Mid-day Update - Most Commented

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PODCAST: Lance Armstrong loses his medals, South Korean court rules in Apple vs Samsung

Aug 24, 2012
Will the "Lance" brand survive? Usually August means panic on the stock market, but this year we've seen the S&P 500 hit a four-year high and Apple stock rocket to over $670 a share. Have we bucked the trend? And an analyst has a model that predicts an Obama victory in November.
Posted In: lance armstrong, apple, Wall Street

PODCAST: Trying to predict election outcomes, Federal Reserve moves, and the future of Europe

Aug 23, 2012
Notes from a Fed meeting earlier this month were released yesterday and they seem to indicate more stimulus is on the way. And while the Chinese economy shows some signs of slowing, not that everyone is suffering. Workers at state-run companies in China receive not just good salaries, but all kinds of perks -- from mortgage payments to fancy cars.

PODCAST: Jimmy Kimmel makes a move, a picnic table gets a motor

Aug 22, 2012
After nearly two decades of negotiations, Russia is now officially a member of the World Trade Organization. It's an economic boon for Russia. Greece has officially asked for more time to make financial reforms required by its bailout agreement with Europe. And late night TV is about to go where it's never gone before. ABC says starting in 2013 it's moving Jimmy Kimmel Live a half hour earlier, to compete head-to-head with Letterman and Leno.

PODCAST: A bad day for Best Buy, a stressful life for doctors

Aug 21, 2012
Apple has hit a major milestone. The electronics giant is now the biggest public company ever measured by stock value. It's back to school shopping season and despite the weak economy, luxury retail has been doing well. And kids clothes are no exception. And here in the U.S., our doctors are "burned out," according to a new study from the Mayo Clinic.

PODCAST: Best Buy loses a CEO, Aetna gains a company

Aug 20, 2012
Struggling electronics retailer Best Buy has named a new chief executive: Frenchman Hubert Joly will likely take the helm in early September. It's back-to-school time -- which means it's back-to-school lunch time. This year, kids lunch choices are going to be a little different. And beyond Beale Street, the blues and Elvis Presley, Memphis is dealing with some major urban challenges. So the city is launching a PR campaign, aimed in part at bringing former residents back to th city.

PODCAST: A strike in South Africa, comparing budget plans

Aug 17, 2012
In South Africa, more than 30 workers have been killed by police at a platinum mine. The workers, who were armed, were staging what police said was an illegal strike. In Illinois today, unionized workers at a Caterpillar plant will vote on a contract to end a four month strike of their own -- a strike that has put the state's governor in an awkward position. And you know the look... guys around the office in button-down shirts and khaki slacks. We take it for granted now as the business casual “uniform,” but it wasn’t always. So how did the modern office dress code come to be?

PODCAST: Banks under investigation, ethanol up for discussion

Aug 16, 2012
Today there's word that a number of banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, are being subpoenaed, by regulators in New York and Connecticut. It's all about charges that the banks rigged an interest rate called LIBOR. Facebook, which went public in May with a stock price of $38 a share, is now down to around $21 a share. And today, that price could drop further, when a lockup ends and insiders are able to sell their shares. And as the worst drought in 50 years continues to send grain prices through the roof, several governors are asking the federal government to end a mandate that requires some of the nation's corn to be used for ethanol.

PODCAST: Retailers join forces for mobile payment

Aug 15, 2012
The stock price of Standard Chartered Bank is up sharply this morning, after the British bank settled with New York state regulators for $340 million after allegations that it hid thousands of financial transactions with Iran. Wal-Mart reports its quarterly earnings this morning. And the company is teaming up with other big retailers to offer a mobile payments network. And different parts of the country have experienced the housing collapse in different ways. But some places have a housing market that seems totally disconnected from the rest of the nation. Just ask the real estate agents in North Idaho.

PODCAST: Retail sales shine bright, Groupon dims out

Aug 14, 2012
There are really two camps of people at the Federal Reserve: Those who think we should be doing a lot more stimulus monetarily, and focused on that employment mandate that the Fed has; And those who are worried more about inflation, and don't want the Fed to be expanding its balance sheet. One person who thinks there should be more stimulus is a guy named Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. And the official price tag for the London Olympics is about $15 billion. And while some tally up the benefits, some small business owners in London are seeing red.

PODCAST: Paul Ryan gets picked, Google slashes Motorola Mobility jobs

Aug 13, 2012
Wisconsin congressman and now Republican vice presidential Candidate Paul Ryan will be in Iowa today, talking with voters at the state fair. It'll be Ryan's first solo-appearance since Mitt Romney announced Ryan as his running mate on Saturday. New figures out this morning show Japan's economy is slowing down. It grew at a rate of 1.4 percent in the latest three month period. The United States is taking home 104 Olympic medals this year. But there's one winner from the Olympics without any medals. It's something called Kinesio tape.

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About this collection

"Freakonomics" and "SuperFreakonomics," by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, are groundbreaking books that explore "the hidden side of everything." Now there's Freakonomics Radio, a project that includes a weekly podcast, regular segments on Marketplace, and one-hour specials to be broadcast on public-radio stations across the country. Prepare to be enlightened, engaged, perhaps enraged, and definitely surprised.