Knowledge is Power: Ten Great Wines Edition

1. The financial crisis and economic downturn are likely to put upward pressure on government debt. The trouble is, according to OECD in Figures 2008, public debt (general government debt, which includes central and local government) had already risen quite sharply in the OECD as a whole since 1987, from 59% of GDP to 75% in 2007. Two decades ago, Belgium had the highest public debt, but today that position is filled by Japan, whose debt rose from below 60% to 170% of GDP. Italy’s debt has also shot above 100% of GDP in the past 20 years. Debt burdens

2. The U.S. Postal Service has already suggested dropping a day of mail delivery to save money. Now, with economic gloom everywhere, it’s turning to early retirements, management cutbacks and office closings.US Post Service looks for new ways to cut losses

3.Denmark is confirmed as the OECD’s highest-tax country, followed by Sweden, while Mexico and Turkey remain the lowest-taxing countries, the latest 2008 edition of Revenue Statistics says. Denmark’s tax-to-GDP ratio stood at 48.9% in 2007, while Turkey’s was at 23.7% of GDP. Tax burden nears peak

4.Does less-invasive winemaking result in a more flavorful drink? Try these bottles to see for yourself. Ten Great Unfiltered, Unfined Wines to Try

5.More mutual-fund firms such as Vanguard Group are set to raise their fees in response to stocks’ plunge, signaling a tough year ahead.Funds hike fees, adding to investors’ pain

6.Aim is to bolster member states outside the euro zone — including Hungary, whose prime minister offers to step down Saturday.E.U. doubling crisis fund

7. The Wall Street Journal issued a story that appeared to rely on a single source “a person familiar with the data said” and Bloomberg, apparently unable to corroborate the leak, repeated key bits of the Journal article, with attribution. WSJ: Chinese Imports, Exports Continued to Fall in December

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