Beware of Bitcoin, Central Banks Warn; & 4 More Things to Know Today

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Bitcoins Rise
AP/Rick Bowmer
Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• France's central bank issued a warning Thursday: Beware of Bitcoin. The essence of the statement was fairly simple: The digital crypto-currency isn't backed by a government, and if people stop being willing to trade Bitcoins for "real" money, the whole concept could collapse like a house of cards. Coincidentally, China's central bank issued a similar warning Thursday, and banned its banks from trading in Bitcoin, which has recently seen a major surge in popularity in the world's most populous nation.

• Would you like pickets with your value meal? Fast food strikes are happening in 100 cities around the country Thursday, as labor groups continue their fight for living wages, enough hours, and decent benefits for the front-line employees in the fast food industry.

• But don't get the idea that it's just fast food workers suffering from wage stagnation and inequality in America. A new study from UC-Berkeley reveals that fully one-third of America's 500,000 or so bank tellers are receiving some form of government assistance, due to their low pay and higher likelihood of being part-timers. And it's not just a problem for them: U.S. taxpayers are paying nearly $900 million a year to supplement tellers' wages so that banks can pay them less and offer them fewer benefits. It's a nice little subsidy for the banks, which earned $141.3 billion in profits in 2012.

• Apple will finally get a bite of China Mobile's more than 700 million customers. The two companies finally sealed a deal that will allow the world's largest mobile phone carrier to offer iPhones.

• And finally, if you're a workaholic, you can probably blame mom and dad. A new study from the University of Michigan reveals that people's attitudes about the meaning of work fall into three general categories: The "career-oriented," who derive a lot of their personal identity from their jobs; the "job-oriented," who are just in it for the paycheck and are more interested in their lives outside the office; and the "calling-oriented," who picked jobs they believe are making the world a better place. And yes, which category you fall into largely comes down to the attitudes of your parents.


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