National / International News
The mayor, who made international news after he admitted to smoking crack, dropped out of the mayoral race last week. Ford's doctor said he was "optimistic."
The Fed said because wage-and-price hikes remain low and growth continues at a moderate pace, interest rates will stay at historic lows for a "considerable time."
Football season had a rough start this year.
Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on tape knocking out his fiance and Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson was indicted for child abuse, putting a spotlight on how the NFL handles domestic violence. Many fans haven't liked what they've seen, and now they're joined by another group the league may have to listen to: its sponsors.
McDonald's, Visa, Campbell's Soup, CoverGirl: A growing list of NFL sponsors have come out with statements applying pressure to the league. Anheuser-Busch, which has a $1.2 billion, six-year contract with the NFL, used some of the harshest language, saying: "We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code."
"The NFL here is a multibillion-dollar business," says Gabe Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane University. "If some of those billions start to get threatened, I think the NFL is going to stand up and take notice."
But so far, sponsors have stopped short of publicly threatening to tear up their contracts with the NFL. Radisson hotels ended its limited sponsorship with the Minnesota Vikings, but when it comes to individual teams and players, the stakes are lower. But the costs — like having the Radisson logo in the background at press conferences responding to child abuse allegations — are higher.
"There's a lot of sports properties but there's only one NFL," says Kenneth Shropshire, director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative.
The sheer size and engagement of the NFL's audience may insulate it from criticism more than the NBA, which banned former Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life following racist remarks, but only after companies such as State Farm, CarMax and Virgin America withdrew their sponsorship from the Clippers.
"[The NFL is] a $10 billion-a-year industry. The next closest sports are $3 [billion], $4 billion behind. So it's astronomically larger, even though we don't think of it as such," says Shropshire.
He thinks major NFL advertisers are more likely to apply pressure behind the scenes than publicly break ties.
But there could still be looming financial implications for the sport. "I think if you were a sponsor right now contemplating an investment in NFL, you'd probably wait," says Kent Atherton of sports media firm Atherton Communications.
And if more damning details emerge, big money advertisers could do more than just talk.
When the Labor Department released the Consumer Price Index numbers for August, Janet Yellen got a shock.
Everybody expected the CPI to come in just shy of the Fed’s goal of 2 percent inflation. But the actual number was 1.7 percent.
Inflation is just not being cooperative.
“CPI is a little bit like the puppy that refuses to get housebroken and is spoiling the Fed’s carpet,” says Jonathan Lewis, who, yes, is in the midst of training a stubborn puppy, but is also Chief Investment Officer at Samson Capital Advisors.
He says today’s inflation numbers are a mess for the Fed – a warning flag.
“The low inflation numbers are a symptom of weakness in the economy," says Mark Gertler, who teaches economics at New York University. "The economy is still not as strong as we would like."
That’s a problem for the Fed because it can’t raise interest rates when the economy is weak, and the Fed can’t keep rates near zero forever.
But there is a bright side.
“The lower inflation is actually giving them quite a bit of breathing room," says Gennadiy Goldberg, U.S. Strategist for TD Securities. "There’s very little pressure on the Fed to hike interest rates now.”
And everybody expects inflation to get up to where the Fed wants it, eventually.
As asset manager and dog lover Jonathan Lewis puts it, puppies will get trained sooner or later. It just takes some longer than others.