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Why Americans won't do dirty jobs

Fri, 11 Nov 2011 15:14:36 GMT

(image) In the wake of an immigrant exodus, Alabama has jobs. Trouble is, Americans don't want them.

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Funerals undergoing an eco-friendly makeover

Tue, 8 Nov 2011 12:41:40 GMT

(image) The green burial business has gotten bigger — there are close to 300 funeral homes in 40 states offering green services in 2011 — and noticeably more eccentric.

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Crazy home deals await the creditworthy

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 21:24:49 GMT

(image) Home prices down 31 percent since 2006 and mortgage rates averaging close to 4 percent mean bargains for buyers with good credit ratings.

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Packers win on the field, and in the boardroom

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 16:39:34 GMT

(image) The fans are shareholders. The CEO is a union leader and ex-player. Green Bay is a dot on the map. The bizarre anomaly of the franchise that rules the NFL.

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A guide to reading your employees the riot act

Fri, 14 Oct 2011 02:13:33 GMT

At some point, every manager must unload a kick-in-the-ass speech. But here’s a reality check: If you have to deliver “The Speech,” you’re probably failing as a manager.

10 things only bad managers say

Tue, 4 Oct 2011 11:40:47 GMT

(image) If your manager’s native mode is critical, and if she tosses around compliments like manhole covers, know that there are plenty of other employers who’d be happy to have someone like you in the mix.

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Mercedes gets small to regain traction

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 12:23:57 GMT

(image) Mercedes, now No. 3 in luxury autos worldwide, is investing $1.9 billion to make five small luxury models in an attempt to regain sales.

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Even in a down economy, pork rinds crackle

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 12:25:03 GMT

(image) How rival companies, low-carb diets, and changing demographics are making pork rinds an economic indicator for our time.

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Can retraining give the unemployed a second chance?

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 12:45:05 GMT

(image) Even with 14 million Americans looking for work jobs are going unfilled. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the number of openings at 3.2 million, yet companies sometimes struggle to find candidates that fit.

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The electronic nails in the post office’s coffin

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:40:22 GMT

(image) Digital mail services are targeting the 48 billion bills, statements and financial documents sent by companies through USPS every year.

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Why the gun industry secretly loves Obama

Mon, 5 Sep 2011 15:25:14 GMT

(image) The FBI criminal background check required to purchase a gun has hit record numbers each year Obama has been in office. This year, they’re on track to surpass 15 million for the first time.

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Landlord Uncle Sam wants to sell foreclosures

Mon, 5 Sep 2011 15:12:37 GMT

(image) Washington is sitting on nearly a third of the nation’s 800,000 repossessed houses, the result of record numbers of people defaulting on government-backed mortgages.

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The American working man slowly fades away

Sun, 28 Aug 2011 18:48:52 GMT

The portion of men who work  has been eroding since the early 1970s. For decades the impact  was softened by the increasing number of women who went to work and took up the slack.

A quick primer on managing the office pest

Sun, 28 Aug 2011 18:00:19 GMT

You feign yellow fever when he sidles up to your cube. When he walks your way, you tense up and dart to the nearest exit. All the while, you think to yourself: What now?

Companies are hiring — just not hiring you

Sun, 21 Aug 2011 16:02:42 GMT

With the jobless rate still above 9 percent, the untapped labor pool is deep. Yet some companies struggle to find qualified applicants.

Forgiving debt may be the answer to this mess

Thu, 18 Aug 2011 01:19:29 GMT

For overburdened countries and consumers alike, erasing unpayable debt is a necessary step toward renewed growth.

A 4-step approach to solving workplace conflict

Thu, 18 Aug 2011 01:19:29 GMT

The following tips — based on The Exchange — will teach you how to turn your next meeting with conflicting employees into a productive conversation.

Ocean City, Md., tops list of most affordable fun cities

Wed, 17 Aug 2011 01:30:45 GMT

(image) Ocean City, Md., comes in first in a nationwide ranking of ZIP codes with the best nightlife and the most affordable housing.

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Five Guys' biggest struggle is to stay the same

Tue, 16 Aug 2011 11:36:44 GMT

(image) What started as a modest burger shack in a Virginia strip mall has exploded into America’s fastest-growing restaurant chain, with five stores opening each week.

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Europe stumbles toward a tighter union

Tue, 16 Aug 2011 11:36:00 GMT

(image) Fiscal union, where a central authority has final say over each country’s spending and taxing, was never a possibility. Now the idea is being debated like never before.

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A manager's guide to managing office romance

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 11:37:46 GMT

Here are 10 practical tips for managers and HR folks looking to do a better job dealing with the inevitable workplace pairings. Minus the drama.

IRS shows newly married gay couples no love

Tue, 9 Aug 2011 21:26:13 GMT

For all those same-sex newlyweds in New York, Lawrence S. Jacobs has a message: Enjoy the Champagne and the honeymoon, but expect no gifts from the IRS.

20 areas on the brink of economic recovery

Sun, 7 Aug 2011 16:54:30 GMT

(image) For residents of Buffalo, N.Y., there are few obvious signs that the local economy has been improving.

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DUI crackdown is helping China's chauffeurs

Sun, 24 Jul 2011 16:21:13 GMT

With more than half of China's road fatalities caused by drunk drivers, Chinese who want to party have been turning to car services to avoid hefty fines, jail time, or worse.

'Designer dogs' or mutt, the costs are adding up

Tue, 19 Jul 2011 11:34:04 GMT

(image) The first sign that the Dog Establishment was under attack came in 1988, when a fringe Australian breeder named Wally Conron mixed a labrador retriever with a poodle.

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Geoducks: Monster bivalves worth big bucks

Mon, 18 Jul 2011 11:28:51 GMT

(image) Thanks to demand in Asia and legal victories in the U.S., American Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest dominate a rich trade in giant clams called geoducks (pronounced gooey-ducks).

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One generation ruined Anheuser-Busch's legacy

Sun, 17 Jul 2011 16:26:32 GMT

(image) The red, white, and blue Budweiser can is practically synonymous with America itself. But at a crucial time, the company failed to adapt, leaving it vulnerable to a foreign takeover.

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Child bodybuilding is becoming an industry

Sun, 17 Jul 2011 17:03:17 GMT

(image) Over the past five years pre-adolescent and teen gym memberships have increased by 2.9 percent a year — and the 6-to-11 age category has almost doubled since 2005.

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Americans digging out of their debt dilemmas

Fri, 15 Jul 2011 11:13:57 GMT

(image) The average U.S. credit score is the highest in at least four years. Delinquencies on consumer loans have dropped 30 percent in two years. Improving credit quality gives households the ability to spend more.

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Companies get tough with workers who smoke

Wed, 6 Jul 2011 11:38:42 GMT

(image) Smokers are among the most prominent workers with high medical costs, so some companies are imposing insurance surcharges on them.

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Ending minimum wage won't create many jobs

Wed, 6 Jul 2011 11:31:53 GMT

(image) Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann seems to think so. Many economists, though, see little job creation from abolishing the law.

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Competitive eaters gorge on calories, winnings

Fri, 1 Jul 2011 21:35:36 GMT

(image) With 90 annual events and dozens of corporate sponsors, Major League Eating is a gurgitating juggernaut.

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Texas town is the cheapest place to live in US

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 13:30:25 GMT

(image) Harlingen, Texas, has one of the lowest income levels in the U.S. Fortunately for residents of this hot, dry city in the state's southern tip, it is also the cheapest place in the country to live.

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Krispy Kreme wants to be good for you

Wed, 22 Jun 2011 17:35:43 GMT

(image) Over the past 75 years, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts won a fanatical following with one product: sinfully sugary doughnuts, served warm. That's about to change.

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The big business of synthetic highs

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 12:12:19 GMT

(image) Synthetic drugs that use legal compounds but mimic the highs of everything from marijuana to cocaine are proliferating among do-it-yourself pharma labs. Bad trips — and fatal side effects — are increasing, too.

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Water is the new liquid gold in Texas

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 14:41:04 GMT

(image) A record drought in Texas is boosting water prices and competition between agricultural and energy interests over the commodity.

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Yelp's elite, epicurean totally free work force

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 16:19:26 GMT

In the strange, exclamation point-laden netherworld of online restaurant reviewing, Yelp's Elite are a chosen people.

Fixing America's economy: Nine global ideas

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 16:13:40 GMT

(image) It may finally be time for Americans to consider ideas from a place that they don't usually look to for inspiration: the rest of the planet.

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Home sellers court risks with last-resort loans

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 16:23:36 GMT

(image) For a small but growing number of people, the only way to get a house sold is to resort to financing provided by the seller. It's risky business.

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Clean Air Act isn't pain free, but it pays off

Wed, 8 Jun 2011 12:02:24 GMT

(image) Clean air is expensive, but it's good for the economy. By the government's measure,  the Clean Air Act's benefits exceed its costs by a factor of 25 to 1.

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Subaru of Indiana: Greenest carmaker in U.S. 

Tue, 7 Jun 2011 11:34:37 GMT

(image) Toyota made kaizen— the Japanese principle of  efficiency, aka "pushing lean" — famous. Subaru of America, you could say, has instilled green kaizen, or pushing green. 

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Knut, the $140 million polar bear

Tue, 31 May 2011 11:53:15 GMT

(image) Knut, the once-cuddly polar bear at the Berlin Zoo, became a global sensation. After his death, Brand Knut is being fought over by scores of book publishers, moviemakers, marketers, advertisers, and manufacturers .

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Oprah's magic helps businesses, ready or not

Tue, 24 May 2011 11:25:35 GMT

(image) Some companies touched by "The Oprah Winfrey Show"got an instant lift that soon fizzled; others continue to enjoy the Oprah Effect to this day.

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As cougars prowl, some seek to cash in

Sun, 22 May 2011 21:04:20 GMT

(image) A transcontinental economy is developing around conventions, dating sites, tourism, and other cougar-themed business ventures.

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Red Bull's maniac leader builds media empire

Sun, 22 May 2011 15:51:29 GMT

(image) Dietrich Mateschitz is making a bold move into TV, movies, and magazines. What's the visionary behind a $5 billion-a-year soft-drink empire doing in the media business?

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Dream jobs: College students make their picks

Wed, 18 May 2011 11:35:09 GMT

(image) Where do you want to work? A new survey suggests the answer depends to a large extent on if you're an entrepreneur, an idealist, or a leader.

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Why no Wall St. bigwig has been prosecuted

Sun, 15 May 2011 16:17:42 GMT

(image) The crash was the result of a tendency in our financial culture to push leverage and risk-taking to the extreme. To look for criminality as the source of the crisis is to misread its origins badly.

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Taco Bell and the golden age of drive-thru

Sun, 15 May 2011 16:37:22 GMT

(image) Operational innovations at restaurants like Taco Bell rival those at any factory in the world. A view from the drive-thru window at how they do it .

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How crunches the numbers of love

Tue, 10 May 2011 11:38:51 GMT

Two years ago, Mark Guilarte signed up with in search of female companionship. He was emphatic about his hair-color preference.

Why immigrant entrepreneurs are leaving U.S.

Tue, 3 May 2011 11:48:10 GMT

(image) Skilled immigrants are returning to their native countries to start businesses. The author of a new study examines the motivations of Chinese and Indian returnees — and urges the U.S. to fix its immigration policy.

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How to pick up a coworker while avoiding HR

Mon, 4 Apr 2011 11:36:09 GMT

With fluorescent mood lighting and keyboard tapping like the drums of a fertility dance, the workplace buzzes with sexuality.

Next generation of reactors: Safety in mind

Mon, 28 Mar 2011 12:45:15 GMT

(image) Nuclear power plants will never be completely safe, but they can be made far safer than they are today. The next generation of plants  must be safe by design, so that even if every possible thing goes wrong, the outcome will stop short of disaster.

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The high cost of celebrities gone wild

Sat, 5 Mar 2011 16:52:57 GMT

(image) When CBS  and Warner Bros. shut down  "Two and a Half Men" after Charlie Sheen launched a rant against the show's producer, executives rushed to their calculators to tally the damage. There are plenty of losses to go around.

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Why stay-at-home moms are mad at the Fed

Tue, 1 Mar 2011 12:29:31 GMT

(image) Women's advocates and retailers want the Fed to rewrite a proposed rule that prevents nonworking spouses from getting credit.

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Once-mighty Corolla in danger of being lapped

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 18:51:10 GMT

(image) Toyota has hit the headlines for its massive car recall, but the world's largest carmaker faces another less noticed challenge: the aging of its biggest-selling model the Corolla.

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A U.S. recovery that is built on low-paying jobs

Sun, 27 Feb 2011 17:54:28 GMT

(image) Newly created jobs in the United States tend to be lower-paying than those they replaced. That will constrain consumer spending and economic growth.

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Deficit could reshape retirement funding

Wed, 23 Feb 2011 12:37:20 GMT

While much of the focus on Social Security goes to benefits paid or taxes raised, the solution may lie in reviving an old idea: mandatory individual retirement savings accounts.

Ashley Madison has become a profitable affair

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 14:16:13 GMT

There's a lone genius — possibly evil and certainly entrepreneurial — behind Ashley Madison. His name is Noel Biderman, and he's the chief executive officer of Avid Life Media, based in Toronto. "Monogamy, in my opinion, is a failed experiment," he declares.

Hungry for a solution to rising food prices

Mon, 21 Feb 2011 17:22:02 GMT

(image) "The price hike is already pushing millions of people into poverty and putting stress on the most vulnerable, who spend more than half of their income on food," says World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

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Companies are spending on Super Bowl again

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 18:26:48 GMT

(image) Following a three-year period when even the legendary Playboy Enterprises Super Bowl parties fell victim to belt-tightening, companies are staging an entertainment comeback.

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For-profit college grads also earn a life of debt

Tue, 11 Jan 2011 13:17:39 GMT

(image) Students seeking to move up in life by getting a degree from a for-profit college are being trapped in a growing underclass of education debtors.

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How Manheim Steamroller rules Christmas

Tue, 21 Dec 2010 19:06:47 GMT

(image) As founder and former front man of the group Mannheim Steamroller, Chip Davis has created a miniature corporate juggernaut.

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The rapidly expanding world of kosher food

Sun, 19 Dec 2010 18:01:51 GMT

(image) Kosher was once a set of rules that Jews observed primarily in the home. Now the kosher retail market represents upwards of $13 billion in annual sales.

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Companies out to cut down on sick-day fraud

Fri, 10 Dec 2010 15:56:34 GMT

(image) Playing hooky without getting caught  — immortalized in the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" — used to be an adolescent rite of passage. Now, in light of a large number of people calling out "sick," companies are calling in the detectives.

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Forget hemlines, ties may be the new indicator

Sun, 5 Dec 2010 18:01:33 GMT

(image) Retailers say they're seeing more men in their stores this year. And so far, those men are spending more than women.

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The best U.S. business schools 2010

Sun, 14 Nov 2010 18:20:14 GMT

(image) MBA grads are finding the job search more arduous and, once they get hired, falling starting salaries, according to Bloomberg Businessweek's annual survey of full-time business school programs.

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Reefer sadness for pot farmers

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 17:10:45 GMT

(image) Should California voters approve Prop 19 that calls for the legalization of marijuana and the personal cultivation of the plants, the industry would experience "a real change," one expert predicts.

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End Bailouts -- No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

Wed, 27 Oct 2010 00:00:00 GMT

It's hard to imagine, but it looks like the beleaguered U.S. housing market faces further travails. And that means the financial system could be entering another perilous phase, especially since the economy continues to sputter. But this time around the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve should send a clear message up front to the top brass at big financial firms: no more bailouts.

‘Dutch Sandwich’ saves Google billions in taxes

Fri, 22 Oct 2010 13:01:26 GMT

To reduce its overseas tax bill, Google uses a complicated legal structure that has saved it $3.1 billion since 2007 and kept its overseas tax rate to 2.4%.

Business' arm-length embrace of the Tea Party

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 11:37:24 GMT

(image) For business leaders who prize pragmatism and stability, sometimes the Tea Party's approach is all too much.

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Obama wants a detente with business leaders

Sun, 10 Oct 2010 17:21:28 GMT

(image) Democrats close to the Administration say the White House wants to make amends and will make its relationship with business a priority after the midterm elections.

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Why the foreclosure mess could last for years

Fri, 8 Oct 2010 18:44:08 GMT

(image) The dimensions of the foreclosure crisis keep expanding.

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How Facebook sells your friends

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 11:28:01 GMT

(image) Facebook plans to leverage its 550 million users into the greatest advertising juggernaut since Google. And that’s still huge.

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New owners hope to cash in on Pabst's cachet

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 11:29:46 GMT

For the jet-setting owners of the spontaneously hip beer, the hardest thing may be leaving the brand alone.

Netflix: Premium cable's worst nightmare

Mon, 20 Sep 2010 18:28:38 GMT

Well established as a mail-order movie-rental service, Netflix is now perfectly placed in the burgeoning business of online delivery.

BusinessWeek: Why office romance is on the wane

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 21:18:38 GMT

Figures show more and more employees are lodging complaints over the distracting nature of romantic affairs among co-workers as a means of improving their own job security. And you haven't heard the half of it.

The man who makes your iPhone

Sun, 12 Sep 2010 16:54:22 GMT

(image) Foxconn founder Terry Gou might be regarded as a Henry Ford if only a dozen of his workers hadn't killed themselves. An exclusive look inside a postmodern industrial empire.

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Businesses waking up to benefits of napping

Mon, 6 Sep 2010 18:16:51 GMT

From Thomas Edison and Winston Churchill to Bill Clinton and George Costanza, the nap has had many famous champions. And with good reason.

How Apple plays the pricing game

Mon, 6 Sep 2010 16:53:38 GMT

Apple is a master of using pricing decoys, reference prices, bundling and obscurity to make you think its shiny aluminum toys are a good deal. These methods could help your business follow in the tech company's pricing footsteps.

Billionaire Thomas Kaplan is gold’s evangelist

Sun, 29 Aug 2010 17:29:53 GMT

(image) With gold a fashionable hedge against turbulent times, one billionaire is doing everything he can to get his hands on the actual stuff.

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The recipe for tough times? Strike it rich

Tue, 24 Aug 2010 11:47:27 GMT

At a time when even those willing to work cannot find jobs, it is tempting to dream of easy ways to make money — quickly and with minimal effort

AT&T, Angie's list take cues from Groupon

Fri, 20 Aug 2010 16:13:15 GMT

Spurred by the success of Groupon, companies from AT&T to Angie's List are moving into the world of the daily deal, pushed by e-mail.

Williams-Sonoma needs to tweak its recipe

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 16:51:57 GMT

(image) When Laura J. Alber was named Williams-Sonoma CEO in January, she got some advice from the company's founder, Charles E. "Chuck" Williams: "Don't change it. Make it better."

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Making a profit on soldiers' death benefits

Mon, 9 Aug 2010 21:54:45 GMT

(image) Insurance companies are coming under fire for holding back billions of dollars in death benefits and paying only a modest interest to beneficiaries.

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The wisdom and folly of the Bush tax cuts

Sun, 8 Aug 2010 16:49:12 GMT

The Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 embodied both wisdom and folly. Washington lowered taxes while raising spending—an unsustainable combination in the long run.

U.S. consumers embrace the new abnormal

Tue, 3 Aug 2010 11:33:42 GMT

(image) Americans are broke and depressed — and also swilling $3 lattes and waiting in line for iPhones. Welcome to the schizophrenic economy.

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America's laziest state? Louisiana

Mon, 26 Jul 2010 11:42:26 GMT

(image) When it comes to kicking back, the Pelican State reigns supreme.

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Latest victim of recession: The office fridge

Mon, 19 Jul 2010 12:01:54 GMT

(image) With 70 percent of workers eating lunch at their desks, the office fridge has become the recession's latest victim.

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Scams: A sucker retires every minute

Mon, 19 Jul 2010 11:46:42 GMT

More seniors than ever are being lured into investment schemes that are unsuitable for people of their age or are outright swindles.

Gates' latest mission: fixing America's schools

Sat, 17 Jul 2010 15:53:48 GMT

(image) The last thing you'd expect from an organization headed by Bill Gates is a math mistake. Yet Gates Foundation critics argue that its education strategy is based on a misreading of the data.

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Washington is nation's strongest job market

Thu, 15 Jul 2010 00:37:33 GMT

(image) Where is hiring strongest? Washington has shown the strongest overall employment outlook, followed by San Antonio and Greenville, S.C. The worst? Las Vegas, Reno, Nev., and Detroit.

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Ten signs you work in a fear-based workplace

Tue, 13 Jul 2010 12:30:27 GMT

"Talk to my boss?" my friend exclaimed. "Are you nuts? I tell my boss exactly what he wants to hear. People who tell my boss what he doesn't want to hear are people who get laid off."

BP's Big Spill: The lost summer

Mon, 12 Jul 2010 18:46:25 GMT

(image) Fear of more oil—federal maps show oil menacing the shore from Terrebonne Parish, La., to Fort Walton Beach, Fla.—is putting a dent in the Gulf's $100 billion annual tourism industry.

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Karachi tops list of cheapest cities for Americans

Wed, 7 Jul 2010 11:39:21 GMT

Karachi has the world's lowest cost of living for expatriates, according to a new survey by global human resources firm Mercer.

More workers use the beach as their office

Mon, 5 Jul 2010 18:37:07 GMT

While you're saving your two weeks of vacation to hit the sand, some workers are getting paid to be there.

Vancouver is in denial over its housing bubble

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 11:53:07 GMT

To a visitor, it can seem as if Vancouver's main industry is real estate, like it used to seem in Las Vegas or Orange County.

The LeBron dilemma: Managing a superstar

Tue, 22 Jun 2010 11:32:31 GMT

(image) The hardest problems in business are the ones that money alone can't solve.

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Behind the demand for Apple’s new iPhone

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 20:12:17 GMT

(image) A new gadget from Apple is typically cause for a sales jolt, but demand for the latest redesign of the company's popular iPhone has been off the charts.

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Groupon customers overwhelm businesses

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 17:45:30 GMT

Groupon's popularity could backfire if it doesn't help small business clients deal with customer surges from its promotions.

How Priceline rebuilt itself from dot-com rubble

Fri, 18 Jun 2010 16:22:52 GMT

Not so very long ago, found itself unceremoniously grouped into the pantheon of dot-bombdom.