I am le tired.
Day Two at the SABEW conference has been a very busy one. Panels started up bright and early at 7:15 a.m. and I stayed until about 4.
I sat in on sessions that included the governor of Indiana, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the vice president for marketing at Ford.
1. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels doesn’t want to run for national office. Many Republicans have been calling on Daniels to put his name in the hat and run for president. He’s said time and time again that he does not want this. So what about vice president? Another adamant no.
Daniels was a very genuine-seeming man and a lot of his economic views are grounded in strong fact. I cannot speak to his other views, but I could see why so many people wanted him to enter the race. He also believes in journalism which is nice to see in a politician. He called journalism a “proud calling” and said that it’s as important as ever.
2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does good work. As a government entity, I would have expected their website to be relatively vapid of information. However, there are a lot of great statistics on the site. Unemployment data is what most people know them for, but their location quotient calculator is a hidden gem.
A location quotient is a fairly unknown, but very important, tool for financial journalists. It is the calculation of how strong certain industries are in various areas of the country. With this tool, when someone claims that an area of the country needs a certain type of jobs, journalists can use this tool to see if this claim is well-founded.
3. There are a ton of resources online for personal finance. For students there are a few great sites that deal with student loans and student loan debt. The National Center for Education Statistics is an organization within the U.S. Department of Education thats primary focus is collecting and analyzing this data.
There are plenty of other sites, including a few journalism ones, that help people to focus on their personal finance in other areas. Kiplinger Personal Finance has a tool for calculating retirement living expenses. Yahoo! Finance shows how much money you can save by cutting small expenses. Bankrate.com allows you to compare housing, taxes and cost of living in various cities. The list goes on and on.
4. China’s auto industry is booming. The Chinese auto industry has surged pass the United States and it’s not going to look back. The Chinese market is a fascinating one in that about 50 percent of the cars sold within China are brands unknown to Americans. The reason many Americans don’t know these brands is that they couldn’t pass the rigorous safety standards in the U.S. and so they remain in China and other countries.
China is also exporting cars to places it never had before. China currently has about 10 percent of the market in Chile. In Brazil, it’s three percent and expanding quickly. In north Africa, the cars are starting to pop up. It’s a fascinating development that not many really saw coming.
5. Wire services are starting to offer business-related information graphics to many of their customers. Both the Associated Press and Thomson Reuters are starting to offer more and more of these graphics along with their stories. Business journalism has started to go the way of the graphic, since it makes complicated business concepts easier to understand.
I got to talking with people who are working for both and the advancement is exciting. Business Journalism used to be pages upon pages of stock listings, and so I believe that moves like this one are a positive for the industry. The more we can communicate finance to the general public, the better the economy can get.
I’m quite exhausted from today and I’m thinking a nap is in order. One more day left and then it’s back to the real world.
As I bid adieu, I’d like to offer up Spendster, an awesome site that helps encourage smarter purchasing.