Dogs and cat

United-Continental Merger Sealed in Memphis

Bloomberg is reporting that part of the mammoth merger between United and Continental airlines was negotiated at the Radisson hotel next to Memphis International Airport.

Here’s an excerpt from the report, written by Zachary R. Mider, Mary Jane Credeur and Mary Schlangenstein

The accord for each Continental share to be exchanged for 1.05 UAL shares was reached at an April 27 meeting at a Radisson hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I had no idea,” said Richard Markham, the hotel’s general manager. “They must have been incognito.”

The Radisson was built in the mid-1970s and has 211 guest rooms and a bar and restaurant called Cayenne’s, Markham said in an interview. The property is located about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley.

“Jeff chose an illustrious venue, the airport Radisson,” Tilton said in an interview. “I was given a memento of that occasion, a plastic passkey, nicely framed.”

Perhaps that’s worth some extra flights into and out of Memphis once the merger is complete.

Election Night Plans

It’s Election Day in Shelby County, as we noted in a story in today’s edition of The Daily News.

So, what happens when the polls close at 7 p.m?

The vote count begins and we’ll track the returns on our website, www.memphisdailynews.com, and via Twitter – @memphisdaily.

The weather is always something to be considered by candidates. Today that may be true in some different ways.

Millington continues to recover from the weekend rain and flooding. The area got the worst of the storm in Shelby County.

During the early voting period, a relatively high number of voters turned out in those precincts. We stress “relatively” because primaries of all kinds are the lowest-turnout elections of any election cycle in Shelby County.

Other voters in the area are now focused on watching the water drop in their homes, finding someplace to stay indefinitely and the fine print of insurance policies.

This set of elections has never topped 20 percent turnout overall – election day and early voting – and this is the fifth set of Shelby County primaries for these offices since the Republican party decided to hold county primaries in 1992.

Meanwhile, this was to be Election Day in a flooded Nashville-Davidson County.

But the Election Commission there got a Chancery Court order delaying the elections until May 18.

Elections in neighboring Williamson and Sumner counties are under way with no delays, but a few polling places have been moved.

I feel a song coming on

It was bound to happen, right? The folks behind the wildly successful musical “Avenue Q,” with subject matter that runs the gamut from paying bills to fretting over the practicality of an English degree, have written a song whose lyrics sound eerily like what Goldman Sachs had a hand in. Specifically, creating a structured investment product, letting a prominent hedge fund manager have a say in its creation and selling that product to customers while at the same time the hedge fund manager bets on his creation to fail.

If CDOs and mortgage-backed securities aren’t the stuff show tunes are made of, I don’t know what is.

Here’s a link to the song.

“The housing market’s losing steam
And all we gotta do
To make our dreams come true
Is bet against the American dream.”

FedEx to Drop Orange Bowl Sponsorship

FedEx Corp. – one of the most recognizable corporate names in sports marketing – will no longer be the title sponsor of the Orange Bowl, the Sports Business Journal reported Monday.

The Memphis-based shipper has been affiliated with the Orange Bowl since 1989, making it the longest running title sponsorship among current college football bowl games.

FedEx, which has naming rights to FedExForum here and FedExField in Washington, has tweaked its sports marketing during the last few years as it copes with a challenging economy. For example, the company didn’t advertise during the 2009 Super Bowl.

But it still remains a powerful name in sports with sponsorship positions in professional football, basketball, baseball and car racing.

Dansette

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