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November 18, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
United Airlines has long been the drunk uncle of American carriers -- tolerated at the table when there's no alternative, avoided whenever possible. In the latest airline quality rating survey released in April by researchers at Purdue, United came in worst , marked down for on-time takeoffs, baggage handling and other consumer complaints. Only three weeks ago, federal regulators slapped the airline with their largest fine ever-- $1.1 million for leaving passengers on 13 flights stranded on the tarmac last summer during thunderstorms in Chicago.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) (Jim: Buy) (Mike: Buy) Mike: If I understand correctly, Jim, this is a company that owns every hotel in the world, right? Jim: No, just every glamorous hotel in the world. Or so Starwood Hotels & Resorts' Chief Executive Barry Sternlicht would like you to believe. Mike: Yeah, we'll get to him in a minute. All kidding aside, Starwood is one of the biggest players in the lodging world.
January 12, 1999 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
Sears, Roebuck & Co. (S) Jim: Here's a challenge, Mike: Can we discuss Sears without making some stupid play on words with its "softer side" slogan? I mean, if I see one more newspaper or magazine snicker about "the softer side" of Sears being its profit, or its fuzzy strategy, or its . . . . Mike: Don't worry, I'm happy to break the mold. But I have to tell you, I've always had a problem with Sears both as a company and a stock.
January 23, 2001 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
SBC Communications (SBC) Jim: Don't buy Mike: Don't buy * Jim: SBC Communications isn't a household name in Southern California, Michael, but everyone's familiar with its main division here--an outfit called Pacific Bell. Mike: Yeah, in the same way that a company named Vivendi is a closed book to anyone outside France, but we all know its big California property--Universal Studios.
December 7, 1999 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
Excite@Home (ATHM) Jim: This outfit was originally known as @Home, until it bought Internet portal site Excite not long ago. And now, Mike, Excite @Home is somewhat of an interesting animal out there in the Internet world. Mike: Yes, it's a camel. And thanks for that straight line. This is the quintessential company designed by a committee. Jim: Yikes! And I was going to be charitable and just call it a hybrid. Mike: First, though, let me make full disclosure.
Kmart (KM) * Jim: Don't buy Mike: Don't buy Jim: I'm getting tired of this story, Mike. Here's yet another big, lumbering retailer that's going nowhere. Kmart, just like Sears and J.C. Penney, is restructuring itself yet again to try to get its earnings and stock price back up. To which I say: Good luck. Mike: Stop whining, Jim. To me, Kmart today sort of defines the youth movement. For starters, it has a new, 40-year-old chief executive, one Charles Conaway.
Dayton Hudson (DH) Jim: Now here's what you'd call a department store conglomerate, Mike. Dayton Hudson, with about $30 billion-plus in sales, has 1,200 stores in 44 states, but they serve all range of pocketbooks. Mike: Right. Dayton Hudson is everything from soup to nuts. Or to put it another way, everything from consomme to lobster bisque. Jim: The lobster bisque being Marshall Field's, which is mainly in the Midwest and East, along with Dayton's.
October 31, 2000 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
AT&T (T) Jim: Buy Mike: Don't buy * Mike: We're looking only at AT&T today, Jim. We've reviewed it before, but now it's very much in the news again and in the hearts and minds of investors everywhere. Jim: And what a perfect stock for Halloween, Mike, because this one is a nightmare. Mike: First, I want to take credit for one of the world's greatest "to be sures," which as you know is a term of art in our business.
September 12, 2000 | JAMES PELTZ and MICHAEL HILTZIK
Qualcomm (QCOM) Jim: Buy Mike: Buy * Mike: The stock of this San Diego-based telecommunications company rose so far so fast last year, Jim, that it seems BMWs and Jaguars were sprouting on the streets of San Diego like dandelions on a sump. Jim: Qualcomm's stock performance was even eclipsing Broadcom's, which tells you something.
September 18, 2011 | By Richard Rayner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The New Deal A Modern History Michael Hiltzik Free Press: 499 pp., $30 Michael Hiltzik's "Colossus," published last year, told the story of the building of what is now known as the Hoover Dam, an epic public works project that was seized upon by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as an icon of his New Deal. Hiltzik's latest, an extension of "Colossus" in a way, moves on to the subject of the New Deal itself, beginning with FDR's election in November 1932 and his inauguration four months later on a cold, damp day when America, in the midst of a banking collapse, was a "stupefied giant standing face to face with insolvency.
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