The Economy in Three Clients

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I have been gratified to receive a number of inquiries.   “Where’s your blog?” The truth is that I received an offer to write for a reputable print magazine, which would have caused a conflict.  Then the offer…went nowhere. I have made an executive decision.  To heck with quality journalism.  I’m gonna keep writing for you […]

Simson Finds Way to Eliminate Government Debt. Is Jailed.

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I bet you have Googled your own name. Perhaps it is to see if your seventh runner-up fourth-grade high-jump performance is memorialized. Maybe you want to see if you have outstanding parking tickets, or maybe a long lost relative is seeking your address so that you can come into your fortune. However, Google searches on […]

Restructuring, Government and Respect

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If there is one cardinal rule of restructuring, it is that the person in charge must respect all the constituents. It is a sure sign of an amateur to blame the employees for the changes that must take place. I know this from my own, early missteps. It only takes one disparaging remark about an […]

Private Equity, Probity and Politics

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I am rushing to catch a flight, so this will be quick. But I cannot earn one more frequent flier mile without speaking on private equity, which has been treated in the press as either a sign of the devil or the highest expression of American free enterprise. I am risking a missed flight to […]

The Turnaround Rule that Printers Must Know

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The graphic arts have experienced a long-term spate of hard times. This is not only because of cyclical economic recessions, which can cause declines in advertising and business activity in general. Certainly, the Great Recession of 2008-2010 qualified on that score. But we also are suffering from longer-term trends that affect the industry: a reduction […]

It’s time for Competitive Marketing

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 I am getting the feeling that economic conditions are improving. One client is on allocation on manufactured goods – the demand is outstripping supply. Another is about to hire five people, in sales and accounting.Of course, another is worried that revenues are varying from month to month in seemingly unforeseeable ways. This client is in […]

How YOU Doin’?

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I used to see Goldman Sachs alumni everywhere. It was weird – as if they were running things. But today I see a different influence. Now New Jersey and its crazy citizens are everywhere.  In the old days, New Jersey was a small state with no major cities, and its function was simply to keep Philadelphia the […]

My Favorite Dings

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At coffee this week, I heard of a southern Wisconsin machine shop that is struggling to keep afloat. Apparently all parties – creditors, suppliers, union – are working shoulder to shoulder to keep it going. I’m glad. We need every machine shop we’ve got.This reminded me that machine shops were once the front line of […]

Taking Control Amid Municipal Corruption: A Discussion with Harry Spence

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A couple of months ago, I got an email from Benton Harbor, Mich. It reported on the local strife following the appointment of a super-powerful municipal administrator under a new Michigan law. “Do you do this?” my correspondent asked. “Any comment?” And I replied that the only person I would trust to comment was someone […]

The Turnaround Assessment Test

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In 1968, Edward I. Altman formulated a simple, path-breaking scoring mechanism that could predict, with high confidence, the probability that any one corporation would enter bankruptcy within two years. He called the mechanism the Z score and, by publishing in academic journals, allowed it to enter the public domain. It has been, for many years, one of the most-studied […]

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