Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Home prices last year increased at their best rate since 2005, but two prominent, national housing experts say that momentum has stalled into 2014. The strongest part of the recovery in U.S. home values appears over, as higher prices and mortgage rates cool the market, according to the analysts who deliver the widely watched S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
With Florida’s gubernatorial candidates jostling over the state of the economy, a new report suggests the Great Recession rebound isn’t so stunning or complete. The non-partisan Pew Charitable Trusts’ new analysis ranks the 50 states on where they fall on tax, spending, debt and economic issues. The no-spin picture: Florida’s recovery is just ho-hum. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Gov. Rick Scott, weighed down by lackluster poll numbers and a Republican Legislature intent on pursuing its own contentious reforms, appears content to keep it simple as he heads into the 2014 session. Months before he will ask voters to re-elect him for another term, Scott is choosing to push ahead with a limited agenda that sidesteps ongoing debates on hot-button issues. [Source: AP]
Snow plows and winter sniffles elsewhere may literally be money in the bank for Tampa Bay area restaurateurs this year. Last spring was a banner one for restaurants here, and 2014 is shaping up to be even better. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Early Tuesday, the world's most established exchange for Bitcoin disappeared from the Internet, sending the price of the virtual currency tumbling and prompting fears that the world's biggest experiment in electronic cash could soon be strangled by fraud or regulation. Here's an explanation of what bitcoins are, how exchanges work, and why the demise of the exchange, Mt. Gox, means many people may have lost a lot of money. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Billionaire-to-be Brian Acton got tech start at Lake Howell High
Brian Acton got his start in the high-tech world more than two decades ago as a computer whiz kid in Central Florida. Now he is poised to become a billionaire. Acton is co-founder of WhatsApp, a Silicon Valley startup being sold to Facebook in a blockbuster deal potentially worth $19 billion.
› Office Depot and Office Max cut headquarters staff by 35%
Office Depot and OfficeMax have reduced their combined headquarters staff by 35 percent since merging, new CEO Roland Smith said Tuesday. The company, based in Boca Raton, declined to say how many of those layoffs were in South Florida, but jobs at the new headquarters eventually will be "higher than before the merger," spokeswoman Karen Denning said.
› Tech Data CEO talks publicly first time after 11-month accounting probe
For 11 months, the loquacious head of Tampa Bay's biggest public company was prevented from making public comments while regulators and an internal team probed an overseas accounting debacle that forced Tech Data to restate its earnings.
› Florida entrepreneur named a Champion of Change
The White House will honor South Florida entrepreneur Felecia Hatcher as one of 10 "Champions of Change" from around the nation on Wednesday. They will be recognized for their innovation in creating diversity and access in STEM fields.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
In case you missed it: