Visitors president to speak
Gregg Mervis, the recently named president and chief executive officer of the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau and the John S. Knight Center, will speak at noon Thursday at the Kiwanis Club of Akron luncheon.
The title of Mervis’ presentation is Partnerships in Motion — Greater Akron’s Visitor Economy. The event is open to the public. Doors open at 11:45 a.m.
Non-Kiwanis members should RSVP to Katie Rennard at 330-643-5517 or email@example.com. Cost is $15, payable at the door.
Mervis, a longtime executive of the bureau, succeeds the late Susan Hamo in the top post. Hamo died of cancer in February 2012.
Stockman makes warning
The U.S. economy is in a bubble inflated by “phony money” from the Federal Reserve and will burst within a few years, warned David Stockman, who was budget director for President Ronald Reagan.
In an essay in the New York Times, Stockman wrote that the Fed’s quantitative easing policies following the credit crisis have flooded stock markets with cash even while the “Main Street economy” remains weak. The combination, he wrote, is “unsustainable.”
“When it bursts, there will be no new round of bailouts like the ones the banks got in 2008,” wrote Stockman, a former senior managing director at Blackstone Group LP and a former Republican congressman from Michigan. Stockman, 66, is the author of The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, which is being published today.
Hyundai suspension problem
U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that the rear suspension frames can rust and fail on Hyundai Sonata midsize cars.
The probe affects about 393,000 cars from the 2006 through 2008 model years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received six complaints of suspension failures, with three happening at highway speeds, according to documents posted on its website on Friday. The investigation was opened March 25.
The agency says rust in the frame can cause control arm failures. A car’s wheel hubs are attached to the control arms.
No crashes or injuries were reported but two of the failures activated the cars’ electronic stability control systems.
Ribs at Boston Market
Boston Market is expanding beyond its well-known rotisserie chicken offering for a new meat: ribs. The Golden, Colo.-based chain hopes the ribs, its biggest new food launch in six years, will help bring in new customers. It’s kicking off the launch with a tax-themed ad campaign starting Monday with the slogan, “The Big Rib-ate.”
Boston Market, which has 471 locations nationwide, offers rotisserie chicken, turkey, brisket and vegetable sides. It faces competitors such as Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill for the lunch crowd and casual dining chains like the Olive Garden and P.F. Chang’s Chinese Bistro and grocery stores for the evening and weekend customer.
Construction spending up
Spending on U.S. construction projects rebounded in February, helped by a surge in home construction, which rose to the highest level in more than four years. Construction spending rose 1.2 percent overall in February compared with January, when construction had dropped 2.1 percent, the Commerce Department reported.
Spending rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $885.1 billion, which was 7.9 percent higher than a year ago. The advance was led by a 2.2 percent rise in private residential construction, which climbed to an annual rate of $303.4 billion, the best showing since November 2008. Private nonresidential construction was up 0.4 percent while public construction rose 0.9 percent.
For all of 2012, construction spending increased 9.8 percent, marking the first annual gain after five straight years of declines. Construction spending is still well below healthy levels. But housing looks to be strengthening this year.
Dow has small drop
The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 5.69 points, or less than 0.1 percent, at 14,572.85. The S&P 500 index fell 7.02 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,562.17. After ending March at an all-time high and recording its best quarterly rise in a year, the S&P 500 remains below its intraday high of 1,576.09. The Nasdaq composite index lost 28.35 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,239.17.
Compiled from staff and wire reports