry Cosnett, head of global equity communications at T. Rowe Price
On Veterans Day, consider hiring vets
Having trouble find job candidates with cutting-edge skills, discipline and a strong work ethic (let alone the ability to string a sentence or two together in intelligible English)? Then look at the big pool of veterans, whose 7 percent jobless rate is nearly as bad as the national average. That's what companies like Advanced Technology Services are doing, and they're mighty pleased with the results. Starbucks has just announced a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and spouses of active military over the next five years. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is running a series of job fairs for vets as part of its Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit is worth $5,600 for each vet hired, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers up to $9,600.
"It's challenging to find people in manufacturing. One of the jackpots we hit was to find people in the military. They just have a different attitude.... They also have leadership and discipline."—Holly Mosack, director of employee communications for Advanced Technology
Sunday mail? Yes, for Amazon Prime
Many business leaders have been wringing their hands over the U.S. Postal Service's constant talk of cutting back delivery schedules. Well, for the right price, maybe you can avoid all that—and even get delivery on Sunday. Unfortunately, it may take the clout of Amazon.com, which has announced a Sunday delivery program for its Amazon Prime customers in New York and Los Angeles. The pilot will expand in 2014 to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix, and perhaps other cities.
"We're excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day."—Dave Clark, Amazon's vice president of worldwide operations and customer service
The eBay of super-jets
Got a spare super-jet sitting around gathering dust? It might be a good time to unload it. Although sales of business jets have been languishing for years, one category—the biggest and fastest—is selling at premium prices upwards of $70 million each. That's the Gulfstream G650, a relatively new model with the 7,000-mile range billionaires and corporate owners need to get back and forth to faraway places like Asia. Demand for the G650 is so high buyers are on a four-year waiting list. Those who can't wait will pay a premium for a lightly used model. Some super-jet flippers are pocketing quick gains of $5 million to $7 million.
"These are billionaires who are willing to pay a premium to avoid the wait."—Philip Rushton, founder of Aviatrade, an aviation consulting and brokerage firm
—By Jeff Brown, special to CNBC.com