Even worse than anticipated: USPS projects deficit of $100-200 Billion over next 10 years

Wow.  Courtesy of the official blog of the USPS Inspector General:

“The Path Forward” of the Postal Service

The money quote:

“The Postmaster General warned that if the Postal Service continues to operate as it is, it will run a cumulative debt of $238 billion over the next 10 years. Even if the Postal Service institutes every conceivable control within management control – product and service actions, productivity improvements, workforce flexibility improvements and purchasing savings – it can only shrink the debt to $115 billion.”

Adobe enters dynamic ad market

The longstanding rumors about Adobe/Omniture entering the dynamic ad space came true today.

Omniture Announces Display Advertising Solutions for Increased Return on Ad Spend

Interesting on a number of levels:

1. As discussed, we see a continuing trend of optimization companies migrating into adjacent segments.  In this case, a L3 player has migrated into L2.  (Did ADBE just become a potential buyer of DSP technologies? That would complete their stack.)  Strategically, I like it – execution will now be the key.

2. Adobe/Omniture is much larger than most other participants in this space, the principal exception being Teracent/Google.   Though they’re new in the space, expect them to leverage existing relationships to sell these additional services through.

3. The potential impact this may have on Flash as the de facto standard for dynamically generated ads.

Should the US Government Bail Out the Post Office?

Thanks to GH for forwarding the following story this morning:

USPS to propose 5-day mail schedule, major cuts

The most important quote:

“USPS posted a $3.8 billion loss in its 2009 fiscal year, the latest in a multiyear string of whopping losses. Mail volume was down 12.7% for the year, a trend the agency expects to continue over the next decade as more consumers opt for online bill payments and message delivery.  The Post Office was $10 billion in debt as of Sept. 30 — not far off from its $15 billion debt limit, which the agency expects to hit in its 2011 fiscal year.”

The USPS will require a bailout, count on it.   Is that a good idea?

Reasons that support a bailout:

1. The USPS is the second largest employer in the United States (behind Wal-mart) – a bailout would preserve much-needed jobs in an economy that is still on less-than-solid footing.

2.  ? (I’m sure there are other reasons that I’m missing..)

Reasons against a bailout:

1. Bailout money will be used to hold down postage prices for junk mailers – some of the largest companies in the world.  (Over 50% of mail volume is junk mail.)

2. Bailout money will increase and prolong the environmental impacts of junk mail.  (I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool green, but even I know that printing credit card offers on felled trees, and flying them all over the country is bad for the environment.)

We should also note the difference between a bailout and a permanent subsidy.  It’s probably a good idea to use government funds to cushion and ease the exit of an information distribution medium that, in the words of the Postmaster General, represents a “macro shift in society.”  It’s a terrible idea to use governments funds to artificially prop up a failing industry ad infinitum.


US Postal Service and Lottery Tickets

The USPS is becomingly increasingly, ahem, creative in their effort to close their multi-billion dollar budget gap. According to this post on the official blog of the US Postal Service Inspector General, the Postal Regulatory Commission is considering a USPS lottery as a potential source of much-needed funds.

Could Longer Lines Be Coming to Your Local Post Office…Lottery Lines?

I don’t know about you, but the phrase “grasping at straws” seems somehow appropriate…