American Apparel Drama Round 2. Or is it Round 3?; Very Merry Gas Pumping Days; Housing: What’s Up or Rather Down With it?;

Change can be good…

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Someone – make that some entity – actually wants to buy embattled retailer American Apparel, drama and all. In the meantime, co-chairmen Allan Mayer and David Danziger stepped down to be replaced by Colleen Brown. Rumors of a takeover began swirling last week, sending shares of the stock up. Private equity firm Irving Place reportedly put in a very generous offer of between $1.30 – $1.40 per share, or between $227 million – $245 million. The offer was especially generous because the stock is currently hovering around  $1.10 a share as I write this. Yet its price is still a distant memory from the $15.00 stratosphere where the stock was trading back in 2007. And the company is on track to post its fifth straight year of losses. What’s even more interesting about this takeover offer is that Irving Place would like to see alleged sexual harrasser, Dov Charney, back in the corporate mix, even though he was unceremoniously ousted last week, much to the chagrin of over 30 executives. Charney, however, still remains the largest shareholder in the company, with a hefty 43% stake in it.

Come all ye’ gas guzzlers…

Image courtesy of Rawich/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Rawich/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

These days are looking very merry at the pumps as gasoline prices are, on average, at their lowest prices since May 15, 2009. Head on over to Tulsa, Oklahoma and you might just find yourself filling up your tank to the very merry tune of less than $2.00 per gallon. Other cities where miracles like that are happening are in Lubbock, TX and Kansas City, MO. But don’t get too giddy as the average price is hovering above the $2.00 mark in most parts of the country. It’d probably be best to steer clear of Long Island, where you’ll be paying over $2.80 per gallon, on average. Still, these prices are better than they were last year when we were shelling out approximately $0.79 more per gallon than we are now. If you’re holding out hope for these prices to fall even more, they just might. But only by a few cents. There is a dark side, though,  to falling gas prices, particularly in Texas, whose economy relies heavily on the energy industry. The Texas economy could actually take a brutal beating from these decreasing prices, losing perhaps billions of dollars in revenue, but more importantly, hundreds of thousands of jobs.

No home for the holidays…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Seeing as you’re saving all this money because of falling gas prices, perhaps as much as a whopping $550.00 a year, then maybe you ought to consider looking for a new home. Well, someobody ought to anyway, considering that purchases for previously-owned homes took a nasty little 6.1% dive with only 4.93 million homes being sold in the month of November. Forecasts, sadly enough called for a decline from October’s 5.25 million, but only to 5.2 million. So that 4.93 million figure was an unwelcome surprise being the weakest number posted since May. But it’s not all bad and gut-wrenching since that number is still a 2.1% increase over the same time last year. Yet a bit perplexing since mortgage rates are so low right now, with the average rate on a 30 year fixed topping off at 3.8% last week. Experts, me not being one of them, also say that the decrease could just mean that there are a lot of prospective buyers out there who just don’t like the current batch of housing inventory and are holding out for more properties to come on the market. Let’s hope that’s the case. The next few months ought to provide us with a few clues.

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One response to “American Apparel Drama Round 2. Or is it Round 3?; Very Merry Gas Pumping Days; Housing: What’s Up or Rather Down With it?;

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