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One weak plus one weak equals too weak (access required)

I recall that in 1997, the pudding-heads at the Federal Trade Commission put the kibosh on a proposed merger of Office Depot (ODP-$3.95) and Staples (SPLS-$13.25) because it feared the power of these two big-box stores. ODP and OfficeMax (OMX-$11.69) is a merger of two weak companies with a decade of declining revenues, cash flows, book values, earnings and share prices.

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Remorse may leave no recourse (access required)

DEAR BENNY: What are the obligations of an escrow agent? I signed a real estate sales contract and gave the seller a $10,000 earnest money deposit. He was supposed to escrow those funds until closing. However, I decided not to ...

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Hunting for vacation home loan can be frustrating (access required)

The hottest seasons for vacation home sales are spring and summer. You may now be planning such a purchase, but be aware of the challenge you may face when shopping for a mortgage loan. Many vacation-home buyers are finding tougher underwriting requirements and other obstacles when seeking a financing loan, tougher than loans to finance primary-residence homes.

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