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PODCAST: Disney deals with Netflix, Citigroup slims down

A view of atmosphere at Barneys New York And Disney Electric Holiday Window Unveiling Hosted By Sarah Jessica Parker, Bob Iger, And Mark Lee on November 14, 2012 in New York City.

Netflix has zippadee-doo-dahed a new deal with Disney. The video-streaming company will get  first dibs once movies leave theaters. That means not just Disney, but Pixar, Marvel and any new Muppets or Star Wars films.

After the bell yesterday music-streamer Pandora delivered a more gloomy outlook -- for advertising revenues, in particular. Pandora blames the fiscal cliff; some analysts say it's increasing competition.

U.S. productivity growth has been revised upward for the latest quarter. That's good news for overall economic growth, but not such great news for people looking for jobs. The more we squeeze out of existing workers, the less pressure on employers to hire news ones.

We keep hearing, though, that there are plenty of jobs out there going unfilled for skilled and semi-skilled workers. 
A new report from the consulting group McKinsey highlights one key reason for this 'skills gap'. McKinsey says it's the mismatch between the way educators, employers, and wanna-be employees are trying to get ready for the workplace of the future.

Citigroup employs more Americans than any other bank. But this morning Citi announced 11,000 job cuts worldwide in the next year or two, some of them, at least, likely here in the U.S.

President Obama will speak to  business leaders today to try and rally support for his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. Many U.S. businesses say they'd have to lay off workers if we go over. But our cliff also has implications for the rest of the world.

This year's Nobel Prize winners received only $1.1 million. I mean, come on, right? For 2012, the Nobel Foundation had to cut the prize's cash award by 20 percent. But the Swedes who run the Nobels have a plan to fix that.

A new report from Republican Senator Tom Coborn takes aim at what he calls wasteful spending by the Department of Homeland Security. Among his choice finds is a combat drill in October in which Marines and Navy special forces responded to a simulated... zombie invasion. This really happened. Evidently the drill -- which involved rescuing an official and his team trapped in a village -- was based on real-life scenarios. Officials just thought it would be fun, since Halloween was coming up, to dress the bad guys as zombies.

From the zombie apocalypse to the real deal...  If you need any more reassurance that life as we know it will not end in 16 days -- as the ancient Mayan Calendar maybe-sort-of seems to suggest -- for some reason the U.S. government this week felt compelled to weigh in on the matter. The official statement comes from the blog of the federal government's main information portal, USA.gov. The post states that whether it's the Mayan Calendar, a comet, or collission with a wayward planet, "The world will not end on December 21, 2012... or any day in 2012." Bold statement. Then again, it's pretty hard to hold 'em accountable if they're wrong.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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