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MIDDAY UPDATE: Motorola splits and Australian floods

Katharine Crnko Jan 4, 2011

Today, Motorola calls it “splits” — dividing up its business into halves based on stability and risk. For years, Motorola stayed afloat by selling public safety communication devices, such as police and fire radios and scanners, while cell phone companies lost nearly a billion dollars a year. Now the so-called Motorola Solutions will produce the safety devices, and Motorola Mobility will make gadgets like smart phones and tablets, which face tough competition from consumers.

Australia’s recent flooding has a ripple affect on global commodities. As the flooding starts to recede in some areas of the water-logged country, farmers are returning to devastation — entire crops wiped out or ruined. Prices on melons, mangos and bananas are expected to quadruple, and wheat and other grains also could spike.

Bloomberg’s Timothy Homan compared global population data to better understand demographic and economic trends. His findings? The U.S. is facing a slowdown in growth, with a median age of 36.6 years old — one of the lowest in the world. India’s young, educated labor pool attracts companies both at home and abroad. And China’s aging population will feel the affects of their One Child policy, which could slow economic growth in the future.

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