Marketplace Staff Feb 22, 2008


Marketplace Staff Feb 22, 2008


Tess Vigeland: Once a month we kick back and let you say your peace about our show. Yes, it’s time for some listener letters.

Our first concerns one of our “straight story” segments in which Chris Farrell railed against a recent Supreme Court decision.

That ruling made it tough for investors to sue third parties, like accountants, who help companies commit fraud. Think “Enron.”

Listener Robert Singleton of Wadsworth, Ohio, was none too pleased with the Court’s decision.

Robert Singleton: My take on limiting lawsuits for investors is this: if you ever decide to rob a bank, make sure you’re the driver. You drive the robbers to the bank, but you do not go in. You wait in the car and when the robbers come back to the car, you drive them away. Since you only drove the car and didn’t participate in the actual robbery, you must be innocent.

On our Getting Personal segment a few weeks back, Chris and I spoke to a young lady who’d taken out some college loans. Her mother co-signed for them, but was worried about getting stuck with the payments if her daughter passed away, so Mom wanted her to take out a life insurance policy.

We said it was a legit concern, even if it seemed a bit cold. Many of you wrote in to say we were the cold ones.

Betty Downer listens to us in Indianapolis.

Betty Downer: I felt for the mother — probably about my age or younger — and I thought her request was more than reasonable and the characterization of cold was unfortunate. I realize that young people believe they will live forever, but the reality is sometimes they don’t. I know a family that lost a college-age son in a traffic accident and, yes, they had to pay off his loans.

Earlier this month, we told you about coupons the government’s handing out. You use them to buy a converter box so your old TV can receive digital broadcast signals.

But listener Dan Else, of Washington DC, warns those boxes aren’t widely available yet and by the time you find one, the coupons could be expired. So keep an eye on that expiration date and thanks for the heads up, Dan.

And finally we heard from Ken Stephanz in Fort Pierce, Florida. He noticed Chris Farrell likes to sing the praises of an organization called SCORE. It gives free advice to entrepreneurs looking to open their own small businesses.

Ken Stephanz: And I agree, SCORE is a great resource. But you fail consistently to mention the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which does an equally great job at providing the same kind of assistance to small businesses, and again, at no cost.

Ken is indeed correct. You can learn more about these guys at asbdc-us.org.

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