The Week in Review: Funny Money Stories

Here are some amusing developments that the staff here at Money Talks News was talking about this week, but we never got around to writing about...

KENTUCKY FRIED CHINA: KFC dwarfs McDonalds in the world’s biggest market

Here in the United States, McDonald’s boasts “billions and billions served.” But the billions in China apparently prefer KFC – there are 3,200 of them, with new one opening every 18 hours. “It now has a 40 percent market share among fast-food chains compared with 16 percent for McDonald’s,” Bloomberg reports.

WE’RE NO. 1! BUT WE DON’T KNOW IT: Despite China’s might, U.S. factories maintain edge

In President Obama’s State of the Union speech last week, he declared, “There’s no reason Europe or China should have…the new factories that manufacture clean energy products.” Turns out they don’t. When it comes to overall manufacturing, the U.S. is still tops. Reports MSNBC: “America remains by far the No. 1 manufacturing country. It out-produces No. 2 China by more than 40 percent. U.S. manufacturers cranked out nearly $1.7 trillion in goods in 2009, according to the United Nations.”

NO ELECTRIC SLIDE: Consumers claim $33M in erroneous electric vehicle tax credits

Is the tax code too confusing, or are Americans too careless? Millions who thought they deserved an IRS break for buying energy-efficient vehicles won’t get it. Why? “Taxpayers who purchase eligible vehicles can receive a tax credit worth up to $7,500,” USA Today reported this week. “The inspector general’s report found, though, that most of the erroneous credits were claimed for vehicles that weren’t eligible for the tax break.” Included in the list of ineligible vehicles taxpayers claimed? The Hyundai Sonata, the Buick Enclave – and a bicycle.

CAN’T TAKE A JOKE: Allstate zodiac joke bombs

On Wednesday, Allstate tried to make insurance humorous. It issued a press release that listed accident stats according to Zodiac sign. Turns out Virgos crash the most, Scorpios the least. But some people – probably the same ones who tired to claim a bicycle as a tax credit – took it seriously, thinking Allstate was really using their signs to set their rates. “We recently issued a press release on zodiac signs and accident rates, which led to some confusion around whether astrological signs are part of the underwriting process,” said the insurer, in its retraction reported on CNN. “Astrological signs have absolutely no role in how we base coverage and set rates.” Well, duh.

Michael Koretzky
Michael Koretzky @koretzky
Journalism is a profession of highs and lows. I've covered the 1988 Democratic and Republican national conventions, two space shuttle launches and one landing, and a jazz festival in Istanbul. Then again, ... More

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