As the economy slows, Pennsylvanians are drinking more at home.
Sales to individuals at State Stores were up 7.1 percent, and sales to licensed establishments, such as bars and restaurants, were down 2 percent from mid-October to mid-November, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported this week.
These are the most recent numbers available from Pennsylvania's State Store system, operated by the nation's largest liquor buyer, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
That means people are drinking a little less in restaurants and bars and a little more in their homes. Let's hope they're at least inviting friends.
Beer sales are flat, the Trib added.
Glaxo alters grants policy
, the United Kingdom-based multinational pharmaceutical firm that owns what used to be Philadelphia drugmaker
Smith Kline & French
, said earlier this week that it would "voluntarily stop all corporate political contributions."
Glaxo grants to pharmaceutical-industry friends in high places have totaled $585,425 so far this year, with about 58 cents of every dollar going to Republicans, spokeswoman Sarah Alspach said.
"We believe that stopping corporate political contributions is the right thing to do" in order to "improve transparency in terms of our interactions with governments, political leaders and candidates for office," Glaxo chief executive officer Andrew Witty said in a statement.
He denied that previous contributions had given Glaxo any "special privileges."
But the company is differentiating between corporate contributions and contributions made individually by employees.
Glaxo said it would keep its political action committee "to facilitate contributions by eligible GSK employees."
The committee collected $726,550 from about 5,000 employees to give to U.S. politicians this year, with Republicans getting the majority by about the same proportion as the corporate campaign funds, Alspach said.
J.G. Wentworth Inc.
, Bryn Mawr, has cut its payroll two-thirds as it fights to stay in business.
Most of the cuts followed last month's downgrading of Wentworth's "corporate family" credit rating to "Caa1."
The cuts reduced Wentworth's staffing to 80, compared with the 250 it employed last year. They also enabled Wentworth to regain its investment-grade credit rating. The firm, which buys legal settlements and annuities at a discount from people who don't feel they can wait, on Monday sold $74.6 million in notes, backed by structured settlements and annuities. Deutsche Bank AG and Jeffries & Co Inc. closed the sale to yield 8 percent.
Feldman Lubert Adler sued
TD Bank N.A. on Monday filed a second federal lawsuit against Feldman Lubert Adler Harrisburg L.P. over the partnership's alleged failure to pay $50 million in mortgages and interest for the Harrisburg Mall. The partnership bought the mall in 2003; it lost an anchor store, Boscov's, earlier this year.
In the new suit, TD (as successor to Commerce Bancorp Inc., of Cherry Hill, which financed the 2003 deal) seeks $50 million from the partnership between publicly traded mall operator Feldman Mall Properties Inc., of Long Island, and Lubert Adler, the Philadelphia real estate investment group whose investors include Pennsylvania's state pension funds.
Last month, TD sued to get possession of the mall. Philadelphia lawyer Barry E. Bressler, who is representing TD with his Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis L.L.P. colleagues Richard Barkasy and Michael Barrie, says both suits are active. He declined to say whether he thought Lubert Adler, which isn't a plaintiff, could end up having to pay. Lubert Adler's lawyers at Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers L.L.C. didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.
Both suits were filed in Pennsylvania's Middle District in Harrisburg.