Marketplace PM for January 19, 2005

Episode Description 

We're having a party ...

We know it's coming, the Constitution says so. But every four years Inauguration Day catches Washington like snow storm no one expected. Federal workers take the day off, while other companies and their employees fend for themselves. But this year a record number of roads will be closed for the president's big event. And the effects on commerce will be felt throughout the city. Marketplace's Scott Tong reports.

But - who goes to the party?

Security and today's snowstorm may have shut much of Washington down. But that doesn't mean there's nothing going on. Corporate and private donations have paid for $40 million worth of festivities this week. More than 50 companies made contributions of $250,000 each. People who gave $100,000 get to see the president take the oath of office in person. The rest of the money comes mainly from the tickets bought by parade watchers and ball-goers. But South Dakota Public Radio's Curt Nickisch discovered not all Republican Party loyalists can afford to go to the big dance.

When is a lawsuit, a lawsuit?

If a shareholder lawsuit was filed but no one collected the money, would it still be a case? A Texas law firm is suing more that 40 mutual fund managers over just that. The plaintiffs say the funds failed to collect some $2 billion on behalf of their investors. Marketplace's Amy Scott reports.

Go green, all the way to the bank!

We told you a moment ago about all the green banks hauled in last quarter. Well, commentator and writer David Wells says banks are going green in other ways too. David Wells covers Wall Street for The Financial Times.

Special Report: No place to hide

Even as the Bush Administration went hunting for terrorists overseas after September 11th, the government was also looking for them here. One industry was more than ready to help. Data management companies had spent the decade before September 11th collecting billions of records about almost every American adult. In his new book, No Place to Hide, Robert O'Harrow looked into the data industry in this country and its new relationships with intelligence and law enforcement agencies. He worked with John Biewen from American RadioWorks on a companion documentary. In this report for Marketplace Beewin traces the transformation of a man named Hank Asher (pictured) from run-of-the-mill tech millionaire, to a player in the war on terror.

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