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Financial 411: New Trends at the Toy Fair

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borders Files for Bankruptcy

Borders bookstore has filed for bankruptcy. The Michigan-based chain helped pioneer superstores that put countless independent bookshops out of business. Now it's planning to shut about 200 of its 642 stores. In Manhattan, stores on Park Avenue, Second Avenue and Lower Broadway will be closed.

"I tend to buy books online, but I also like coming into a store and actually looking through the bookshelves and picking something out sometimes," said Deidre Wilson, a magazine editor, in front of the Borders at 100 Broadway in the Financial District. "So I think I would miss that."

Borders said the stores it's closing are costing it $2 million a day.

Fed Expects High Unemployment to Continue

Many Borders employees could soon join the ranks of the nation's unemployed.

Today, the Federal Reserve said it's disappointed in the labor market. The Fed said it expects unemployment to remain high for some time. But it also expressed greater confidence in the overall economy and increased its forecast for economic growth this year.

Markets

The Dow added 62 points, closing at 12,288. The S&P 500 gained eight points, to end the day at 1,366. The Nasdaq added 21 points, to close at 2,826.

Rising Prices Vex Economists

One issue puzzling economists is how much to worry about rising prices. The Labor Department's latest report gave them more to think about. It says wholesale prices jumped in January because of a significant rise in gasoline. Excluding energy and food, prices increased at the fastest pace in more than two years. Thursday, the government releases consumer inflation figures.

Madoff Says Banks, Hedge Funds 'Complicit' in Scheme

Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff told The New York Times that banks and hedge funds were somehow "complicit" in his scam, which fleeced investors out of billions of dollars.
   
Madoff, who is serving a 150-year jail sentence, did not name any specific institutions, but said their attitude was, "If you're doing something wrong, we don't want to know."

Madoff said he met with Irving Picard, the court appointed trustee who's trying to claw back investor money, and provided his team with useful information. Picard's chief counsel disputes that account. He said the two never directly met.

Toy Fair Concludes at Javits

Wednesday was the final day of the International Toy Fair at the Javits Center on Manhattan's West Side. It's the largest toy show in the Western hemisphere. More than 20,000 retailers, importers wholesales and buyers are there.  

But the fair isn't child's play: No kids are allowed. The fair is only open to folks in the business — and people like Ann Zimmerman, a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. Zimmerman joins us to talk about the latest toy trends and what they could mean for the economy.

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