Poor Terry McGraw.
First the great-grandson of the founder of McGraw-Hill sold his money-losing flagship magazine, Businessweek, to Bloomberg in 2009. Then investors began pressuring him to sell the textbook division of the firm, McGraw-Hill Education, leading the company to hire Evercore Partners to explore a sale.
And now the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are targeting Standard & Poor's, the real jewel in the crown of the company founded in 1888. S &P, the nation's largest credit rating agency, accounted for 53% of the company's second quarter operating income and 30% of revenue. It's a money-maker that McGraw can't afford to see damaged.
The DOJ is investigating whether S &P improperly rated mortgage securities prior to the financial crisis. The SEC, meanwhile, is looking at whether anyone leaked information about S &P's plans to strip the U.S. of its AAA rating among other things.
None of that is good for the 21,000 people who work at Terry McGraw's publishing, textbook and financial information empire. With Congress and the Obama administration striking at the financial heart of the company, McGraw-Hill staffers might think about moving elsewhere.
Beware of Threats (FINS)
When it comes to a boss making vague, threatening statements, few employees are willing to risk their mental health to be around to hear them. In the latest FINS survey, 70% of respondents said they'd turn down a dream job if their boss made such statements.
What Would You Do?
Answer the question and see how you match up with the rest of the FINS community.
You've just been offered your dream job, but... your boss constantly makes vague, threatening statements.
Dangerous Times (Retailing Today)
The "softer side of Sears" isn't quite working out. The chain posted disappointing sales and earnings for the second quarter and had to close 29 stores. In addition to those reductions, the company will eliminate 250 support positions.
Spending on Fido (DailyMarkets)
People might be cutting back on their own grooming habits, but when it comes to their pets, bring on the chew toys and hotel stays. PetSmart turned in better-than-expected numbers for the second quarter and also opened eight stores and one PetsHotels. If you like animals, you may want to consider a career selling to them.
Facebook Follies (Ad Age)
If you're trying to market your brand on Facebook, avoid making these mistakes. It turns out that customers don't want to hear from you – or their mothers -- 10 or 20 times a week.
Looking for Options (Adweek)
Merck & Co. is in the market for another global agency to work on its over-the-counter, non-prescription brands. It will still retain Euro RSCG, its main global agency, but wants a partner to spice things up. It's not immediately clear which brands are in need of a paint job.
Merger Making (NYT)
Will the acquisition of Huffington Post spell good fortune or disaster for AOL? It's still too early to tell, especially after it posted another loss for the second quarter. If Arianna doesn't have the Midas touch, the company could be in big trouble.
Buzz Around the Office
Trodgeball? Trampoline? (Devour)
Trampolines + Dodgeball = Best Sport Ever. Let the games begin.
List of the Day
You're expected to give presentations in front of bosses and clients alike, but what do you do if your throat seizes up the minute you take the podium? Here are some tips.
1. Practice with people you trust. You know they won't judge you, so you'll naturally act more relaxed.
2. Practice without slides. They can be distracting.
3. Prepare answers to some questions you know you'll be asked.
(Source: AOL Jobs)