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Playlist: Food prices and the housing market

Posted by Katharine Crnko

For Marketplace Morning Report, Thuresday January 13, 2011

RealtyTrac's report today on housing revealed ongoing troubles concerning the housing market.

The price of agricultural commodities is on the rise. As improving economies buy more product, suppliers struggle to keep up with demand. Since last summer, contracts for future deliveries of wheat and corn have almost doubled.

Which companies should you be watching to get a good take on the American economic recovery in 2011? Marketplace economics correspondent Chris Farrell gives his top three picks.

The World Bank released a new report, saying unemployment will stay high, and rising food prices could be a major problem.

Three executives were suspended by the French car maker Renault last week on suspicion of leaking information about its multi-billion dollar electric car program.

Marketplace worked with Los Angeles public TV station KCET and its show, SoCal Connected, to tell the story of a single home, and that home's place in the American economy. Kai Ryssdal gives us a sneak peek inside "Lot 354."

Back in November, the Treasury Department sold almost half of its shares in General Motors for about $33 apiece. Today, shares of GM are going for $38. Senator Ted Kaufman explains.

Mattel won ownership over California company MGA of the Bratz dolls in 2008, but an appeals court reversed that ruling last year. Now they're fighting over whether one stole trade secrets. In the meantime, Bratz are losing their popularity.

Jeremy Hobson speaks with Richard DeKaser of the Parthenon Group about the European debt crisis, and the purchase of Portugal's debt.

President Obama wants to double U.S. exports over the next five years, and one key to that is the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The agency is now focusing on small business, getting owners involved in overseas markets.

Jeremy Hobson speaks to Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial about the news from the government that producer prices rose more than expected in December.

Here are the songs we played:

  • Undisclosed Desires -- Muse Buy
  • Love in this Club -- UsherBuy
  • Go to that Place -- Chico ManBuy
  • Coisa No. 1 -- Baden PowellBuy
  • A Taste of Honey (John King of Dust Brothers Remix) -- Herb Alpert Buy

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