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February 25, 2009

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Feb 25,2009
You can't spend rhetoric. Especially empty rhetoric. President Obama was eloquent trying to sell his economic stimulus program to the American public in Elkhart, Ind., and Fort Myers, Fla., last week. And one homeless woman he met eventually did find lodging — but since that hour, hundreds more families have lost their homes. Meanwhile, during congressional hearings last week, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner violated the first rule of public speaking: If you don't have anything ... [full story]
1277 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: I have a big loss in NYSE Euronext (aka New York Stock Exchange) and I'm tempted to sell it to take a $4,000 loss. But I heard that John Thain could rejoin the company. When he took it over, the stock did real well, going as high as $84. I didn't sell because I liked Thain and because he told a friend of mine that it would go above $100 and then ... [full story]
1875 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: How are U.S. government bonds rated on the world market? My broker says they are not rated "buy," but carry an "implied Triple-A rating" because of our ability to repay the debt. With that debt increasing, are U.S. Treasury bonds still comparable to a Triple-A Moody's or Standard and Poor's rating? If you could point one finger at one person who is responsible for this mess, who would it be? My broker ... [full story]
2042 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: In July, when it was selling at $550 a share I asked you about Google. You said not to buy it. But I bought 50 shares at $492 anyway. Also against your advice, I bought 900 shares of Microsoft at $27. Both stocks closed lower than my purchase price on the day I bought them. I guess that was a bad omen, because I'm down nearly 20 points, or $10,000, on Google. ... [full story]
1930 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Dear Mr. Berko: My parents lost all their retirement nest egg of $1.8 million to Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. But suing him would obviously be fruitless because he has no assets. I did read, however, that some investors are suing a bank that was custodian for much of Madoff's money called HSBC. (What do those initials stand for?) Even though HSBC was just a custodian, a lawyer we talked to said the bank failed to ... [full story]
3315 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Ocean fish are the last wild creatures that people hunt on a large scale. We used to think of the ocean's bounty as endless. Recently, we have discovered its limits. Between 1950 and 1994, ocean fishermen increased their catch by 400 percent by doubling the number of boats they used and using more effective fishing gear, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch. In 1989, the world's catch leveled off at about 82 million metric ... [full story]
2604 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
In The 2007 Callaway Junior World Golf Championships, South African Dylan Frittelli won the Boys 15-17 Division with an impressive performance on the demanding South Course at Torrey Pines. He shot 70-70-69-74 to blow away the field and win by five shots over the next-best golfer, Danny Lee. Ryo Ishikawa, a 15-year-old from Japan, was in the field that week, but hardly was a factor, other than creating a media frenzy. The so-called "Bashful Prince" ... [full story]
1420 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Children love to read about friendship woes and triumphs. These new books showcase the importance peers have in the lives of all kids. "Hello, My Name is Bob" by Linas Alsenas; Scholastic Press; 32 pages; $16.99.   Bob, a mellow bear who likes to sit alone in empty parking lots, is quiet. Jack is the opposite: a surfing, dancing, bright color-wearing panda bear. It seems implausible that the pair could be friends, and young children may ... [full story]
3148 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Will the extraordinary success of "Slumdog Millionaire," whose vibrant soundtrack alone accounts for three of the hit film's 10 Oscar nominations, help make the typical American pop listener more receptive to Indian music in general and the country's Bollywood movie music specifically?   The answer, several experts say, remains to be seen. But there seems to be general agreement that the music by A R Rahman in "Slumdog Millionaire" — which has one Oscar nomination for ... [full story]
1860 times read - No comment posted

Feb 25,2009
Log homes, firmly ingrained in our nation's history, are still very popular with today's buyers — particularly with those seeking a second or vacation home. The most famous of all log cabins is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. The spotlight is on that tiny cabin more than ever this year, as we observe the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. That cabin had only one room, one door, one window with no glass in it, and a ... [full story]
5038 times read - No comment posted

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