california

The 20 Most Valuable Brands In The World

Every year, BrandZ and Millward Brown Optimor calculate and rank brands based on their global value. These are the 20 most valuable brands for 2013. (Think mobile.)

8 States Making Tax Changes: Some Painful, Some Pleasant

As you prepare your tax returns for 2012, be warned: A number of states have made or are considering big changes to their state income taxes. With some of those changes already having taken effect, you need to know whether you're in the line of fire -- or in line for a tax break.

The 10 Most Expensive Cities in the United States

The Council for Community and Economic Research just released its sixth annual city cost-of-living rankings. We'll tell you which cities made its top 10 list, plus the average costs of a few ordinary purchases in each one to help put those expenses in perspective.

The 10 Most Outrageous Items People Bought in January

2013 started off with some impressive sales, including record prices for a mansion and a Ferrari. One famous baby even got a diamond-encrusted Barbie doll for her first birthday -- and you won't believe what it cost her parents.

The 5 Best-Run and 5 Worst-Run States in America

Each year, 24/7 Wall St. conducts an extensive survey of all 50 states, reviewing a raft of data on financial health, living standards, government services and more to determine how well each one is managed.

The 2 Words the Food Industry Spent $45 Million to Avoid Using

California's Prop 37, which would have introduced labeling rules for foods containing genetically modified organisms, failed last week, largely because of a huge and misleading ad campaign funded by agriculture and food companies. So why are they so loath to talk about genetic engineering?

The 10 Best States to Retire In Now

Ask anyone to name the states U.S. retirees are most drawn to, and they'll likely fire off a list of coastal sun magnets. But as today's seniors look toward retirement with nest eggs battered by the recession, more factors than climate will go into their next choice of zip code.

Disney's 2013 Theme Park Plan: Keep the Magic Alive Every Week

Disney set up a three-story castle made of ice in Times Square this week to introduce its new Limited Time Magic theme park campaign for 2013: The family entertainment giant plans to kick things up a notch at its Florida and California attractions by offering 52 weekly themed events.

How Close Are We to the Age of the Self-Driving Car?

Imagine a world without traffic jams, driver's licenses or car insurance. Sounds like science fiction, but maybe it's not. Last week, California became the second state in the country to pass legislation paving the way for self-driving vehicles.

The Secret the Food Industry Is Spending Millions to Keep

Big Agriculture and food companies are shelling out gobs of cash ahead of November's election to convince Californians to vote against a proposed law that would require businesses to label products that contain genetically modified organisms. Here's why:

California's Tax Man Eyes a New Tool: A GPS Tracker on Your Car

Here's a news item that will inflame both the privacy activists and taxophobes alike: In California, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is considering a plan to use GPS technology to track how far people drive, and tax them based on the distances.

Thousands Fall Victim to Utility Payment Scam

As much as President Barack Obama wants your vote, he won't pay your electric bill. But thousands of Americans have been persuaded otherwise, falling victim to a scam that claims to be part of an federal program to help pay utility bills in the midst of this scorching summer.

New Twist on an Old Law Offers Underwater Homeowners Hope

Governments have long used eminent domain to seize private property for projects in the "common good" -- often to the dismay of the owners. But now, two California cities want to use it to help get besieged homeowners out of their underwater mortgages.

Look Who's Buying America Now!

While Americans are still reeling from the housing bust, people from around the globe are scooping up cheap American homes. Over the 12 months that ended in March, nearly 9% of all real estate spending in the U.S. was done by buyers from abroad. Is it "Rising Sun" all over again?

Junk Food: The Pariah That's Replacing Tobacco

Forget cigarettes: The big public health boogyman now is obesity. The idea that our growing waistlines pose a hefty threat to our financial well-being is gaining momentum, and all signs point to this trend having a big impact on public opinion and public policy.

What Would You Grab If Your House Were on Fire?

Occasionally, I play a grim game I call "Grab and Run" -- a mental exercise in which I plan which items I would take with me were I to flee an impending disaster. If a fire, flood, killer bee swarm or alien invasion happened right now, how prepared would you be?

The 10 States That Pay Out the Biggest Lottery Jackpots

On Friday night, a Mega Millions jackpot of more than $500 million is in the offing. Somebody may win big. Now, the only guaranteed winners of lotteries are state treasuries. But we're betting you're more interested in your own odds of winning a lottery, and where the payouts are best.