GOOD DAY FOR: Giving cash, after Consumer Reports estimated that $8 billion in gift cards went to waste last year as the cards expired, went unused or were lost. Consumer Reports says that 62 percent of shoppers are planning to buy gift cards this holiday season, but 27 percent of those who got them last year never used them. (
BAD DAY FOR: Light at the end of the tunnel, after Blackstone president Hamilton James said “the mortgage black hole” is “deeper, darker, scarier than what the banks originally thought.” His comments came as Blackstone reported a $113.2 million net quarterly loss, fed by a 44 percent slide in its real estate group’s revenue. (Los Angeles Times, free registration required)