August is over, and so ends the silly season, as the Brits call it, and begins la rentreé or the return, as the French call back-to-school season as well as the time when political and social life begins again in France after a lazy summer break.
So, with such Continental pretensions, I’ll assume that CEOs are back to reading serious stuff again, no more Golf Digest or Tom Clancy, and we’ll do the same with this blog’s own rentree.
Straight into the completely unsilly. The Washington Business Journal reports that Virginia-based Capital One and New Orleans-based Hibernia Bank say they have agreed to postpone the closing of their merger because of the devastation and disruption caused by Hurricane Katrina. But only until September 7. Couple of recent stories that might help those guys are How to Avoid Merger Heartburn from CIO.com, and Write People into the Plot (on business continuity) from CSOonline.com.
In better business news, Bloomberg.com reports that crude oil and gasoline prices relaxed as pipelines and ports shut by Hurricane Katrina resumed operations and the International Energy Agency considered releasing emergency supplies to the U.S. to ease shortages. Bloomberg tends toward optimism, I find, and you can read more gloomy prospects about petroleum supply and cost at both Time and Businessweek.
If you’ve been lobbying for a more flexible budgeting process for IT—one that allows for anomalies and disasters, as well as fluctuating costs like fuel—now may be the time to close the deal. See CIO’s story Flex Time for a model (and case study from what we thought was the really bad 2004 hurricane season).