Marketplace PM for February 15, 2006

Episode Description 

Bernanke speaks

New Fed Chief Ben Bernanke today delivered his first report to the House Financial Services committee. Bernanke said the economic expansion is on track, and hinted the Fed may raise interest rates again. More interesting to many analysts, though, was HOW he said it. Amy Scott reports.
Posted In: Economy, Wall Street

US Internet companies in China

Members of Congress hauled up executives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Cisco for a tongue lashing today. The subject? The companies' role in helping the Chinese government censor Internet content. Elliot Schrage, a Vice President at Google, said the members may not understand what they're talking about.

Bird flu in Germany

Germany has become the latest European country to confirm that bird flu has reached its territory. Two dead swans were found to have the H5N1 virus. Veterinary experts have begun a 2-day meeting in Brussels to discuss further measures to combat the disease. From the European Desk in London, Stephen Beard reports.
Posted In: Health

Cheating on income tax

The Internal Revenue Service has figured out how much money it's not collecting. The tax gap, as it's called, is big: $345 billion dollars a year. But the IRS has no real way to cut that down. Kai talks with David Cay Johnston of the New York Times.
Posted In: Economy

Bank of Wal-Mart

The House Judiciary Committee will take up a bill tomorrow that will ease rules on banks opening up branches across state lines. A provision in the bill is spurring a debate that could resonate with just about every corner of the country: Should Wal-Mart, which has become everything from grocer to pharmacist to bait-and-tackle shop for many American communities, also be allowed to get into the banking business? From the Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.

Union campaign

Today Change to Win, the group of unions that broke away from the AFL-CIO, is launching its year-long effort to turn low-wage hotel jobs into middle class jobs. Some labor analysts say the campaign has the potential to make a big splash. Hillary Wicai reports.

Air cargo probe

Authorities in Europe, Asia, and the US are investigating whether the airline industry has fixed prices on shipping cargo. No charges have been filed against any of the airlines, but authorities are contacting more than a dozen airlines around the world. From WLRN in Miami, Dan Grech reports.

The Iraqi stock market

In the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq, looters destroyed the Baghdad stock market. So the operation moved to a dusty hotel's back room. Now the exchange has relocated to a posh new $2 million headquarters in central Baghdad -- with 15-foot barriers to ward off car bomb attacks. Ben Gilbert reports from Baghdad.
Posted In: Investing