Feature

The bottom line

Fees rise for out-of-network ATMs; Merrill Lynch's $6.7 billion employee bonuses; Disney&rsquo;s <em>High School Musical 3</em> rakes in millions; Profits fall for NBA franchises; America&rsquo;s best-known CEOs lose billio

Fees for bounced checks and cash withdrawals from an out-of-network ATM rose again this year, according to Bankrate.com. The average cost of using another bank’s ATM is now $3.43, while a bounced check costs an average of $28.95, up 2.5 percent from a year ago.
BusinessWeek

Despite five straight losing quarters and a 70 percent fall in its stock price in 2008, Merrill Lynch has set aside $6.7 billion for year-end employee bonuses.
Bloomberg.com

The third installment of Disney’s High School Musical series raked in $42 million at the box office over the weekend, the best opening ever for a musical. Since 2006, the franchise has lifted Disney’s operating profits by an estimated $100 million.
The Wall Street Journal

Only half of the National Basketball Association’s 30 franchises are profitable, league commissioner David Stern said. That’s down from
20 franchises last year.
USA Today

Some of America’s best-known executives have suffered stiff losses to their net worth as their companies’ stock prices have fallen. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway shares are worth $9.6 billion less than they were last year. Larry Ellison has taken a $6.6 billion hit on his Oracle holdings, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos lost $4.2 billion.
The Wall Street Journal

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