Marketplace PM for March 23, 2005

Episode Description 

Chile and United States - are smaller trade deals the ticket?

The presidents of the U.S., Mexico and Canada met today in Texas. They'll tighten up border security. They'll ease up trade barriers to better compete with Asia. And they also agreed to disagree on a few things. Like the U.S. ban on Canadian beef. And U.S. competition with Mexican sugar farmers. These trade disputes persist - even though the three are linked by the massive North American Free Trade Agreement. When it comes to trade deals, might smaller be better? From the Americas Desk at WLRN in Miami, Dan Gretch reports on what you might think of as a case study. Call it the Chilean connection.
Posted In: Canada

Bond markets - the traders are getting nervous

We spent a lot of time on interest rates yesterday. After all, the Feds did say it was jacking up short term rates again. That might have some of you thinking it's time to lock down a decent mortgage. Those short term interest rates do not generally drive mortgage rates up or down. If you want to know what to expect in home loans, look to the bond market. Unfortunately, you won't like what you see. Marketplace's Bob Moon reports.
Posted In: Wall Street

Federal Election Commission turns to the Web ...

Money and politics and the Internet. When the talk turns to politics online, how do you regulate who's paying to get out the message? Can you regulate it? Tomorrow, the Federal Election Commission takes up these questions. Our own Scott Tong tells us it probably won't be pretty.

Sears K-Mart merger may have some victims

Sears holds a special meeting of its shareholders tomorrow. They'll vote on the company's proposed $11.5 billion dollar merger with K-Mart. Something lost in all this is the fate of some 800 Sears stores known by insiders as "dealerships". These individually-owned stores contributed more than $1.5 million to Sears' bottom line in 2003. That doesn't mean they'll survive. Martha Woodroof reports from Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Posted In: Wall Street

Mergers, mergers, and more mergers. The urge to merge ...

Sears and K-Mart aren't the only ones. There's MGM Mirage and Mandalay Resort Group... MCI and Verizon...or perhaps Qwest communications. The urge to merge is back in the air. Which means company captains are talking about synergies again. Newly merged companies that are greater than the sum of their parts. Marketplace commentator Robert Reich remembers all too well. <br />Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is author of "Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America".

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