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Opening Bell: 11.23.07

Ed note: Unfortunately, although we use the plural first person all the time, there's technically just one of us writing the Opening Bell... which means no coinflip about who had to write it today. That being said, we still like a good wager, so yesterday at Thanksgiving we amused ourselves by doing prop bets with our family members: $50 bet to whomever got the better end of the wishbone. After that, we just started snapping random bones we could find to see whose side ended up longer. We ended up +$250, though our high was +$900. Also, seeing as there may not be any news of substance today and there probably won't be too many of you reading, we make no guarantees as to the accuracy, validity, newsworthiness, or actionability of any of these items. It might just be links to stories about shopping -- we're not sure.
Stores Usher in Holiday Shopping Season (AP)
Blah blah blah, economy, blah blah blah, iPod, blah blah blah, subprime, blah blah blah, retail, blah blah blah, discount, blah blah blah, tainted Chines toys, blah blah blah, recession, blah blah blah, upbeat. Blah blah blah, l-tryptophaned.
The 2007 UT-A&M Game (Houston's Clear Thinkers)
We've been pretty down on our alma mater this year (well at least their football team), but the Longhorns have won a number of impressive come-from-behind wins against teams they never should have been behind against in the first place. Last year the 'Horns got spanked by the Aggies, which was humiliating, but this year it'll be different. We can feel it. Just curious: what bar do the UT alums among our readership watch the game at? Let us know in the comments.
Despite filters, tidal wave of spam bears down on e-mailers (USA Today)
Even on a slow news day, this is pretty low. Yes, there's still spam. And what's great is that the piece starts off with that old Bill Gates quote about the eradication of spam, which has probably been used in every other spam article for the past 3 years.
Yikes! (Information Processing)
More depressing stuff about subprime, CDOs, sivs, etc.
American Eagle flight gets stuck in Arkansas mud (Today in the Sky)
From what we can tell, the Thanksgiving travel nightmares never materialized this year... or not really so bad. An averted storm in Chicago helped matters. Anyway, at least one plane got stuck in the mud and was delayed.

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Airbus to Cut R&D Spending as Dollar Breaches `Pain Barrier' (Bloomberg)
The Europeans can gloat all they want about the strength of the Euro, but it's not good news for export-heavy firms on the continent. The funny thing is, US politicians haven't seemed to express one iota of concern about the weakness of the Dollar. Basically, it's mainly pundits and bloggers and Ron Paul. On the other hand, Europeans and Chinese have been bringing it up for a while now, which is telling of something. Anyway, some interesting comments from the head of Airbus about how much the company is hurting from the weak dollar.
Megachurches Add Local Economy to Their Mission (NYT)
Interesting piece in the TImes about the business of megachurches, and their efforts at expanding through things like shopping malls, limo services, investment banks, etc. Naturally, some questions arise about the tax-status of all of this stuff and some will be bothered by any firm or organization that achieves "mega" status. Still, we're sure direct economic investment is worth more than just praying for consumer spending to go up, which is probably what most smaller churches are doing to help the economy.
$300 Billion in Write-Offs Is Predicted (NYT)
We saw $500 billion somewhere else, so this $300 billion prediction from the OECD is actually pretty encouraging.