Best Columns: Stimulating mess, Model rock
If you haven
Waiting to be stimulated
If you haven’t received your economic stimulus check, or you think you didn’t get enough, you’re not alone, says Tom Herman in The Wall Street Journal. “Tens of millions of Americans have been flooding the Internal Revenue Service with questions” about their checks. “So where’s the money?” Well, the schedule for sending out checks is based on returns processed, not received, by April 15, so if you filed last minute, you’ll have to wait a bit. If you’re a parent who didn’t receive $300 for each eligible kid, you or your accountant probably missed checking a box—the IRS is aiming to send out some 230,000 checks in mid-July. And if you earn $75,000 or more—$150,000 for a couple—you won’t get the full amount.
Live Nation and the new economics of rock
Even if you “don’t pay much attention to rock music,” its changing business models are fascinating, says Steven Pearlstein in The Washington Post. Live Nation is prime example. It started out trying to “dominate the live music business” through controlling venues and related businesses. When that didn’t turn a profit, it doubled down on its “vertical integration” strategy, buying fan clubs, creating a ticket-selling business, and signing Madonna, U2, and other artists to massive, all-inclusive “360” record and promotion deals. “Conceptually,” this integrated strategy should create profitable synergies. Will it? Who knows, but “the big money is made by the first companies to come up with the successful new models.”
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