Currency analysts pay obsessive attention to economic factors that indicate the direction of interest rates, because interest rates represent the price of a currency. Any price change has a direct impact on the currency’s value. That can mean huge gains or losses for currency traders, but it also has a big impact on what savers earn, borrowers pay, consumers shell out for imported goods, and global companies plan in terms of compensation and hiring. In 2010, the stress on various currencies became clear, causing many central banks to push interest rates to record lows. Here’s a look at how those forces could play out in 2011 in six major regions of the world:
Education reform will be on many state education agendas across the nation in 2011. The past year saw Republicans elected or appointed to top state education posts in many states. But a bipartisan group of veteran education leaders has also stepped up to call for more dramatic change in how schools operate. Here’s a sampling of state education leaders to watch:
Movies both disappointed and surprised studios and audiences in 2010. Star power dimmed while real-life stories turned both dramatic and documentary features into unexpected hits. And technology wowed, then disappointed as 3D and high-profile sequels fizzled at the box office. The top trends from this year present a very mixed bag heading into the second decade of the new millennium, says Hollywood.com box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. IN PICTURES: Movie Trends 2010
When Election 2010 came and went, we thought the highest-profile losers – most of them Republican tea partyers – might fade quietly into oblivion. Not this group, for the most part. At least one is writing a book, a couple are launching political action committees, and one is already running for office again. One is under federal investigation, and another still isn’t completely finished contesting the 2010 race.
Considering a New Year’s Resolution to cut back on Facebook time in favor of real face time with friends and family? A one-week blackout of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and instant messaging at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania prompted students and faculty to reflect on – and in some cases, change – their usage habits.
The bull market is entering its third year, historically a time when investors grow wary. They’ll have good reason for caution in 2011, given the potential for higher interest rates, federal budget struggles, a surge in commodity prices, and the challenges corporations may find in churning out higher and higher profits. These stresses won’t necessarily end the party on Wall Street, just change it. Here are 10 investment trends to watch for in 2011:
Although the recession is technically over, many companies are still struggling to make up for lost profit, customers, and locations. But some companies have come out of the recession better than they went in, thanks to their adjustments to consumer demand and other smart business strategies. Here are five companies that have thrived despite the worst downturn since the Great Depression:
The Christmas storm of 2010, which dropped 31 inches of snow on some parts of New England and crippled New York City, will likely stand out as a memory-maker, something to tell the grandkids about – especially if you got stuck in the national air traffic snarl or localized mayhem in New York, where police cars got stuck in drifts and New Yorkers yelled at the mayor for failing to keep the streets clear. But the past decade – the snowiest since the 1970s – had several other memorable winter storms. Here's the five that got the most attention – and did the most damage.
Gallup released its annual “Most Admired” poll Monday. Since the organization started surveying people about this in 1946, sitting presidents have held the No. 1 spot for men 52 times. How did President Obama fare in the 2010 ranking? Read on to learn who earned the Top 5 spots for both men and women in the Gallup poll.
In many ways, 2010 is a year you may want to relegate to the filing cabinet quickly. It began with a massive earthquake in Haiti and wound down with North Korea once again being an enfant terrible – bizarrely trying to conduct diplomacy through brinkmanship. In between came Toyota recalls and egg scares, pat downs at airports and unyielding unemployment numbers, too little money in the Irish treasury and too many bedbugs in American sheets. Oil gushed from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico for three months, mocking the best intentions of man and technology to stop it, while ash from a volcano in Iceland darkened Europe temporarily as much as its balance sheets. Yet not all was gloomy. The winter Olympics in Canada and the World Cup in South Africa dazzled with their displays of athletic prowess and national pride, becoming hearths around which the world gathered. In Switzerland, the world's largest atom smasher hurled two protons into each other at unfathomable speeds. Then came the year's most poignant moment – the heroic and improbable rescue of 33 miners from the clutches of the Chilean earth. There were many transitions, too – the return of the Republicans in Washington and the Tories in Britain, the scaling back of one war (Iraq) and the escalation of another (Afghanistan), the fall of some powers (Greece) and rise of others (China, Germany, Lady Gaga). To get the new year off to the right start, we decided to ask various thinkers for one idea each to make the world a better place in 2011. We plumbed poets and political figures, physicists and financiers, theologians and novelists. Some of the ideas are provocative, others quixotic. Some you will agree with, others you won't. But in the modest quest to stir a discussion – from academic salons to living rooms to government corridors – we offer these 25 ideas.
History, it seems, will remember 2010 in the United States as the year of health-care reform, the Gulf oil spill, and the tea party movement. But the most widely covered stories are clearly not the only events that could shape the future of the nation. Here we note five overlooked stories of 2010 – developments that might have received some press coverage but perhaps not as much as they should have, given the impact they could have on various aspects of American life in the years ahead.
Christmas vacation is often no vacation for college-bound high school seniors, many of whom spend these weeks refining their list of schools, polishing their essays, and completing their applications. The application process can be exhausting, but it’s making the final choice that keeps you awake at night. Which school is “the one”? There’s no shortage of advice from parents and guidance counselors. But people who’ve recently been through the process – and come out the other end – have words of wisdom, too. Here are 10 things your future classmates say you should consider before sending in that deposit.
Faux holidays like “Seinfeld’s” Festivus, popularized in 1997, forgo the traditional in favor of another way to celebrate the season. Consider it Hollywood’s way of poking fun at – or maybe offering a little social commentary about – Americans’ tendency to go overboard on their Christmas observances. Festivus is not the only made-for-TV holiday – and it even may not be the only one to catch on in real life. Here’s the skinny on Festivus and three other invented days of celebration, brought to you by the Dream Machine.