Spend Matters Friday Latte

Panasonic takes it out of Japan.
Panasonic to Buy More Parts Abroad in $6.5 Billion Cost Cut -- Panasonic Corp. (6752), the world's largest maker of rechargeable batteries, will increase the portion of parts it buys outside Japan this fiscal year to help cut procurement costs 500 billion yen ($6.5 billion). The company will acquire about 57 percent of its parts and materials abroad in the year to March, up from 43 percent two years ago, Masaaki Fujita, who oversees the company's procurement and distribution operations, said in Osaka today. The overseas ratio will probably continue increasing as the company intends to expand purchases in Asia, he told reporters.

Faster faster faster faster faster!!
Delivery Drivers to Pick Up Pace by Surrendering Keys -- United Parcel Service Inc., already designs its delivery routes to avoid left turns, so as not to waste time waiting for a break in oncoming traffic. And the company requires drivers to walk at a "brisk pace," which it defines as 2.5 paces a second, to keep things moving fast. But at an investor conference here, executives said they had hit upon another cost-saving strategy: take away the drivers' keys. They said the company will save $70 million a year by going to a "keyless" system in which drivers will start their vehicle with a fob hooked to their belt.

Deterring tax evasion.
Amnesty Program Yields Millions More in Back Taxes -- More than 12,000 American taxpayers have voluntarily revealed their secret offshore bank accounts to the Internal Revenue Service as part of the government's latest tax amnesty program, agency officials said on Thursday. The move will allow the United States Treasury to collect at least half a billion dollars in unpaid taxes.

Ugh. Seriously?
China Next To Get Gold Dispensing ATM Machines -- The China machines, made by German firm TG Gold Super Market, is the first of its kind there, but are already up and running in Las Vegas and Boca Rotan in the U.S., as well as Abu Dhabi, Germany, Spain and Italy. The ATMs dispense gold bars weighing up to 2.5 kilograms and work just like the normal ATMs. The machines can accept both cash and credit cards. The cash-for-gold machines will be on trial at Beijing's upscale night clubs and private banks during the initial period for security reasons.

Sheena Moore

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