It’s possible to visit Paris and Venice the same afternoon – in China. For years Chinese developers built residential communities that look like famous European cities. Sky City in coastal Zhejiang province was built in 2006 and looks like Paris – complete with an Eiffel Tower and a Champs-Elysees. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a ghost town because it’s 40 minutes from Hangzhou – without a subway. About an hour away is Venice Water Town – complete with canals, St. Mark’s Square – and a subway. Venice Water Town is more successful. Nevertheless, maybe the Chinese should have built a residential Las Vegas.
On October 8, 2013 the newly designed $100 bills will be released - but some will be worth much more than $100. According to the Boston Globe, currency collectors will pay big for “fancy” serial numbers. “Low” numbers (00000001 through 00000100) are more valuable. So are “ladders” (43210987), “radar” (43788734), “solids” (33333333) and “repeaters” (82118211). There are also random numbers that are more valuable, such as 31415927 (which is pi) and 07041776 (read as 07/04/1776). Low numbers are among the most valuable with 00000001 expected to sell for $15,000. However, most of us just want a $100 bill to be worth $100.
Wealth among the richest in the Asia-Pacific region could surpass North America by 2014. That’s according to a 2013 report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management. The gain in high net-worth individuals (having investible assets of $1 million or more) was biggest in Hong Kong and India, rising 35% to 114,000 in Hong Kong and 22% to 153,000 in India. Japan rose 4.5% to 1.9 million and Taiwan rose 7% to 95,000. In 2012 the total wealth of high net-worth, Asia/Pacific individuals was $12 trillion. In North America it was $12.7 trillion. Money talks, but it’s raising its voice outside North America.
Germany stopped making the VW minibus in 1979. Mexico stopped in 1994 and on December 31, 2013 Brazil – the last place where they are made – is stopping production. It seems the iconic van can’t be made with air bags and other safety requirements. The VW minibus was the longest-produced model in automotive history. More than 10 million were made since the model was introduced in 1950. However, Volkswagen Brazil is turning the final few into special editions – a robin’s egg blue exterior with white trim, matching vinyl upholstery and blue curtains. Then the VW bus is “busted”.