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Harry and David files for bankruptcy; CEOs earmark cash reserves for takeovers; Who will be the new spokesduck?; Loans to problem lenders continue; Santa Fe Springs' claim to fame

Harry and David files for bankruptcy
Christmas may never be the same. Harry and David, the purveyor of gourmet food baskets, has filed for bankruptcy-court protection. While the company tries to renegotiate its approximately $500 million in debt, it will continue to take catalog orders and operate its 70 retail stores.
Associated Press

CEOs earmark cash reserves for takeovers
The value of corporate takeovers topped $256 billion in the first quarter of 2011, the most since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, as CEOs spent some of their record $940 billion in cash reserves. CEOs are trying to keep profits growing; in 2010 U.S. corporate earnings increased more than they had since 1988.
Bloomberg.com

Who will be the new spokesduck?
Insurer Aflac received more than 1,500 applications to succeed comedian Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of its spokesduck within 24 hours. Aflac fired Gottfried after he tweeted some tasteless jokes immediately following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The Wall Street Journal

Loans to problem lenders continue
Despite creating an “early warning system” to sniff out problem lenders, the Federal Housing Administration continues to guarantee loans made by problem lenders. At least six times in the past three years, state or federal authorities brought mortgage-fraud accusations against companies the FHA had previously flagged as potentially fraudulent.
USA Today

Santa Fe Springs' claim to fame
Santa Fe Springs, Calif., enjoys the world’s highest concentration of Starbucks outlets. There are 560 Starbucks stores within 25 miles of the town.
BusinessInsider.com

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