Afternoon Coffee: 9/11 Memorial Scale Backs, Saab Benefits From Gov’t Cuts, ROI on College

"The moments of silence. The musical interludes."
For Some, Moving On From 9/11 Means Scaling Back -- Across the country, the elements of a Sept. 11 anniversary commemoration have become familiar, from the World Trade Center site in Manhattan to the Pennsylvania field where United Flight 93 crashed to the dozens of New Jersey towns with neighbors to mourn. After the commemorations reached a peak of sorts for last year's 10th anniversary, a sprinkling of communities have decided to scale back -- prompted, they say, by a growing feeling that it may be time to move on. Nearly every ceremony will be smaller this year, even at the epicenter of the attacks. In a move that has drawn some controversy, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has stripped the New York ceremony of its presidents, governors and other politicians, who have in the past read literary or religious passages. Instead of Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor and Paul Simon, bagpipers and a youth chorus will provide the music.

"The affordability discussion is helping us do business."
Saab Sees Benefits From Government Cuts -- Hakan Buskhe, speaking during an interview, said his company has experienced a change in the industry over the past 16 months with customers suddenly demanding more for their money in response to the euro-zone debt crisis--a change that the executive said will benefit Saab which he said is more cost-efficient than its competitors. "The affordability discussion is helping us do business," he said, while attending Saab's capital markets event this week on Sweden's west coast. "Our efficiency both when it comes to projects and development of production is much higher, I'd like to claim, compared with many of our competitors."

With over a trillion dollars in student loan debt...
Is College a Lousy Investment? -- Why are we spending so much money on college? And why are we so unhappy about it? We all seem to agree that a college education is wonderful, and yet strangely we worry when we see families investing so much in this supposedly essential good. Maybe it's time to ask a question that seems almost sacrilegious: is all this investment in college education really worth it? The answer, I fear, is that it's not. For an increasing number of kids, the extra time and money spent pursuing a college diploma will leave them worse off than they were before they set foot on campus.

Air Travel is Going to the Birds - Airbus Announces Fuel-Efficient Flight Formations -- By flying jets in the familiar cluster that birds use while traveling, Airbus claims that jets could reduce drag while flying. This would improve efficiency and, along with other energy-saving ides, could cut fuel consumption by 15% and reduce carbon emissions by 28 million tons each year. It's all part of the company's sustainable travel initiative called 'Smarter Skies.'

- Sheena Moore

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