December 23rd, 2009
11:32 AM ET

Financial Dispatch: BlackBerry outage

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Gene Bloch
Managing Editor
CNN New York

Our long national nightmare is over ... BlackBerry service is back.

For more than eight hours last night, BlackBerry customers throughout North America were without e-mail and Internet service after a widespread outage that began at about 6:30 p.m. ET. The company sent an e-mail to subscribers that estimated 100% of its users were affected at one point. It’s the second such outage in a week and raises questions about the reliability of the fast-growing service – there are now about 32-million subscribers according to Research In Motion, which makes the BlackBerry.

Mixed news on the economy this morning – on a negative side, housing is still in rough shape. New home sales plunged 11-percent in November, a bigger decline than expected. On the brighter side, personal income rose 0.4% in November, the fastest pace in six months. That helped boost personal spending a half percent last month, the second straight increase, though a bit less than expected. And consumers are in a better mood about things – the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said the final December reading rose to the highest level since September.

While we closely watch economic developments for signs of improvement on the jobs front – which we have not yet seen – we at least don’t need to work about another financial crisis anytime soon, that’s at least the opinion of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. He says the Obama administration is confident there won’t be a “second wave of financial crisis.” During an interview on NPR's "All Things Considered," Geithner rejected the idea that a new meltdown could be triggered by lingering problems with commercial real estate loans or with a sudden weakening of the dollar.

Population growth nearly ground to a halt this year in many longtime boom states, a sign the recession has taken a toll on the migration habits of Americans. Texas gained more people than any other state between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009, followed by California and North Carolina.

Gas prices slipped just a bit. AAA reports the average price of regular unleaded tell one-tenth of a cent to $2.585.

In the Energy Fix today, a "Clash of the Environmentalists.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation this week putting one million acres of California's Mojave desert off limits to renewable energy development.

Companies were planning to build huge solar plants and wind farms in this swath of Desert land. But developers are now backing away from those plans.

What does this mean for California's aggressive goal of generating one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020? Alison Kosik reports.

On CNNMoney:

Doctors choosing inmates over insurance

Many frustrated physicians are heading to work in prisons and jails for better pay, better hours and better benefits

Filed under: Economy • Finance • Gene Bloch • Wall St.
soundoff (One Response)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    With the upcoming solar flares between 2011 and 2012 this may seem like a minor thing with the black berry .

    December 23, 2009 at 11:50 am |