New World

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

E*Trade and Wachovia are the latest casualties of the subprime debacle—the bundling of bad mortgage obligations and selling them off as individual investment “opportunities” to greedy, senseless suckers. It’s the biggest bust since the Dot-Com Implosion of 2000, where $4 trillion worth of capital evaporated, and harks back to “Tulip Mania” (1636-37) and the South Sea Bubble (1711). How can this utter stupidity be explained? Let’s start with the rarified game of curling and a woman named Jane, whose last name I have mercifully forgotten. What is going on in business is what I call “The Jane Syndrome.” You’ll also find The Jane Syndrome

Promotional copy I did not write: “As the kick-off to NEDMA ’06, at the much heralded Direct Marketer of the Year Awards Banquet on June 14, we will be graced by the presence of none other than legendary direct mail guru, Denny Hatch.” “Legendary direct mail guru?” Gimme a break! Peter Drucker once said people use the word “guru” because nobody can spell “charlatan.” However, the theme of the NEDMA (New England Direct Marketing Association) bash is, “It’s a Brave New World.” The title of my talk? “In a brave new world, old is better.” In college I was a D+ student and skinned out of Columbia with

By Denny Hatch From The New York Times, May 14, 1904 DEATH OF A. S. HATCH Once a Leading Financier—Floated Great Popular Loan Alfrederick Smith Hatch, at one time, one of the most prominent financiers in the United States, died yesterday at his home in Tarrytown. He was born seventy-five years ago in Burlington, VT, where his father, Dr. Horace Hatch, was a well-known physician. When he was a young man, he started a bank in Jersey City and a few years later formed a partnership with Harvey Fisk. It was while these two men were together that they achieved fame in the

The past year has been puzzling, frustrating and, most of all, challenging for direct marketers. Should I cut back on my prospecting efforts? Can I trust results from lists I tested last fall? These are just some of the questions direct marketers have been pondering. We've been wondering how the congruence of Sept. 11, anthrax, a down-market economy and distrust of business leaders has affected lists. To gain some perspective, Target Marketing's Hallie Mummert talked with Brian Kurtz, executive vice president of Boardroom Inc., a publisher of newsletters and books. Target Marketing: How have changes in messaging strategies affected lists? Kurtz: What a

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