Small talk: China builds, trees, fake bills

Dinner Party Download

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bob Moon: This being a Friday, let's say we take a break from the big news of the week and find out what didn't make it onto the radio. Stuff you might end up talking about at a dinner party this weekend.

Courtesy of Brendan Newnam, Rico Gagliano and the rest of the Marketplace staff.


Rico Gagliano: Stacey Vanek-Smith, senior reporter. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Well, there's a developer in China who's going to build a Times Square.

Gagliano: Like the New York Times Square?

Vanek-Smith: Yeah. The far west part of Beijing, it's going to have Broadway theaters, a cultural district, residential areas, hotels. They are replicating Times Square in China.

Gagliano: Can't they find a beloved landmark of their own to deface with giant digital billboards that nobody wants to see? New York has so many more beautiful things. This is like looking at somebody and saying, "You have a beautiful face, I would like to reproduce the wart."

Brendan Newnam: Brett Neely, reporter for Marketplace. What's your story this week?

Brett Neely: My story this week is about this rancher in Nevada who wants to plant three million, what he calls, "God's miracle trees." It's a Chinese import called the kiri tree. I think that they're not miracle trees; I think they're nightmare trees. These things apparently grow 20 to 50 feet a year. And then if you chop them down, they just grow back out of the stump again.

Newnam: Oh my God, it's like a zombie tree forest.

Neely: In the desert!

Gagliano: Jeremy Hobson, New York reporter. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Jeremy Hobson: Well, Rico, you know how most of the time when people counterfeit bills, they're big bills, like $20s, $50s and $100s?

Gagliano: Uh, yeah. From my counterfeiting days, I remember that well.

Hobson: Exactly. Well now, it appears people are counterfeiting ones. There was bar in Alaska that found 13 fake one dollar bills in a tip jar.

Gagliano: And if that isn't a recession-era story, I don't know what is. "No one's going to believe we have $20 bills, let's just make ones."

Hobson: Well, the other thing is, some of these dollar bills were just printed out of a printer. They were just blank on one side. Obviously, quality is suffering in this recession.

Moon: The podcast is called "Dinner Party Download."

About the author

Rico Gagliano is the host of Dinner Party Download.

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