Money Minute: College Degree Really Is Worth the Cost

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New evidence that a college degree is worth the high cost.

The path to higher earnings goes directly through a college campus. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco says the average American with a 4-year college degree will end up with $800,000 more in lifetime earnings than someone with just a high school degree -- and that includes the cost of tuition and the lost earnings of spending four years in college. But the added cost of some private colleges doesn't always add to earnings potential.

The Obama Administration says no company is "too big to jail." Attorney General Eric Holder says "no company, no matter how large or profitable, is above the law." But he says the Justice Department wants to make sure that any criminal charges won't lead to catastrophic economic consequences.

Meanwhile, there are reports that federal prosecutors are near a deal under which European banking giant Credit Suisse (CS) will plead guilty to charges that it helped wealthy Americans avoid taxes. As part of the deal, Credit Suisse could pay as much as $1.6 billion.

A teenager has scored a big victory over Coca-Cola (KO). The beverage giant has agreed to remove brominated vegetable oil from its drinks. Bromine is a chemical used as a fire-retardant in furniture and children's clothing. It has now been stripped out of the company's Fanta and Fresca soft drinks, as well as Powerade. More than 60,000 consumers signed a petition started by a Mississippi teenager to remove the chemical. PepsiCo's (PEP) Gatorade previously stopped using bromine.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 17 points on Monday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 3, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 14 points.

Adidas is reportedly looking to sell its Rockport brand of casual shoes. The Wall Street Journal says Adidas has been falling behind its main rival, Nike, and could use the money to boost its sneaker line. Adidas acquired Rockport in 2005 as part of its deal to buy Reebok.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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