Marketplace PM for October 13, 2004

Episode Description 

The SEC gets tough

Remember the initial public offering boom of the late 1990's? Big overnight profits for mom and pop investors? Some would like to forget it Instead, many have filed suit charging several banks and companies cheated them with rosy reports and other fancy fiscal footwork. Today a federal judge gave the green light to six lawsuits--so-called focus cases-- to provide the basis for hundreds of other suits in the wings. Securities Regulators are not twiddling their thumbs: today, the SEC proposed new rules to change the way IPOs are done. Rachael Dornhelm reports.
Posted In: Wall Street

The skinny ... on obesity

Look around you...if you dare. About two-thirds of America's adults are overweight -- half of them clinically obese. Restaurants and food companies have been trying to cut down portions...for the good of the waistline, they say. But there's also concern about liability issues--especially with new reports tying obesity to other medical problems. But one new report--this one in today's Journal of the American Medical Association---suggests a popular medical procedure could trim down those medical worries pretty dramatically. Gretchen Cook has the skinny.

Arizona's immigration prop 200

On the day before election day, a new law goes into effect in New York. From that point on, people who are so-called immigration consultants can't collect until they make good on their promises. This is a response to thousands of cases--both reported and unreported-- of less than honest brokers who cheated newcomers, sometimes out of their life savings. In Arizona, a ballot measure takes aim at another kind of immigration fraud. People who've come into Arizona illegally--and who use state services -- paid for by, everybody else. As Julia Barton reports from Tuscon, not even Prop 200's proponents know what the initiative's true impact - or costs - might be.

Iraq's need for cash

Here's how the numbers were originally crunched. For every dollar spent on reconstruction in Iraq, about 30 cents would go to overhead----including things like security. The other 70 cents to reconstruction. But security has become so bad, it works out to about 50-50 in many parts of Iraq. This payoff ratio is but one reason the 55 nation donors conference in Tokyo is proving to be a hard sell. Marketplace's Jessica Smith reports. (Photo: Getty Images)

The right to strike

After a month of talking, Jacques Chirac now says it he's determined to do the hitherto unthinkable...The French government will limit the right to strike by labor unions. Needless to say, the unions aren't happy. As John Laurenson reports from Paris, the French face-off hits a revolutionary chord for both sides... And it goes to the heart of national identity.
Posted In: Canada

Debating terror

Though tonight's final presidential debate is supposed to focus on domestic issues, that term is bound to be stretched to include the so-called war on terror. Commentator Robert Hormats argues if one's talking about homeland security, it really wouldn't be much of a stretch to look at how to prevent one looming disaster--although the candidates are probably reluctant to touch this one.

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