Mid-day Update - Most Recent


PODCAST: A light at the end of the housing tunnel

Aug 8, 2012
As American Airlines winds its way through bankruptcy, some of its union workers are voting on new contract offers. Next week, a judge will decide if the company can throw out its old labor contracts and impose even more severe cuts on the workers. In the housing market, the credit rating agency Trans Union said late payments on mortgages have reached the lowest level in three years. And Apple and Google are expected to be major bidders at an auction today over patents from Eastman Kodak. Patent law is one of the most lucrative fields in the industry these days, and bilingual lawyers are in high demand because of it.

PODCAST: Giving loans to South Africa, fighting a refinery fire

Aug 7, 2012
The British firm Standard Chartered bank isn't a bank you'll find on every corner in the United States, even though it processes almost $200 billion worth of global transactions every day. But it could soon have its banking license revoked in the nation's financial center, because of allegations that the bank has been hiding tens of thousands of secret transactions with Iran. This week, companies like Macy's, Kohl's, Nordstrom and JCPenney will reporter earnings, but those earnings will only tell part of the story. In Australia, there's a new tax on greenhouse gas missions, and it was expected to help the poor and the elderly. They get a refund to pay for basic goods like food and electricity.

PODCAST: Taxing the Cayman Islands, finding the world's laziest countries

Aug 6, 2012
We have touched down on Mars! The NASA rover Curiosity landed on the surface of the red planet late last night. And it was all hugs at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in California. While NBC has been criticized for not running Olympic events live, but criticism aside, NBC is looking at strong ratings for the games so far, and the Olympics could help the network long after the torch leaves London. And we hear from one former Republican Congressional staff member about why he left the game following last year's debt ceiling crisis, and what we need to do to fix the financial incentives in American politics today.

PODCAST: July jobs report released

Aug 3, 2012
Today, the Labor Department told us 163,000 jobs were created in the U.S. in July, and and the new unemployment rate is 8.3 percent. Here in the U.S., women represent almost half of the labor force. But in the Palestinian territories, the number is far lower -- which is where Maysoon Oday comes in. She has started a radio station to get more women into the workforce. And this Sunday night, NASA's Curiosity Rover will be landing on Mars. The $2.5 billion mission will be getting some big time publicity, broadcasting live on the huge Toshiba Screen in New York's Times Square.

PODCAST: The ECB makes a statement, Americans like coffee

Aug 2, 2012
The Fed announced yesterday that it is prepared to act if the economy gets worse -- But for now, nada. Which brings us to the European Central Bank, which is holding a meeting today in Frankfurt and might have a little something up its sleeve for the global economy. On Capitol Hill today, a House Committee is looking into the effects of the Supreme Court's ruling on health care; Specifically, just how the IRS will assess a tax on people who don't carry health insurance. Later this morning, Freddie Mac will tell us what the average interest rate is right now on a 30-year fixed mortgage. Last week, the rate fell below 3.5 percent for the first time in 60 years of record keeping.

PODCAST: A flood of tweets against NBC, a changing tide in the shipping industry?

Aug 1, 2012
A federal housing regulator is rejecting a White House plan to help borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages. There are about 11 million people in that category. Power has been restored in India after a huge blackout, blamed in part on rising demand for electricity in one of the world's fastest growing economies. A blackout of this magnitude would be unthinkable in China. And there's more sun and heat in the forecast for St. Louis -- not great for a region that's in the midst of the worst drought in decades. The drought is now shrinking the shipping lanes in the Mississippi River.

PODCAST: Up on household incomes, down on NBC

Jul 31, 2012
Some earnings news: BP reported a sharp fall in profits while Pfizer's quarterly earnings are higher than expected. The government said household income jumped a half percent, but consumer spending fell by a tenth of a percent. American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks talks inequality. India is dealing with a major blackout. And an Olympic round-up: NBC spoiled Missy Franklin's gold medal win before her race aired in primetime last night, some Olympic athletes are headed for Wall Street, and we talk with Clyde Drexler from 1992's Dream Team on how basketball has changed.

PODCAST: Apple sues Samsung, Geithner in Germany

Jul 30, 2012
Lawyers from the two biggest smartphone producers in the world will be in federal court in San Jose, Calif., today. Samsung is being sued by Apple for more than $2 billion in damages, as well as an injunction to stop the sale of Samsung's smartphones and tablets. And we are now 99 days away from the election. One of the key themes of the campaign up to this point has been income inequality, but President Obama's former top economic adviser Larry Summers says that's not the debate we should be having. Instead, we should focus on inequality of opportunity.

PODCAST: London Olympics takes off, GDP growth slows

Jul 27, 2012
The London Olympics begin today, and the eleven big corporate sponsors of the event will begin to bask in the global limelight. All that basking doesn't come cheap: All together, the sponsors have shelled out more than a billion dollars. Computer Hackers took over Las Vegas this week, as part of the Black Hat conference -- a gathering of hackers where they talk about the latest in security and security breaches. And after several years of sluggish advertising, the glossies have just posted ad sales for their all important September issues and the numbers are looking fat. With 658 pages of ads, it will be Vogue's thickest September issue since the financial crisis.

PODCAST: Awaiting Facebook earnings, awaiting a Lady Gaga doll

Jul 26, 2012
Sanford Weill was once the king of making big banks bigger. Back in 1998, he combined Travelers, the insurance company, with Citibank to create Citigroup. But now, Weill wants to break up big banks. Facebook will post its first earnings after its IPO today, but the company has had a rocky road since it started selling shares and there are still big questions about its future. And why Goodyear is working on a new kind of tire: One made partially from soybeans.