Marketplace Morning Report for Monday, December 10, 2012

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Episode Description 
European markets are slumping this morning on news that the prime minister of Italy is resigning. Mario Monti -- whose technocratic government took power a year ago to fix the Italian economy -- says he'll step down as soon as next year's budget gets approved. In North Dakota, oil production is booming. Of course, there's still no pipeline to move the oil -- which is causing a boom for another industry: railroads. And, there is still a glut of foreclosed houses on the market, but it's not ordinary homebuyers who are benefitting.

PODCAST: Italy in turmoil, U.S. on the cliff

You probably thought we forgot about Italy, what with all this business about Greece and Spain, but Italy is back this morning. Plus we've got a veritable cornucopia of important Democrats talking about the fiscal cliff -- by which I mean two. Republicans, you can return our calls any time. And Santa, if you're listening -- best keep your hatred of the Toronto Maple Leafs to yourself.

The latest Internet craze: Porting

Watch out coning - you aren't the only kid on the Internet block anymore.
Posted In: porting, Internet

Key House Democrat talks fiscal cliff

Lawmakers in Washington continue to work towards a deal on the fiscal cliff before the end of the year. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, of Maryland, says House Democrats' opinions shouldn't be ignored.
Posted In: fiscal cliff

Italy's political worries scare investors

The last thing the global economy needed was more political upheaval in Europe. But that's what we're getting. Italian prime minister Mario Monti plans to resign, and there will be elections early in 2013.
Posted In: italy, Mario Monti, Silvio Berlusconi

High salaries at Freddie, Fannie draw attention

A government watchdog released a report this morning that scrutinizes the pay of senior staffers at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The report is from the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie.
Posted In: Housing, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, watchdogs

Senator Kent Conrad on the fiscal cliff

The chair of the Senate Budget Committee explains why he thinks we'll reach a fiscal cliff deal before the end of 2012.
Posted In: fiscal cliff, Washington D.C.

Italian PM Mario Monti announces plans to step down

Italy, the third biggest economy in the euro zone, has been plunged into political turmoil as Prime Minister Mario Monti has announced plans to step down.
Posted In: italy, Mario Monti, Silvio Berlusconi

Railroads profit from oil boom in North Dakota

Trains haul fracking supplies into the region and haul oil out of it. The oil boom comes at a good time: the railroads' mainstay, coal, is in a slump.
Posted In: fracking, North Dakota, train, Oil

Hedge funds crowd first-time buyers out of housing market

Hedge funds and private-equity funds are buying up hundreds of foreclosed homes at a time, turning them into rentals, crowding out first-time home buyers looking for bargains.
Posted In: foreclosure, Wall Street, private equity, Housing

Small company SodaStream bets big on Super Bowl ad

Do-it-yourself soft-drink company SodaStream is spending 10 percent of its net earnings on a Super Bowl commercial.
Posted In: Super Bowl commercials, soda, advertising

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The Final Comedown
Grant Green
Fat Freddy's Drop

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