PODCAST: Hostess to close, Dali on auction

A detail of an artwork at the Dali Film exhibition at the Tate Modern on May 30, 2007 in London.

Hostess Brands says it plans to go out of business. Hostess makes Ho Hos and Twinkies and also owns Little Debbie's and Wonder Bread. The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year -- after it had only just emerged from its previous bankruptcy in 2009.

Just a few minutes ago congressional leaders stepped outside the White House for a news conference. They wanted to let people know they've had constructive talks with the president over the fiscal cliff. Without a fiscal cliff solution, capital gains taxes -- our tax on investment income -- will increase by two-thirds in the new year. No matter what happens, capital gains taxes are going up by 25 percent as part of paying for health care reform. This is likely a factor in many decisions businesses and investors are making right now.

We've talked about the consequences of going over the fiscal cliff for business, for individuals, and for the federal government. But no deal could actually mean more money for states.

U.S. industrial output fell in October -- superstorm Sandy catches much of the blame for that.
 
Now a quick correction to a story we brought you on Wednesday, about a street car system planned for Kansas City. We should have mentioned that the organization trying to raise money for the system through donations has raised just a small fraction of its overall goal. In addition, voters are considering a sales tax to pay for the streetcars.

Stanford and MIT have drawn lots of attention for their free online courses. They've become known as  MOOCs  -- massive open online courses -- because thousands of students can enroll at a time. This week another group of universities announced their own take on online education. And you can sort of think of it as the "anti-MOOC."

In an age when you can go to school online, why can't you set up your office in your car? This week German police pulled over a man speeding in a Ford station wagon. They discovered that his passenger seat had been converted into the ultimate road-warrior set-up: a custom wooden frame held a computer, printer, wireless router, all powered from the cigarette lighter. Because the cops had no evidence he had used any of it while moving, he got off with just the speeding ticket.

In Spain, the government is suspending foreclosures for the neediest homeowners. The move comes one week after a woman there committed suicide -- as officials arrived to remove her from her apartment.

Tonight CBS is airing a tribute to Whitney Houston. She died in February. and doctors say chronic cocaine use had more than a little to do with it. It seems like a familiar story in show business. So earlier today my colleague Jeremy Hobson talked with a guy who has some personal experience with that kind of thing: Eddie Money. Remember Eddie Money?  

And finally, good news for a Goodwill in Tacoma, Wash. Amid the usual clothes and housewares, someone dropped off a signed sketch by Salvador Dali. It's a hand with a bent watch, pointing at a picture of a mountain. There's some kind of head floating in the corner. Anyway, it's a Salvador Dali. You can bid on it, if you like -- it's at ShopGoodwill.com. The price when I looked a minute ago: $10,505.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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