Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 Detroit's Population Crashes

For some time I have been saying that it is not the places like Florida that will have issues going forward,Florida, Arizona and Vegas have brand new infrastructure and that does not remain empty for long. Business will work out that can give employees a pay rise of 10% because of no State taxes. Indirectly they can put cash in the employees pockets because of the house price differential and take advantage of tens of thousands of students coming out of Colleges.

Aivars Lode

MARCH 23, 2011.Detroit's Population Crashes
Census Finds 25% Plunge as Blacks Flee to Suburbs; Shocked Mayor Seeks Recount Text By KATE LINEBAUGH

Bill Pugliano for The Wall Street Journal

Detroit's Mexicantown section Tuesday. Unlike the city as a whole, Motown's Hispanic population is growing.
.DETROIT—The population of Detroit has fallen back 100 years.

The flight of middle-class African-Americans to the suburbs fueled an exodus that cut Detroit's population 25% in the past decade to 713,777, according to Census Bureau data released Tuesday. That's the city's lowest population level since the 1910 census, when automobile mass production was making Detroit Detroit.

The decline, the fastest in city history, shocked local officials, who had expected a number closer to 800,000. Mayor Dave Bing said the city would seek a recount.

"If we could go out and identify another 40,000 people that were missed, and it brings us over the threshold of 750,000, that would make a difference from what we can get from the federal and state government," Mr. Bing said at a news conference Tuesday.

In all, the city lost more than 237,000 residents, including 185,000 blacks and about 41,000 whites. The Hispanic population ticked up by 1,500. Meanwhile, the black population in neighboring Macomb County more than tripled to 72,723, constituting 8.6% of the county's population in 2010, compared with 2.7% a decade earlier. Oakland County's African-American population rose 36% to 164,078.

Detroit's population has fallen steadily since the heyday of the auto industry in the 1950s, when it peaked around two million, but the declines have accelerated in recent years as manufacturing jobs have disappeared and the mortgage crisis has devastated even stable, middle-class neighborhoods. The number of vacant housing units doubled in the past decade to nearly 80,000, more than one-fifth of the city's housing stock, the Census Bureau reported.

"For those of us who have been out in the neighborhoods, we knew that the foreclosures and the abandonment were really extreme and accelerating," said Lyke Thompson, director of Wayne State University's Center for Urban Studies. "The question is, can you put a bottom under it?"

.In 1950, Detroit was the fifth-largest city in America, behind New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and it was in the top 10 as recently as the 1990 Census. Now, Detroit is likely to fall to 19th, behind Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.

The numbers add new urgency to Mr. Bing's campaign to align the sprawling city's finances and geography with its shrinking population—a process the mayor acknowledges is taking more time than he envisioned. For more than a year, the mayor has been working on a restructuring plan that would end some municipal services in sparsely populated areas. At the same time, the city is working to attract young, educated residents to help stabilize neighborhoods.

"We are going to continue to lose population unless we continue to make cultural changes," Mayor Bing said Tuesday. "We have got to make sure that our neighborhoods are safe, that they are growing, that we have good housing stock and make sure that people have the right services. All those things are very important at maintaining population."

Earlier this year, the mayor announced a program to entice Detroit police officers—more than half of whom live outside the city—to buy homes in the Detroit. The initial response has been strong, Police Chief Ralph Godbee said in an interview last week. Wayne State and two downtown hospital systems have offered a similar program in the city's Midtown neighborhood, the hub of a growing creative community.

.Even with these programs, local demographer Kurt Metzger expects the city's population to fall further. High taxes and failing schools in the city, and inexpensive housing in the suburbs, combine to make Detroit a tough sell.

"People are still looking to move out for safety and services," said Mr. Metzger, director of Data Driven Detroit, which compiles Census data for the city. The population-decline numbers, which exceeded his own estimates by 75,000, will only reinforce negative perceptions of the city, he said.

The Census report comes amid signs that the regional and state economies are beginning to stabilize. Michigan added 10,000 manufacturing jobs last year, and unemployment has dropped sharply.

Some pockets of Detroit are seeing growth, led by immigrants, young professionals and artisans, which Mayor Bing sees as an important trend. "We are getting a lot of that 21-to-30 population moving back to the city," he said. "I think that bodes very well for us."

Emily Linn, 33 years old, opened a store in 2009 with her brother in Midtown selling goods from local artists and craftspeople. "Throughout Detroit's history, there has been work on revitalization. It seems like there is kind of a critical mass right now," said Ms. Linn. "In Midtown, we actively notice a lot of new residents."

Detroit's largely Hispanic southwest neighborhood remains stable, helped by new immigration, cheap housing and low barriers of entry, said Angela Reyes, executive director of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corp., a community organization.

Jose Jesus Lopez, 45, started his restaurant Mi Pueblo in southwest Detroit in 2000. Since then, it has grown from 13 tables to 56 tables, plus a separate banquet center. "Southwest Detroit works as a community," Mr. Lopez said. "The Depression and all the tough times, we made it through, so many businesses survived."

—Matthew Dolan contributed to this article.
Write to Kate Linebaugh at kate.linebaugh@wsj.com

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cash-Rich Cisco to Begin Paying Dividend

Right on track as we saw in Aussie after the crisis companies starting to pay dividends.

Cash-Rich Cisco to Begin Paying Dividend

Cisco Systems Inc. finally heeded to years of investor clamoring and approved its first-ever dividend, the latest technology giant to do so as its business matures.

Cisco has finally heeded to investor clamoring and will pay a quarterly dividend of six cents a share to shareholders. The payout comes following several disappointing quarterly earnings reports, and as Cisco faces questions about the strength of its core networking business.
.Cisco will pay a quarterly dividend of six cents a share. The company will make the payment on April 30 to shareholders of record on March 31.

The networking giant, like many of its technology peers, has long built up a war chest of cash and investments. As of Jan. 29, the company had $4.9 billion in cash and $35.3 billion in investments. The dividend would cost the Cisco some $335 million a quarter.

The dividend payout comes as Cisco faces questions about the strength of its core networking business. Cisco has been combating the notion that it is no longer a growth company, exacerbated by several quarters of disappointing results. Cisco shares recently rose 1.9% to $17.32. The stock has been down roughly 35% over the past year.

"Cisco's leadership position in the markets we serve is strong, and the time is right for Cisco to pay our first-ever cash dividend," Chief Financial Officer Frank Calderoni said.

Cisco first said in September that it would begin paying a dividend, targeting a yield of 1% to 2%. At the time, Chief Executive John Chambers said the dividend would be funded through cash generated from its North American operations.

Standard & Poor's equity analyst Ari Bensinger said the current amount would result in a 1.4% yield. "We like that Cisco is increasing its commitment to enhancing shareholder value and putting some of its large $40 billion cash stockpile and strong free cash flow generation to better use," Mr. Bensinger said in a note.

Cisco previously used its cash stockpile to make acquisitions, such as the $3.3 billion purchase of teleconferencing company Tandberg. On Monday, it purchased digital media company Inlet Technologies for $95 million in cash. It also preferred repurchasing stock over dividends.

Much of the company's cash, however, is held overseas as a result of its extensive global operations. Chief Executive John Chambers has long been a proponent of eliminating taxes for companies looking to repatriate that cash.

Cisco follows other technology titans that began paying a dividend. Microsoft Corp. began issuing a dividend in 2003. In 2009, Oracle Corp. began paying a dividend.

A host of companies have been ramping up shareholder-friendly moves such as dividend increases and stock buybacks as corporate cash piles have recovered and financial uncertainty in the immediate wake of the crisis has waned.

Write to Roger Cheng at roger.cheng@dowjones.com

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