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Marketplace PM for December 9, 2004

Episode Description 

From rap ... to the boardroom

Hip Hop musician Jay-Z is officially retired as a rapper. But he's making a comeback, of sorts, as the new CEO and president of Def Jam Records. Will a recording artist be able to succeed as the chief of a big-time label? Host David Brown and Variety's Phil Gallo discuss why Jay-Z got the job.

China and the WTO

Tomorrow is the deadline for China to meet a promise to the World Trade Organization. It's supposed to open markets to outside investment. The Chinese would seem to be on target, if American investment is any measure: it doubled over the past year. But direct sales? That's still a work in progress. Marketplace's Jocelyn Ford explains why doing business a la Amway, Avon and Mary Kay is considered controversial.
Posted In: Canada

A clean and sober China?

When one surveys business in China, one cannot overlook the numerous corruption scandals. Then again, if you're a foreigner trying to do business in China, you've almost had to overlook corrupt business practices just to get your job done. The Chinese government now says its serious about cleaning things up. Commentator Samuel Porteous wonders if its time to reconsider old assumptions.

Which way is up?

Another story from Wall Street today. Shares of Toll Brothers, a luxury home building company that operates in 21 states - jumped more than 12 percent. This, after the company reported quarterly earnings that nearly doubled - far surpassing most analysts' expectations. Not only that, the firm boosted its forecast for next year. That wouldn't seem to square with an expected slowdown in the housing market - especially with interest rates heading up. Marketplace's Bob Moon reports.
Posted In: Wall Street

Turning equity into stocks

Betting the house on Wall Street? In the mortgage refinancing boom, many people have been taking equity out of their homes. And now, securities regulators are concerned brokers may be pushing their clients to invest that money... in the stock market. Marketplace's Amy Scott reports.
Posted In: Wall Street

Do you remember?

If you plan to hit the toy store this weekend, you probably won't even notice its not there. Back in the late 1960's, facing focus-grouped competition in the toy business, the A.C. Gilbert Company threw in the towel after having sold 30 million erector sets. If the erector set is largely forgotten, then the story of its inventor was almost lost. Until writer Bruce Watson started doing research on a toy he'd received as a child. In his book "the man who changed how boys and toys were made", Watson tells the story of A.C. Gilbert, a man who sold novelties before his epiphany in 1911.