Marketplace Money for November 3-4, 2007

Episode Description 

Straight Story: AMT

The "mother of all tax bills" has arrived in Congress, which may finally mean the end of the Alternative Minimum Tax. Economics Editor Chris Farrell looks at the newest attempt at tax reform.


Don't miss the missives from our listeners. This week: a defense of payday lenders and options for healthy eating on the cheap.

A year without shopping: part 2

No trips to the toy store make for awkward birthday parties -- unless you get creative. Host Tess Vigeland continues her conversation with the Mullen family, who promised not to buy any new consumer goods for an entire year.

Marketplace Money mailbag

Our economics editor Chris Farrell answers your burning money questions. This week -- all about the Thrift Savings Plan, options for getting a mortgage if you want to build a home and if a Health Savings Account is right for you.

Buzzword: Case-Shiller Index

Life is hard enough without having to decipher everything. Each week, Marketplace Money brings you a word or a phrase that has bubbled to the top of the news. This week: "Case-Shiller Index." You hear it, you see it, but do you really know it?

Work Life: Apple farmer

On this week's "A Day in the Work Life," our regular look at how folks trade time for money, we'll tour the grounds with an apple farmer. We ask Stan Pratt if an apple a day really keeps the doctor away.

The battle to decrypt "legalese"

Ever wonder why government forms or financial documents are so hard to understand? Maybe because they're written in a foreign language: "legalese." Marketplace Money host Tess Vigeland talks to Annetta Cheek from the Center for Plain Language.

Open season for health-care options

This is the season where most large companies give their workers a chance to switch health care options, but which should you choose? Tess talks to corporate consultant Tom Billet about what to look for.

An alternative to payday loans

Payday lenders, a last resort for some who live from paycheck to paycheck, often hand out loans with triple digit interest rates. Recently, the FDIC asked banks to provide some competition. Reporter Mhari Saito has the story.

A financial middleman for family loans

Family get-togethers are usually a lot of fun, but for some it's just the opposite because they owe a relative money. Tess talks to Kathy Kristof of the Los Angeles Times about a new service that claims to work out all the uncomfortable details.

To vote or not to vote?

If you have any money tied up in investments, you're probably getting a ton of mail asking you for something. Not more money -- your vote. Marketplace's Janet Babin reports.

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