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Jul 31, 2011

Smartcompany News: US debt deal finally sealed, Tablet use tipped to soar, How Howard Schultz saved Starbucks, Visa says it won’t collect GST on online imports

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Dear SmartCompany reader,
Today on SmartCompany we look at the latest news out of the US, where a deal has finally been reached to raise the debt ceiling – although President Barack Obama isn’t all that happy. We also talk to accountants and experts about claims that the ATO is bullying SMEs and look at the latest predictions from PwC’s media team, who say one in four households will have a tablet computer by 2015. Plus in Entrepreneur Watch, James Thomson looks at the RBA’s difficult rates decision tomorrow.

For all this and more, head to our home page.

Rich Secrets
How Howard Schultz saved Starbucks
Exactly how did Schultz restore Starbucks – and his fortune – to their former glory? It's a story of clever cutbacks, instant coffee and the de-commoditisation of a great brand. BY JAMES THOMSON.

Exit Strategies
House price inflation low on the RBA’s worry list
With headline inflation now well outside of the RBA's target range and core inflation heading towards the upper limits of the target range, there will be pressure on the RBA to lift interest rates. BY TIM LAWLESS.
Worry list

Aunty B
How do I get my senior people to do a crash course in building a terrific sales culture?
I am sure that a simple direct conversation may shift a lot of entrenched attitudes.
Aunty B

Sue Barrett
All too often sales people find themselves jumping in too soon, offering premature solutions when it comes to dealing with a prospective client’s needs or priorities.
Sue Barrett

Retail trends
Kevin Moore
By 2015, the mix of a new generation of innovative and entertaining store formats, supported by eponymous online choice and productivity, will deliver yet another steep change in our shopping lives.
Kevin Moore

Enterprise Leadership
Dennis Roberts
As a leader you can add supreme value by sitting down with your staff and identifying what activities they should STOP doing as a matter of urgency.
Dennis Roberts

The Futurist
Colin Benjamin
The tax summit scheduled at the end of the year will need to give serious attention to the plight of domestic retailers.
Colin Benjamin

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
The RBA probably won’t raise rates tomorrow. But there are plenty who support a hike.
James Thomson

Eldridge slams 'extreme' policies: The AustralianBusiness Briefing

Leaders reach US debt deal: Obama
Obama Corey Boles BARACK Obama says leaders of both parties have reached a deal to lift the US debt ceiling and reduce the federal deficit.
Eldridge slams 'extreme' policies
Barry Eldridge Andrew Burrell BARRY Eldridge has opened the Diggers & Dealers mining conference with an attack on the Gillard government's policies.
Rio victim of bounced cheque
Rio Tinto David Robertson RIO Tinto may have been the victim of the costliest bounced cheque in history, US diplomatic cables have revealed.
Macarthur seeks higher bid
Coal bucketwheel Gavin Lower MACARTHUR Coal said today it sought a higher bid price but Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal rejected the proposal.
UK police expand hacking probe
New Scotland Yard Cassell Bryan-Low UK police have expanded a criminal probe into alleged illegal reporting tactics to incorporate possible computer hacking.
Boards lash weak leadership
Lindsay Maxsted Damon Kitney LEADING company boards believe the poor state of the current public policy debate and lack of political leadership is damaging the nation.
Blue sky thinking in BA merger
Britain British Airways David Robertson THE chief of American Airlines has raised the prospect of a full merger with British Airways.
Wonder of the West
share market Andrew Burrell THE market value of Western Australia's top 100 listed companies has soared by 375 per cent over the past decade.
Financial Markets
Shares jump on US compromise
sharemarket Leslie Shaffer THE Australian and regional sharemarkets rallied today as US President Barack Obama confirmed a deal on US debt.
Leaders reach US debt deal: Obama
Inflation pressures remain
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Eldridge slams 'extreme' policies
Barry Eldridge Andrew Burrell BARRY Eldridge has opened the Diggers & Dealers mining conference with an attack on the Gillard government's policies.
Macarthur seeks higher bid
Rio victim of bounced cheque
More Mining & Energy

US economy: GDP growth much weaker than thought

Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, from The Washington Post, say:
"If all goes as planned, the package could clear the Senate and then the House as soon as Monday night — barely 24 hours before Treasury officials have said they could run short of cash to pay the nation’s bills"

On the 29th of July there was a very interesting article in the BBC News, named:  U.S. economy GDP growth much weaker than thought, I leave you with it below:

US economic growth chart
US economic growth is much weaker than first thought, government figures show.
The economy grew at an annualised rate of 1.3% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said. Economists had forecast growth of 1.8%.
And in a surprise move, first-quarter growth was revised down sharply from 1.9% to 0.4%.
This evidence of economic weakness increases the pressure on the government as it attempts to increase its borrowing limit.
Slow growth makes it more difficult for the US to tackle its deficit.
If Congress does not raise the debt limit by 2 August, the US government could face funding shortfalls that it cannot meet by extra borrowing
President Barack Obama urged Democrats and Republicans in the Senate "to find common ground" on a plan to address the debt crisis.
"There are plenty of ways out of this mess. But we are almost out of time.
"If we don't come to an agreement, we could lose our country's triple A credit rating," he said. "That is inexcusable."
"On a day when we've already been reminded how delicate the economy is, we can end [this crisis] ourselves."
US markets opened lower, with the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all falling 1% in early trade.
European markets, which were already in negative territory, saw further falls after the figures were released.
'Shocking' After the revision, the US growth figures now correspond to a quarterly increase of just 0.1% in the first three months of 2011, followed by a 0.3% rise in the second quarter.
Economists had expected steady growth in the second quarter, now that supply constraints from Japan after the earthquake and tsunami are easing.

The main reason for the lower-than-expected second-quarter figure was that consumer spending virtually ground to a halt, growing by just 0.1%, compared with 2.1% growth in the first quarter.
The large downward revision to the first quarter's growth figure was made as a result of lower capital investment and higher imports than first thought, and adjusting how seasonal factors are taken into account.
In addition, growth for the fourth quarter of 2010 was revised down from 3.1% to 2.3%, indicating that the economy had already started slowing before the end of last year.
Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management, said the figures were "shocking".
"Clearly this is evidence of a mid-cycle slowdown. The only question now is do we see a pick-up in the second half and so far the economic data to date doesn't suggest that.
"You might have some analysts come out and talk recession, talk about a double dip. Right now none of the forecasts even come close to that but this is weak data."
Worse recession The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis makes annual revisions to its GDP estimates every July, incorporating more complete and detailed data.
It now says that the US recession of 2007-2009 was more severe than previously reported, with the economy shrinking by 5.1% over that period, rather than 4.1%.
But it also says that growth in 2010 was a bit stronger than it had first estimated.
It now puts 2010 growth at 3%, up from the previous 2.9%.

Obama: Agreement has been reached on raising debt limit: The Washington Post News Alert

July 31, 2011

In an evening news conference, President Obama says the debt ceiling deal is not the one he would have preferred, but it will "allow us to avoid default and end the crisis Washington imposed on the rest of America."

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