Marketplace PM for March 14, 2005

Episode Description 

Tobacco millionaires?

Today marks the beginning of the end of a long running federal support program. Since the 1930's, the government's told tobacco farmers you can grow this much, and you're guaranteed a price. Now the government's offering to buy back those quotas. There's a $10 billion pot of money to be paid out to farmers. Who wants to be a millionaire? Leonida Inge reports from North Carolina.

Medical malpractice math

The American Medical Association opened what it calls an "Advocacy Conference" in Washington today. Advocating what? Ask many doctors and you'll hear horror stories about insurance premiums. President Bush has proposed a plan to cap malpractice awards. The idea is to rein in those rising insurance rates. Commentator and consumer activist Jamie Court says someone ought to check the math.

China's Lenovo ... wants to know you

IBM today said it's agreed to an Ascential acquistion. The acquisition is the 40th in the past ten years by IBM's software group. And it burns up just over $1 billion. There's a certain symmetry here. Its almost as much as what IBM sold its PC business for a few weeks ago. The buyer: a Chinese company called Lenovo. You may not have heard of them. But as Jocelyn Ford reports, those folks at Lenovo have been hearing a lot about you.
Posted In: Canada

General Motors and a bumpy road

Last year General Motors made media buys worth $2.8 billion. Mostly through the Interpublic Group. Today the world's largest car company put that action up for bid. GM says it's trying to respond to a changing media landscape. And cut costs too. GM's been losing market share in the U.S. to rivals like Toyota. Put that together with the falling dollar and what do you get? Some surprises at one of the world's most prestigious auto shows. Dan Neil of the LA Times is our transportation commentator. And he's just back from Geneva...
Posted In: Wall Street