say it ain’t dough(nut)

U.S. News and World Reports lists 15 major brands that might not survive 2009.

Brace yourself.

Krispy Kreme. (KKD; about 4,000 employees; stock down 50%). The donuts might be good, but Krispy Kreme overestimated Americans’ appetite – and that’s saying something. This chain overexpanded during the donut heyday of the 1990s – taking on a lot of debt – and now requires high volumes to meet expenses and interest payments. The company has cut costs and closed underperforming stores, but still hasn’t earned an operating profit in three years. And now that consumers are cutting back on everything, such improvements may fail to offset top-line declines, leading Krispy Kreme to seek some kind of relief from lenders over the next year. 

Six Flags, Blockbuster and Sirius XM are among the other companies in danger of folding.

(via Fresh Loaf)

following up

  • Obama said the stimulus bill will create or save 4 million jobs. Perhaps he misspoke, but the distinction = 4 million jobs.
  • The bill may lack earmarks, as Obama repeatedly boasted, but that doesn’t mean it’s pork-free.

There are no “earmarks,” as they are usually defined, inserted by lawmakers in the bill. Still, some of the projects bear the prime characteristics of pork – tailored to benefit specific interests or to have thinly disguised links to local projects.

For example, the latest version contains $2 billion for a clean-coal power plant with specifications matching one in Mattoon, Ill., $10 million for urban canals, $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars, and $255 million for a polar icebreaker and other “priority procurements” by the Coast Guard.

Still, Obama had a good night. He was well-informed and persuasive, a dramatic reversal from his predecessor. Forget whether Bush was “smart”; he didn’t communicate well and rarely inspired confidence.

Obama does, though some questions remain unanswered.