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Trade Deficit

Everyone would agree they see more "Made in Taiwan/China/Japan/etc..."tags than "Made in the USA" tags for the past several years. Well, that "Made in _____" tag on your clothing has an economic term sewn into it: trade deficit. A trade deficit happens when one country buys more goods than it sells to other countries.

For example, if the entire United States (all 300 million of us) made only 100 shirts this year, and if all of China made 100 shirts, some of those shirts would be traded between us- we would sell a few to China, and vice versa. But a trade deficit happens when one country sells more shirts than another. China, in this example, could sell 85 shirts to America. The U.S. could sell 55 shirts to China. So, in this trade, China sold more shirts to the United States, 30 more in fact.

Most businessmen and economists believe that most trade deficits aren't a bad thing; it's just part of trade, and at some point trade between two countries should balance out eventually.

The big exception is the U.S., which buys vastly more stuff than it sells, and has done so for decades.

Why does this matter? Well, in order to buy those shirts, you need money. And if you are buying more shirts than you're selling shirts, you're losing money. If you're a business, you won't be in business much longer.

But, countries aren't businesses. They are, well, countries, and can print all the money they want. People who deal with currencies, or each country's version of money, look at trade deficits as one way to find out how much each country's currency is worth. If you have to print more money, each dollar you print can possibly lower the value of the other dollars out there. Like stocks, you can buy and sell currencies on what's called the foreign-exchange market (or, if you want a buzzword for the office, say Forex market).

Well, because the U.S. has been buying a lot of stuff from China for many, many years, China holds a lot of U.S. dollars. If China were to sell those dollars on the market at some point, well, it wouldn't be very good. The U.S. dollar's value would fall -- making imports and traveling abroad much more expensive.

Trade deficits are usually a good thing, because it shows that the global economy is working. It's just when a trade imbalance gets too high where economists and investors start to become concerned.

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Britain's Singing Sensation Connie Talbot Comes to America

 
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ALBANY, N.Y., Aug 18, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ ----Connie Talbot -- remember the name. Many millions have come to know not just her name but also her amazing voice during the brief time since Talbot was the captivating runner-up in the 2007 season of the U.K.'s top-rated "Britain's Got Talent" TV show. The precious, 7 year-old singer has since become a best-selling international recording artist, and her unaffected charm and aplomb have won the hearts of music lovers and the media. The stunning preternatural singing talent that has made Talbot a star now arrives stateside as AAO Music/Reality releases her debut album, Over The Rainbow in the U.S. on September 30.

Talbot's UK debut (Rainbow Records) went gold a mere three weeks after being released in Great Britain, and has since surged to platinum in U.K. sales. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Connie now holds the distinction of two titles: the youngest artist ever to make the British charts and the youngest ever to earn a gold record.

The euphoric response by "Britain's Got Talent" viewers and judges alike (including the notoriously crusty Simon Cowell) quickly spread beyond the U.K. to the rest of Europe and throughout Asia. Recent tours include stops in South Korea (where her album has gone double platinum), Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand. She was also honored to perform at the prestigious Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (U.K.) Annual Gala Dinner in London.

Plans for a Nintendo Wii Karaoke game "Sing Along with Connie," have been announced and production has been completed. Scheduled to be released in early 2009, the console game will feature 15 tracks from "Over The Rainbow." In the game, players will be able to sing along with Connie in karaoke mode, or with other friends and family members in multi-player fun.

Britain's Channel 4 has hailed Talbot as "the next Charlotte Church," resulting in Talbot becoming a popular television attraction. Recent appearances include Nickelodeon U.K. and Eire (Ireland). She has also to-date appeared on many major British TV shows as well as programs in Germany, Poland, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong -- where she performed a verse of "Over The Rainbow" in sign language.

Over The Rainbow features Talbot singing such time-honored vocal standards as "Over The Rainbow," "My Favorite Things," "What A Wonderful World" and "I Will Always Love You" as well as contemporary hits like John Lennon's "Imagine" and Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" (for which she shot the video in Marley's native Jamaica). The single for "Three Little Birds" recently entered the U.K. Independent Singles Chart.

Talbot says that singing is her favorite thing to do, and cites her album's title tune as the song she loves best because she would sing it with her late grandmother as they watched their favorite movie, "The Wizard of Oz." Despite the sensation she has stirred around the globe, Talbot remains a normal primary school student in Streetly, Walsall in the English West Midlands. But with her eighth birthday coming in November, Connie Talbot is already well on her way to a lifelong musical career and international stardom.

SOURCE AAO Music/Reality

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All
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