Your Landline Phone Is in Big Trouble, & 4½ More Things to Know Today

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At the market
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Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• Cell phones and broadband Internet are fantastic innovations, but there's something deeply comforting about knowing that no matter where you go, you can always pick up a good old landline phone, get a dial tone, and make a clear call. But all good things come to an end: The infrastructure of our long-distance phone system -- the switches, lines, etc., -- is decaying to the point where a significant number of calls don't connect, and the phone companies aren't all that interested in replacing it.

• When it comes to investing, it pays to follow the leader: New research of companies in the Russell 3000 index showed that, in the five days after CEOs let regulators know that they'd bought shares in their companies -- which made that information public -- their companies' stocks performed an average of six times better than the index. And they kept beating the index for three months after that.

• Looks like Janet Yellen, current vice chair of the Federal Reserve board, is on a smooth flight path to confirmation for the top job at the Fed. After a well-received hearing before the Senate Banking Committee last Thursday, the panel is set to vote this Thursday to send Yellen's nomination to the full Senate. Given that Democrats control the Senate, and that even Republicans who have problems with the Fed's recent policies haven't been taking them out on her, it's hard to imagine a scenario where she encounters much more than token resistance.

• The latest report from the Labor Department showed that U.S. workers' compensation increased only modestly in the past quarter -- just a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent, even less than the 0.5 percent it rose in the second quarter. Benefits costs outpaced wage increases. So wage inflation is clearly no worry in the U.S. But that's here. In Hong Kong, there's such a shortage of people willing and able to take blue- or pink-collar jobs like waiting tables or construction that wages for them are going through the roof, and the benefits would make Americans envious.

• And finally, in a retail world where Walmart (WMT) is the big dog in bricks-and-mortar, Target (TGT) has the cheap-chic cachet locked down, and Amazon (AMZN) has everyone running scared, it takes a little something extra for an old-school discounter like Kmart (SHLD) to get shoppers' attention. Exhibit A this holiday shopping season: This ballsy Jingle Bells ad for its Joe Boxer Brand.

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76 Comments

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willypfistergash

Maybe obama should give out land lines instead of cell phones.

November 20 2013 at 2:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
milood

What no one has mentioned, is that an old fashioned land line - not one hooked up to FIOS or dependent on a cell tower- will continue to work when the electricity goes out and the cell towers are down. All you need to do is plug in a corded phone and you are able to call for assistance if need be. A land line hooked up to FIOS will only continue to work for 8 hours without electricity if the battery is fully charged.

November 20 2013 at 12:36 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
willypfistergash

comment814
hahaha, your too stupid to realize,
xxxxxxxxxxxxx

YOUR too stupid? Classic!

November 20 2013 at 12:04 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to willypfistergash's comment
mykecusa@netscap

Perhaps you need to look at you grammar and spelling before calling anyone else stupid.

November 20 2013 at 3:26 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
willypfistergash

comment 814 needs a dose of immodium and a tall glass of STFU.

November 19 2013 at 11:35 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
dearthaircroi

Got rid of my landline years ago and never missed it . Actually it's nice not hearing that ringer .

November 19 2013 at 10:46 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
patricknearbeer

if you have high speed internet, why not get voip for your home phone? i switched when at&t jacked my rates up to around $50.00 a month. now i'm on basic talk and my bill is only $11.75 a month. the call quality is exactly the same as a regular land line, and i wanted high speed internet so i dont count that cost because i use high speed for for other things. like tv and internet.

November 19 2013 at 9:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
OSCAR

The 3 big phone companies replaced swiching with elecronic and digital equipment from 1985 to 2000 millions of dollars,most problem with land lines is outside wiring and not cost efective for the company,home phones are to be replaced with wirless phones that have a small transmitter/receiver box which will work simmilar to cell from towers and later fom satelite ,the home phone with all vertical features is to expensive.31 yrs worked on switching

November 19 2013 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kay

I heard on my local news program tonight that there is talk about eliminating land lines and just using cell phones! I for one, and several of my neighbors sure hope this is not true. Where I live is a dead zone and there is not a cell phone that will work in my house and several people with many different phones and companies have tried! My neighbor had to go outside to use his cell phone and then it would cut out often. It is the same for my neighbor about 1/4 mile away, she has to sit by her patio door or go outside to use her cell phone and then she also will lose many of her calls. Not only is it a problem for cell phones, but I have to use satellite for my TV reception and even then it is a hit and miss situation. So if they take away my land lines I will no have phone access for anything and for get the Internet because that is the only way I can get the net is with my land line! If they plan on taking away our land lines I certainly hope they plan on putting up many more cell phone towers and hopefully one real close to me! My son lives three miles south of me and has a cell phone tower about one mile south of his house and he only has his cell phone and often loses many calls. We just have VERY BAD reception in the rural area where we live. I can't even get cable here because I live too far from town, four miles!

November 19 2013 at 8:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kay's comment
comment814

it wont happen, too many business's still rely on analog land lines, faxing, etc..

November 19 2013 at 9:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
gosports1

I love my landline except for the Callers that call me. I am on the Do Not Call List. My land line works with my Fax machine as needed. I also use my land line to give my Health report in the mornings.

November 19 2013 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dweeeb.buster

By the way, how come none of the dumbest 1%ers incapable of adapting to a progressing world don't start their own legacy phone company? The traditional carriers would absolutely LOVE to sell these assets to an unsuspecting moron. Couldn't the incompetents approach a VC or PE firm and obtain the necessary financing by explaining their desire to offer a dying service to dunces similar themselves?

November 19 2013 at 8:16 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to dweeeb.buster's comment
comment814

ahhhh its MR. diarrhea !!! of the mouth! if you dont like the analog world, then move on IDIOT!

November 19 2013 at 9:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
comment814

seems like your able to identify what a moron is, you must be the MASTER MORON!

November 19 2013 at 9:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to comment814's comment
willypfistergash

Your?

November 20 2013 at 12:05 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down