The week that was: LivedStrong

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Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong brand had been strong for sales at athletic retailers ever since the yellow wristbands and accompanying equipment started selling several years ago. But once the disgraced Tour de France racer admitted to doping in January, the subsequent drop in sales has been abrupt.

Dick's Sporting Goods of Findlay announced fourth-quarter earnings Monday that were below analysts' expectations. The Post-Gazette's Teresa Lindeman reports that while stubborn winter weather was also to blame, executives said merchandise bearing the LiveStrong logo has been marked down or cleared out because customers stopped buying it.

For a job well done

Didn't get a pay raise this year? Don't worry, you're in good company. Warren Buffett kept a base salary of $100,000 at his Berkshire Hathaway company in Omaha, Neb., according to the company proxy statement. In fact, his salary hasn't changed in more than 25 years.

Of course, Mr. Buffett is worth billions of dollars thanks to his hugely successful company, which announced last month it was buying Pittsburgh's H.J. Heinz Co. with the private equity firm 3G Capital.

The proxy statement also revealed Berkshire Hathaway had spent about $323,000 on Mr. Buffett's security and that the so-called Oracle of Omaha reimbursed the firm for $50,000 in personal costs.

Quote of the week

"The fact that these mistakes have happened on my watch has been the most disappointing and painful part of my professional career."

-- Ina Drew, former CIO for JPMorgan Chase and Co. Ms. Drew made her first public appearance Friday since taking responsibility for the "London Whale" trading debacle that led to more than $6 billion in losses for the New York banking giant. In testimony before a Senate committee, Ms. Drew said fellow employees hadn't told her the size of the risk they were taking, while lawmakers said the mistakes signaled a need for more regulation.

Number of the week: $35.27

That's the amount of greenbacks the average person will spend this year on green clothes, green decorations and, of course, green food and spirits to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The National Retail Federation said total spending will grow to $4.7 billion, up from last year's $4.6 billion.

And who says Americans can't come together? A whopping 80 percent said they'd celebrate the Irish holiday by wearing green.


Erich Schwartzel: or 412-263-1455.


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