Bernanke's last stand?
President Barack Obama sent signals that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will leave that post in January, saying Mr. Bernanke had indicated that he had already stayed longer than he had planned or wanted. That was days before Mr. Bernanke announced the Fed will likely ease up on its bond-buying program, sending stocks into their biggest dive of the year.
Dwindling U.S. wages
U.S. workers are seeing their paychecks shrink due to the ongoing national economic problems and competition from China, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate. In the year ending September 2012, wages fell an average of 1.1 percent, only the sixth time there's been a year-over-year decline since such data first were collected in 1978, but the fourth time since 2009.
U.S. Grant hitches a ride
A report from the state auditor general's office says it will take a $50 bill, featuring our 18th president, to cover the toll for driving from one end of the state to the other by 2021 unless Pennsylvania Turnpike debt is addressed. A 2007 law requires the turnpike to contribute $450 million annually to PennDOT for costs unrelated to the turnpike, but legislators are talking about modifying that in a few years to keep the turnpike solvent. Current tolls to cover the 359-mile turnpike is $39.15 going west to east, and $33.90 going east to west, with EZ pass holders getting a discount.
Giving makes a comeback
Charitable giving in the U.S. hit $316.2 billion in 2012, a 3.5 percent increase over 2011 but still behind a pre-recession 2007 high of $344.5 billion. Experts don't expect we will reach 2007's high-water mark again until 2020.
The handful of bus riders who still don't wear ear buds during their daily commute will now be listening to commercials at certain stops. Megabus and South Side Jewelers are the first two businesses to buy 15-second audio ads from the Port Authority, and the cash-strapped authority is also considering selling advertising space on its website.
Didn't like the way things looked
George Zimmer, the founder and face of Men's Wearhouse, was fired by the company's board in a surprise move that prompted postponement of the company's shareholder's meeting. Mr. Zimmer said the board was trying to silence him, while the company said he was not adjusting to a more limited role.
Steve Twedt: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1963.