The week that was: Economic storm

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Economic storm

The biggest story of the week was Hurricane Sandy. While the monetary toll pales in comparison to the human cost, the mega-storm proved it was an economic force. The New York Stock Exchange suspended operations for two days and turned to generators to get the power back on. Many companies either shut down or altered operations in Sandy's wake. Some even bent the rules, extending deadlines for customers to pay bills or waiving fees, for example. O'Hara grocer Giant Eagle banked a lot of goodwill by extending customers' gas and food discounts that were set to expire Wednesday for another week.

Quote of the Week

"You make a real sacrifice to become a DA or a PD. They are interested in public service and in doing good. ... The salary structure as it exists tends to channel many of the brightest minds into private practice."

-- John Burkoff, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh, on the discrepancy in pay for attorneys in the public sector

Drivers without borders

Does Consumer Reports just not like American cars? The magazine's annual reliability rankings put Japanese brands in the top seven spots with domestic automakers bringing up the rear. The rankings are based on surveys of Consumer Reports readers, apparently none of whom belong to the UAW.

Help needed

The nation's employers added 171,000 positions in October, the Labor Department reported Friday, but still the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.9 percent in October from 7.8 percent in September because more workers joined the labor force.

In the seven-county Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area in September, unemployment rose to 7.4 percent, marking a fourth straight month of increases.

In case you missed it ...

We still are in the midst of earnings season. To see which companies are doing well -- and which are not -- go to


Brian Hyslop:


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