Round and Round Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
Round and Round
As I sat down to write this week’s column I suddenly realized that October has just one day left. The whole month has been a blur to me. I've been on a virtual merry go round for weeks.
It started out with a six-day trip to London on the 3rd to be on set for some of the filming of the new "Bourne" film. I flew home on the 8th, landed at JFK, headed into NYC to pick up my family, and it was off to Long Island for the long Columbus Day weekend, as Lily, Kate and Max were off from school on Friday and Monday. The rest of that week was pretty calm, with four days in a row spent in our Long Island office prepping for our upcoming partner retreat.
Staying Alert Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
NYPD Officer Randolph Holder was shot and killed on Tuesday, while in pursuit of a bunch of men shooting it out among themselves in East Harlem. By all reports, Officer Holder was a real stand-up guy. In five years on the job, he earned several citations for excellence in police work. The neighbors interviewed by the press literally could not think of a negative thing to say about him. He was well known for how devoted he was to his family and the pride he took in being a police officer. He sat for the detective’s exam recently and was planning on a long career in public service, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who were both police officers in their native Guyana. Whatever your position on the drug diversion program that allowed Officer Holder’s killer to return to the street after 28 arrests, we all have to acknowledge that his death is a tragedy on every level. May his family somehow gain closure, and may the rest of us figure out a way to get guns off our streets once and for all.
On a much less somber note: the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times both had lengthy articles on the same day this week (suspicious coincidence?) about a subject near and dear to my heart – sleep, something I just don’t get enough of. The Journal focused on sleep deprivation studies being done at the University of Pennsylvania, to see what happens in our bodies and brains when we don’t get enough shut eye. Their subjects are captive at the sleep lab, where they have no contact with their families or anyone else in the outside world and are restricted to four hours of sleep per night for two weeks. It sounds like sleep or lack thereof may be the least of their problems for the two weeks. Those people are obviously made of steel. I would cave on Day Three, if I even lasted that long.
Hot Tip: No More Tips Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
Hot Tip: No More Tips
Danny Meyer, the owner of several of New York City’s hottest restaurants, rocked the industry this week by announcing that tipping will no longer be permitted at his establishments. Instead, a service charge will be built into the price of every order. Now, the owner of such premier eateries as Union Square Café, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke and The Modern is used to rocking the culinary world, but it’s usually because of what’s on the plate, not what's on the bill. Meyer’s new no-tipping policy will first be rolled out at The Modern, and if all goes as expected, will then be implemented company-wide.
As in any business, Meyer has to compete for talent, and that of course includes competitive salaries. By eliminating tipping and instead upping his menu prices, Meyer will increase revenue across the board and therefore be able to raise wages for all of his workers, including kitchen staff, who are prevented by law from sharing in pooled tips from the dining room. He’s obviously betting that he will come out ahead, even though it means sacrificing the tax credit restaurant owners get on tips collected and distributed to their workers.
Bourne Again Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
Some weeks are more interesting than others. This was one of the more interesting ones.
I left New York at 8am last Saturday morning and arrived in London at 8pm that night, a mere 7-hour plane ride and 5-hour time difference from New York. Sunday, courtesy of my partner Larry Scheinthal, I got the opportunity to see the NY Jets play the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium, just outside of London. This game is one of three being played in London this year as part of the NFL’s desire to increase its international fan base and -- who knows? -- possibly expand to include teams throughout Europe one day. What a stroke of luck for a die-hard New Yorker like me, to be in London for this particular show-down! The Jets/Dolphins rivalry is one of the all-time best in sports. I’ll spare my friends from Miami any further discussion about the game.
Monday through Wednesday I spent on the set of the fifth installment of the Jason Bourne movie franchise, watching the filming of the still-untitled sequel, currently referred to as Bourne 5. As regular readers of this column know, I am a producer of the Bourne film series. And I must say, the new film promises to be as exciting if not more so than the four predecessors.
Ride 'Em, Cowboy Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
Ride 'Em, Cowboy
While politics continued to dominate the news this week, with the White House contenders still battling it out here at home and President Obama battling it out with Vladimir Putin at the U.N. (which, technically, is not a U.S. territory), another development made the front pages of the national and international business press. On Tuesday, Ralph Lauren announced that he is stepping down as CEO of the fashion empire that has personified the American apparel industry for almost 50 years.
What made the announcement so compelling - aside from the fact that the 75-year-old Lauren has been the reigning dean of Seventh Avenue for decades - is that he recruited an outsider to succeed him as CEO (for now, Lauren will remain as executive chairman and chief creative officer). The appointment took Wall Street and the apparel industry by surprise. Lauren's son, David, who is an executive VP at the company, had been widely expected to be named Ralph's successor.