Marketplace PM for December 8, 2004

Episode Description 

Mia hangs up her cleats

One of this country's most famous female athletes is retiring. Soccer player Mia Hamm will hang up her spikes after tonight's game between the U.S. and Mexico in Carson, California. Hamm rose to fame during the 1999 World Cup, and as Marketplace's Matthew Algeo reports, she became a marketing icon.

Crossing the Chamber line?

This week, the Washington Post reported on a unique new newspaper in Southern Illinois. The Madison County Record was launched in September as a kind of local legal journal. Recent front pages have carried a variety of stories about lawsuits against businesses. What readers probably don't know is that the Record is a creation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Post story called the Madison County Record a weapon in the Chamber's multimillion-dollar campaign for 'tort reform'. The expose was written by Post reporter Jeff Birnbaum, who argues the Chamber is wielding a lot more power right now than many may suspect.

A Palestinian business boom ...

At a conference in Oslo today, the Bush administration announced that it was giving $20 million to the Palestinian Authority to help it through a financial crisis. The Palestinians say in the short term, money's needed to support elections set for January to pick a successor to Yasser Arafat. Many Palestinians say the relatively smooth political transition so far has created a sense of optimism - and as Marketplace's Adam Davidson discovered in the West Bank, that has started to spur a bit of business...
Posted In: Canada

Toledo, Ohio... Really

At a hotel in Washington tomorrow, several mayors from around the country plan to meet with business leaders to release an economic forecast for America's cities. But there's another item on the table: how cities can attract private investment. There's a growing sense that something's gotta give--because cities are giving away far too much to woo corporations. In the new edition of the New Yorker magazine, Economics writer James Surowiecki explains why Toledo, Ohio could be a turning point.

You just can't find good help these days

The number of new applications for home loans rose last week. In its report today, the Mortgage Bankers Association credited lower interest rates - a '30 year fixed is now an average 5.68 percent. Many folks would prefer to patch up the place they already have. You many have a tough time finding qualified carpenters, electricians, plumbers and others to help out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says it's going to keep getting worse - more than a million of these skilled jobs are going unfilled every year. We sent Marketplace's Lisa Napoli to find out what some are trying to do to fill a growing blue collar gap.

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