by John Temple Ligon
In SC in 2001, there were 13 personal bankruptcy filings under Chapter 7 and another 1,774 under Chapter 13. In 2005, there were 3,032 in Chapter 7 and 7,166 in Chapter 13.
Otherwise, 2005 was a pretty good year
According to the SC Department of Commerce, last year 133 companies announced plans to invest $2.66 billion in SC, which should eventually add 12,000 jobs.
“You can’t be too rich or too thin,”
once said the Duchess of Windsor
Survey statement: People who are not overweight are more attractive. In 1985, 55% agreed. In 2005, only 24.1% agreed, according to the NPD Group National Eating Trends Survey. The difference, presumably, comes from the higher percentage of overweight people in the American population. “To be fat is where it’s at,” as the rotund Motown singer put it.
Trade and more trade
China’s world trade surplus in 2004 was $32 billion. In 2005, it was $102 billion. China imported $660 billion in 2005 and exported $762 billion. The US trade deficit with China for 2005 was more than $200 billion, up from $162 billion in 2004. All this intensifies US protectionist sentiment in the US Congress, but for the long haul trade begets trade, which creates wealth. Foreign direct investment in China for 2005 hit above $60 billion. Foreigners pay less than half of the 33% corporate tax rate paid by domestic firms.
Homeboy in demand
Columbia’s W. Thomas Smith Jr. has been named military technical consultant for The New Technology of War , a documentary film by Popular Mechanics.
The SC Mozart Festival is soon upon us Columbians without support from the City of Columbia, which turned down the festival’s request for $260,000. Meanwhile, the City of Columbia is about to employ new strategies in collecting $2.7 million in unpaid parking tickets.
Economic summit in Orangeburg
The African–American Economic Summit is January 21 in Ministers’ Hall at Claflin University in Orangeburg. Darla Moore, founder of the Palmetto Institute, and Ed Sellers, chairman of the SC Council on Competitiveness, are scheduled to speak at the summit’s lunch.
Another big–city paper cuts stock–listing space
The Chicago Tribune , under declining advertising and circulation, will publish less than a page of stock listings this week, down from the current three pages or more. The Chicago Sun–Times stopped publishing stock tables altogether last May. Since June 2002, the average price for a ton of newsprint is up almost 50%.
GM cuts back
By 2010, a sweeping cost–reduction plan at GM should reduce structural costs by $11 billion. Already predicting job cuts of 30,000 by 2008, GM’s $11 billion drop should lay off even more workers.
Benedict gets lucky
Businessman Charlie Johnson is the chairman of the board at Benedict College. He lives in Louisville, KY, where he buys an occasional Powerball lottery ticket. Last week he won $200,000 and promptly handed it over to Benedict College to help with the construction of its new football stadium on Two Notch Road.
What the Catawba Indians
(and a bunch of other folks) really want
The major hotel–casinos in Nevada earned a record $1.8 billion before federal taxes on $21.4 billion in revenue for fiscal 2005.
Expensive advertising on the tube
ABC’s Super Bowl XL coverage this February 5 is five days before the 17 days of NBC’s Winter Olympics. The average cost per 30–second ad during the Super Bowl is $2.4 million. Over the course of the 17 days of the Winter Olympics, the 30–second ad should average $700,000.
Savannah River Site
The construction cost of a factory to convert weapons-grade nuclear material into power–plant fuel is getting above $4 billion, while the early cost estimates were about $1.5 billion.
Body count for journalists
Forty–seven journalists were killed in 2005, down from 57 in 2004. About three–fourths each year were murdered to silence their work. In 2005, Iraq had the highest number of deaths among journalists at 22. The second highest was in the Philippines, with four journalists killed. There were two deaths each in Russia, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Somalia.