In the Red

Post Office Doubles Losses in 2010

It’s been with us since the days of the Pony Express, but for how much longer looks uncertain. The U.S. Postal Service lost $8.5 billion in its last fiscal year, more than its projected losses of up to $7 billion, and $4.7 billion more than the previous year’s shortfall. Mail volume fell by 3.5 percent from last year, a drop blamed on a combination of increased usage of the Internet and the recession, which cut into ad revenue and business mailing. Though the Postal Service does not receive tax money for its operations, it still must report to Congress, and it has asked for permission to reduce mail delivery to five days a week. The losses came even after the Postal Service found more than $9 billion in savings over the last two years, according to its chief financial officer, mainly by cutting 105,000 full-time positions—“more than any other organization, anywhere,” the CFO said.