Marketplace for Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Episode Description 

China's appetite is gobbling up supplies

Bad harvests, bad weather, bio-fuel policy.... They could all conceivably turn around. But over the long term there's one big unknown we can't really control: the growing collective appetite of China's 1.3 billion people. Scott Tong reports.

Food shortages not going away soon

Agricultural economists have been saying for years that we were due for a global food crisis. Still, for most of us, the current worldwide spike in food commodity prices has come from out of the blue. Today, Kai Ryssdal begins our special series, "Food Fight."

Cuba reforms don't herald much change

Cuba has eased restrictions on certain products, such as computers, that its citizens previously weren't allowed to buy. But reporter David Adams, who recently visited the country, tells Kai Ryssdal that significant change is a long way off.

Apply subprime lessons to credit cards

The Federal Reserve says consumer credit, basically everything we owe money on except our houses, rose more than 7% last month to $2.5 trillion. Commentator Robert Reich says the mortgage crisis offers a valuable lesson in the hazards of our mounting credit card balances.

Ford shifts to fuel-saving transmissions

Ford Motor Co. is going to start installing a new kind of transmission in nearly all of its vehicles that it says will make them more fuel-efficient. Sam Eaton reports.
Posted In: Auto

Could home-loan rescue bill sink FHA?

The House is debating a $300 billion home-loan rescue package that would dramatically increase the Federal Housing Administration's role in cleaning up the subprime mess. Nancy Marshall Genzer reports on whether the FHA is up to the job.
Posted In: Housing

More productivity from fewer workers

U.S. worker productivity increased in the first quarter of 2008 at an annual rate of better than 2% -- which is pretty good. But the underlying reason is that job cuts required the remaining employees to do more work. Dan Grech reports.
Posted In: Economy, Jobs

WiMax promise: Online all the time

Sprint and a company called Clearwire today announced a $14.5 billion deal to establish a wireless network that would make it possible for you to be online almost anywhere. A slew of companies are involved, including Google. Lisa Napoli reports.
Posted In: Science

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The Shepherd's Dog