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Podcast: Seventh time's a charm and is Sprint moving towards data dominance?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members watch the election results displayed on a television at a local political office on December 16,2012 in Himeji, Japan.

The latest from the fiscal cliff talks might yield a breakthrough or a blip -- we've certainly seen hopes for compromise rise and fall before. House Speaker John Boehner has proposed letting the Bush tax cuts expire for millionaires. That's considerably higher than the president's proposal to raises taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year, but it opens a space for negotiations. The process of pushing through those Bush tax cuts 12 years ago might seem like ancient history, but we could stand to go back in time and learn from it. That, at least, is the advice of Fortune Magazine's senior editor at large Allan Sloan.

Sprint acquired Clearwire today, never heard of Clearwire? Well you've heard of Sprint, right? Japan's Softbank is in the process of acquiring a majority share in Sprint and some have wondered what it has planned for the number three carrier. To compete with AT&T and Verizon, which have about 70 percent of the market, Sprint needs more spectrum and Clearwire has it. That spectrum allows Sprint to deliver more data, faster.

Monday the Senate debates a $60 billion aid bill for Hurricane Sandy recovery. There are many places affected by the storm that are still working to get back on their feet. The enduring problems for small businesses are on display in Hoboken, New Jersey. Normally the PATH train station there provides a convenient link to Manhattan, where many Hoboken residents work. But heavy flooding damage means trains won’t be running for weeks, creating a transit crisis that is inconveniencing commuters and strangling local businesses.

Japan has its seventh prime minister in six years after the country's Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory in elections over the weekend. Shinzo Abe will return to power, having promised to jump-start Japan's struggling economy, which has slipped back into recession.

About the author

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

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