1. May the New Year be a time of laughter and real enjoyment for you. Best wishes.
2. The central bank last year spent more than six months signaling its intent to wean the economy off a third round of bond-buying, and the prospect upset markets at just about every turn. Now it's only in the first stage of that process.
3. Traditionally Chinese universities scored less well in international ranking tables compared to US and European incumbents in levels of teaching and research.
2. The mega-retailer didn't have a whole lot to complain about in fiscal 2010. Profits were up and, thanks to its sales, the company once again climbed to the top of the Fortune 500. Same-store sales were about flat for the year, but compared with Target's 2.5% decline, flat is good. Most remarkable was Wal-Mart's image overhaul. It helped that former CEO Lee Scott beefed up health care coverage for employees, thought more about the environment and became a public presence. Certain critics will never be placated and fiscal first-quarter results weren't the greatest. But there's no denying Scott left new CEO Mike Duke a company in fighting form.
4. But a quick look at the changing skyline betrays a frustrating reality: Those shiny new towers have failed to deliver the type of housing most New Yorkers can afford. “There is a disconnect between what we’re building and what we need to build,” said Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel. “2015 is going to be more of that.”
The government is keen to encourage lending to small and medium-sized borrowers, many of whom do not have credit histories. Analysts estimate the number of Chinese consumers who are financially active but without access to credit to be 500m.
It's hard to imagine LOST without Jack Shephard as the group leader. Where would the show have been without him? Had the show's writers gotten their way, we would have learned the answer to that question. When the show was pitched to ABC, Jack Shephard's character was supposed to be killed after the pilot episode, and Kate was supposed to take on more of a leadership role in the series.