Marketplace Morning Report for Tuesday, December 6, 2011

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The latest threat for Europe comes from Standard & Poor's: a possible downgrade of 15 countries if the debt problems continue. Irish citizens are bracing for the fourth year of austerity. Author Robert Neuwirth says the informal economy could soon make up two-thirds of the world's workforce. Pollution in China could be a benefit for the U.S., and Microsoft sets out to revamp XBox Live.

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PODCAST: The U.S. weighs in on Europe

The latest threat for Europe comes from Standard & Poor's: a possible downgrade of 15 countries if the debt problems continue. Irish citizens are bracing for the fourth year of austerity. Author Robert Neuwirth says the informal economy could soon make up two-thirds of the world's workforce. Pollution in China could be a benefit for the U.S., and Microsoft sets out to revamp XBox Live.
Posted In: payroll tax, Europe debt crisis

Mid-day Extra: Do theme parks depend on Harry Potter?

An announcement is expected today that Universal Studios Hollywood will open a Harry Potter attraction, following the success of the Orlando location.
Posted In: harry potter, theme parks, Universal Studios

Some businesses will feel the sting from USPS cuts

Businesses like Netflix depend on same-day mail delivery, but the U.S. Postal Service will feel tough budget cuts in the coming months that might put a damper on such efficiency.
Posted In: U.S. Postal Service

The rise of the informal economy

Author Robert Neuwirth says that the the informal economy will grow to include two-thirds of the workers in the world by the end of this decade. What does that mean for the world and its formal economy?

Businessman singled out by Syrian protesters

Rami Makhlouf is the owner the successful cell phone company Syriatel -- and cousin of President Bashar al-Assad. That relation has made the businessman and his company the target of Syrian protesters.
Posted In: syria

TV is the next consumer electronics battleground

As Microsoft revamps its Xbox to act as an interactive content-streaming device, other tech companies are also coming up with ways to reinvent the TV.
Posted In: tv

China's pollution could be a benefit for the U.S.

Chinese pollution particulates are shown to change weather patterns in the U.S., which will mean better skiing, more water for Californians, and even a better life for fish here at home
Posted In: weather, air pollution

Have austerity measures worked in Ireland?

Ireland was bailed out a year ago, and it is now facing another round of austerity measures. How are the Irish people faring in these stricter conditions?
Posted In: Ireland, Ireland bailout, austerity, Europe debt crisis

White House trying to avoid economic headwinds from Europe

Leaders in the U.S. are increasingly worried about the debt crisis in Europe. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on a grand tour this week to check in on progress there.
Posted In: Europe debt crisis, Timothy Geithner

American car sales rise in China

General Motors and Ford both reported a rise in car sales in China.
Posted In: China, Ford, GM, auto sales

Payroll tax decision nears end of the year deadline

Senate Democrats want another vote this week on extending a payroll tax cut for workers. But Republicans say they can't support the Democratic proposal.
Posted In: politics, Social Security, Medicare, payroll tax

Eurozone threatened with downgrade if summit fails

Yet another summit is planned in Europe this week to find a solution to the debt problems there. But is this summit the one that will produce results?
Posted In: Timothy Geithner, Europe debt crisis

President Obama pushes for payroll tax extension

A tax hike could be in store for all Americans at the start of next year if Republicans and Democrats in Washington can't agree. The current payroll tax cuts put money into the pockets of consumers.
Posted In: politics, Washington D.C., President Obama, payroll tax