COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

Money in the Morning

A growing number of private banks make be willing to make the leap to being a public company in the near future. That's the finding of a new report from Grant Thornton and its 14th Annual Survey of Bank Executives. The report suggests that larger banks are likely to consider a public offering than their smaller rivals. The main reason small, regional banks are hesitant to make the change is the oppressive regulations associated with Sarbanes-Oxley. However, proposals to relax the reporting requirements on smaller companies could open the floodgates for banks to go public.

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Home Depot says it is looking to fill about 15,000 new jobs in the United States in 2007. Most of those will be full-time jobs at the 100 new stores it plans to open this year. HD already employs 345,000 people at its 1,870 stores.

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The Hudson Employment Index released this morning says that American workers are less concerned about layoffs and more confident in their job security. The number of people worried about losing their jobs fell to just 16 percent, an all-time low. And, 42 percent of workers surveyed said their personal finances continue to improve. This is just the latest report that suggests Americans are very happy with the work environment and -- as sure as day follows night -- it has led to an increase in overall consumer confidence that has caught many of the so-called experts by surprise.

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The ADP forecast released today suggests that payrolls rose by 152,000 in January. The report -- which has been wildly inaccurate in recent months -- is considered an indicator of what to expect from the Labor Department when it releases its job data on Friday.

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Super Bowl hype is reaching record levels. Domino's Pizza says that it will deliver 250,000 pies during each quarter of the game on Sunday. And, its drivers will log more than 4 million miles rushing the pizza to football fans that day. And, Domino's customers seem to favor the Bears (52 percent) over the Colts (48 percent). When asked whether they would like to share a pizza with Donald Trump or Rosie O'Donnell, they opted for the Donald by the same percentages.

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However, the most bizarre Super Bowl report - so far - comes from the World Wildlife Fund. It actually prepared a report on who would win if a real bear and a real colt went head to head. "Overall, while speed, endurance and sheer numbers go to the colts, strength and agility remain with the bears," said the WWF. That's the kind of thing you might expect from the WWE - World Wrestling Entertainment.

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