Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

Cut cut cut.
Obama's War On Wasteful Mobile Devices -- President Obama has signed an executive order telling federal agencies to cut down on the number of mobile devices used by employees. The order gives agencies 45 days to develop plans to reduce costs in specific budget areas to a combined 20 percent below Fiscal Year 2010 levels by Fiscal Year 2013. The areas targeted for cuts are mobile devices, printing, travel, and motor vehicles, along with "swag" and other promotional giveaway items.

Optimizing operations.
Google's Chief Works to Trim a Bloated Ship -- So Mr. Page, Google's co-founder and former chief executive, who returned to the top job in April, is making changes large and small. He dropped more than 25 projects, saying they were not popular enough. He masterminded Google's biggest deal by billions, the $12.5 billion Motorola Mobility bid, a bold move that positions the company to enter the hardware business. Borrowing from the playbooks of executives like Steven P. Jobs and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, he has put his personal imprint on the corporate culture, from discouraging excessive use of e-mail to embracing quick, unilateral decision-making -- by him, if need be.

Tapping into inventories.
Declining Inventories Hint at Rise in Output -- U.S. wholesalers are drawing more from their warehoused goods to meet a slight rise in demand, raising the prospect of a ramp up in production in coming months. Wholesale inventories fell in September for the first time since December 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The 0.1% drop was accompanied by a slight rise in sales. Economists offered several theories to explain the drawdown in inventories. Since the downturn, companies have kept tighter inventory levels so they can respond more flexibly to shifts in demand. By becoming "leaner," companies want to avoid being left with unsold goods for long periods, which ultimately could force them to slash prices.

Daylight savings: good for business?
Watch Your Mouth: Candy O'Clock -- Shifting daylight one hour later means more light in the late spring and early fall for after-school and after-work leisure activities, and that means more time for gassing up, driving to the ballpark, and hitting the driving range. Paper-plates manufacturers, lighter-fluid makers, plant nurseries, and service stations anticipated a $4 billion windfall from the extended daylight hours.

Sheena Moore

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