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The Fed flexes its muscle; will it fix housing?

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Remember the slogan “Fix housing first? The Federal Reserve might have finally caught on and is hoping to boost home sales and home refinances by buying billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities. 

We asked readers if this was a good idea. Here’s what we heard.

“It’s wonderful that the Fed thinks it can fix housing and then the economy. It can’t. All it has done is ensure a new housing bubble that will once again pin the losses on the taxpayer."
— Jim Taft

“I think it is a poor idea. Why should my tax money help the people who bought houses that they could not afford? Being in the building industry myself I have had to change my lifestyle. I have seen many material-supply houses close their doors and have not seen the government help them out.

"If government wants to boost the economy, why not give the money to taxpayers who are paying their bills and taxes? These people would in return buy products and services, which would put people back to work. We can give companies all kinds on money to bail them out, but if the general public does not have money to buy goods and services then there is no reason for companies to make products. It is simple economics when people have money, they will support the economy.”
— Yvonne

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Rebuffed by RONA, Lowe’s withdraws offer

BY HBSDealer Staff

Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s pulled the plug on its proposal to acquire the Canadian retailer and distributor RONA. 

The proposal, dated July 8, would have had Lowe’s acquire Boucherville, Quebec-based RONA for C$14.50 per share. 

While announcing its withdrawal of the offer, Lowe’s continued to promote the idea of a combined Lowe’s and RONA as one that makes business sense and would create significant value for all stakeholders.”

However, the combination of the two retailing entities was unpopular among RONA’s board, Canadian unions and, RONA dealers across Canada.

In a statement released Monday, Lowe’s said: “It is unfortunate that the RONA board of directors did not recognize the important economic and commercial benefits of this proposal for its stakeholders and for Canada. Lowe’s remains committed to the Canadian market and will continue delivering outstanding home improvement products and services to its Canadian customers.”

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Versatex names new managers

BY HBSDealer Staff

Pittsburgh-based Versatex Trimboard named Joe Ferrese as its new operations manager, in an appointment designed to enhance the manufacturer’s capabilities in both management and measurement. 

Versatex also recently welcomed three industry experts to its expanding team of marketing development specialists. Chris Cavens, Michael Gauthreaux and Krystin Hanley will focus on pull-through field sales activities involving builders, contractors and architects.

"We are extremely fortunate to experience business growth so dramatic that we can attract such outstanding people,” Versatex President John Pace said. “It is our goal, both at the plant level and in the field, to keep investing in high-caliber people who can deliver the extraordinary service our emerging customer base deserves.”

Ferrese brings more than 25 years of experience in plant operations. Earlier in his career, he was responsible for production scheduling, inventory management and purchasing at Napco, a manufacturer of vinyl and metal exterior products for residential construction. He later assumed the role of site manager for Napco’s parent company, Ply Gem Industries, a diversified producer of residential building products with headquarters in Cary, N.C.

Ferrese’s responsibilities will include managing activities he initiated during a recent stint as an independent consultant for Versatex, including the 5S workplace improvement methodology; metric reporting and measurement; and in-house barcoding to refine the accuracy of inventory and shipping systems.

Cavens is the former owner of Christopher Michael Homes of Cincinnati. He has been assigned a territory covering Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Gauthreaux was most recently the regional sales representative for Pella Corp. His new territory includes North and South Carolina. Hanley (the former Krystin Lowers) is a longtime Versatex employee. She will represent Versatex in Chicago, northern Indiana and Michigan.

 

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