» Happy New Year, indeed. Starting Jan. 1, San Francisco’s minimum hourly wage will jump above the $10 mark for the first time. That’s about $3 higher than the federal minimum wage and higher than anywhere else in the country, due to the fact that the progressive city ties its minimum wage to inflation and the quite-high cost of living in the area. But with wage hikes, various fees and the sagging economy, employers might have to start laying off workers again to keep up.
» How it’s calculated: The misery index is the sum of the country’s inflation and unemployment rates — a pretty simple number to calculate. On the plus side, this number will slide at some point, because, due to the weak job market, inflation will likely decline next year, lowering the misery level. On the down side, that’s not the number everyone’s looking to fall.
Call it cause and side effect. The Federal Reserve, concerned about the slow domestic economic recovery, recently announced that they were going to shove $600 billion into circulation, a risky move that could help the economy recover – or put us on the way to Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation. (OK, maybe not that bad.) Anyway, in the wake of all of this, the international market has been freaking out, afraid that the world’s standard-bearer currency will lose value over time. Obama had to defend the Federal Reserve’s announcement in India today, and gold – which is already on a solid upswing of late – topped $1,400 an ounce today. source