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Dutch government quits after austerity talks fail

The Dutch government, one of the most vocal critics of European countries failing to rein in their budgets, quit Monday after failing to agree on a plan to bring its own deficit in line with EU rules. Queen Beatrix’s office said she had accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Cabinet after… Continue Reading Dutch government quits after austerity talks fail

U.S. markets fall sharply after S&P downgrade

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The U.S. stock market joined a sell-off around the world today in the first trading since Standard & Poor’s downgraded American debt and gave investors a reason to be anxious. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 250 points minutes after the opening bell on Wall Street. It recovered some of those losses, then… Continue Reading U.S. markets fall sharply after S&P downgrade

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The amount consumers owed on their credit cards dropped to its lowest level in eight years, as cardholders continued to pay off balances in the uncertain economy. The average combined debt for bank-issued credit cards – those with a MasterCard or Visa logo – fell to $4,951 in the second quarter, down 13 percent from… Continue Reading Credit card debt drops to lowest level in 8 years

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Memorial Health System has adopted a new, softer touch that makes it easier for patients to pay off unpaid medical bills. The hospital used to give patients four months to pay off their debt — no matter how large their bill — and charged interest on outstanding balances. Now Memorial has: stopped charging interest on… Continue Reading Memorial adopts friendlier approach to medical debts

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Colorado’s small group insurance program is relatively stable – with 21 companies providing insurance to small businesses. That’s the 2008 report from the Division of Insurance, which shows a 7 percent, or about 25,000 fewer people, reduction in coverage between 2007 and 2008. Despite the economic downturn, the drop isn’t the most dramatic during recent… Continue Reading Dept. of Insurance reports stable coverage environment

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For those of us who work for the 99.99 percent of American newspapers that are not The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal, it’s always a source of delight and pride when reporters from small, unheralded papers win a Pulitzer Prize. The big dogs always get their share – this… Continue Reading Decline, debt and the demise of the daily newspapers

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