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The bottom line

Personal bankruptcy filings jump; Crime by Japanese elderly doubles; Effects of cigarette tax; Spam plant adds second shift; Bartering on Craigslist.org

The number of personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. jumped 8 percent in October to 108,595 filings, surpassing 100,000 for the first time since a law making it more difficult to file for bankruptcy took effect in 2005. The New York Times

Japanese police say that with welfare spending falling and health-care costs rising, the country is experiencing a surge in crimes committed by the elderly. Crimes by people older than 65 have doubled since 2003, with theft the most common offense.Bloomberg.com

Because of taxes, the average price of a pack of cigarettes in New York state is $8.66, compared with $3.33 in low-tax South Carolina. But South Carolinians spend $304 per person every year on cigarettes, compared to $296 for New Yorkers.Forbes

Spam manufacturer Hormel has added a second shift at its Austin, Minn., plant and is operating seven days a week to meet demand for the inexpensive canned meat product. Spam “seems to do well when hard times hit,” says union leader Dan Bartel.The New York Times

Every recession triggers bartering, but the Internet has given the practice unprecedented reach, economists say. There were 148,097 listings in the barter category of Craigslist.org in September, up from 83,554 a year earlier.Los Angeles Times

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