And today's last word in business is: Bidding War.
The real estate market has been heating up in some popular locations - like the Hamptons.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And this week, two Wall Street types competed for a narrow lot bordering both of their properties there. And when we say narrow, the strip of land is almost 1,900 feet long - 1900 feet long and one foot wide.
Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the International Olympic Committee will announce the host of the 2020 Summer Games. The committee is choosing from among Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo. The contenders all have strong selling points, but each also has serious issues clouding its bid.
There is something new and different for home mortgages: Jumbo loans are being made at lower interest rates than traditional home loans. That's kind of like a first class airplane ticket being cheaper than riding in coach.
At first this seems crazy. For as long as anybody can remember, homeowners have had to pay a premium to get jumbo loans. That's because they're not guaranteed by the federal government. If they're not guaranteed, they're riskier, so they cost more in interest payments.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 11:52 am
Here's a bit of news that might make you drop that chicken nugget midbite.
Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.
A quick scan of Craigslist reveals a curious market for not just smartphones and computers but the empty packaging of smartphones and computers. On my local Craigslist, a MacBook Pro box — "box only," as the sales pitches read — goes for $19. A MacBook Air box will cost you $15. And a Samsung Galaxy S4 box sells for $10.
BP is fighting the settlement it agreed to last summer that let the oil company avoid thousands of potential lawsuits over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Just after the spill, when oil was still gushing into the Gulf, BP touted the $20 billion it set aside for claims. But now it says the claim process is corrupt and is hoping a court will overturn the settlement that established the claims fund.
Ending the claims would mean stopping a well-oiled machine.
Suntory's 30-year-old Hibiki whiskey took home the top award at the International Spirits Challenge in 2003. This unexpected triumph was Japanese whiskey's big coming-out party on the global spirits stage.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:31 pm
Scotland is the de facto king of whisky. But now an unlikely challenger — Japan — is making a name for its whiskey far beyond its borders. Unfortunately for Americans, this highly coveted Japanese whiskey is very hard to come by.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 4:12 pm
The National Security Agency has the keys to most Internet encryption methods and it has gotten them by using supercomputers to break them and by enlisting the help of private IT companies, The New York Times and The Guardian are reporting.
A waiter serves patrons at Tony's Restaurant, part of the Casablanca Hotel in New York's Times Square. The custom at some restaurants of automatic gratuities for larger parties might change because of an IRS rule change.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:51 pm
Gratuity included? A new IRS rule could end, or at least curtail, the practice.
The Internal Revenue Service will soon begin classifying automatic gratuities as service charges that are taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll tax withholding. Currently, they're considered tips, and it's up to the wait staff to report them as income.
With its meticulous criminal craftsmen, cheap labor and, by some accounts, less effective law enforcement, Peru has in the past two years overtaken Colombia as the No. 1 source of counterfeit U.S. dollars, says the U.S. Secret Service, protector of the world's most widely traded currency. ...