Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Worldwide Contraction Featuring Concerts In Romania And A Republican Drive To Sell GM To China


There's always concerts like this...

This morning I woke up to the news that consumer prices had dropped. In fact they dropped more than any time in 61 years, due mostly to how gas prices, which had driven them up so drastically this year, have fallen back. NY Times: "The Labor Department reports that consumer prices fell by 1 percent last month, the biggest one-month decline on records that go back to February 1947." A few days we talked about how the cost of drastically over-priced tickets are coming down as well, both for concerts and sporting events. No demand, lots of supply.

This morning I spoke with my old friend Cristian, one of the top concert promoters in Romania. He's trying to bring one of the bands I used to work with to play the 22,000 seat Cotroceni Stadium in Bucharest. The band commands one million dollars for a show. His budget also includes the cost of the venue ($37,800), the production and technical costs (around $35,000) and the promotion and marketing (around $6,500). The audience for this band ranges from 15 to 35 years old and unemployment is a problem. "A lot of people get the money for the tickets from their parents," he told me. The tickets in Romania go for $30, which means he will bring in $660,000 if he sells out. The band are huge and they've never played in Romania. He is certain they will sell out easily (hence the minimal marketing and promotion budget). But that still leaves a deficit of $420,000!

The gap is normally made up by a sponsor or a group of sponsors. Last year Vodaphone paid around a million dollars to sponsor the Rolling Stones concert there. Other sponsors of concerts include Coca Cola, Volkswagen, Mercedes, beer companies... big international brands. This year market uncertainty is putting a major crimp on marketing budgets. This year Cristian has done successful concerts with Placebo, Muse, Massive Attack and other bands and this was his biggest year and the Romanian concert industry's biggest year. But he's not sure if they'll be seeing growth for 2009 even though Depeche Mode and AC/DC have already announced concerts there.

There seems to be a global contraction in the economy and it goes way beyond concert tickets. This morning vulture capitalist Mitt Romney pushed GOP talking points in an OpEd in the NY Times urging Congress to let the entire U.S. automative industry go bankrupt. Romney was once a top executive in one of the worst predator investment firms to ever stalk American Business, Bain Capital. They would buy up distressed firms for pennies on the dollar, fire the employees, slash budgets, sell off assets, suck whatever life was left in the company and leave a smoldering ruin. Emptywheel has summed Romney's proposal up very well, Let the retirees starve. The bane of Bain-- and of all elitist swine like Romney-- has always been organized labor and the aspirations of "common people" to live like millions. How can the Romney's and people like them have hundreds of millions if so many pesky workers are clamoring for sustainable livings?

This morning Thomas Frank writes in the Wall Street Journal that ex-Home Depot CEO Bernie Marcus, another Romney type cancer on society, was moaning that "This is the demise of civilization," this being working men and women wanting to get a fair share of the benefits of their labor. And Bernie knows just what the elite must do about it.
"If a retailer has not gotten involved with this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to Norm Coleman and these other guys," Mr. Marcus said, apparently referring to Republican senators facing tough re-election fights, then those retailers "should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs."

Frank asks us to consider a quote from union-busting reactionary piece of shit Lee Scott (CEO of social criminals WalMart): "We like driving the car and we're not going to give the steering wheel to anybody but us." Yes, they do-- and they've driven the automakers into a ditch and driven our economy into a ditch and driven the lives of millions of Americans over the cliff. They're lucky that a moderate like Obama was elected president and not a leftist who would begin the repairs to America by eliminating the cause.

GOP plans also call for the continued selling off of America to other countries. The General Motors and Chrysler Romney and the Republicans in Congress are clamoring to put into bankruptcy are targets for China. Look at the Japanese anti-union car manufacturers in Alabama-- anti-GM fanatic Richard Shelby's impoverished, backward, Republican-leaning feudal state. That's the model and that's why traitors to this country, like Romney and Shelby and Kyl and McConnell (China's man on the ground), want to drive the auto companies out of business.

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At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why any auto company bailout ought to include prison terms for the executives:

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it be better value for money to use the funds requested on public transportation, Amtrak included?


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