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Pennies from heaven ...

Feb 22, 2005
Wal-Mart debuted its new credit card today. The nation's biggest retailer is offering a Discover card -- take that Visa and Mastercard. Do we really need more credit cards? Americans are carrying more debt than ever before. As the cards and mortgages pile up you might turn to a credit counselor or a personal financial adviser. And some are seeking financial relief through... a higher power. Robin Urevich reports.

Marketplace Letters!

Feb 22, 2005
As usual, we've got a full mailbag. Tess has some letters in this edition of Marketplace Letters ...

Palestinian hardships

Feb 22, 2005
Israel released 500 Palestinian prisoners yesterday as a goodwill gesture to the new government of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. There are still more than 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli custody. Some of them are in "administrative detention." They can be held for months or even years without going to trial. As Nancy Updike reports, that often means financial hardship for their families.

Telecom Mergers: The good, the bad, the ugly

Feb 22, 2005
We're seeing a lot of consolidation in the telecom business. Mergers usually mean layoffs, so what can we expect from these deals? Marketplace's Alisa Roth reports. Also, while they're may be layoffs, the telecom mergers could have a nice benefit for consumers. Commentator Kenneth Cukier says it's about time.

Going for the Games

Feb 21, 2005
New York City rolled out the welcome mat this week. It was the opening volley in a four-day sales pitch to delegates of the International Olympic Committee. On the heels of a snowstorm the city will try to convince the IOC that the Big Apple should host the 20-12 summer games. It's a ritual also playing out in Paris, Madrid, Moscow and London. The New York City bid committee is spending millions to wow its guests. Olympic historian David Wallechinsky says this is just the beginning.

ChoicePoint's bad choice?

Feb 21, 2005
You may remember hearing last week about a significant cyber-security breach at a company called ChoicePoint. ChoicePoint is a clearinghouse of 19 billion public records on people across the country... including credit ratings, drivers license and social security numbers. At first the problem appeared limited to consumers here in California -- then we found out no, Californians only knew about it first because of a state law requiring they be notified. Today the company said the security breach - which happened in October - affected residents in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. Marketplace's Lisa Napoli reports.

Cybersecurity far, far away ...

Feb 21, 2005
It's unsettling enough to know that your personal information can be stolen from a company here in the U.S. But more and more companies are processing that same data at I-T centers in other countries. Call it information-outsourcing... it's especially big-business in countries like India. And the security concerns grow once all that stuff leaves U.S. shores. Miranda Kennedy reports on the tough job of making sure information doesn't get highjacked on the road from Boston to Bangalore.

Radio Shack ... is back?

Feb 21, 2005
Consumer electronics chains in particular could use some extra business from the current Presidents' Day sales. Last week Circuit City announced it's closing 19 superstores. And old school retailer RadioShack cut its profit forecast. But like its former spokewoman and newly desperate housewife Teri Hatcher... RadioShack is working on a comeback. Marketplace's Cheryl Glaser reports.

Ah, the presidency ...

Feb 21, 2005
Today's a day off for many, in observance of President's Day. But at least two former presidents are on the job. Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush are in southeast Asia - wrapping up their tour of areas hit hardest by the December tsunami. Shortly after the disaster the current President Bush tapped them to help organize U.S. relief efforts. Former President Jimmy Carter is arguably as well-known for what he's done since being president as for what he did as president. Author and Marketplace commentator Sandra Tsing Loh is using her time off today to reflect on our presidents, their work post-Oval Office, and her own jobs over the years.

Fixing the system

Feb 21, 2005
Social Security is like the weather these days: Everybody's talking about it, but nobody's actually doing anything about it. Investment advisor and regular Marketplace commentator Gabriel Wisdom says it's time for Congress to step up to the plate and do something about the retirement system.

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