Business

Boeing
2:15 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Boeing commercial plane chief Albaugh retiring

Boeing says Jim Albaugh will be replaced by Raymond L. Conner, who is 57. Conner is a former airplane mechanic who has been with the company since 1977.
The Associated Press

CHICAGO — The head of Boeing's commercial airplanes division is retiring.

Jim Albaugh has run the biggest division at Boeing for almost three years. He was brought in at a time when its expensive new plane, the 787, was struggling with delays.

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Business
2:11 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Still mad about Chase's takeover of WaMu? You should be, author says

Kerry Lammert Flickr

J.P. Morgan Chase’s recent multi-billion dollar trading loss has knocked the bank far down the list of world’s most respected companies, according to the financial magazine Barron’s.  

That just adds to the company’s already tarnished reputation in the Northwest because of the way it took over Washington Mutual in a fire sale during the darkest days of the financial crisis in 2008. And that animosity is warranted, one expert says.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Orbitz shows Mac users pricier hotels: Big deal or no brainer?

Using a Mac may mean you'll see some pricier options when booking online.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 12:26 pm

There's lots of chatter today about The Wall Street Journal's report that:

"Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has found that people who use Apple Inc.'s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see."

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NPR tech news
11:39 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Facebook changed your primary email address, but says It Warned You

Facebook recently changed all its users' primary email addresses.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 5:28 am

A key change was made to your Facebook profile recently that you may not have noticed yet. Facebook has replaced the primary email address users entered in their profile contact information with brand-new @facebook.com addresses. These addresses allow you to email external accounts from your Facebook inbox. Forbes first noticed the change:

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Business
4:23 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Downtown apartment construction signals a recovery

Construction has begun on the Insignia Towers, the first condo development in downtown Seattle since 2007
Ashley Gross KPLU

The number of apartments being built in downtown Seattle has jumped almost 10-fold compared with two years ago, suggesting the city’s downtown core is in the midst of a rebound.

The first condo building to start construction in five years also recently broke ground in the city's Denny Triangle neighborhood. That's another sign that the market may be beginning to revive, after the real estate crash brought condo construction to a halt.

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Business
5:00 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Washington stocks outperform the S&P 500, led by Expedia

Expedia suitcases in Florida
Shibby777

If you’ve been following the gloomy economic news, you might be surprised that lots of Washington stocks have been doing quite well this year.

Top of the pack so far this year? Expedia, the travel web site company based in Bellevue. Expedia stock has soared 66 percent so far this year.

What’s going on? Dan Su is an analyst with Morningstar who covers Expedia. She says the company has been overhauling its web sites to make them more user-friendly and to better compete with rival Priceline.

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Business
3:53 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Liquor privatizers sue state regulators

Backers of an initiative to privatize liquor sales in Washington are suing state regulators for clinging to too much power in the newly opened marketplace. The Washington State Liquor Control Board has the job of interpreting provisions of the ballot measure passed last fall. But Costco, the Washington Restaurant Association and the Northwest Grocery Association say the board is using a heavy hand.

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Facebook and the markets
3:31 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

IPO life ... after Facebook's kerflop

Poster Boy Flickr

"It sucked the air out of the room."

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been a month since Facebook's IPO fell flat and in that time, the market for initial public offerings has collapsed.

No company has gone public since May 18, compared with 19 in the same period a year ago. Fourteen offerings have been withdrawn or delayed, according to Dealogic.

There are no public offerings scheduled this week. Of course, thanks to the European debt crisis, financial markets haven't been terribly conducive to IPOs. Still, venture capitalists say the fallout from Facebook's rocky IPO is making companies — especially those in the technology sector — cautious about going public.

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Opinion
10:06 am
Wed June 20, 2012

The Nation: Jamie Dimon Finally Takes Some Heat

House Financial Services Committee ranking member Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., (C) questions the heads of federal financial regulation organizations during a hearing on Capitol Hill June 19 in Washington, D.C. JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon also testified later in the day about his company's $2 billion trading loss earlier this year.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 6:17 am

George Zornick is a Washington reporter at The Nation.

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NBA arena
5:55 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Should Seattle vote on NBA arena? Port calls it a 'job killer'

The proposed site for a new NBA arena in Seattle.

Port officials say placing a new sports arena in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood without significant transportation improvements would be a "job killer." And one King County councilman wondered if area residents shouldn't vote on the idea.

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Business
2:05 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Washington wages outpaced inflation last year

Brian Talbot flickr.com

The average annual wage in Washington grew by 3.6% in 2011. 

The state Employment Security Department says wages outpaced inflation by 0.9 percentage points.

The average annual salary in Washington was $49,894 last year, up from $48,162 in 2010.

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Business and labor
7:18 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Northwest farmers, shop-keeps wait anxiously for cherry workers

The first cherries of the season are coming off the trees in Northwest orchard country, but will there be enough workers to pick them? Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 2:51 pm

PASCO, Wash. – With lingering high unemployment and the endless talk of the down economy -– it’s hard to believe that there are some industries putting help-wanted signs out by the dozens. But that’s the case in Northwest orchard country where there appears to be a dwindling supply of migrant workers for cherry picking. Cherry season started this past week, and farmers and shop-keeps alike are anxiously waiting for more workers to arrive.

If you want to talk to cherry workers before they disappear into the jungle-dense canopies of trees, then you have to get up early.

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Microsoft plans
10:16 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Microsoft promises a 'major' announcement; What will it be?

Microsoft's Surface.
Microsoft

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 6:01 pm

Update at 7:23 p.m. ET. The Surface:

Saying that Microsoft wanted to give its new operating system "its own hardware," CEO Steve Ballmer announced "Surface," Microsoft's foray into the tablet world.

The Verge reports:

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Business
5:00 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Low interest rates: Who wins, who loses?

Preserving savings is hard for retirees with interest rates so low
Tax Credits

The interest rate on a 30-year mortgage recently dropped to a record low. That’s great news for people buying a home or refinancing. But not everyone is thrilled about low interest rates. For retirees, Bellevue financial advisor Michael Boone says low interest rates are "incredibly destructive."

Take David Lee. He's 59 years old, getting close to retirement. When he first set up his retirement plan decades ago, he says he was told he’d earn 10 percent interest and he’d have enough to buy another house when he retired. So much for that.

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Economy
4:49 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Washington jobs picture brightens, but unemployment up too

Washington state showed strong job growth in May in the private sector, but a slight increase in the unemployment rate. Image via Wash. ESD

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 3:16 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The latest jobs report for Washington state contains a paradox. It shows strong job growth in the private sector. But at the same time, the state unemployment rate also rose.

Washington's Employment Department Wednesday reported a May jobless rate of 8.3 percent, up slightly from the revised 8.2 percent rate of April.

State labor economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman said in a conference call that the higher unemployment rate was caused primarily by once-discouraged workers resuming their job hunts.

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