Podcast: Mergers, mortgages, and iguana meat

Should the government intervene to fix the foreclosure mess? Gallup reveals the results of its latest poll. Here, foreclosure signs sit on the porch of a foreclosed home on April 6, 2011 in Oakland, Calif.

Forty states have signed onto a settlement deal with the nation's largest banks over abusive foreclosure practices. We talk to the attorney general from the hold-out state of Delaware to find out why he wants a better deal.

Congress passed a bill to fund technology upgrades for the FAA, not to the chagrin of airline industry unions.

Two huge companies you may never have heard of have agreed to get hitched in a $90 billion merger. That would be the mining company Xstrata and the commodities trading firm Glencore. Antitrust regulators will have to okay the deal - and there are already concerns that it would lead global commodity prices higher.

And Puerto Rico looks to ease its overpopulation of iguana's by exporting them as "exotic meat."

Also in the news today: Disney's profits report comes out today. There's word its ABC TV division is talking to Univision about an English-language cable news channel, especially for the burgeoning market for Hispanic viewers.

The ratings are in for the Super Bowl - turns out it was the most watched TV program in U.S. history. More than 111.3 million people tuned in. But get this - the halftime performance by Madonna drew even more viewers: 114 million viewers. The half-time performance was also a hit on Twitter with 10,245 tweets per second. All of them extremely interesting, we're sure.

The mega-brewing company MillerCoors has just bought an outfit called Crispen Cider Company of Minnesota.  Hard cider. Crispen's sales doubled last year. Plus, Anheuser-Busch - another brewery without "micro" in the title - is coming out with something called Michelob Ultra Light Cider. Advertising Age sees a trend. At the moment Woodchuck is the brand to beat. It has nearly half the hard cider market in America and it's produced by a privately held company in Vermont.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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