business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email yesterday from MNB reader Sarah Hamaker:

In response to your comment: the federal government could require retailers to post a breakdown at checkout and on receipts of exactly how much of the bill is going to the banks that issued the debit and credit cards.

As someone who's covered this issue for the convenience store industry, I think retailers would, for the most part, be happy to show customers exactly what banks charge for the credit and debit card transactions, but the banks and financial firms don't want to share that information--even with retailers. Many retailers have a hard time figuring out what cards have transaction fees because the banks don't provide a clear picture at all of fee breakdowns. So it's really not the retailers who are balking at your proposal--it's the banks and financial firms.

I didn't mean to suggest that retailers were the problem here. Far from it. So your point is a good one.

Yesterday, we linked to a terrific piece in Forbes by Jason Nazar entitled "20 Things that 20 Year Olds Don't Get," that as soon as I read it, I instantly emailed it to my kids. You ought to do the same ... the story is here.

MNB user Mark Boyer responded:

Interesting read on 20 year olds. You either are one, were one, or work with one.


And MNB reader Brian List wrote:

I had the same opinion on the piece, and immediately emailed to my 20 and 30-something co-workers and friends. Having just turned 30 myself and at the start of the midst of my professional career, I thought the author made some great points.

And, on another subject, from an MNB reader:

Kevin, absolutely thrilled with your positive reporting about your stay in Portland.
This morning you mentioned Salt and Straw. Really a great successful concept, and I believe much of that concept growth occurred at the Food Innovation Center, a joint effort of the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University. In general its goal is to help start up food companies become successful.
Other Oregon efforts to encourage start up food biz: Oregon State's Food Science Technology department performs outreach to artisan cheese makers and offers its facilities for a limited time for starting cheese makers to hone their skills.
Not sure how much time you are in our fair city, but perhaps you will have chance to check these things out. Might be worth a story.
Thanks for all your good writing (not only about Portland, just good writing).

One of the great things that PSU did at its most recent Executive Forum was feature a number of small, innovative companies that were producing new and interesting products, and I believe it was linked to the Food Innovation Center. But you're right ... I should visit next time I'm in Portland.

And MNB reader Melinda Merrill wrote:

Thanks for all these plugs for our fair city, it’s been fun reading them. Hope your stay out here has been great.

My pleasure.
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