News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Berkshire loses an heir, Microsoft takes on Google

Katharine Crnko Mar 31, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and around the web.

  • We’re about to find out from the Federal Reserve which banks borrowed emergency money during the financial crisis. The trove of information is so big the Fed won’t release it by email — but instead will turn it over on CDs.
  • The man who was positioned to succeed 80-year-old investor Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway has resigned. David Sokol quit after reportedly buying 100,000 shares of Lubrizol stock — before recommending that Berkshire buy the company. He said he made the trade to help his family. You can read Marketplace’s coverage here.
  • The government said this morning that the number of first-time filers for jobless benefits dropped last week to 388,000. That’s more good news on jobs ahead of tomorrow’s March employment report, which is considered the most important economic indicator of the month.
  • A study out today from Fidelity investments finds retirees will need 8 percent less money this year to cover medical expenses. Fidelity is attributing that first drop in 10 years to the fact that seniors will get more help with out-of-pocket medical expenses because of the new health care law.
  • Computer giant Microsoft, often the target of anti-trust allegations, is filing a suit of its own — an anti-trust complaint against Google in Europe, claiming Google is strangling search engine competition. The European suit could be a precursor to a similar complaint against Google in the U.S. You can read Marketplace’s coverage here.
  • Hershey’s said today its food costs have gone up. So the price of its chocolate will, too.
  • The diner restaurant chain Denny’s isn’t relying on any fancy computers to get our emotions going. It’s reverting to an old standby: bacon. The chain has launched a big ad campaign for what it’s calling “baconalia” — a whole menu of bacon-filled items. Like Bacon Meatloaf, Bacon Flapjacks, the Triple Bacon Sampler. And of course the Maple Bacon Ice Cream Sunday. The marketing chief for Denny’s told Advertising Age: “We truly believe the bacon trend is here to stay.” I, for one, welcome this development. Though I’m not sure about Maple Bacon Ice Cream. That might just be a step too far.
  • Some customers at a New York City restaurant got all angry over an extra charge that appeared on their bill. For ice. Apparently the bar at The Darby tacks on $2 for each drink served on the rocks. The manager told the website []() his bartenders pour more alcohol in those drinks.
  • A small group of New York state workers won the Mega Millions $319 million prize, taking home about $16 million each. It would’ve been less had one man who normally goes in on the pool decided to back out. The unidentified man was asked twice to play the lotto, but said he didn’t feel very lucky.

You can read the rest today’s headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report here.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.