'What We Earn' needs your input
Every year, Parade magazine reports on people's salaries around the country. This year's "What We Earn" report is in a Parade magazine that will appear next month in The Bee. To supplement this report, The Bee is looking for area residents who would be willing to share their name, age, occupation, annual income and comments about wages in the Central Valley. If you would like to participate, call 578-2336 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gas rises as oil falls
Prices surged at the gas pump, hitting a record Monday even as crude oil accelerated its slide amid a broad-based commodities sell-off. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded rose to $3.28, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices were highest in Hawaii and California, where the average price topped $3.60 a gallon. Last year, prices peaked in May before backtracking.
With gasoline at a record, it likely only will continue its advance. If crude oil prices, which set records of their own during March, continue their advance, that will add to the cost of gasoline at the pump. But Monday, light, sweet crude for May delivery dropped $4.04 to settle at $101.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, adding to a decline of nearly $2 a barrel Friday.
Citigroup units split
Citigroup named a veteran retail banker Monday to head its North American consumer banking unit, splitting it off from its credit card business as Citi struggles to become profitable again after suffering its biggest quarterly loss in its 196-year history. The latest move is the biggest sign that CEO Vikram Pandit, appointed in December, wants to fix Citi's major parts rather than sell them off to raise cash -- at least for now. It also shows what steps Pandit would take to attract more consumers to Citi's retail banking unit. Citi's worst problems are in its investment banking segment, which made huge losing bets on the mortgage industry. But its bread-and-butter business of lending to and collecting deposits from average people also has been underwhelming shareholders.
Owners can leave their businesses vulnerable to huge payouts if they don't invest in the proper insurance coverage, according to Small Talk columnist Joyce M. Rosenberg.