Money in a Minute: Headlines for March 11, 2011

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In today's news: You may start paying more to spend less with your debit card, stocks took the biggest one-day hit in months, e-book sharing is on the rise, an NPR controversy may mean the loss of its federal funding, and flying cars are almost here.

CREDIT: Debit cards: $50 spending limit coming?

JPMorgan Chase and other banks are looking at capping purchases made with your debit card so you’ll use it less, and adding $3 monthly fees just for having one — because they’re afraid they’ll make less from debit cards if last year’s financial reform regulations are enacted. New rules could mean “a big enough cut to cost Chase more than $1 billion a year,” CNN Money reports.

MARKETS: Stocks suffer through another day to forget

Various international affairs led to the worst day stocks have seen in seven months. Spain got a credit downgrade, protests got violent in oil-rich Saudia Arabia, and local unemployment numbers were up, making “Thursday’s drop in the Dow the biggest since Aug. 11,” MSNBC reports.

TECH: E-book lending takes off

New sites like and mean you can let your friends borrow a digital book as readily as one off your shelf — well, almost. “Most major book publishers haven’t made their e-books lendable, and the books can be lent only once and for only 14 days,” The Wall Street Journal reports, but the trend is growing.

POLITICS: Controversy ripples through NPR as GOP targets funding

An underhanded interview with a now-former fundraising executive at National Public Radio — and the way NPR responded to the controversy — may have hurt its chances at keeping public funding next year, something Republicans were already looking at cutting. “That would not only hurt NPR,” USA Today reports, “but also could jeopardize local public radio stations, which rely much more heavily on federal funds.”

CARS: Where is my flying car?

A company in Massachusetts called Terrafugia is pretty serious about answering this question. They’re trying to get approval to go into mass production with a “roadable aircraft” by the end of the year. Slate reports it’ll fit in the garage and it’s pretty fuel efficient too: it “runs on premium-grade auto fuel, which is cheaper than the stuff most planes use,” and gets 35 mpg.

Stacy Johnson

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