APRIL 9 – 15
Fed Appointment: Janet Yellen was named president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to succeed Robert Parry, who will retire in June after 18 years in the position. Yellen, who will assume the job on June 14, is a former Federal Reserve Governor and former chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Bill Clinton. She takes over the largest Fed district by population, land mass and economic output.
Jobless Numbers: Unemployment in Los Angeles County was 6.1 percent in March, down from 6.3 percent the previous month. Statewide, unemployment was 6.5 percent, up from 6.3 percent. Only 5,200 net new jobs were created, concerning some economists about whether the state’s economic growth will be as robust as the nation’s. March’s employment report for the U.S. showed that payrolls nationwide expanded by 308,000.
Gas Update: Rising local pump prices showed little sign of slowing down. For the week ended April 12, a gallon of self-serve regular was $2.210, according to the Energy Information Administration, up from $2.179 the previous week and $2.111 for the week of March 29. The statewide average was $2.157, up from $2.126 the previous week. Meanwhile, gasoline futures soared last week after the International Energy Agency increased its forecast for global petroleum demand for the sixth straight month.
Calpers Withholds: The California Public Employees’ Retirement System will withhold votes to re-elect directors from several additional companies, including Citigroup, Coca-Cola Co., Morgan Stanley, Washington Mutual Inc. and Sprint Corp. The $155 billion fund has targeted dozens of companies for failing to adopt shareholder-rights and accounting reforms.
Price Surge: The median price of a home in Los Angeles County rose 29 percent from March 2003 to March 2004, hitting a record $375,000 as concern about rising interest rates spurred buying. Sales, too, were stronger than they have been in recent months, increasing 12 percent from the like period a year earlier. The median price in Los Angeles compared with the $424,000 median in San Diego County, according to DataQuick Information Systems.
CSC Deal: Computer Sciences Corp. has won a contract worth as much as $950 million from the U.S. Navy to develop purchasing software and train users. The El Segundo-based company, which is updating the Internal Revenue Service’s systems, is seeking more sales to the U.S. government as defense spending increases.
CBS Prices: CBS will be able to boost prime-time advertising rates more than 10 percent for most of the commercials it sells for the TV season beginning in September. CBS, the top-ranked network among U.S. households, has boosted its average prime-time audience to 13.3 million viewers for the current TV season from 12.6 million a year ago.
‘Simpsons’ Standoff: The Fox television network will air fewer episodes of “The Simpsons” because of a labor dispute with the voice actors, who want to almost triple their salaries. Negotiations have stalled and the usual 22-episode season will be shortened, The New York Times reported. Actors on the show want to boost their per-episode salaries to $360,000 from $125,000.
Radio Snit: Air America Radio, the liberal talk-radio network that went on the air March 31, said its L.A. signal was cut because of a dispute with station owner MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting Inc., which claimed the network hadn’t paid its bills on time. Air America said MultiCultural had broken the terms of its lease agreement and filed suit to seek resumption of the broadcasts.
APRIL 19 – 25
Budget Times: This week, the grim budget realities for local government hit home. On Monday (19th), L.A. Mayor James Hahn outlines his budget priorities in his annual State of the City speech at Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks. On Tuesday (20th), Hahn briefs the press on the budget and then presents it to the City Council. Also on Monday, L.A. County Administrative Officer David Janssen unveils his county budget at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration building.
Public Safety: Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo will discuss anti-crime and public safety initiatives during a luncheon meeting of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on Thursday (22nd) at the Assistance League of Southern California (1370 North St. Andrews Street. For information: (323) 469-8311.
Founding Mothers: ABC and National Public Radio political analyst Cokie Roberts will be the speaker at a luncheon meeting of the World Affairs Council on Wednesday (21st) at the Omni Hotel downtown. Roberts is the author of “Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation.” For information: (213) 628-2333.
Blooming Roses: Thursday (22nd) is Earth Day and there will be numerous events around town, among them the fourth annual Blooming of the Roses Festival at the Exposition Park Rose Garden, where upcoming developments along the Figueroa Corridor will be announced.
Sports Beat: The Lakers’ post-season continues with the Houston Rockets. Meanwhile, the Dodgers open a homestand with a three-game weekend series against the Giants (23rd-25th), while the Angels are home Tuesday through Thursday (20th-22nd) against Texas.
Travel Pow Wow: One of the travel industry’s big events, the International Pow Wow, starts on Saturday (24th) at Los Angeles Convention Center and runs through April 28. Sponsored by the Travel Industry Association of America, the session brings together more than 1,000 travel organizations. Attendance is expected to top 5,000. For information: (202) 408-8422.
Ecnomonic Reports: Monday (19th): Leading economic indicators for March. Friday (23rd): March durable goods orders. Also be on the lookout for the first big batches of first quarter earnings reports.
Urban Talk: Marc Morial, president and chief executive of the National Urban League, will be the featured speaker at a luncheon meeting of Town Hall Los Angeles on Thursday (22nd) at the Los Angeles Marriott downtown. For information: (213) 628-8141.