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The Mailbag for May 20, 2005

| May 20, 2005
Our economics editor Chris Farrell answers more of your burning money questions. This week: advice on picking an interest only mortgage, deciding between renting versus buying, choosing a selective university, and selling off assets.
Posted In: Investing, Savings

Latino lattes

| May 20, 2005
Anywhere these days that you CAN'T get a venti half-caf non-fat no-foam no-whip caramel latte? Not for all the tea in China. Really. In fact Starbucks announced today that it's counting on the land of the leaf to eventually become its second-biggest market after this country. Right now the chain has 120 stores there. Coffee houses world-'round have tried to replicate Starbucks' success. Hasn't happened yet. But in Phoenix some entrepreneurs are banking on a hybrid: Start with a traditional Mexican bakery called a panaderia... Abigail Beshkin has the rest.
Posted In: Canada

TV up-fronts

| May 20, 2005
If you went looking for TV stars in Hollywood this week you wouldn't have found them. The Desperate Housewives and just about everybody else who is anybody in television were in New York for the annual showbiz show-and-tell known as the "up-fronts." This is the week when the networks trot out their fall lineups. But even more important -- it's their opportunity to sell advertisers on the new series they claim will be the next, well, Desperate Housewives. Aaron Barnhart covers TV for the Kansas City Star, he has the story.

Gaza cesspool

| May 20, 2005
As Israel prepares to pull out of Gaza this summer, Palestinians are hoping international donors will step in to help them get back on their feet. Millions of dollars stayed in coffers during the last four years of conflict. That's money that could go toward things like revamping the electrical grid and building a desalination plant. But before greenlighting those projects, some donors have posed a challenge to the Palestinians and Israelis. Work together to fix a particularly odiferous problem, and then get back to us. From Gaza, Nancy Updike has the story.
Posted In: Canada

The "Buzzword": Commerce Clause

| May 20, 2005
Life is hard enough without having to decipher everything. Each week, Sound Money brings you a word or a phrase that has bubbled to the top of the news. For instance - "COMMERCE CLAUSE." You hear it, you see it, but do you really know it?

No Money Down or Just "No Money?"

| May 20, 2005
We've all seen the late night ads on television: "With little or no money down, you can make a killing in the real estate market!" <i>Money Magazine's</i> Ellen Stark takes us inside the world of "no money down" mania.
Posted In: Investing

TV ads upfront

| May 20, 2005
TV executives are meeting in New York this week to try to generate billions of dollars in ad sales. It's what's called the upfront market, where networks sell most of their commercial time. Problem is people are watching fewer ads these days, thanks to digital recorders like TiVo that let them just fast forward on by. From Chicago, Jonathan Menjivar reports on what the advertising industry is doing about it.

Keeping track of the money

| May 20, 2005
Today on our series &quot;Think Global&quot;, the folks with the green eyeshades. With a global economy come goods, services, and money moving across borders. Keeping track of that money is maybe the most basic requirement accountants have. And Tom Jones, the Vice Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board, says keeping track of the money...is ALL ABOUT money.
Posted In: Canada

Star Wars: the day after

| May 20, 2005
There are two kinds of people: those who stood in line to see a midnight show of Star Wars, and the rest of us. Those hard core fans amounted to $16 million for the nation's box offices. Hollywood's got its hopes pinned on the film. We ask Michael Speier of Variety to hum a few bars.

SEC settlements

| May 19, 2005
Today, three hedge funds agreed to pay a total of $2.4 million worth of fines. The SEC said the hedge funds were manipulating share prices through short-selling. Earlier this month, cable company Adelphia agreed to pay over $700 million to settle fraud charges. And in the past several years, a number of investment banks and mutual funds have reached big-time settlements with regulators over questionable business practices. Jim Cox teaches securities law at Duke University, he explains why the SEC seems to settle cases so often.
Posted In: Wall Street

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