The Week in Review: Funny Money Stories

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1. Dog-bite claim costs rise most since 2007

Is it the recession or our litigious society? U.S. home insurers paid 5.3 percent more for the average dog-bite claim last year. “The average cost per claim climbed to $26,166 last year from $24,840 in 2009,” Bloomberg reports. “The average cost per dog-bite claim has surged 37 percent since 2003.”

2. Private-equity firm to buy American Idol parent

If you, like me, thought American Idol sounded like a lame idea when you first heard it – well, we’re both out $511 million in cash. That’s how much a private-equity group paid this week for the company that owns the TV hits American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

3. Philip Morris Int’l CEO: Tobacco not hard to quit

If you smoke – as I do – then you know how expensive and addictive it is. But don’t tell that to Philip Morris CEO Louis Camiller, who says, “Whilst it is addictive, it is not that hard to quit.” By the way, he only quit once in his life. For three months. When he had a cold.

4. New Oreo confirmed! And it’s bigger than ever

When I was a kid, it was just “Oreo cookies.” Then came “Double Stuff.” Now be prepared for “the Triple Double Oreo.” Coming to a store and a clogged artery near you, with “Three chocolate Oreo wafers with two layers of creme – one classic vanilla, and one chocolate,” according to MSNBC.

5. Twitpic, Flickr, and other photo-sharing sites can sell your images if they want

This would be funny if it wasn’t so creepy: Two popular Internet photo services could, under certain circumstances, sell photos of yourself that you uploaded to your account for its own greedy purpose. An Internet uproar forced them to alter their privacy policies. Thankfully.

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