Cursed by your corporate home
Recent events in New York are lending credence to the “headquarters curse,” says The New York Sun in an editorial. The idea behind this curse is that “smart investors” should “start bailing out” of any company “planning a fancy new headquarters.” And Bear Stearns is only “the most recent example” of this hex in action. IAC Interactive has shed 50 percent of its value since moving into “fancy, Frank Gehry-designed headquarters” last summer; Time Warner has lagged since its new building opened in 2004; and The New York Times Co. fell 50 percent over the five years it built and moved into its new “paradise.” Maybe News Corp. is “better off losing” its bid to build a new tower.
Spreading leisure, one cup at a time
In the “still-unfolding democratization of leisure,” says the Los Angeles Times in an editorial, Starbucks has a lot to teach us about how to “sell the dream.” The recent effort to “upscale the fabled coffee chain” was a “classic” example of adapting in hard times by raising the luxury threshold. Well, “hats off, or rather pinkies up,” for feeding our “rich people tastes.” This is the “happy flip-side of living in a country where even the poor people are fat”—the “great upscaling” has spread “luxury and glamour we once scarcely imagined” to us “common people.” Starbucks has been so successful in this that its “locus of strongest growth” is now overseas. “We wish it well.”