Here's your chance to look inside the cabin of OneJet, which recently announced it will begin flying between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis
Who's the richest person in Pennsylvania? It isn't anyone from Pittsburgh, although the richest person in a nearby state has a lot of name recognition in southwestern Pennsylvania.
That's what is leading today's Five Things You Need to Know, which also has some bad news for fracking companies and F-35 contractors, of which there are plenty in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh's connection to the Filthy-Rich 50
MarketWatch.com has a list of the Filthy-Rich 50, the richest people in each state. There are a lot of familiar names, including David Koch (Kansas), Warren Buffett(Nebraska) and Michael R. Bloomberg (New York).
For Pennsylvania, it's Philadelphia Phillies co-owner John S. Middleton, with a net worth of $1.8 billion.
But New Jersey's richest person is well-known in Pittsburgh: It's hedge fund manager David Tepper, whose net worth is $10 billion and who is a benefactor to Carnegie Mellon University.
Benefactor may not even be the word: His name is on the CMU business school, and he is giving $67 million to CMU to create the David A. Tepper Quadrangle, the new home of the business school and a lot of other things in its North Campus expansion. That was at the time the biggest single donation to CMU.
Bad times for fracking companies
The headline makes you want to click on the story, that’s for sure: “Half of U.S. fracking companies will be dead or sold this year.”
It leads to a Bloomberg story featuring a prediction by an energy exec talking about another impact the low prices of oil and natural gas are having on the industry: That cutbacks by the big oil and gas companies threaten the existence of half of the 41 fracking firms.
That exec, Rob Fulks, is in a position to know: He’s pressure pumping marketing director at Weatherford International plc, the fifth-largest fracking company in the U.S.
We’ve already seen some of the consolidation: Wells are going uncompleted and big players combining. Halliburton Co. wants to buy rival Baker Hughes Inc. and another company, Nabors Industries, has laid off thousands of workers in 2015 and wants to merge its production/completion business with C&J Energy Services.
A consolidation in the fracking industry would impact the Marcellus and Utica shale fields of southwestern Pennsylvania, dribbling right down to the subcontractors that serve the industry. As we've written about before, nothing, not even the cost of lunch, is immune to cost cutting in energy companies' eyes. Just ask HogFather's Old Fashioned BBQ, which recently had to take a 10 percent discount on its menu for energy producers.
F-35 woes could drag on Pittsburgh manufacturers
Yesterday, we told you about some challenges to a jet program that could impact Pennsylvania manufacturers. There's another today, this time of the supersonic military variety, to a program worth billions to Pittsburgh companies alone.
Two reports, one from the General Accounting Office and another from the Department of Defense's Inspector General, calls to task United Technologies Corp. and its subsidiary, Pratt & Whitney Co., for the reliability of its engines for the F-35 fighter jet. What needs to be done? GAO wants the engine design changed and then fixing the existing jet engines.
That could throw a wrench in the Pentagon's plans to buy thousands of the jets, which are worth upward of $390 billion to primary contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. as well as the other companies that have contracts for the F-35, including RTI International Metals Inc.(NYSE: RTI) in Pittsburgh, Black Box Corp. (Nasdaq: BBOX) in Pittsburgh and II-VI Inc. (Nasdaq: IIVI) in Saxonburg. Canada and the United Kingdom have already cut back on their orders of the next-generation fighter jet.
It's been a tough program already for the manufacturers involved, with production delays since the F-35 contract became a reality in 2001. RTI, for instance, has a $2 billion contract to supply the F-35.
Tedx Pittsburgh tickets now on sale
Mark May 23 on your calendar: That's when TedxPittsburgh -- formerly known as TedXGrandviewAvenue -- happens at the Byham Theater in downtown Pittsburgh.
Tickets for the annual event, which has been known by several names, went on sale Monday. They're $40 apiece on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website. This year's theme is "Bridges: Ideas that Connect the Region."
This year's speaker list includes: Gtech Co-Founder Andrew Butcher, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Diana Turnshek, AEO TV host Gabrielle Bonesso and Operation Safety Net Founder Dr. Jim Withers, among others.
Can't make it? TedxPittsburgh said on Twitter on Monday afternoon that there would be a live feed available via the Web, too.
Rarest Pirates' baseball card goes for discount
A 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card -- when the Chartiers native was second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates -- sold at auction for $1.32 million.
The card has always been at the apex of baseball card and sports memorabilia collectors, owing to the fact that American Tobacco Co. made only a few of them. But Los Angeles Times reported the final price for the card, sold by Robert Edwards Auction, was well below the $2.8 million and the $2.1 million the cards have sold for in the recent past.
Here's the reason why Wagner's card was so rare: Wagner, who would go on to the Baseball Hall of Fame, didn't want his photo or name attached to a cigarette company.
Wagner not only was a baseball player of rare talent and rare accomplishment; he was also a Pittsburgh businessman. He co-founded the Honus Wagner Sporting Goods store in downtown Pittsburgh in 1919 after he retired.
Just look inside this jet ...
What's it like to fly aboard the new niche airline OneJet, which announced last week that it will soon fly between Pittsburgh and both Indianapolis and Milwaukee?
Our sibling newspaper, the Milwaukee Business Journal, got a look inside the Hawker 400 jets and took plenty of pictures. OneJet is positioned as an alternative for business fliers who don't want to fly commercial with all the hassles, including waiting at the airport.
It's definitely worth a look.