PODCAST: NFL referees return, another round of Spanish budget cuts

A referee separates players from the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens in the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Spain has unveield its new 2013 budget. The ambitious plan imposes new spending cuts and protection for pensions. Spain currently faces 25 percent unemployment.

U.S. jobless claims fell last week to the lowest level in more than nine months. But durable goods orders for August -- that's a good measure of manufacaturing -- had their biggest drop in three years. Also this morning, the Commerce Department revised down second-quarter U.S. GDP. Thanks -- or "no thanks" -- to the summer's drought, U.S. output grew just 1.3 percent, rather than the original estimate of 1.7 percent.

Meanwhile, earnings at Discover topped analysts' estimates. More Americans were using their Discover credit cards in the latest quarter, and paying off their balances on-time.

NFL union refs will be back on the field tonight. The referees and the league have settled their labor dispute. And it's hard to deny that a few weeks of dubious calls by the NFL's replacement refs had something to do with wrapping things up. 

A report out today from the Pew Research Center says U.S. student loan debt is rising sharply. And that's true even among the highest income brackets.  

We are 40 days away from Election Day. And there's some new polling about just how much a voter's income determines his or her vote. Gallup's editor-in-chief Frank Newport discusses his polling firm's findings.

And finally, as I mentioned before, the NFL and its referees have agreed on a new contract -- fans are relieved to have the union refs back on the field after a few weeks of dubious officiating by the replacements. Bloomberg did a little digging, and it turns out the replacement ref who totally blew the touchdown call at Monday night's Packers-Seahawks game is a vice president at Bank of America. Too good to be true. And yet, it is.

So this morning I wrote up a little limerick for the poor guy:

     Well, football fans gave us a spanking.
     Their confidence in us was tanking.
     So it's back to the grind...
     But you know, I don't mind.
     They get bailouts for bad calls in banking.

About the author

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

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