A Week's Worth: Quick takes on the world of work and money

Credit concerns roil stock market; employees waste less time Web surfing at work; foreign citizens invest in US real estate

The Dow plunged 280 points Friday, after an analyst at investment bank Bear Stearns described the bond market as the worst he'd seen in 22 years. For the week, the Dow fell 0.6 percent. •

Employees who surf the Web at work for personal reasons engage in the leading cause of wasted time on the job, according to Salary.com, a compensation software provider. A company study indicates that time spent slacking off serves to shorten the typical work day by about 1.7 hours. Other leading time-wasters: socializing with co-workers and conducting personal business. Some good news: Employees are wasting less time than two years ago, when they squandered 2.09 hours a day.

Working for a larger establishment rather than a smaller one matters when it comes to compensation and job tenure. That's what the US Small Business Administration has learned. The reasons for shorter job tenure and lower compensation in smaller establishments are not yet well understood, but a leading theory is that smaller businesses tend be younger and more volatile.

US Realtors increasingly sell homes to foreign citizens, both for investment purposes and for the connection a residence makes to the American dream. During the past year, 20 percent of Realtors have sold at least one house to an international client in the US, according to the National Association of Realtors. The leading buyers are Mexicans (13 percent) and Britons (12 percent).

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