Money Matters - Simplified


Tech startups flush: Is a pop coming?

San Francisco -- A steady increase in U.S. venture capital funds spent on technical start-ups has caused concern of a second boom and bust, industry analysts said.

"I'm not saying Quora, Foursquare, Square aren't eventually worth a lot of money, but the price to pay to get into those games is kind of amazing -- $50 to $80 million?" said Dave McClure, a founding partner of venture fund 500 Startups, The New York Times reported Saturday.

McClure was reflecting on some of the big deals being made to jump in early at companies like Yammer, a company that developed a Twitter-like program for businesses and raised $25 million for expansion recently.

Wrigley's football layout prompts concerns

Chicago -- Plans for the first college football game in 87 years at Chicago's Wrigley Field has prompted safety concerns, Sports Illustrated reported Monday.

The revered home of the Chicago Cubs is being readied for a Saturday game between Northwestern and Illinois, the annual duel for the Land of Lincoln Trophy -- the first college football contest at the site since 1938.

But one end zone will be wedged up against Wrigley's brick right-field wall, which has raised some eyebrows, SI said.

"I might need to go look at that," Northwestern receiver Demetrius Fields said. "Hopefully, it's not like arena ball, where you run into the boards on the side."

U.S. lists 'concern' for basking sharks

Washington -- A U.S. agency says it is designating the eastern North Pacific basking shark a "species of concern" due to a dramatic decline in its population.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service says the shark has been overfished and its population has apparently not responded to conservation measures implemented to address fishing pressure, a NOAA release said Wednesday.

Basking sharks are filter feeders most commonly found in temperate coastal waters where plankton, their main food source, is concentrated.

The eastern North Pacific population of the sharks is thought to be a single group that migrates seasonally along the West Coast from Canada to Central California, NOAA says.

Yen's rise causes concern in Japan

Tokyo -- Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Thursday that the escalating value of the yen against the U.S. dollar had become a cause for concern.

Kan, while on vacation, spoke on the telephone to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, Kyodo News reported. During the conversation, Kan said the yen's appreciation was "too rapid," a government official said.

Japan's Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs Rintaro Tamaki said Thursday that "financial market conditions at home and abroad" were part of a discussion early in the day with Bank of Japan Executive Director Hiroshi Nakaso, the newspaper said.

Neither Kan nor Tamaki indicated Japan would enter the currency market in an attempt to devalue the yen.

DiCaprio's beer-bottle attacker hit with restraining order

A Canadian woman accused of slashing actor Leonardo DiCaprio's face with a broken beer bottle at a party in 2005 has been given a restraining order which requires her to stay at least 500 yards away from the actor, according to several published reports.