Weekend Digest: The death of a ‘fracking’ CEO, LEGO turnaround and most interesting man in the world on Mars edition

by Larry Brannan (ltbrannan@aol.com) 72 views 

TV PREVIEW
On this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7 in Central Arkansas and now in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.:

• Under the Dome
Health reform moves forward and a state budget plan is introduced. It was a busy week under the capitol dome. Senate President Jonathan Dismang and Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam discuss what comes next.

• Hoops for Kids’ Sake
There will also be an annual charity basketball game played by the Arkansas House and Senate. We’ll preview the event and see if the Speaker and the President want to back down from their smack talk.

• Hot off the Press
And our latest magazine edition of Talk Business & Politics is hot off the press. Our cover story features an exploration of the political rise during the 1970’s of Dale Bumpers, David Pryor, Bill Clinton and others. Contributor John Brummett brings his perspective to the table.

Tune in to Talk Business & Politics in central Arkansas on KATV Channel 7, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and now in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.

‘FRACKING KING’ DIES
Bloomberg Business posts Chesapeake Energy’s former co-founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon ” was smart, shrewd, visionary, and dogged – and he had trouble following rules.”

On occasion, when a gamble on a new gas field worked out, that helped him. But just as often, it hurt. His contrarian push into shale drilling revolutionized the global energy business and made him a billionaire. His disdain for convention attracted regulatory scrutiny, angered shareholders, and cost him his job running the company he built.

Then a one-car collision into a bridge abutment in his home town of Oklahoma City on March 2 cost him his life.

“On March 1, the day before McClendon died, federal antitrust authorities accused him of conspiring with a competitor to rig bids in drilling-lease auctions.”

Was the crash an accident or suicide? Go inside this post and take a ride for an in-depth look at the rise and fall of the “Fracking King” at this link.

10 WAYS TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
A contributor to Entrepreneur says, “It astonishes me how many businesses don’t have a clue who their target market is.”

Sure, if you ask the head of sales who the target audience is, he or she may have an answer, but does this sales exec know why this is the target market? What problems this market faces? What this market trusts and distrusts? What its members love and loathe, fear or anticipate?

“Unless you’re intimately familiar with the psychology of your target market, any demographics you claim are mere semantics. If you want your messaging to be effective and your brand to be enticing, you need to go a step further and get to know your customers better. How do you do that?”

Find out here.

THE REMARKABLE TURNAROUND OF LEGO
“This week the Danish toymaker LEGO posted a 25% jump in revenues and a 31% rise in net profits for 2015, a far cry from 2003 when the company was in deep trouble, having lost 30 percent of its turnover over the past year,” reports LinkedIn.

In 2004, another 10 percent vanished. As Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, LEGO’s CEO, put it then, “We are on a burning platform, losing money with negative cash flow, and a real risk of debt default which could lead to a breakup of the company.” How had the Danish toymaker fallen so far so fast then and jumped so high this week?

Go to this link to find out how it happened.

CHINA IS FACING A TICKING DEMOGRAPHIC TIME BOMB
Bloomberg News says, “Worries about China’s slowdown have dominated headlines since the beginning of the year. But beneath the day-to-day volatility is a simmering crisis: A rapidly aging population and an already shrinking workforce.”

Enda Curran, Bloomberg’s chief Asia economics correspondent, joins Aki Ito to discuss what these demographic trends will mean for a country still in the midst of transitioning from a developing to developed economy, and how China won’t be alone in facing the consequences of an older society.

For the video discussion click here.

HILLARY’S BILL PROBLEM IS BACK
POLITICO Magazine posts, “In a revealing moment, she admits she’s ‘not a natural politician’ like her husband. And it shows all the time on the campaign trail.”

“It may have been Hillary Clinton’s most revealing moment on the stump since that time she choked up in New Hampshire in 2008, after a sympathetic supporter asked, “How do you do it?” When one of the moderators at Wednesday night’s debate in Miami, Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post, asked Clinton why so many voters find her untrustworthy, the candidate hemmed a bit and then admitted: “I’m not a natural politician, in case you haven’t noticed, like my husband or President Obama.”

Actually, Hillary is pretty politically savvy, and she’s been playing the game most of her adult life. She also possesses many appealing assets other politicians don’t, including the discipline and Washington savvy Bill lacked when he became president in 1993. But the woman cruelly nicknamed Sister Frigidaire in high school, whose mother dreamed of her being America’s first female chief justice of the Supreme Court, does lack Bill’s magnetism and smooth charm. And that is a problem for her, if for no other reason than he will be by her side for the duration of the campaign – and she is hardly the only one to note that, next to him, she’s no “natural.”

Follow this link for the complete story.

REPUBLICAN SENATORS HOLD THEIR NOSES FOR CRUZ
Though as POLITICO reports, “Fellow lawmakers despise him, but for many of them, the alternative is even worse.”

“It’s come to this for Senate Republicans: The man who’s ripped them as part of the Washington “cartel” and dismissed their leader as a liar and a Democrat is starting to win their ever-so-grudging support for president.”

The endorsement of Ted Cruz by conservative U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Thursday is the first sign that at least a handful of GOP senators are prepared to hold their noses and get behind the Texas senator, given an alternative they see as even more noxious and politically damaging: Donald Trump.

Read the full post at this link.

WHAT SANDERS AND TRUMP AGREE ON
How could these two presidential candidate who seem to be on the opposite ends of the political world agree on anything? Well they do according The Washington Post.

“The energy fueling the presidential campaign – on both sides of the political spectrum – seems to be a deep despair about the U.S. economy. On this central issue, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have a surprisingly similar message: The American economy has failed.”

But is the analysis correct? The U.S. economy has created 14 million private-sector jobs since 2010. Unemployment has dropped to under 5%, and the number of people filing jobless claims hit a 42-year low last year. The Dow Jones industrial average has more than doubled under Barack Obama, among the strongest stock market performances under any president. Housing and construction markets are strong, auto sales are booming, and even wages have begun to rise.

Or has it actually failed, and are Trump and Sanders right? Find out by clicking here.

THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD GETS LAUNCHED
“I don’t always drink beer but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.”

For the past 10 years that was the moniker played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith for the for the beer brand Dos Equis. Now he’s being launched to Mars in his final commercial.

Click this link to take a look at the ad that features many characters from his decade long trek as “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

A 5,000 MILE ANNUAL SWIM FOR A REUNION
That’s a long way and impossible for a human to do right?  You would be correct, but not impossible for a penguin to reunite with the man who saved his life.

“Retired bricklayer and part time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found the tiny penguin, covered in oil and close to death, lying on rocks on his local beach in 2011.”

Joao cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers and fed him a daily diet of fish to build his strength. He named him Dindim.

For the rest of the most heartwarming story you may read in a long time, please connect here from Metro News.

CHECK OUT THIS WILD NEW AIRPLANE SEAT
It’s a “connected office, living room and bedroom … all in one,” says Mashable.

Imagine a world where business travel is just as cozy — and convenient — as being at home or in your office. In this world, you can spend your time up in the air getting your work done, resting, relaxing or just indulging in some straight-up entertainment, all without ever having to move from your seat.

Wild, right?

“Well, Panasonic Avionics has made this world a reality with Waterfront, its latest inflight innovation.” Check out this proposed “compact executive office suite, living room and bedroom combination” airplane ride at this link.

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