With at least $7 billion in losses expected in 2011 and similar setbacks over the past several years, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it plans to close up to 2,000 post offices across the nation beginning in March 2011.

money pileAs many as 98 banks, which took in a total of $4.2 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), may fail anyway, according to a study of third quarter earnings by the Wall Street Journal. Although the federal government originally promised to use TARP funds only to help healthy banks, the Wall Street Journal’s study tells a rather different tale. The banks in question are hamstrung by “eroding capital levels, a pileup of bad loans and warnings from regulators,” much of them stemming from risky commercial real estate loans gone sour.

Twenty-six-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the social networking website Facebook, has been selected as Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2010. Facebook, which began in 2003 as a small insider website at Harvard University where Zuckerberg was a student, has exploded over the past two years to become arguably the Internet’s most used address, with nearly 600 million individuals having Facebook accounts and projections for a billion members by 2012.

As extended unemployment benefits for two million Americans began to run out this week,  the economic news from Washington remains bleak. According to the November Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the expectations of analysts have once again proven wrong, and the depth of the nation’s economic woes are significantly worse than anticipated.

Gold has always been the bane of big government planners. The precious metal has, from time immemorial, constituted real and portable wealth. Diamonds have, too, but expertise is required to judge the value of a small bag of diamonds. Gold is valuable in an utterly predictable and consistent way.

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