Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Fed looks into calming economy, Fatty foods help people feel better

Daryl Paranada Aug 9, 2011

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

Today the Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee meets and will look at
what policies can possibly help calm a rattled economy and create some jobs.

Gold has jumped to around $1,750 an ounce. And oil has dropped further — to around $78 a barrel in New York trading. It’s probably going to be a couple months, though, before we see that at the gas pump.

The Labor Department said today productivity fell in the latest quarter by a fraction of a percent. And it’s the first back-to-back drop in productivity since 2008.

Tokyo Electric said it lost more than $7 billion in its April to June quarter after agreeing to compensate victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster following March’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

In China, word today that industrial output grew at a slower pace. And inflation inched up, adding to market worries.

A group of Belgian scientists says fatty, comfort foods help people feel better. Doctors played sad music and showed pictures of sad people to a group of volunteers and fed half high-fat foods and the other half a placebo. The people who ate the fatty foods stayed cheerful. Researchers say it dates back to the Stone Age, when fat was essential for survival. Survival, of course, is the mantra of the stock market these days. So given the latest happenings on Wall Street, I say go ahead — eat those french fries! And top it off with a chocolate milkshake. It may make the world a happier place!

And finally to Idaho, where the water company is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to approve a rate increase for customers — a 20 percent rate increase. The reason? People are using less water, so the company isn’t making as much money. Only problem is, the very same water company has been sending its customers brochures for years with tips on how to use less water to save money.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.