Science has determined that people need to know 7.5 things per day, on average, about the world of business. You can't argue with science. Lucky for you, the Huffington Post has an email newsletter, delivered first thing every weekday morning, boiling down the day's biggest business news into the 7.5 things you absolutely need to know. And we're giving it away free, because we love you, and also science. Here you go:
Thing One: The Only Prescription Is More Oil: If you enjoy watching the havoc climate change is already wreaking on the East Coast, then you're going to absolutely love watching it get coated in a thick sheen of oil.
In a fine example of bipartisanship, Virginia's Republican governor and Democratic senators are working every angle they can to make oil and gas drilling happen off their coast, The New York Times writes. They just know there's billions of barrels of oil in them thar sands. The energy industry knows it, too, and is hungry to start exploring and drilling all up and down the coast, from the Jersey Shore to the Carolinas. They've had opportunities to drill for those untapped dead dinosaurs repeatedly over the past several decades. But those chances have been snatched away again and again, just because the occasional teensy-tiny devastating oil spill here or there causes the general public to throw up in its mouth a little bit and recoil against the idea of subjecting still more coastlines to the same hazards.
But because states like Virginia are desperate for cash, and because Americans are big spoiled babies who don't realize they're paying less for gasoline than most of the world, and because oil companies aren't quite making enough billions in profits, they're going to keep scrambling for new chances to drill, baby, drill, all over your favorite beach spots. After all, there's an oil boom on, don't you know, and everybody's making tons of cash. Even private-equity firm KKR is planning to build an oil-boomtown in North Dakota, the Wall Street Journal's Craig Karmin and Gregory Zuckerman write.
The trouble with complaining about any of this is that, for the moment, there aren't viable energy alternatives to dead dinosaurs, largely because we have not invested nearly enough to help make those alternatives viable. But it is never too late to change our ways. California is leading the way, as is often the case, shutting down corporate tax loopholes and implementing a cap-and-trade program and using the proceeds to ramp up its investment in clean energy, Reuters writes. The West Coast is setting an example, and the storm-battered East Coast can only hope the rest of the nation soon follows.
Thing Two: You, Too, Can Be David Petraeus: You may never get the chance to be a beloved military genius whose libido leads to a stunning fall from grace, but you can get some of the David Petraeus Experience (the name of my next prog-rock band), simply by having an email account. The New York Times points out that Petraeus, and General John Allen, and the women they love/sext with, would never have been caught if there had been tighter digital privacy laws. Because, seriously, now at least four lives have been ruined, the CIA is without a leader, and the guy running the war in Afghanistan is at risk of losing his job, all because of some goofy emails that the FBI should probably have had a much, much harder time finding.
Thing Three: Obama Aims High: President Obama may ultimately throw his liberal supporters under the bus, just as Republicans are gearing up to push the wealthy under their own mass-transit conveyance. But for now he is starting off fiscal-cliff negotiations strong, opening the bidding with a $1.6 trillion tax hike on corporations and the wealthy, a proposal he knows is a non-starter for Republicans, the Washington Post writes. Why, it is almost as if Obama had just convincingly won an election running on a promise of raising taxes on the wealthy! Certainly he'll come to his senses soon enough, for bipartisanship.
Thing Four: Obama Makes Crappy Restaurants A Little Crappier: Meanwhile, purveyors of crappy restaurants are well aware that Obama won reelection, which means that Obamacare will remain the law of the land, which means they will soon have to give their underpaid workers health care. That means they are going to just have to hire fewer people with the skills necessary to put food dropped on the floor back on your plate in under 30 seconds, as in the case of Applebee's franchises run by Tim-and-Eric character Zane Tankel, or charge you more for their cardboard-and-ketchup pizza, as in the case of Papa John's. Why, Papa John's CEO John Schnatter might have to downgrade to a 21-car garage from a 22-car garage, notes Jillian Berman of the Huffington Post. But the backlash to the backlash has begun: anti-Applebee's sentiment has gone viral after Tankel's comments, write Janean Chun and Alice Hines of the HuffPost.
Thing Five: LIPA Suction: You may still not have power more than two weeks after Megastorm Sandy, but take some comfort in knowing that the head of terrible, terrible utility Long Island Power Authority is also now without power, at least metaphorically. LIPA chief Michael Hervey, arguably the least-popular man in the tri-state area, has decided to spend more time in his clean, well-lighted home, amid a furor over LIPA's inept response to the storm, the Wall Street Journal writes. More than 10,000 LIPA customers are still without power, and LIPA has been the slowest of all area utilities to restore service. Even before the storm, LIPA "repeatedly failed to plan for extreme weather, despite extensive warnings by government investigators and outside monitors," the New York Times writes.
Thing Six: Other Regulators Perform Intervention On SEC: The Securities and Exchange Commission obviously has a serious problem, but sometimes you need friends to tell you just how badly you're screwing up. So a bunch of the SEC's regulator buddies, including the Federal Reserve, got together yesterday to tell the SEC to quit messing around and regulate money-market funds, already. These supposedly super-safe funds blew up during the financial crisis, but the SEC has so far avoided tightening their rules.
Thing Seven: Knight Capital Gets Stinkeye: One thing the SEC is doing is investigating just how well trading firm Knight Capital was prepared for the Aug. 1 trading debacle that cost it $440 million in a few seconds, the Wall Street Journal's Jenny Strasburg and Scott Patterson write: "The Knight probe is emerging as an important test in the regulator's push to hold firms accountable for technology problems that roil markets and undermine investors' confidence. The SEC's decision to intensify its investigation is a setback for a brokerage that is eager to put the episode behind it."
Thing Seven And One Half: Paging Beavis and Butthead: Here's a test of your maturity: Can you make it all the way through BuzzFeed's list of 46 unfortunately named human beings without laughing at one of them? You should really be ashamed of yourself.
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Calendar Du Jour:
8:30 a.m. ET: Retail Sales for October
8:30 a.m. ET: Producer Price Index for October
2:00 p.m. ET: Fed Policy Meeting Minutes for Oct. 24
Abercrombie & Fitch
Heard On The Tweets:
Email I didn't open: "Experts on the psychology behind Petraeus." ... I don't need no expert on that
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) November 13, 2012
It appears that the U.S. defense establishment takes its social cues from Gossip Girl.
—Neal Pollack (@nealpollack) November 13, 2012
Free advice: don't use that Petraeus gmail/drop box trick to order a pizza.
— Todd Barry (@toddbarry) November 13, 2012
No one has sent me a shirtless photo in ages. I am moving to Tampa. Period.
— Lynda Obst (@LyndaObst) November 13, 2012
-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Alexis Kleinman.
And you can follow me on Twitter, too: @markgongloff