Ponzi scheme billionaire sentenced
Former Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison last week for running what prosecutors called one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history. Stanford was convicted in March of fleecing thousands of investors out of an estimated $7 billion.
Los Angeles Times
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Health insurance in the food industry
Less than a quarter of the 20 million people employed in the U.S. food industry receive health insurance from their employers, according to a new survey by the Food Chain Workers Alliance, a coalition of food-industry worker groups.
The New York Times
Foreign purchase of U.S. homes rises
Foreign buyers spent $82.5 billion on U.S. homes last year, up 24 percent from 2010. Properties in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas accounted for just over half the sales, with buyers from Canada, China, Mexico, India, and the U.K. making 55 percent of the purchases.
Housing's slow recovery continues
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders hit a five-year high in June, a sign that the housing market continues to recover, however slowly. The homebuilder sentiment index rose to 29, the highest reading since April 2007. However, any figure below 50 still indicates negative sentiment about the housing market.
The cost of raising a child
Middle-income Americans earning between $59,410 and $102,870 can expect to spend an average of $234,900 raising a child from birth to age 17, according to a new government estimate. That is 3.5 percent higher than last year, mainly because of increases in the cost of gas, food, education, and child care.
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