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Loose Change

SAY WHAT?: As companies cut workers to help them weather rough economic times, they're using all sorts of euphemisms to deliver the bad news. And Cisco Systems spokesman Tom Galvin may have coined a new one: "normal involuntary attrition." He wouldn't elaborate on what the term means.

LAYOFF ALTERNATIVE: Cut inventory, not employees, says the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources. The Galesburg, Ill., non-profit suggests giving excess inventory to charity for tax deductions instead of cutting jobs to reduce costs.

GUNS AND MONEY: North Country Bank and Trust in Traverse City, Mich., offers customers an alternative to traditional interest payments on 20-year CDs: pricey merchandise including a selection of Weatherby rifles and shotguns. Background checks are run before a gun is handed over.

AIR TRAVEL TAKES OFF: The crowded skies are likely to get more crowded. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that the number of domestic passengers on major U.S. airlines will increase 50 percent by 2012, to 927.4-million.

$9.8-BILLION: That was the cost to employers and insurers in 1998 of workplace injuries caused by excessive lifting, pulling and carrying, according to Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

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