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Award shows and power trips

Feb 24, 2005
Ready for the big awards show? Tonight from Miami, its the Latin music awards on Univision. Ok, so it's not the Oscars... but there is plenty of drama.When tonight's show gets underway, 23 scheduled celebrities will be missing. We're talking about some of the biggest celebrities in Spanish language TV. Soap stars. They've been told by Mexico's Televisa TV network to stay away. Televisa owns a minority stake in Univision. And it is hungry for more control. Univision's board is not going for it. From WLRN in Miami, Marketplace Americas correspondent Dan Grech reports.

Improving on perfection?

Feb 24, 2005
Today we learned fourth quarter profit grew 19 percent at Staples. The nation's largest retailer of office products is named after... those famous little metal things. Those little wire machines that fasten paper. Not much about the staple or the stapler has changed since the 1700's. Well... there was the electric stapler in 1956, but since then it's been a little quiet on the stapler front. And that's been a problem for a company whose name you probably grew up with. From Chicago, Sandy Hausman reports on how the company plans to come back swinging.

Big Brother?

Feb 24, 2005
By now you've heard about the ChoicePoint affair. ChoicePoint buys and sells personal information. Names, social security numbers, addresses, credit records, you get the idea. Criminals tapped into ChoicePoint's databank and accessed the personal files of almost 150,000 Americans.Or, so says the company. Some officials suspect the records of as many as half a million Americans may have been compromised. In Washington today, a House Committee promised to look into how the the databank was breached. Commentator Amelia Warren Tyagi wants Congress to promise much more.

Culture wars

Feb 24, 2005
Next Monday in Portland Oregon: a suicide prevention conference. Not exactly subject matter for a program about money like Marketplace. Or so we thought. Until our own reporter, Scott Tong, told us that federal money is involved. And so are questions about the meeting's real agenda.

Where is Russia headed?

Feb 24, 2005
President Bush met his Russian counterpart in Slovakia today. The U.S. has been critical of Russia's recent roll-back of several democratic reforms. At a joint news conference, Vladimir Putin said his country has made its choice in favor of democracy... 'there is no way back'. But free markets? A few months ago, Russia effectively re-nationalised its biggest oil company, Yukos. Neil Buckley, Financial Times Correspondent in Moscow, says that was just the start of what now appears a pattern.

The bond curve

Feb 24, 2005
Short-term interest rates are rising. But long-term rates are holding steady. What's happening? Host Kai Ryssdal gets an explanation from Marketplace's money guru, Chris Farrell.

Biotech keeps rising

Feb 24, 2005
While many traditional manufacturing jobs have migrated overseas, some industries are expanding their manufacturing in the U.S. Namely, the biopharmaceutical industry. Reporter Alison St. John visited a new $380 million biotech plant outside of San Diego that makes things you can't even see.

The spring training business model

Feb 24, 2005
That age-old ritual, Spring Training, is underway in Florida and Arizona. As early as 1870, the Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Chicago White Stockings held training camps in New Orleans. But things have changed. Sports commentator David Carter says spring training has become a big part of baseball's business model.

Coming home

Feb 23, 2005
What do you think of when you imagine troops arriving back home from tours of duty in Iraq? Judging from pictures of some of them returning this week... there's lots fanfare... balloons... big hugs and lots of kisses. That's all well and good but there's something else a lot of the returnees are facing... a financial ambush. Alison Saint John reports from the Camp Pendleton Marine Corp base outside of San Diego.

That was quick!

Feb 23, 2005
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia released its fourth-quarter earnings report today -- not a good thing. Martha Stewart, convicted felon, is scheduled to be released from prison next week -- a good thing, at least for her. Now... Martha the company is having trouble with the recipe for financial success. Wall Street seems convinced that having Martha, the person, back in the kitchen will fix everything. Marketplace's Bob Moon reports some analysts would rather order takeout.

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