Leading indicators
A compendium of revealing stats
By Telis Demos, Fortune reporter

(Fortune Magazine) -- Bing bling

$40 million

Donation by Hollywood mogul Stephen L. Bing to the campaign for Prop. 87, a California referendum that would tax oil companies and give the money to clean-fuel research. It's the biggest single donation in California history. Big Oil has donated $30 million to fight the proposed tax, which would cost it $4 billion over ten years.

Faux apples


Reported price of a counterfeit 80GB iPod in Mexico City - the real thing costs $350. Bloggers have also spotted fake Nanos in the Philippines ($77) and India ($65). Knockoffs haven't turned up in the U.S. yet.

Carbon bargain


Typical reduction in Ebitda for big U.S. companies to lower carbon emissions to 10% below 2005 levels by 2012, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project. It assumes a price of $25 for each ton of carbon reduced, the going rate on Europe's emissions-trading market.

On the lighter side

$360 billion

Award plantiffs lawyers are seeking in a new round of tobacco lawsuits for claims that light cigarettes are healthier. Lawyers say smokers deserve $120 billion- and any damages would be tripled because the case will be tried using RICO laws.

TV nation


Televisions per person in U.S. households. This is the first year in Nielsen's 31-year survey that TVs outnumbered people in U.S. homes. Today 19% of homes have just one TV, vs. 57% back in 1975.

Source: California Secretary of State; NPR; Carbon Disclosure Project; Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll; Nielsen Media Research  Top of page