Marketplace for Wednesday, May 7, 2008
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.
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 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.
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.