Marketplace PM for April 18, 2005
Posted In: Canada
The conclave of cardinals met in Rome today to begin the business of choosing a new pope. But black smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel--indicating the cardinals so far haven't agreed on a successor to John Paul II. Once a new pope is elected, not only will will he have to care for the souls of more than a billion church followers worldwide, he'll also have to pull the Vatican out of the red. From Rome, Megan Williams reports.
Hasbro, the country's number two toy manufacturer, reported an unexpected first-quarter loss today. The maker of Mr. Potato Head and Star Wars action figures has been hit by competition from video games and iPods. But Hasbro also says the price of oil--used in plastics--is cutting into profits. Higher oil prices aren't the only reason some manufacturers are turning away from the synthetic stuff. Dennis Nishi reports.
Posted In: Wall Street
Once upon a time there was a magical investment bank called Morgan Stanley. It made lots of money giving advice on corporate mergers and helping companies sell new stocks and bonds. But then some former executives decided they didn't like CEO Phillip Purcell, and they asked him to leave.Mister Purcell said no.So several of Morgan Stanley's big dealmakers quit. Here's where it starts to get scary. 200 pensions funds are now calling for a meeting--as early as this week--to talk about the company's future. The drama all dates back to 1997 when Morgan Stanley hooked up with the humdrum Dean Witter, which made some of its money selling mutual funds at Sears. David Wells of the Financial Times says this is one case where Cinderella's prince may have turned into a frog.
Looking for a way to de-stress after a week of tax anxiety? Commentator Sandra Tsing-Loh says odds are, you picked up some soothing green tea over the weekend or signed on for a few sessions of tai-chi. In this edition of the Loh-Down, she says an ethnic trend has hit ever-trendy Los Angeles and show signs of spreading: