Afternoon Coffee: 2013 vs. 1937, USPS Loses $5.9 Billion, Meat Prices Rise, Managing Marketing Spend

Today on Spend Matters PRO:
How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 2) -- The next topic we must address in considering the basics of attacking marketing spend is potentially the most sacred of all: agency selection. In considering how best to engage in this area, it is important to consider the costs of both sides of going through the process. For agencies, the costs to manage and respond to an RFP can be quite high. Spend Matters has learned that some agencies estimate their total cost at around $200K per RFP – on average!

Will 2013 be 1937?
2013 Looks a Lot Like 1937 in Four Fearsome Ways -- In the old days, federal spending amounted to about 19 percent or 19.5 percent of gross domestic product. That ratio was so reliable that economists took it as a given, the American normal, from which divergence was unnatural and temporary. By the old 19 percent rule, federal spending would have dropped back once the worst of the 2008 economic crisis passed. That didn't happen. Instead the federal government continued to spend. Most important, even in 2012, when the crisis was long past, the government went on a spree, spending the equivalent of 24.3 percent of the economy, more than the 24.1 percent for the year earlier.

Wait. HOW much??
U.S. Postal Service on a 'Tightrope' Lost $15.9 Billion -- Without action by Congress, the service will run out of cash on Oct. 15, 2013, after it makes a required workers compensation payment to the U.S. Labor Department and before revenue typically jumps with holiday-season mailing, Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett said today. The service, whose fiscal year ends Sept. 30, lost $5.1 billion a year earlier. It announced the 2012 net loss at a meeting at its Washington headquarters.

"Will food retailers and U.S. consumers, already strained by the shaky economy, resist attempts by the meat giants to pass along higher costs?"
Meat Firms Face Hit to Plump Profits -- Most big U.S. meat companies have posted solid profits this year, though some have experienced an earnings slowdown as consumers balk at higher prices for steak and other meat products. Now the companies are just starting to face a new challenge: a severe U.S. drought that has driven up the cost of grains they use to fatten cattle, hogs and chickens.

- Sheena Moore

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