Marketplace PM for November 16, 2004
It's that time again... for our special post-election opinion series. We've invited commentators of various stripes to give us their take on The Next Four Years. There's been much written about religious voters this election cycle. Today, writer John Parker argues their economic agenda might surprise President Bush.
One of the most anticipated profit reports of the season came out today. Wal-Mart profits: a 13 percent gain. That's a jump of $2.3 billion in a single quarter. Whenever talking about Wal-Mart, superlatives and pejoratives abound. Today, Marketplace presents a special report: "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" In an investigation for the PBS program Frontline, Hedrick Smith reports that Wal-Mart has turned business history on its head.
We knew it wasn't looking good for Fannie Mae yesterday, when the company missed its deadline for filing its third quarter numbers. How bad is it? How does $9 billion in losses strike you? Today Fannie said that's the way it'll be if securities regulators insist on enforcing new accounting rules. It would be a sharp blow to the largest of the so-called government sponsored enterprises set up to keep money flowing to the nation's mortgage markets. John Dimsdale reports on what this means on the home front.
Opponents of abortion staged a pray-in on Capitol Hill today. They're hoping to block Arlen Specter's ambition to become the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Republican from Pennsylvania is considered next-in-line for the job. But he supports abortion rights. A mini-firestorm erupted when Specter recently suggested the President would have a hard time confirming a Supreme Court nominee who opposed abortion. Marketplace's Amy Scott reports.