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Macro chatter: Earnings (and iPad sales) day at Apple

Around the world today in business and economics. Need to know, want to know, and strange but true.
Apple stock dividend 2012 03 19Enlarge
Investors had been anticipating Monday’s announcement, with Apple stock up 37 percent since January when the company hinted a dividend program was being developed, and rising about 2 percent to $596.47 a share in early trading. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Need to know:
Coming off a roller coaster couple of weeks in the stock market, Apple is scheduled to announce quarterly earnings after US markets close today.

Everyone wants to know more than just how much money Apple made last quarter. The world also wants to know how many iPads it sold.

Apple should have a few weeks worth of new iPad sales data to share with investors, but don’t hold your breath for the company to breakdown new vs. old iPad sales numbers.

Want to know:
Crime
actually does pay — about $2.1 trillion a year, according to data from the United Nations and World Bank.

That figure is equal to 3.6 percent of the world’s total output, Reuters said. Put differently, if crime were an economy, it would be in the G20.

Corruption, human trafficking and drug trafficking are among the major contributors to crime revenues. Human trafficking alone generated $32 billion in 2009, the year the data was collected.

Dull but important:
Immigration may be less of an election issue this year.

Illegal immigration is slowing down as an increasing number of illegal immigrants in the US are heading home because they can't find jobs. 

The number of illegal immigrants from Mexico living in the US last year fell by nearly one million, the largest drop since the Great Depression, according to the Pew Hispanic Center

More illegal immigrants from Mexico may now be heading home than are heading north of the border, Reuters said

Just because:
India wants its doctors back.

The country’s health minister wants doctors going abroad for additional schooling to sign a “bond” promising to return after graduation, Indian Express said.

“In the last three years, 3,000 doctors went abroad for studies and did not return. Now if a student does not come back from the US, he will not be allowed to practice there,” Indian Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told the paper.

Such bonds are usually attached to financial penalties but, GlobalPost’s Jason Overdorf points out there are questions as to how legally enforceable these contracts may be.


Strange but true:
Driving a little further to have to have your appendix removed in California may be worth it. The price between similar appendectomies can vary as much as $180,000 depending on which hospital you go to, one California study of nearly 20,000 patients has found.

The highest bill for an appendectomy in California was nearly $183,000 while the lowest was just under $1,600, according to the study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

The most expensive surgery was in Silicon Valley for a woman with cancer. Her bill didn’t include any cancer-related treatment, however. Her treatment and itemized bill was similar to the patient who was received the smallest bill for an appendectomy.

Researchers said they couldn’t explain about one-third of the price differences they found. Bloomberg points out other developed countries regulate healthcare costs to prevent such disparities.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/macro-chatter-earnings-ipad-sales-apple

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