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Little big plant...

Feb 28, 2005
It's a little plant that's played a big hand in America's economic history: Cotton. Host Kai Ryssdal talks to Stephen Yafa, author of "Big Cotton" about cotton's influence and impact in our society.

Medicaid meddling

Feb 25, 2005
The nation's governors are holding a conference in Washington over the next few days. Many of them are upset with one of their alums. A Former Texas Governor wants to cut federal funds for a program that's already a budget buster for the states. And now that he's president, he just might have the power to do it. Marketplace's Scott Tong reports on concerns about Medicaid.

Bankruptcy reform.

Feb 25, 2005
There's a credit card company that asks "what's in your wallet?" If you say "my wallet's empty", creditors start to panic. Last year, more than a million and a half Americans said bye-bye to their debts by filing for bankruptcy. For many years now, creditors have been begging Congress to make it harder for consumers to walk away. This may be the year they get what they've been asking for. Marketplace's Amy Scott reports that on Monday, the Senate takes up bankruptcy reform.

Location, location, location

Feb 25, 2005
Sales of existing homes ticked down a tenth of a percent in January. It's still the seventh highest pace on record. That from the National Association of Realtors. Plenty of factors go into picking a new place to live. And its obviously not just the price. Take Santa Clara County in Northern California. The median home price there is now $615,000. They're willing to pay that kind of money, in part, because of the schools. But shopping around for the right school has become more of a numbers game than you might imagine. Marketplace Work and Family correspondent Sarah Gardner reports.

The week that was ... on Wall Street

Feb 25, 2005
It's Friday. And you know what that means. The time to check the week on Wall Street, with stockbroker and business analyst David Johnson in Dallas.

Oscar fashions ...

Feb 25, 2005
Gambling on the outcome of Sunday's Academy Awards is illegal here in the U.S. And that includes Nevada. If you could, though... The oddsmakers seem to think it's the Aviator that'll take best picture. Here's something you can bet on: A seriously lavish fashion show. Commentator and attorney Conrad Teitell wonders who'll be paying for it.

Getting serious - about work

Feb 25, 2005
This week, French President Chirac seemed to be serious about mending fences with President Bush. What's next: an American-style workweek? Maybe... Next week, the French Senate is expected to confirm a measure that could doom the 35 hour workweek. The Government in Paris says 'in a global economy, France must get more competitive'. From our European Desk, Steven Beard reports.

Baseball, Bats, and Bucks

Feb 25, 2005
The Yankees are starting spring training with the highest-paid team ever in baseball. How long will Major League Baseball allow the Yankees to outspend everyone else? Host Kay Ryssdal talks to Marketplace's business of sports commentator Michael Knisley about some of the changes we may see in the league this season.

The Oscar game

Feb 25, 2005
What's an Oscar worth to a film studio? Enough to spend big bucks campaigning for one. Host Matthew Algeo talks to Variety's Stu Levine about promoting movies for the Academy Awards.

Attention (Chinese) shoppers!

Feb 25, 2005
One of the coming of age symbols for a consumer society is the mall. So it's little surprise that the country that aims to be the king of consumers is on a mall-building binge. There are now more than 400 malls and large shopping centers in China, a four-fold increase from a couple of years ago. Marketplace's Jocelyn Ford takes us to the biggest mall of all.

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