1 | Detroit GM Comes Speeding Back After racing through bankruptcy in 40 days, a slimmed-down General Motors emerged from Chapter 11 focused on just four brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. The Federal Government, which has committed $50 billion to the company, took a majority stake and installed a new chairman. The restructurings of GM and Chrysler were considered coups for President Obama's auto task force, whose head, Steven Rattner, said he will step down.
DEC. 19, 2008 The government announces GM will receive $13.4 billion in federal bailout funds
MARCH 29, 2009 Fritz Henderson takes over as CEO after longtime chief Rick Wagoner's ouster
MAY 15 GM declares plans to close 1,200 U.S. dealerships
JUNE 1 The company files for bankruptcy
JULY 5 A federal judge allows GM to sell the Cadillac brand and other assets to a new company owned primarily by the U.S. government
JULY 10 GM emerges from bankruptcy. Former AT&T head Edward Whitacre takes over as chairman
2 | Iran Crackdown Continues On July 14, government officials hanged 13 members of a rebel Sunni group blamed for a series of attacks across the country, including the May 28 bombing of a Shi'ite mosque that killed 25 people. Even in a country that ranks second only to China in the number of people executed each year, such mass hangings are rare, and observers have suggested that the timing--they coincided with the announcement of a sweeping new set of restrictions on the domestic press--was meant to quell persistent unrest over the contested June 12 presidential election.
3 | New York City Let the Good Times Roll! The recession has been kind to Goldman Sachs. After reporting $23.2 billion in net revenues at 2009's halfway mark--a 31% jump from June 2008--the investment-banking giant is on track to dole out some of the largest bonuses in its 140-year history. In June, Goldman paid back the $10 billion in TARP funds it accepted, and analysts say the move underscores Wall Street's willingness, after its nuclear winter, to embrace risk once again.
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Annual company profits
Average employee compensation
SOURCES: CNN MONEY; DATAMONITOR; WALL STREET JOURNAL
4 | Mexico The Hits Keep On Coming In what one columnist called the country's own "Tet offensive," suspected drug-cartel members shot up police stations across the country and tortured and killed 12 federal agents in an apparent reprisal for the arrest of a narcotics kingpin. The antidrug effort, which President Felipe Calderón has championed since taking office in December 2006, has claimed thousands of lives.
5 | Washington Speculators Face Fresh Scrutiny Federal regulators are weighing whether to impose restrictions on energy speculators, whom some have blamed for triggering the wild fluctuations in crude-oil prices over the past year. From its peak of $145 in July 2008, the price of a barrel of crude plummeted to about $35 in January before rebounding to almost $70 this summer. Some analysts deny that futures-trading has driven the swings, noting that commodity-price volatility is a normal by-product of difficult economic times.
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Price of crude oil (monthly average)