October 22, 2009 |
The hedge-fund firm at the center of the biggest insider-trading scandal to erupt on Wall Street in years is taking steps to close up shop. Galleon Group, founded by billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who was arrested last week on suspicion of running a widespread insider-trading scheme, told investors and employees in a letter Wednesday that it planned to liquidate its hedge funds. The company also has been approached by outside parties interested in buying it, according to a person familiar with the matter.
October 17, 2009 |
For most retail stores, staying in business for only a few days would be considered a major flop. But a growing number of merchants are opening shops and abruptly shutting them down soon after -- on purpose. These quickie retail operations -- known as pop-ups -- are showing up throughout Southern California and around the nation, filling in the gaps at recession-battered shopping centers for a fraction of the regular rents. Once limited to seasonal shops and dusty liquidation centers, pop-up stores are now being opened by some of the nation's biggest retailers.
October 16, 2009 |
Harley-Davidson Inc. is engineering its own makeover, and some shocked fans and workers aren't pleased. In reporting an 84% drop in quarterly earnings, the Milwaukee manufacturer said Thursday that it is shutting down its longtime Buell product line and selling its MV Agusta business, an exclusive, high-end Italian brand it bought only last year. The company said it wants to focus on its core Harley brand. The decision to get out of sport bikes left a small but devoted ridership "kind of depressed," said Joe Frus, owner of the American Thunderbike Club, an online forum for Buell fans with 2,000 members.
October 6, 2009 |
Two years ago, Conde Nast's Vogue published its biggest issue, an advertising-packed behemoth that symbolized the prosperity of New York's glittering magazine industry as it rode the twin booms in the economy and luxury spending to dramatic heights. Generous expense accounts were de rigueur at glossy fashion and lifestyle magazines. Some top editors and publishers enjoyed clothing allowances and mortgage assistance. Even lowly assistants flitted about in chauffeur-driven town cars.
September 16, 2009 |
Blockbuster is looking lackluster. Facing increasing pressure from Redbox, Netflix Inc. and its own debt problems, the video rental giant is doubling the number of stores it is likely to close by the end of next year, the company revealed in a regulatory filing Tuesday. Struggling Blockbuster was previously aiming to shut 410 to 450 of its most unprofitable stores this year and next. A series of "accelerated closures" brings that target to 810 to 960. Blockbuster also said it might convert an additional 250 to 300 locations to outlets that focus on used DVDs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 2009 |
Once a municipal landmark found in even the smallest communities, the neighborhood post office is slowly going the way of the handwritten letter. So much so that the U.S. Postal Service is considering closing nearly 1,000 of its smaller branches nationwide, with dozens of them in California. But even as the Postal Service weighs public reaction, small communities on the list worry that they'll lose a needed service. And in places like San Juan Capistrano, officials are fighting to save their city's only post office.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2009 |
Moviegoers in the 1960s and '70s flocked to Westwood Village, where they had their pick of first-run films on nearly 20 screens. With parking scarce, patrons stashed their cars at the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard and took shuttles into the village. A-list celebrities turned out for frequent splashy openings. The occasional premiere still brings red carpets and klieg lights, but the neighborhood near UCLA is no longer the movie hub it once was.
July 29, 2009 |
A decade ago, big banks and thrifts began closing branches in the belief that clicks would replace bricks as customers moved their business online. But consumers weren't ready, and the experiment was soon abandoned. Now the old model may finally be changing. Bank of America Corp.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2009 |
Determined to prevent the Mongols motorcycle club from using a Lancaster motel to host its annual meeting this weekend, the city's mayor has taken steps to shut down the establishment. Mayor R. Rex Parris said the members of the Mongols, which law enforcement agencies consider a violent biker gang, are not welcome in Lancaster because they "are engaged in domestic terrorism . . . and they kill our children."
July 16, 2009 |
Hundreds of car dealers marched on Washington this week, hoping to build public support for a bill to block General Motors and Chrysler from closing about 3,300 dealerships. These were family businesses, they said, mom-and-pop stores employing hundreds of thousands of Americans. And they were being asked to shoulder more than their share of pain in the restructuring of the auto industry. An honest political observer would acknowledge that the bill has almost no chance of becoming law.