Well, perhaps we missed the excitement of yet another year-end cliffhanger like we had in 2012. This year, Congress got it together long enough to recess with a budget deal ready for the president’s signature. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 was initiated by dealmakers Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Let’s put that one in the “win” column, for at the very least we won’t have to experience the threat of another government shutdown.
The passage of this bill was a pretty strong accomplishment for the partisan Congress, although during the 2013 session it had enacted only 66 laws as of Dec. 25. In the past, the average has been 162.
[CLICK HERE for the summary report, “Summary of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013,” from the House of Representatives Committee on the Budget, Dec. 10, 2013.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Entrepreneurship: A Timeless, Ageless Passion,” at Forbes.com, Dec. 9, 2013.]
There were a number of other year-end surprises as well. Target stores recently confirmed that the credit and debit card information of as many as 40 million accounts had been compromised, and those who shopped at the store’s brick-and-mortar locations just after Thanksgiving became possible victims of fraud abuse. It appears that there are now phony credit cards available on the black market that were created using stolen information as part of the Target data breach. We’ll put that one in the “loss” column.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “40 Million Target Customers Affected by Security Breach,” at Forbes.com, Dec. 19, 2013.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Stolen Target Credit Cards Available on Black Markets Everywhere,” from Los Angeles Times, Dec. 20, 2013.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Cards Stolen in Target Breach Flood Underground Markets,” at Krebson Security, Dec. 13, 2013.]
Pop music star Beyoncé scored a big “win” late in the season with a surprise album launch available exclusively on iTunes. Her recent, multi-song release was promoted by only one avenue: a 15-second video posted on her Instagram webpage. The pop star demonstrated the power of social media’s reach by selling more than 800,000 “copies” of the album in just the first three days. It’ll be interesting to see if other musicians will have the clout — and courage — to follow the same strategy.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Ignore the Hype. Beyoncé’s Release Was Totally Old-School,” from The Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2013.]
Alternatively, a not-so-famous musical group — the Holderness family of Raleigh, N.C. — scored big on the viral music video network. It seems the lively family of four takes great pride in the production of their annual Christmas video, as it does make for much more engaging entertainment than the usual Christmas letter. See this “win” for yourself.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, “‘Christmas Jammies’ Rockets Holderness Family to Viral Video Fame,” from The Huffington Post, Dec. 15, 2013.]
Regardless of the nationwide year-end picks and pans, we hope that when you evaluate 2013 in the context of your own life, you’ll have more wins than losses. If we can help you improve on that record in 2014, please contact us.
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