Baidu poised to benefit from Google vs. China battle

Given all the contention with the Google vs. China war, there’s a lot to be lost: Google can lose an estimated $300 million to $600 million if it pulls out of the country, China’s image can be further tarnished on the human-rights front. At least one company will benefit tremendously from this conflict, and it is the search-engine giant in China: Baidu Inc.

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A look into four banks’ financial health

With bank earnings season just passed, we now have a wealth of information to gauge the financial health of banks for the fourth-quarter of 2009. So pulling information from the income and cash-flow statements, we can see see how several bank holding companies in the Chicago area stack up. We’ll focus on JP Morgan Chase & Co., which is a New York-based megabank with a large Chicago presence; Lake Forest-based Wintrust Financial Corp.; Itasca-based First Midwest Banc Holdings Inc; and Melrose Park-based Midwest Banc Holdings Inc. (The reason Chase is thrown in the mix is to see how the smaller- and medium-sized bank holding companies compare.)

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