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    SEC Charges Salesman in $250M Ponzi Scheme

    SEC Charges Salesman in $250M Ponzi Scheme
    The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges in Detroit alleging a $250 million Ponzi scheme had defrauded a mostly elderly investor pool. The SEC charged salesman Frank Bluestein of scalping 800 investors of more than $74 million between 2002 and 2007. "As part of his sales strategy, Bluestein specifically targeted retirees and seniors," the SEC complaint says, The Detroit News reported ...
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    Not-so-Secret Society: Reality vs. "The Lost Symbol"

    Not-so-Secret Society: Reality vs. "The Lost Symbol"
    The Freemasons of Lodge 19 meet regularly in an old mansion, in a room filled with pomp and circumstance worthy of Harry Potter's Hogwarts: pillars topped by terrestrial and celestial spheres, throne-like chairs, a checkerboard floor pattern, and ominous-looking symbols - pyramids, all-seeing eyes, a square and compass surrounding a letter "G." Just who are these mysterious men who call each ...
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    August Pending Home Sales Rise to 2 1/2 Year High

    August Pending Home Sales Rise to 2 1/2 Year High
    The volume of signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes rose for the seventh straight month in August as buyers rushed to take advantage of a tax credit for first-time owners that expires at the end of November. The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted index of sales agreements rose 6.4 percent from July to 103.8. It was the ...
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    BRIEF: Retail Industry Group Predicts Small Rise in Holiday Sales

    BRIEF: Retail Industry Group Predicts Small Rise in Holiday Sales
    A retail industry report released Monday predicts holiday sales will rise by about 1 percent or slightly higher, marking one of the first positive holiday forecasts this year. The International Council of Shopping Centers, a New York-based trade association for the shopping center industry, forecast sales at major chain stores, excluding Wal-Mart Stores Inc., will rise 1 percent for the combined ...
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    A Brief History of the Saturn Brand

    A Brief History of the Saturn Brand
    A timeline of events in the life of General Motors Co.'s Saturn brand. 1983- General Motors Chairman Roger Smith announces plans for Saturn brand. 1990- First Saturn cars available to consumers. Featured tagline is, "a different kind of car company," as dealers clapped when buyers were handed the keys to a new vehicle. Company becomes known from its no-haggle pricing. 1994- ...
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    Female Customers Labelled 'Dingbats'

    Female Customers Labelled 'Dingbats'
    A suburban Chicago auto dealership whose salesmen referred to female customers as "dingbats" has been accused of sexual harassment, court records show. The Chicago office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says in addition to the unflattering term, female workers at Castle Chevrolet charge they were subjected to sexually hostile, abusive and threatening remarks, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday. A case ...
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    Sept. US Auto Sales Fall Amid Clunkers Letdown

    Sept. US Auto Sales Fall Amid Clunkers Letdown
    Chrysler Group LLC and Ford Motor Co. said Thursday their September sales fell, revealing a tough hangover from this summer's Cash for Clunkers buying spree. Ford and other automakers got a big lift in July and August from clunkers, which spurred sales of nearly 700,000 new cars and trucks. The government program's big discounts lured in many customers who otherwise would ...
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    Jobless Rates Drop in Most Metro Areas in August

    Jobless Rates Drop in Most Metro Areas in August
    The unemployment rate fell in about 60 percent of metropolitan areas in August from the previous month, as layoffs eased nationwide. An Associated Press analysis of Labor Department data found that the jobless rate dropped in 232 of 380 metro areas. That's an improvement from July, when metro areas were split between those with rising and falling joblessness. It's much better ...
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    On the Road Again: RV Sales See an Upswing

    On the Road Again: RV Sales See an Upswing
    A closely watched report today on consumer confidence is expected to show modest improvement, but some economists are heartened by a more obscure measure of buyer sentiment: recreational vehicle sales. RV wholesale shipments jumped 16% in August from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 209,800, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association reports today. While that's about half the industry's torrid ...
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    Best Free Reference Websites: Eleventh Annual List

    Welcome to the eleventh annual "Best Free Reference Websites List." In 1998, the MachineAssisted Reference Section (MARS) of RUSA appointed an ad hoc task force to develop a method of recognizing outstanding reference websites. The task force became a formal committee at the 2001 ALA Annual Conference, and it is now appropriately named the MARS Best Free Reference Websites Committee. Like ...
    Rated: +1
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    Southwest's Airfare Sale Not the Usual Big Bargain

    Southwest's Airfare Sale Not the Usual Big Bargain
    Airfares are starting to inch back up, signs indicate, even on the prices of tickets on sale. Southwest, the nation's leader in low-cost flying, this week introduced a sale on fares with prices on some routes higher than the lowest fares customers have come to expect. They included a $118 round trip between Phoenix and San Diego and $296 between Baltimore ...
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    Retail Sales Poised to Turn Positive, but Don't Get Too Excited

    Retail Sales Poised to Turn Positive, but Don't Get Too Excited
    Finally, retail sales figures are poised to turn positive. But don't get too excited about forecasts that consumer spending, the biggest single component driving the U.S. economy, will edge back into the black for the Christmas holiday. "The fourth quarter looks better than last year," said Frank Badillo, chief economist with industry think tank Retail Forward. "But we're still looking at ...
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    What New Search Engines Mean to Small Business

    What New Search Engines Mean to Small Business
    After all the rumors and last-minute botched deals over the years, it's finally happened: Microsoft and Yahoo have reached an agreement to merge their search services in hopes of finally being able to compete with the grand search overlord, Google. Under the new 10-year, $275 million agreement, Microsoft's new Bing search engine will power Yahoo Search, while Yahoo Search Marketing will ...
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    Survey Says: Beware Offers for Free Survey

    Survey Says: Beware Offers for Free Survey
    The report: We recently saw an e-mail that had an attractive pitch until you looked into the details. The offer was to take online surveys for cash. There are such deals out there, but beware. You're not going to get rich and you may find yourself doing a lot worse than that. How it works: The e-mail was for a service ...
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    Opportunity Behind Skilled Workers' Exodus

    Opportunity Behind Skilled Workers' Exodus
    It wasn't the U.S. economy that convinced Tao Guo to leave the USA. It was the Chinese economy. After 24 years in the United States, the 46-year-old naturalized citizen moved to Shanghai in December to take a high-level position at WuXi AppTec, which does research for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He's among a growing number of highly skilled immigrants who are ...
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    Man Accused of Selling Couple's Home While They Vacationed

    Man Accused of Selling Couple's Home While They Vacationed
    The attorney for Ray Tate III, who is accused of selling a Ben Lomond, Calif., house that wasn't his, told the court Friday that his client thought the property had no expressed owner and believed the home may have been abandoned. "Mr. Tate would have no way of knowing there was a victim in this case," said attorney David Beauvais. Tate ...
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    Ways to Control Your Holiday Spending

    Ways to Control Your Holiday Spending
    After a holiday season last year that saw some of the deepest pre-Christmas price cutting in decades, the savvy shopper might think it best to wait until the last minute to scoop up bargains this year. But there's considerable evidence that's neither a smart move for those seeking discounts nor the best way to stay on budget. Consumers may have gotten ...
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    Advertising Entrepreneur Wears Your Shirt

    Advertising Entrepreneur Wears Your Shirt
    Jason Sadler started a company, IWearYourShirt.com, which, as the name implies, is a service where Sadler wears your company shirt; uploads a video of him wearing your shirt to YouTube and Ustream.tv, posts photos on his blog and on Flickr, and tweets about it on Twitter. In other words, he became a human billboard with a valuable social media following. With ...
    Rated: +3
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    Guns and Gold Point to a Better Economy

    Guns and Gold Point to a Better Economy
    All sorts of arcane measures show fewer investors expect utter financial calamity. But guns and gold tell the story even more clearly. Stocks of both large gold-mining companies and the top publicly traded maker of guns are up this year, but lagging behind the broader market's rebound since March. Shares of gold miners Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining are up 36% ...
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    Jobless Homeowners Could Get Aid

    Jobless Homeowners Could Get Aid
    The Obama administration is engaged in high-level talks about providing financial assistance to homeowners who've lost their jobs and can't afford their mortgage payments. The Treasury Department held meetings on the subject as recently as Thursday with key stakeholders, according to Laura Armstrong, a spokeswoman for Hope Now, an alliance of non-profits and mortgage servicers, and more discussions are planned. Proposals ...