Money in a Minute: Headlines for Feb. 21, 2011

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In today's roundup: Postage rates are going up, and the government may be shutting down. Also: Ford's going to Russia, Groupon's going to China, and JPMorgan was left with Lehman's "goat poo."

MAIL: Postage rates going up but not for most letters

The U.S. Postal Service got approval for a rate increase coming in April, but “the basic 44-cent rate for first-class mail stays the same,” MSNBC reports. The hike will come on heavier first-class mail – three cents more per ounce after the first. Postcards, packages, and advertising will also be affected.

POLITICS: House OKs $60 billion in budget cuts

House Republicans aren’t backing down on cuts, despite Obama’s promise to veto the House proposal and this week’s legislative recess, which leaves little time for negotiations before the March 4 deadline. That makes a temporary government shutdown more likely: It’s “a lot to do in five days,” CNNMoney reports.

CARS: Ford gets Russian venture after Fiat-Chrysler is jilted

Russian automaker Sollers struck a deal with Ford to start producing more American cars later this year after a Fiat-Chrysler agreement with the company fell through. “The big global players have been jockeying for position in Russia, where the domestic industry is weak, but car sales rose 30% last year,” reports USA Today.

TECH: Groupon gears up to expand into China

The popular deals website Groupon appears to be testing its appeal to the international market, starting with China. The Wall Street Journal reports that they’re holding job interviews “in a Beijing office adorned with a large Groupon sign.” That might explain the company’s weird Super Bowl ad.

BANKING: JPMorgan says Lehman left it ‘goat poo’ collateral

The latest in a legal battle between Lehman Brothers and JPMorgan Chase: in a court filing, JPMorgan complained it was stuck with securities backing $25 billion in loans in 2008, while Lehman was chuckling to itself. “Lehman described the collateral as ‘toxic crap’ and ‘goat poo’ to be scattered ‘in other people’s backyards,’” Bloomberg reports.

Stacy Johnson

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