business news in context, analysis with attitude

One MNB user had a comment about the possibility that Giant Eagle might make a play for Marsh Supermarkets and go public in the process (something that we weren’t nuts about because we hate it when analysts and shareholders become more important customers than actual customers):

Good company. Giant Eagle has performed at a noteworthy rate for decades and I can't help but believe that a good part of the investment needed: read - risk taking - was accomplished because the Board of Directors (owners) said it was the right thing to do for the long term.


Go figure…even more email about the dollar coin story. (To recap, the government is planning to bring out yet another dollar coin…and the broad consensus among MNB users seems to be that it is a good idea…but only if the government also gets rid of the dollar bill. Replacing paper dollars with coins would save the government a half-billion dollars a year, according to estimates.)

MNB user Alan Burris wrote:

You and the commentators have been looking at this issue narrowly from only the perspective of government and cash drawers. There are good reasons why coins are unpopular besides resistance to change.

From the consumers perspective, coins are a bad idea because they are heavier, bulkier, wear holes in pockets, and for men, require moving coins from one pocket to another when changing pants. I never carry change. When I receive change, it goes at the end of the day into a cup on the dresser, and annually into the change counter at the supermarket for a credit slip. The $500 million the government could save by our inconvenience and expense would just disappear into another political rat hole. And remember that the reason dollar bills are becoming worthless is that government has inflated away the value by 95 cents in my lifetime.

Gosh…to be so cynical about the government. We’re shocked.

We did have another thought about the dollar coins, by the way – that they would be just one more thing we’d have to take out of our pockets when going through airport security.

Just a thought.

MNB user (and vending guru) Paul Schlossberg wrote:

The vending industry would benefit from a successful dollar coin rollout. Coin acceptance and change making is faster and easier. But better than that, vending needs to move to cashless transactions - that, however, is a subject for another time.

There has been consumer research with a conclusion something like this "Even though the penny is useless, over 60% of Americans do not want to see it eliminated."

The new dollar coins will be good for the Treasury. Collectors will buy
mint sets. Look at what happened with the state quarters.

The biggest impact we’ve seen from the state quarters is that Mrs. Content Guy keeps going through our pockets looking for Wisconsin, or some other state quarter she hasn’t found yet.

MNB user Ted File wrote:

We grew up with the good old silver dollars in Montana. On weekends I would walk out of the bank with sometimes 3 bags of the silver.....Man, were they ever heavy. But people wanted the silver coin....even though they drilled holes in the pockets, (except my Lees or Levi’s) Coins are for MEN among MEN....We never knew how much money was in the pocket with the paper stuff, but we always knew when it was silver.

One of the results of the discussion about dollar coins was that we changed our mind about the idea. Our first reaction was that it was a dumb idea, but we were convinced by the avalanche of email that a dollar coin made sense if it replaced the dollar bill.

More than a few MNB users seemed to think this was a noteworthy admission.

MNB user Liz Schlegel wrote:

Praise be to the columnist who can change his mind! That's a rare gift!

Changed my mind, too, by the way. You have great readers!

We do indeed.

MNB user Gary Cohen wrote:

And this is why you and your newsletter are so popular and well read – you are willing to listen to the other side and make a change in executive decision in less than 24 hours…good job.

Aw, shucks…

And MNB user Verlin P. Youd wrote:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some of the resulting feedback from readers regarding the new one-dollar coin. Most importantly, thanks for again showing us a real life example of the benefits of your daily news and commentary – it gives us the chance to be exposed to content and commentary that can result in a person rationally changing their point of view. By the way, having lived in Canada and become accustomed to “loonies” and “toonies” I believe that the US could quickly adapt…

Y’know, maybe we just ought to switch to the Euro and make everybody’s life simpler…

Just kidding.

One of the funny things about this discussion is the fact that we got two emails that had much the same sentiment…and it reminded us of why we love the MNB community so much.

One MNB user wrote:

Why do we even have dollar bills anymore? Who will this inconvenience if they are eliminated? Maybe there is an "Adult Entertainers" lobby in Washington keeping the dollar bills in circulation. Though I would think they would be happy that the smallest remaining bill would be a fiver. I don't think I will take that thought any further…

We’d be willing to wager that there certainly is an Adult Entertainers lobby in Washington…

And another MNB user wrote:

I had no opinion one way or the other about dollar coins until the worst thought popped in my head: some poor stripper being thumped in the forehead with a dollar coin... or worse, seeing one wearing a change belt as a g-string…

That’s what we like.

Analysis with attitude.
KC's View: