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PODCAST: Taxpayers lose on mortgage settlement, Ford's turnaround

Logos are pictured at the production line of a Ford Focus at a Ford plant.

In Washington, the House and Senate are expected to vote on an extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits, and Medicare payments to doctors. The extension would last through the end of the year and cost $143 billion. The government is hoping to help pay for it by auctioning off spectrum -- the airwaves that wireless phone companies want to speed up their networks.

Are U.S. taxpayers going to end up bailing out the banks again? Former TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky explains how taxpayers may lose out on the multi-billion-dollar housing settlement between banks and states.

The price to fly is going up to. Reports say airlines are adding about $10 per domestic round-trip flight. What else is rising? Prices at the pump -- which may offset payroll tax savings that lawmakers just voted to extend for another year. Also on the rise? Food ingredients. So food companies are looking at how much of that price increase can be passed onto consumers.

If you're not dettered from hitting the road because of increasing gas prices, check out our interview with Ford CEO Alan Mulally -- where he discusses his company's turnaround, what's unique about Michigan, and whether he sees anything wrong with the $50 million in stock he received last year.

Some earnings to report this morning. Heinz said its global sales were up more than 7 percent at the end of last year. The ketchup maker says that's thanks in large part to a growing taste for ketchup in Asia and Latin America. Also, Campbell's Soup said its income fell in the last couple months. It's struggling with those rising costs we mentioned, as a lot of food companies are.

Two events to note this President's Day weekend. Whitney Houston will be laid to rest on Saturday in New Jersey. Several celebrities are set to attend her funeral. You've probably heard "I Will Always Love You" at some point this week. But Houston's estate isn't benefitting much from all that play. We tell you why. And on Sunday, "The Simpsons" will air its 500th episode. Why has the show been so successful?

And finally some... odd news. In Washington D.C., a guy named Danny White has vanity license plates that say "no tags." To him, it's a joke. But when the city issues a traffic ticket for a car that has no license plates -- or tags, as they're sometimes called -- the ticket goes to Danny White. He tells WRC-TV he's gotten $20,000 worth tickets over the years. And he's constantly going to court to get them dismissed.

About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.

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