Public pensions up 12 percent in fiscal 2013

Good news for state and local government pension funds. Bloomberg reports that an analysis by Wilshire Associates shows that they gained 12.4 percent in the year ending in July. Furthermore, a Census Bureau report shows an annualized median gain of 11.4 percent over three years, fueled by gains in the stock market.


U.S. trade gap hits 3 1/2-year low

Reuters reports that the U.S. trade deficit fell 22.4 percent in June to $34.2 billion, the smallest gap since October 2009, as imports fell and exports touched a record high. The percentage decline was the largest since February 2009.


Amazon founder bets $250 million on reviving Washington Post

Bloomberg reports Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos agreed to buy The Washington Post for $250 million in a bet that he can apply his success in e-commerce to the struggling newspaper industry. Bezos is making the deal as an individual and not as part of Amazon, the world's biggest online retailer.