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  • Outrageous Workplace Perks Thursday, 4 Aug 2011 | 4:31 PM ET
    If a company hopes to impress potential employees and retain the ones already on board, it’s no longer enough to offer the token fitness room and free coffee in the break room. Some employers are supersizing their benefits and perks, and hopefully this trend is here to stay. Internet startups and tech companies have been at the vanguard of the covet-worthy corporate culture since the days of the dot-com boom. The best of these sound like day camp for (semi-) grownups. As for some of the popular

    If a company hopes to impress potential employees and retain the ones already on board, it’s no longer enough to offer the token fitness room and free coffee in the break room.

  • 10 Outrageously Expensive Pets Wednesday, 3 Aug 2011 | 3:56 PM ET
    Recently, eccentric rocker  in an auction for an eight-week old Yorkshire terrier. Pricey? Not compared to the price tags of some of the pets out there. In fact, Ozzy was lucky to have paid so little. Just like with cars, purses, and jewelry, people with deep pockets will spend outrageous sums of money on animals. The reasoning behind these purchases can vary from investing in the animal’s DNA and their breeding prospects, to owning a unique creature, or for simple companionship.

    To get an idea of how expensive animals can be, CNBC.com gathered some of the most expensive animals that have been sold or that can be purchased. Check out the list!

  • Scenes From the Debt Ceiling Talks Wednesday, 3 Aug 2011 | 3:30 PM ET
    The discussion over the U.S. debt ceiling had been going on for months, but an agreement wasn’t signed into law until the deadline set by the U.S. Treasury was reached. The debate was a rollercoaster that both shifted markets and brought the fiscal discipline of Washington to the forefront. Everyone from markets, ratings agencies, government officials, and other countries urged the U.S. to find a solution to the debt-ceiling debate. For better or for worse, Congress and the president were able t

    Seeing the president and members of Congress in action gives a new perspective on the debt talks. Click for scenes from the talks, in the month leading up to the compromise.

  • Favorite Cars of Athletes Wednesday, 3 Aug 2011 | 12:39 PM ET
    It's no secret that the top professional athletes are among the highest paid people anywhere. When those prizes or multimillion dollar contracts start rolling in, one of the first investments that athletes often make is a conspicuously lavish car costing an amount that would take one of their fans a year or more to earn. This first prize on four wheels is often followed by a second car, and a third, and so on. Numerous websites are dedicated to documenting the comings and goings of celebrities'

    The cars most often seen being driven by stars from football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, swimming, skateboarding, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

  • Homes of the Future Tuesday, 2 Aug 2011 | 4:35 PM ET
    Since time immemorial, mankind has dreamed of what the future might hold. Would advances in medicine neuter deadly diseases as yet unconquerable? Would advances in science lead to the exploration of distant star systems? Would advances in architecture make houses look all curvy, like on the animated TV show "The Jetsons"?In the middle decades of the 20th century, homes of the future were uniformly depicted in films and television shows as identical, no matter the purpose or location. A three-bed

    Some of the designs are bold, some are bizarre, and some seem unlikely to get past the drafting table.

  • Biggest Businesses Run by College Dropouts Tuesday, 2 Aug 2011 | 3:58 PM ET
    Position: CEO, CarnivalMarket Cap: $19.6 billion Instead of spending four years in college, this chief executive spent time working his way up the chain of command at . Micky Arison, the CEO of Carnival, started in the sales department and was promoted to reservations manager in 1974. He was later promoted to vice president of passenger traffic and just three years later he was named president of the company. Arison helped acquire Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises and Westours, allowing Car

    From computers to cruise lines, these 10 CEOs made it to the top without a college degree and defied the idea that to be successful, you have to have a diploma.

  • 10 Business Fakes Made in China Tuesday, 2 Aug 2011 | 2:28 PM ET
    China has become known as the epicenter for producing a wide variety of counterfeit and bootlegged consumer products, but a trend has emerged over the past few years of faking full retail operations.A relatively new phenomenon, these rogue counterfeit businesses are a problem for companies that are trying to establish a brand image in China’s emerging economy. While some of these operations sell actual products from the legitimate companies, many simply copy the retail format, right down to even

    China has become known as the epicenter for a wide variety of counterfeit consumer products, but a trend has emerged over the past few years of faking full retail operations.

  • 10 Award-Winning Wines You've Never Heard Of Tuesday, 2 Aug 2011 | 1:43 AM ET
    Whether you know a Burgundy from Bordeaux or a Rioja from Chianti, you’re probably aware that they are great wine-producing regions and you may have tried a glass or two. If New World wines are your thing, California, Australia, Chile, and New Zealand have become known for the quality of their wines. But the "old" and "new" worlds have recently been joined by a number of emerging wine regions in Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. This year, the Decanter World Wine Awards—the world’s bigg

    This year, the Decanter World Wine Awards—the world’s biggest with more than 12,000 entries—awarded coveted medals to a number of wines. Check out the list!

  • Seven States With Sky-High Insurance Monday, 1 Aug 2011 | 9:49 AM ET
    With forecasters predicting 12 to 18 named storms in 2011, homeowners in the Southern United States may already be looking past the sunny days of summer and bracing for the hurricane season. Insurance providers have already bet on it. Homeowners in certain hurricane prone states are at the mercy of an entirely separate insurance market — the so-called “market of last resort” — created to pick up the slack from private insurers who don't provide coverage for hurricanes — or, for that matter, torn

    See average annual homeowners insurance premiums in these states, as well as average windstorm insurance premiums from the least expensive to the most expensive.

  • 15 Dangerous Cities for Driving Friday, 29 Jul 2011 | 4:57 PM ET
    There are many ways one could gauge the danger of driving in a particular city, but this list uses the cities with the greatest number of vehicular deaths as a barometer of the danger level. U.S. cities with a population of 150,000 or more were up for consideration, using the most recent motor vehicle crash data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and General Estimates System.One particular region of the country, the South, is ov

    Which cities are the most dangerous to drive in? Click to see the 15 cities that ranked the worst for fatalities per 100,000 population.

  • 10 Performance Enhancing Sports Products Friday, 29 Jul 2011 | 1:56 PM ET
    When it comes to products designed to enhance athletic performance, the marketplace is full of options. There’s apparel that’s specially designed to enhance speed. Balls with state-of-the-art aerodynamic technology that affects their trajectory. There are even accessories that are thought to utilize the tenets of New Age philosophy to align the wearer’s , thereby making an athlete's gait as effortless as that of a winged cheetah with the wind at his back.Manufacturers claim their products can ma

    What are some of the more notable products available on the market today that are said to enhance athletic performance? Click ahead and find out.

  • Scandal Homes Thursday, 28 Jul 2011 | 3:56 PM ET
    Regardless of whether a controversy occurred recently or decades in the past, it’s often difficult for the famous and infamous parties involved to shake a headline-making scandal. No category of celebrity is immune to a juicy scandal. But while some of the subjects recover and carry on in their chosen fields (this seems easier for entertainers), others are ruined—and one evildoer is cooling his once well-heeled heels in jail.The following selection of homes includes the residences of ex-governor

    The real estate listings don’t come with a caveat but we’ll tack one on here: The buyer is responsible for exorcizing any karmic residue.

  • Scenes from the Tea Party's "Hold the Line" Rally Thursday, 28 Jul 2011 | 2:33 PM ET
    Tea Party activists gathered on Capitol Hill for a 'Hold the Line' rally on June 27, 2011 in Washington, DC. With the debt limit impasse reaching a critical juncture, activists from all sides of the debate are reaching out to members of the U.S. Congress.Here are photos from the Tea Party's "Hold the Line" Rally

    With the debt limit impasse reaching a critical juncture, activists from all sides of the debate are reaching out to members of the U.S. Congress. Here are photos from the Tea Party's "Hold the Line" Rally.

  • 10 Terrible Sports Contracts Thursday, 28 Jul 2011 | 12:24 PM ET
    When people hear the term "terrible sports contract," two assumptions are often made. First, the agreement in question must have been orchestrated by a greedy team owner, with terms deliberately designed to bilk the athlete. And second, the athlete must have been a young rube who signed the contract without consulting a lawyer first. While these scenarios have surely played out many times in the past, they're not the only ones possible.Sometimes, a terrible contract is actually terrible for the

    What are some of the sports contracts that had terrible consequences for the teams that wrote them? Click and find out.

  • 10 Growing Trends for the Chinese Consumer Thursday, 28 Jul 2011 | 11:32 AM ET
    As China becomes an increasingly important part of the global economy, no investor or business leader can ignore the increasing influence of its consumers. The tastes and preferences of China’s market of 1.3 billion people has the potential to sway demand and shift the trajectory of global consumer spending.This is especially true as China’s consumer spending is growing at an average annual rate of 18 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, compared to As many foreign companies

    Some consumer trends in China are well known, such as the increasing demand for luxury goods, but others may surprise you. CNBC.com put together a list of 10 major consumer trends.

  • What Happens If the US Is Downgraded? Wednesday, 27 Jul 2011 | 3:59 PM ET
    Politicians in Washington, D.C. finally agreed on a deal that would extend the ability of the government to borrow money beyond August—preventing a default on  or other obligations.But even with the U.S. debt ceiling raised, a short-term deal that does little to raise revenue or cut spending might result in a downgrade of the country's long-term debt. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s might decide that the failure to produce a longer-term solution to the U.S. debt burden indicates that the country's

    You might be surprised by some of the possible answers. Click ahead to see what happens if the U.S. credit rating is downgraded.

  • 10 Country Songs About Jack Daniel's Wednesday, 27 Jul 2011 | 2:28 PM ET
    Country music songs tend to explore a fixed list of topics such as heartbreak, incarceration and infidelity. However, just as often the mainstream country song turns to another topic, one that has held mankind in its sway since time immemorial —  drinking alcohol. Despite the grim subject matter, the country drinking song remains an American institution, as integral to the fabric of this nation as apple pie and as redolent with cultural significance as a thick wad of chawin’ terbacky.Country dri

    What are some of the classic country songs about Jack Daniel’s whiskey? Click to find out.

  • Homes With Famous Views Tuesday, 26 Jul 2011 | 3:40 PM ET
    Whether on vacation or on the real-estate market, consumers will often shell out more cash to enjoy a beautiful view—especially when that view is well known. It can be a point of pride to have an iconic vista or landmark visible through your home’s windows, and when a house is on the market, views become a selling point.The first thing the casual browser is likely to notice is that the majority of the following selections are urban. There are, of course, famous views elsewhere, but in the case o

    Here are 11 houses for sale that feature famous views, most of them suggested by Realtor.com and Zillow.com, ranked in order from the lowest price to the highest.

  • Amazing Things Made of Chocolate Tuesday, 26 Jul 2011 | 8:49 AM ET
    Ever wonder what life would be like if you lived in Willy Wonka’s world? Think chocolate rooms, clothing and even a car. We did, so we scoured the globe to find some of the most amazing things made of chocolate. What we found were some chocolate makers who let their imaginations run wild, creating some truly unique edible objects that may surprise you. And you don’t have to be a chocoholic to appreciate these finer things in life. But we didn’t stop there, because some people took their love of

    We scoured the globe to find some of the most amazing things made of chocolate. We found some truly unique edible objects that may surprise you.

  • Colleges That Bring the Highest Paycheck 2011 Monday, 25 Jul 2011 | 11:05 AM ET
    Location, prestige, academic reputation and tuition are major factors for students in the college selection process, but post-graduate salary is something rarely taken into consideration. Although salaries depend heavily on a graduate’s field of work, companies are willing to pay a premium for students hailing from the nation’s top universities. But which undergraduate institutions offer the most valuable educations? Recently, released a report on the highest salary potential among the nation’s

    Although salaries depend heavily on a graduate’s field of work, companies are willing to pay a premium for students hailing from the nation’s top universities.

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