Money Matters - Simplified


Increase in fuel prices “unavoidable”--Jaipal Reddy

Despite, an outrage among the general public and strong reactions from opposing political parties about the soaring fuel prices, a hike is imminent, oil minister S Jaipal Reddy said on Tuesday.

Obama lauds Jobs' success as good example of American dream

President Barack Obama has selected Apple’s Steve Jobs as a good example of someone who strives hard to achieve the American dream with the help of his revolutionary products and in the process earns his wealth.

Padres sign pitcher Harang to 1-year deal

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- The San Diego Padres have signed free-agent pitcher Aaron Harang to a one-year contract, the team said Monday at the baseball winter meetings in Florida.

The Padres didn't reveal the financial terms of the deal, but did say it included a mutual option for 2012.

The right-handed Harang, 32, has played parts of eight seasons for the Cincinnati Reds. Last year he compiled a 6-7 record with a 5.32 earned run average in 22 games, 20 of them starts.

He missed a portion of the 2010 season with lower back spasms.

Harang is a San Diego native who was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1999 and sent to Oakland before joining the Reds in July 2003. He sports an 81-87 record with a 4.33 ERA in 240 career games.

Brewers acquire Marcum from Blue Jays

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- The Toronto Blue Jays shipped starting pitcher Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee Monday during baseball's winter meetings in Florida, the teams said.

In exchange, the Blue Jays received Canadian-born minor league infielder Brett Lawrie from the Brewers.

Marcum rebounded from elbow surgery with a successful 2010 season, during which he went 13-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 31 starts after missing all of the preceding year.

The 29-year-old right-hander compiled a career record of 37-25 with a 3.85 ERA in 120 games over five years with Toronto, with 95 starts.

Auburn, Oregon end 1-2 in final BCS poll

Irving, Texas -- An Oregon-Auburn match-up for the college football national title became official Sunday when the final Bowl Championship Series rankings were released.

Auburn (13-0) and Oregon (12-0) finished 1-2 as expected in the rankings, finalizing their meeting in the Jan. 10 BCS title game in Glendale, Ariz.

Auburn (.9866) got the top spot thanks to its 56-17 pounding of South Carolina in the SEC championship game Saturday, giving the Tigers a BCS rating of .9866.

Oregon (.9720) ended with the second spot after finishing undefeated and gaining the outright Pac-10 championship with 37-20 victory over Oregon State.

Yanks continue contract talks with Jeter

Tampa, Fla. -- The New York Yankees have resumed contract talks with Derek Jeter in Tampa, Fla., with no agreement, sources close to the negotiations say.

The New York Times said the meeting Tuesday, first reported by, was confirmed by two people in baseball.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman left New York refusing to comment late Tuesday night.

The Yankees seem to be holding to their offer of $45 million over three years. Jeter's side is seeking four or five years at $23 million or $24 million per year.

WTO says protectionist measures in check

Geneva, Switzerland -- Group of 20 nations have largely held back from increasing protectionist policies since the summit meeting in Toronto, the World Trade Organization said.

World leaders met in Toronto in June. Since then, "by and large ... governments have continued to resist protectionist pressures," the WTO said in a report released Thursday.

"The majority of new investment measures taken by G20 governments has aimed at facilitating and encouraging investment flows," the report said.
In advance of next week's G20 meeting in Seoul, the report warned of "three potential dangers" to international trade.

The first is "dark clouds that are being driven by persistent high levels of unemployment in many G20 countries," the report said.

Tribune chief executive, Randy Michaels, quits

Randy Michaels has resigned after the Tribune chairman intervened to end a long-drawn debate in media about the fate of company’s chief executive who was often accused of rude and biased behavior.

'Cathy' comic to end after 34 years

New York -- U.S. writer-artist Cathy Guisewite has announced plans to end her "Cathy" comic strip in October after 34 years so she can spend more time with her family.

"After almost 34 years of meeting newspaper deadlines, I'm facing some personal deadlines whose requirements simply exceed my ability to procrastinate any longer: an 18-year-old daughter who needs a full-time mom to help her through her last year of high school and beyond ... beloved parents I want to be able to visit more often ... and a creative biological clock, which is urging me to try something else while I can," CNN quoted Guisewite as saying in a statement.

Guisewite's comic strip has run in 1,400 newspapers and spawned more than 30 "Cathy" books, CNN noted.

Biglari delays bonus plan meeting

San Antonio -- Biglari Holding said it had postponed a special meeting in Texas regarding its incentive bonus plan for Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sardar Biglari.

The holding company, parent of restaurant chain Steak 'n Shake, said in a statement released late Monday that "misinformation in the investor and analyst communities" had triggered a need to revise proxy materials regarding the plan.

The plan included compensation with "a strong economic incentive to build long-term business value," as opposed to a standard package based on the firm's earnings.

The plan was designed to link "pay to economic performance, not to stock price volatility," the firm said.