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The Numbers for Friday, October 18: Taxing Mealtime

5%

The tax rate the Mexican government might implement on packaged food that contains 275 or more calories per 100 gram serving. Mexico hopes to curb the country's growing obesity and diabetes rates. The proposed tax could be the broadest move to control diets in the world, but might ruffle feathers with big food companies in the country. Earlier this year, Mexico surpassed the United States for the title of fattest country in the world according to health research organizations. (The Wall Street Journal)

$1.3 million

The amount of lost revenue in payroll taxes the state of Connecticut estimates it lost, due to businesses classifying their employees as independent contractors to avoid insurance, taxes, fair wages and overtime. States across the country are cracking down on companies mislabeling workers to cut costs. Employees are sometimes forced with layoffs if they don't file as independent contractors, and lose out on benefits like unemployment insurance. (Bloomberg)

$30

The cost of a day pass for work space at Oficio, a co-working company in Boston. Shared spaces offer workers an office remote from their actual employers, saving the inconvenience of a long commute. Within the next three years, it’s estimated that almost 40 percent of the global workforce will work remotely. (Marketplace)


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Oct 18, 2013

'It's like the city came back to life': D.C., a day later

Oct 18, 2013
What the city sounds like with its workers back to work.
Posted In: government shutdown 2013

6 New Year's resolutions the next shutdown could break

Oct 17, 2013
The government shutdown reminded us that there are some federal programs that we'll miss if they go away again.
Posted In: debt ceiling, government shutdown 2013

5 other things reopening now

Oct 17, 2013
The government shutdown is finally over, but it wasn't the only thing reopening today.
Posted In: reopening

The Numbers for Thursday, October 17: Big, big data

27 %

The percentage of financial institutions that a Carnegie Mellon University study found were appearing to blatantly violate regulations on sharing consumer's personal data. According to the study, banks like Bank of America, Citibank, Capitol One, Chase, Discover and HSBC are sharing banking and credit card customer's data with unaffiliated outside companies, without explaining to customers how to opt out. Some smaller institutions are even breaking the law by having no opt out at all. (Forbes)

60,000

The number of traffic circles or "roundabouts" that grace streets around the world, double the number that existed 15 years ago. Transport research agencies say the growing popularity is due to the traffic system's safety and traffic flow advantages. More are popping up in the U.S. as well, and New York's own Columbus Circle just won "Best Roundabout in the World, 2013." (Marketplace)

$1 million

The most conservative estimates of mobile game maker King's daily revenues. The company behind the popular game "Candy Crush" is the latest European tech firm to strike it rich in the mobile gaming scene. Analysts say King succeeded where others have failed because the company gets its millions to spend cash on their games as well as play them. Players addicted to King's games will often pay for extra lives and will take to social media to talk about the game. (Reuters)


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Oct 17, 2013

Debt deal means D.C. residents can start collecting lottery winnings again

Oct 16, 2013
Washington's lottery has stopped making payments because of the government shutdown.
Posted In: government shutdown 2013, lottery

The Numbers for Wednesday, October 16: Bits, nuts, and leaves

$20,000

The price some groups are paying for high-powered computers they are using to "mine" bitcoins. The value of digital currency, used to anonymously purchase online goods ranging from electronics to illegal drugs, has surged to about $135, 10 times their value a year ago. New bitcoins are only created and released digitally by using powerful computers to solve complex software problems. Groups like the Korb & Co. Investments Mining Fund are pooling as much as $100,000 to invest in the machines, betting that currency's value will continue to rise. Computer hardware manufacturers, meanwhile, are more than happy to meet the demand. (Bloomberg)

2,000

The number of bags of peanuts Northwestern University's Ryan Field sells at a typical football game. This week, however, the stadium will forgo those sales as well as go through the trouble of hosing down seats to remove any lingering peanut residue in a bid to include fans who suffer from peanut allergies. Nut-free game days and peanut-less airline flights are becoming more common, which could spell trouble for the peanut industry. (Marketplace)

$1 billion

The amount of tourism dollars the Wisconsin Department of Tourism estimates is brought in to the state just from tourists visiting in the Fall to see the changing colors of the season. With climate change looming on the horizon, though, some are concerned those colors might not be the same in the future. (Marketplace)


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Oct 16, 2013

A bill is not a bond is not a note

Oct 15, 2013
Treasuries come in all ages and levels of maturity.
Posted In: Treasuries

A debt-ceiling roadmap to ruin?

Oct 15, 2013
The paydays that could prompt a government default if a debt-ceiling deal collapses.
Posted In: debt ceiling, U.S. Treasury, default, Social Security

The Numbers for October 15: Money in unusual places

$1,000

The amount one woman from Atlanta was asking for when selling her hair online. Her posting on buyandsellhair.com had responses within minutes. More Americans are turning to selling parts of their bodies, like hair, eggs, and breast milk, in order to make ends meet as the economic recovery continues to lag. (Bloomberg)

20%

The unemployment rate in Iran after years of harsh economic sanctions from an international community that wants the country to negotiate on its nuclear program. Representatives from the U.S. and Iran, along with officials from the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, and China, will meet today in Geneva to do just that. Meanwhile, the average Iranian is feeling the impact, as inflation is rising. Food prices in some cases have quadrupled over the past five years. (Marketplace)

$16 billion

The revenue that online retailers like Amazon currently bring in from just the two percent of American households who buy goods like paper towels over the web. Amazon hopes to increase both those numbers by partnering with household products giant Procter & Gamble to ramp up efficiency in shipping the staple goods to consumers. If successful, the move could disrupt traditional companies like Walmart with lower prices. (Yahoo Finance)


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Oct 15, 2013

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