Monthly ArchiveApril 2008

Food 08 Apr 2008 05:11 am

Free Starbucks Coffee Today


At noon at participating Starbucks you’ll be able to get a sample of their new Pike Place coffee. It’s part of Starbuck’s plan to get people excited about their coffee again and liven up sales.

How does it taste? A Chicago Starbucks ran out of coffee and started selling Pike Place early. The Chicago Tribune’s Monica Eng gave us a review:

So here’s the scoop: Pike Place delivers a pretty great cup of joe. It’s got a light fruity and nutty aroma, a smooth feel on the tongue but nice body and no wimpy finish. This lighter roast (clearly a response to widespread complaints about Starbucks’s penchant for over-roasting) allows a broader spectrum of flavors and aromatics to emerge, things that can sometimes be burnt away in a darker roast. Starbucks might not like this, but it kind of reminds me of Dunkin’ Donuts’ house coffee.

“Starbucks’ New Pike Place Roast Drips Out Early in Gold Coast” [via Starbucks Gossip]

Banking & Economy & Private Equity 07 Apr 2008 03:35 pm

TPG Investing $5 Billion in Washington Mutual

Washington Mutual Logo

A private equity firm has gotten into the act of shoring up a firm hit by the housing crisis. Texas Pacific Group, TPG will inject $5 billion into Washington Mutual (WM):

Washington Mutual, the country’s largest savings and loan, is poised to receive a $5 billion investment from TPG, a big buyout firm, and several other investors, people briefed on the situation said Monday.

Details of the transaction are still being sorted out, but a deal could be announced as early as Tuesday.

The injection of capital will help Washington Mutual shore up its balance sheet, which has been hurt badly by a drumbeat of losses amid the current housing crisis. Federal banking regulators have stepped up scrutiny of the big mortgage lender, concerned that its financial health was deteriorating.

But some Wall Street analysts said Monday that it remained unclear whether the new investment, more than half of its $9 billion market value on Friday, would be enough to ensure the 119-year old institution remains independent.

Private equity groups don’t invest unless they expect big paydays. Their investment puts them in a position to take the company private to later take it public or reap big profits from a WaMu buyout.

In getting out of this burst bubble firms and capital will be reallocated. Like Bear Sterns companies will dies and others will be transformed. The changes will be painful, but their needed to get the economy back on a more sound foundation.

“$5 Billion Said to Be Near for WaMu

[Cross-posted on The American Mind.]