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Marketplace for Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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Episode Description 
Bank earnings look good, and big banks’ shares are doing well in the markets today. But for some years now, a significant contributor to earnings is simply the release of loss reserves set aside during the Bad Days. When accounting affects earnings so greatly, what’s the value of these earnings reports? Next, the conservative Koch brothers have been spending money for fall campaigns already. They're targeting vulnerable Congressional Democrats who supported the ACA. But most campaigns say a dollar spent this early is a dollar spent unwisely. And finally,Viacom’s new My Nickelodeon Jr. takes personalized TV to the younger set – well, to their parents. Parents can program the TV their kids will watch  – sounds a bit like Netflix.

The NSA has new ways to see inside your computer

The National Security Agency has been able to access computers that are not connected to the internet for at least five years.
Posted In: nsa, David Sanger

How to sharpen a knife: A disappearing job

Knife sharpeners say they are still on the cutting edge, but their market is nearly obsolete.
Posted In: knives sharpening, spain

How to quit a job without talking to your boss

You decide why you want to quit, an app sends an appropriate text to your boss.
Posted In: quit a job, how to quit, apps

Blackstone-backed real estate firm learns how to be a landlord

Over the past year and a half, Invitation Homes has spent $7.5 billion buying - and managing - those homes.
Posted In: Blackstone Group, Housing, Invitation Homes

My Nick Jr. personalizes TV -- and it smells like Netflix

Viacom’s new My Nick Jr. lets parents program a channel – an attempt to hold more viewers on television.
Posted In: nickelodeon, cable, television, viacom

The Koch brothers are spending on the midterm elections. Already

The conservative Koch brothers are targeting vulnerable Congressional Democrats who supported the ACA.
Posted In: campaign spending, Koch brothers, elections, 2014 elections

Just how seriously should we take the latest bank earnings?

When accounting affects earnings so greatly, what’s the value of these earnings reports?
Posted In: Bank of America, Banks

Drug cartels have an offer you can (and should) refuse

Mexican drug cartels increasingly use small businesses in the U.S. to launder their criminal revenues.
Posted In: money-laundering, drug cartel, Mexican cartel