Spend Matters Friday Latte

Batten down the hatches!!!
New York Hurricane Could Be Multibillion-Dollar Catastrophe -- Time to think about the unthinkable. What if a major hurricane were to pass close to New York City, as several forecasting models now suggest that Hurricane Irene might? Apart from the inevitable loss of life in the most densely populated part of the country, history suggests that the economic damage could run into the tens of billions of dollars, depending on the severity of the storm and how close it came to the city. Unlikely but theoretically plausible scenarios could have the damage entering the realm of the costliest natural disasters of all time, and perhaps being large enough to have a materially negative effect on the United States' gross domestic product.

Budget study.
'Black swans' busting IT budgets -- One in six big IT projects go over-budget by an average of 200%, according to new research. The study by Oxford University and McKinsey also found that spending on technology was three times more likely to spiral out of control than construction or other major projects. Researchers said that rare but high-impact problems, dubbed "black swans", were often to blame.

First Steve Jobs, now...
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan to Resign -- The race to pick Japan's sixth leader in five years appeared on Friday to be shaping up as a battle between the most popular contender and a rival backed by a party powerbroker, although with five candidates in play, the outcome was hard to call. Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who came under fire for his response to the massive March tsunami and the radiation crisis it triggered, stepped down as ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader, clearing the way for the Democrats to pick a successor on Monday.

Lady GaGa isn't allowed, but this is?
Chinese State TV Alludes to U.S. Website Attacks -- Chinese state television has broadcast footage of what two experts on the Chinese military say appears to be a military institute demonstrating software designed to attack websites in the U.S. Although it could be a decade old or a mock-up, the 10-second segment--part of a longer report on cybersecurity--appears to be a rare example of an official source contradicting China'a repeated assertions that it doesn't engage in cyberattacks, according to Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins of the China SignPost analytical service, which specializes in military matters.

- Sheena Moore

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