Archive for Sunday, March 30, 2003

Briefcase

March 30, 2003

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Worker productivity dips during March madness

Do you love that annual spring ritual of college basketball, March madness?

You and your ilk may be contributing to $1.4 billion in lost worker productivity, according to a good-humored research exercise by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The company estimated that if each of the 36.6 million American workers with a college degree spent 10 minutes talking about the teams daily -- the tournament lasts 15 days -- that would amount to $9.3 million per minute, based on an average national wage of $15.38.

None of which is scientific or particularly useful to anyone, save for a chuckle.

Survey: Economy taking toll on credit card debtors

The rough economy is playing havoc with credit card payments for those who carry balances, according to the monthly Cambridge Consumer Credit Index.

Six percent of debtors aren't paying on their cards and 40 percent are paying only the minimum or slightly more. Some 44 percent of the respondents said they are incurring debt because they don't have funds to pay for purchases in full, while 56 percent are adding debt but are confident they can pay the full bill.

The survey involved 1,000 households selected by random telephone dialing last month.

Motley Fool: Name that company

Born 100 years ago, I'm the world's second-largest automaker, employing a third of a million people on six continents. Businesses and brands I own include Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercury, Volvo and Hertz car rentals. I was an assembly line pioneer, and by producing vehicles inexpensively, I made them more affordable to the masses. Though I've had labor problems over the years, in 1914, my founder was a progressive employer, paying workers a then-unheard-of $5 per day. By 1915, I'd made a million cars. In 1959, I created what has become the largest auto leasing company. Who am I?

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