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Record highs stock market
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Fed to keep interest rates low as savers experience continued woe

By on Sep 18, 2014

Well, Wall Street certainly appreciated news from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday that the central bank would refrain from changing its near zero-interest rate policy for a ‘considerable time.’   As the Wall Street Journal reports the Dow Jones industrial average chalked up another record close at 17,156.85. on Wednesday and 17,265.99 Thursday. Investors like low […]

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Tipping can be arbitrary and in some cases discriminatory.
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Tipping campaign from Marriott spotlights low-paid hospitality industry

From the “seemed like a good idea at the time” department:  Marriott International’s launch this week of a campaign to encourage the tipping of hotel housekeepers landed like a lead balloon, and has a number of angles that business writers can localize to take advantage of the buzz. Marriott on Monday said it has partnered […]

Scotch whisky plays a key role in Scotland's independence vote
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Scotch whisky plays a key role in Scotland’s independence vote

For business writers, enlightening readers about the local ramifications of global events is interesting and rewarding.  And this week,  with all eyes on Scotland, you might take a few moments to show your audience how happenings across the pond might ripple back toward them. Scotland, a member of the United Kingdom, is allowing citizens to […]

Clean solar concentrator
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Solar Power: Can the blazing demand for it be sustained?

Solar Power:  Sometimes a theme won’t take no for an answer; it keeps bubbling up here and there demanding to be recognized. A couple of weeks ago, a tradesman recommended a solar-powered charger for one of my electric-powered household gadgets.  Then I came across this story about solar-powered smartphone-charging park benches.  A few blocks down […]

Pile of old computers
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New gadgets mean more demands for smart e-waste recycling

Last week’s news that Apple will be launching a new iPhone 6 and an iPhone watch — as well as the less-festive flash that poor Amazon has had to cut the price of its sluggish selling Fire mobile phone to 99 cents (from about $200) — conjured up visions of mountains of older models tossed […]

Alibaba orange shopping bags. The company has almost single-handedly turned China into the world’s second-largest e-commerce market. Photo: Bloomberg
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Alibaba’s mega-IPO highlights evolving e-commerce scene

Talk about “party like it’s 1999.”   The upcoming IPO from e-commerce giant Alibaba is going to smash records for initial public offerings at an already sold-out $21.1 billion, according to Reuters, and it brings back memories of the good old days when stock buyers were clamoring for shares of other Internet sellers like Amazon, eBay, […]

Halloween 2014: There's no escaping the holiday's creep
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Halloween 2014: There’s no escaping the holiday’s creep

OK, even for a lover of seasonal biz stories, Halloween stories the first week in September are a bit of a stretch. Or rather, they were.  But this year, Halloween’s orange-and-black is the new … Labor Day story, apparently. If you don’t find an angle and jump on it soon, you might be playing catch-up with […]

Joan Rivers photo in hands of a fan
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Joan Rivers’ passing spotlights surgical clinics, memorabilia sales

You know you’re a business writer when word of someone’s death spurs you to thinking about the economic impact of that permanent farewell.   The thought flitted across my mind the other day on word that comedienne Joan Rivers had died at age 81, and apparently I was not alone.  An Examiner.com story says “Ghoulish? Joan […]

Quicktips: From pampering people and pets to scams and surcharges
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Quicktips: From pampering people and pets to scams and surcharges

Another raft of ideas jotted on scrap paper or e-mailed to myself are in danger of sailing off into the horizon, so welcome to another installment of Quicktips, the place we salvage viable story pegs at risk of becoming forgotten flotsom. Hotel fees. In our increasing a la carte economy, hotel fees are the latest […]