Airline customers are cashing in more frequent-flier awards this year, looking to avoid higher fares and believing that miles just aren't worth the same anymore. "The glamor of the frequent-flier award has faded," says Jay Sorensen, an airline consultant. "People are realizing that using miles to go to Hawaii is a difficult objective."
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and New York's attorney general said they would probe an obscure and unregulated corner of the stock market linked to the losses and collapse of confidence dragging down financial institutions. They are focused on the trade of credit default swaps, contracts that offer insurance for lenders worried about a borrower's ability to repay.
Newspaper publishers should consider consolidating and outsourcing news operations - even overseas - to save money as revenues shrink, the head of a major U.S. newspaper company said. "In today's world, whether your desk is down the hall or around the world, from a computer standpoint, it doesn't matter," MediaNews Group Inc. CEO Dean Singleton, who also serves as chairman of the board of the Associated Press, said after a speech to the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.
Fitch Ratingssaid ratings downgrades to credit card asset-backed securities could increase as lending margins narrow while defaults continue to climb. Credit card companies are facing a pinch as interest rate spreads between their borrowing costs and those charged to customers shrink. At the same time, more customers are missing payments.
"Friedman's over. The current crisis dramatizes the limitations of his positions."
BRUCE LINCOLN, University of Chicago professor. Some professors and students at the university oppose the naming of a new institute after Friedman, saying the association with the economist's hands-off prescriptions is troubling amid the financial meltdown.
TOTAL U.S. PUBLIC DEBT OUTSTANDING, as of Friday
THE BOTTOM LINE: GM tells union officials at two factories that it will not allow any more unscheduled overtime ... Conference Board says its monthly forecast of future economic activity rose 0.3 percent, better than expected ... Toymakers Mattel and Hasbro say price increases are helping to offset rising costs