Money Minute: Adidas May Score Big Soccer Endorsement

Adidas is likely to score soccer's biggest endorsement ever.

Germany not only kicked Brazil's butt at the World Cup on Tuesday, but Germany's Adidas looks poised to beat Nike (NKE) in scoring Manchester United's endorsement. The German sporting giant has offered ManU 60 million British pounds a year, which is equivalent to more than $100 million, for 10 years. Nike, who currently sponsors the team, has the right to top the deal when its contract expires after next season but the American brand reportedly doesn't want to bid that high and is walking away. If Adidas and Manchester United go through the deal, it would be soccer's biggest ever.

Nike Casa Fenomenal Opening
Raphael Dias/Getty ImagesNike sportswear on display in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last May.
Car-sharing service Uber has reached a deal with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on the issue of price surging. The controversial service which charges customers more when demand is highest was accused of price gouging during Hurricane Sandy when it charged customers up to three times the regular fare. To comply with New York state's price-gouging law passed in 1978, Uber will have a cap on how much extra it can charge customers for its service in times of emergency. Uber says the agreement is part of its nationwide plan to institute price caps in cities during periods of emergency.

Here on Wall Street on Tuesday, investors slammed on the brakes, as the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost 117 points,the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 34 points and Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 7 points.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is one tough prosecutor. Under his direction his office has achieved 85 insider-trading convictions. But he just lost his first case. Hedge fund manager Rengan Rajaratnam, who initially faced six counts of fraud, was found not guilty by a jury. He is the brother of Raj Rajaratnam, who is currently in jail serving an 11-year sentence for insider trading. Rengan was accused of working with his brother and making trades on illicit information but the jury found the evidence was lacking. Bharara's office said the loss won't slow them down.

Finally, it appears that the Justice Department has caved in when it comes to how much of a settlement it will receive from Citigroup (C) for selling toxic mortgages that were intentionally opaque before the financial crisis. Initially the two sides were at loggerheads over the price of the settlement. Citigroup was offering $4 billion but the Justice Department wanted more in the range of $10 billion and was threatening a federal lawsuit if it didn't get close to that amount. What a difference a few weeks makes. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department is willing to settle for more than $4 billion, less than half of the amount it sought.

-Produced by Karina Huber.

7 Simple Strategies for a Frugal, Prosperous Life
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Money Minute: Adidas May Score Big Soccer Endorsement

Securing a favorable interest rate is a prime way to maximize savings. On a major loan repayment like a mortgage, a little upfront effort can save you considerable amounts for years to come. To cash in on this frugal hack, you need to get your credit in shape. That means checking your credit history, making payments on time (and in full), and reducing your debt to available credit ratio as much as possible. It means paying down your balances on all your credit card accounts. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest payments and the higher your savings.

Adjust your withholding exemptions so that your payments to Uncle Sam match your actual tax liability, and you won't wind up with a big refund come April. As exciting as it is to get that big check in the mail, that's money you've been loaning to the government for free rather than having it grow in your own savings and investment accounts. As of the start of April this year, the average tax refund was $2,831. That's $235 a months' worth of money that could be working for you.

Just 10 to 20 minutes on the phone with your cable company, cell phone rep, or any other service provider can result in recurring monthly savings through old-fashioned negotiation. If you're not getting anywhere after asking for a lower rate, ask for the cancellation (or retention) department and see what offers start to come in. If you're unable to haggle down to get the savings you want, you can always shop providers to get your service elsewhere -- probably with a new-customer discount rate, too.

While bulk buying can sometimes lead to unnecessary purchases and overspending, it's a great strategy for savings on nonperishable items like paper products, cleaning supplies and alcohol. When you stock up, you save on the unit price and the trips to the store to restock.

Other than the obvious benefits of reduced health care costs over time, exercising and living a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle can provide some more immediate savings on your insurance premiums.

More stuff equals more to maintain, clean and devote time and energy to. From the size of your home to the size of your clothing collection, more "stuff" generates more expenses. Downsize and watch your savings soar.

For each year after full retirement age that you delay taking Social Security benefits, you accumulate a permanent increase in your benefits of 5 to 8 percent until age 70. This one strategy can increase your Social Security retirement income by more than 25 percent. It would take a lot of penny-pinching to add up to that kind of income boost.
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