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Starbucks reported its first ever quarterly loss on Wednesday. Reasons: Sluggish economy, oh, and that little thing about closing 600 stores which cost the company $168 million in severance pay to fired baristas. Meanwhile, on Tuesday the company cut another 1,000 jobs (nonstore), realigned its leadership team and announced that it would close more than 70 percent of its stores in Australia. Howard Schultz tells the Seattle PI: "We see the light at the end of the tunnel...who could have predicted that we'd be paying close to $5 a gallon for gas? There's no excuse, but that is the reality." [Seattle PI]