Saturday, April 7, 2012

Talking points for 4/7/12

Outstanding student-loan debt surpassed $1 trillion late last year, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Data from the New York Fed suggests that as many as one in four student borrowers who have begun repaying their debts is behind on payments.
The Wall Street Journal

After an adviser to Mitt Romney suggested that the candidate’s general election campaign could start afresh after the primary—“almost like an Etch A Sketch”—Amazon sales for the toy soared more than 2,000 percent and the stock price of its maker, Ohio Art Co., more than doubled.

BlackBerry has been dethroned on its home turf for the first time. Research in Motion, the Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of the BlackBerry, shipped 2.08 million of its smartphones last year in Canada, compared with 2.85 million iPhones for Apple.

Movie receipts in the U.S. and Canada declined last year, but growth abroad pushed the global tally into positive territory. Movie ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada declined 4 percent, to $10.2 billion, in 2011, but growth elsewhere—particularly in China, where sales increased 35 percent—pushed global film receipts up 3 percent, to $32.6 billion.
The Wall Street Journal

The top 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers reaped 93 percent of the $288 billion in new income created in the course of 2010. Those wealthier taxpayers saw their average income increase by 11.6 percent that year, while the remaining 99 percent received an average of $80 more in annual pay per person than they had the previous year.
The New York Times

Prison tips for Wall St. dummies
When Wall Street analysts get caught passing along insider-trading tips, they often seek “tips of another kind—about getting along in federal prison,” said Michael Rothfeld in The Wall Street Journal. That’s led to a booming “prison-prep industry,” where white-collar criminals can pay for lessons on “coping with strip searches and getting along with a tattooed cellmate named Bubba.” Guides like Patrick Boyce, a former stockbroker who served 11 months for fraud, help slammer-bound clients master prison lingo (a “cheese eater” is an informant), learn new currency markets (stamps and canned fish can be traded), and, most important, understand what not to do. They tell prisoners to always say “excuse me” and to never butt into conversations. And there’s this lesson from “Gator,” Boyce’s 400-pound former cell mate: “Don’t ever sit on another man’s bunk.”

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