This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary from around the Web each day. Feel free to send along your own suggestions
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Drawing on a string of improved economic data, advisers to President Obama have updated their forecasts in recent days and now project that the economy will create two million jobs this year if stimulus measures are extended, which could reduce the unemployment rate to about 8 percent by year’s end. Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, confirmed the revised projection for the economic figure that is the most important one to Mr. Obama’s re-election prospects. Mr. Krueger said the forecast was updated because the projection that will be published in the president’s annual budget, to be released on Monday, was already “stale and out of date.”
All Things D
Apple’s not holding an event in February. But it is holding one in March — to launch its next iPad. Sources say the company has chosen the first week in March to debut the successor to the iPad 2, and will do so at one of its trademark special events. The event will be held in San Francisco, presumably at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Apple’s preferred location for big announcements like these. No word yet on a street date for the iPad 3 (assuming that’s what it’s called), though my guess is retail availability will follow roughly the same schedule as that of the iPad 2: Available for purchase a week or so after the event. (For related content, see The Next Ipad Will Be 'Slightly Thicker' Than Ipad 2
China Real Time Report
Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is in the process of raising a US$3 billion loan from around six banks to buy back the stake that Yahoo Inc. owns in the company, people familiar with the situation said Thursday. Yahoo owns 40% of Alibaba Group. The six banks –Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Credit Suisse Group AG, DBS Bank Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings PLC and Mizuho Financial Group –are in the process of getting internal credit approval to underwrite the loan, which is said to have a tenor of three years with a yield of around 4%.
Real Time Economics
The euro has rebounded in recent days as European officials work to resolve the sovereign-debt crisis in the 17-nation currency bloc. The euro settled at $1.326 on Wednesday, reaching its highest value since early December. The currency fell to $1.266 on Jan. 16 amid concerns that the Continent’s woes could lead to a financial crisis and weigh on the global economy. (Also Read Trading Volatility in Gold or the Euro? It's Simple: Trade Price
The Facebook initial public offering, which could happen within the next few months, will immediately create scores of paper millionaires among the social-media company’s employees. No doubt many of them will want to cash out part of their stock after the lock-up period passes. A key question: How do you maximize proceeds from a sale? (Also Read Facebook To Bankers: Shut Up About Our IPO Already!
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