The Shaping of the US Economy

What issues are currently shaping the US economy?

First, the growth and expansion of Silicon Valley which seems to be fast moving to various cities around America.  According to Peter Hirshberg, Group Chairman at Re:Imagine (a technology firm that drives innovation in the public and private sector) “the ethos of Silicon Valley” is spreading nationwide right now.  This can be seen in places such as Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio and Youngstown which are becoming “maker cities” for this trend.

Second, the developing strength of the middle classes countrywide.  Incomes grew by 3.2 percent in 2016 (following a ten year stretch that was described as the Great Recession due to unemployment and low wages). Plus, there was a jump in household income for the median household in the country to $59,039 during that time (from 2015’s figure of $57,230).

Third, the economy’s strength and weakness can be viewed via the stocks’ sluggish performance.  According to a recent statement by equity strategist Steven DeSanctis and his associate Miles Bredenoord, there was a 0.5 percent drop in earnings for stocks with small market capitalizations.  In addition, the 10.4 % point gap between small- and large-cap earnings growth was the largest it had been since the fiscal crisis.

These are just some of the areas by which the US economy is being shaped.

Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 List

awardFor the last few years, AdAge has been compiling a “40 Under 40 List.”  Making it to this list is a real badge of honor, since every honoree has “managed amazing achievements relatively early in their careers. They have shown not just talent, but perseverance, drive and creativity that bodes well for the future of the business.”

AdAge says that it looks for a whole slew of different talents, that comprise “paradigm breakers, smart thinkers and thought leaders who are really making a difference and who are tipped to climb company ladders…[AdAge seeks] to identify the people who are reshaping marketing and making important contributions to a company or business.”

Adam Roseman received the honor this year, making it to the list.  And he really felt that it was an honor.  The co-founder and CEO of FansTang (digital media company with a focus on China’s increasing demand for content from around the world, in Chinese) said he was “honored to be recognized by Advertising Age amongst all the other established, talented industry leaders…[and very] proud of what [his] business has achieved.”

Roseman went on to explain about FansTang’s strategy which is centered on using the firm’s broad “data analytics and production capabilities to create positive and localized international content consistent with Chinese culture and appealing to Chinese millennial consumers.”  This year, he said they will continue their focus on the production and curation of “high quality digital content, expanding [its] brand partnerships and further developing [its] exceptional international team.”

One of last year’s honorees – Spence Kramer – was just appointed CEO of J. Walter Thompson Atlanta. The umbrella organization – J. Walter Thompson is “the world’s best-known marketing communications brand.”  According to Stefano Zunino, JWT CEO of the Americas, Kramer has “contributed pioneering ideas like Walter, the start-up agency for start-ups; Pennzoil Mario Kart experience at the SXSW festival; and extended the agency’s humanitarian efforts with the Travis Manion Foundation.”

Everyone who finds a place on this list, has, as Deputy Editor of AdAge, Judann Pollack points out “one thing in common: they are smart young innovators who will be driving business for years to come.”

Developers Doronin and Colombo Breaking Ground on Luxury Condos in Miami


Vladislav Doronin
Ugo Colombo and Vladislav Doronin

Vladislav Doronin, founder and chairman of Moscow-based Capital Group, is partnering with Ugo Colombo’s CMC Group Inc., to build two major projects in the downtown Brickell area of Miami, Florida.

Ugo Colombo is recognized by many as one of Miami’s most ambitious developers of high-end condos. Vladislav Doronin has established himself as an international real estate developer with a focus on superior quality and cutting edge innovation. Doronin has developed some of Moscow’s most sought-after properties, including 70 million square-feet of luxury residential space, retail footage, and mixed-use properties.

The new development which the partners are about to embark on consists of two high-rise buildings located on a triangular shaped piece of land they own jointly. The first building going up will be the “Brickell Flatiron.” It will be architecturally unique, reaching 65 stories, a 750-foot soaring structure. Within its curvaceous walls will be 550 luxury residences, 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, a rooftop swimming pool, and a health/fitness center with a panoramic view of the surrounding Miami expanses.

Mr. Colombo said,

“Vladislav Doronin brings to our partnership over 20 years of proven development experience and a global perspective on real estate investment. All of his projects have been distinguished by a combination of outstanding design and flawless execution, creating environments that appeal to luxury buyers. Working with such a strong and capable partner has already been highly productive and I look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

The project is located at South Miami Avenue and Brickell Plaza, and is expected to break ground by the end of 2014. The second tower will be situated at Brickell Plaza and Eighth Street. Ground breaking there should take place sometime in 2015.

Vladislav Doronin stated,

“Ugo is simply the best in class and I am very pleased to be working with the recognized leader in Miami development. We both see tremendous opportunity in Miami and in the Brickell area particularly. We also share a commitment to innovative aesthetics and relentless attention to detail, so I am especially pleased to partner with Ugo on these exceptional new projects, with more ideas in the pipeline.”

Workers Demonstrate Against McDonalds and Wages

happymealThe happymeal is apparently not making everyone happy. More than 100 demonstrators were arrested on Wednesday as they protested the fast-food chain’s corporate campus near Chicago. They were demanding that the minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour and that they have the right to unionize.

The protest came the day before the shareholder vote on executive pay was set to take place. Chief Executive Don Thompson earned a total compensation of $9.5 million in 2013, and this flies in the face of the struggles that many middle to low income Americans are experiencing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for the approximately 3.5 million fast-food and counter workers is $8.83. US President Barack Obama has been pushing for Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Heidi Barker Sa Shekhm said, “$15 is unrealistic, but we know that the minimum wage will increase over time.”

Time will tell how the controversy gets settled.