business news in context, analysis with attitude

• Lou Reed, the influential singer/songwriter guitarist who brought a gritty and dark lyricism to his work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s and then to his long career as a solo artist, passed away yesterday of complications related to liver disease. He was 71.

• Marcia Wallace, known most recently as the voice of Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson’s fourth grade teacher on “The Simpsons,” and to an earlier generation as receptionist Carol Kester on the classic sitcom, “The Bob Newhart Show,” has passed away of complications from pneumonia. She was 70.

• Hal Needham, the Hollywood stuntman (who reportedly broke 56 bones over the course of his career) turned director with Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run, has died at age 82. Within the Hollywood community, Needham was even better known for inventing various pieces of equipment that facilitated the filming of complicated stunts, inventions for which he won an honorary Academy Award.
KC's View: