February 9th, 2012
06:37 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - You may never look at your aunt’s old armchair quite the same way and, once you’ve read this, grandpa’s grandfather clock may seem worth keeping after all.

Why? Because some of the world’s most coveted customers are literally crazy about your historical heirlooms.

A burgeoning middle class in China is flocking to London to stock up on English antiques that are fetching a veritable fortune back home.
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February 9th, 2012
11:38 AM GMT
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Varanasi, India (CNN) – The sari is a symbol of Indian style known around the world, but the makers of India’s most coveted saris are losing out to Chinese competition.

Banarasi saris are considered perhaps the finest of all saris. Originating from India's holiest city, Varanasi, they are traditionally worn by brides on their wedding day.

For centuries the silk saris have been made by hand in villages. The government has even given them a geographical identifier to indicate authenticity. But these enclaves of creativity are threatened by cheaper goods made in China.

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February 9th, 2012
04:48 AM GMT
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(CNN) – What does the U.S. Fed know that we don’t?

That is the question investors have been asking themselves ever since the central bank unveiled its intention to extend its plan to keep interest rates ultra low through late 2014.  Why would they need to do that when the recovery seems to be picking up steam, as witnessed in the latest jobs report?

That is exactly what I put to Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker when I sat down with him in Washington D.C.

“It is not an unconditional pledge. I think that it is clear because everyone recognizes, on the committee and more broadly, if things pick up we can change paths and raise rates before that. Does this mean policy is easier than it otherwise would have been? I am not so sure,” said Lacker.
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