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Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Recovering from Hurricane Irene, one Greek bank is better than two?

Mary Dooe Aug 29, 2011
Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Recovering from Hurricane Irene, one Greek bank is better than two?

Mary Dooe Aug 29, 2011

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

Utility crews scrambled to restore power after Hurricane Irene raked across the Eastern Seaboard. But even with help from thousands of out-of-state repair crews, power companies say it may be days before some people see the lights back on.

Airports in the New York area are open again now that Tropical Storm Irene has left town, but airlines warn it will be days before all stranded passengers find their way home.

Despite a lot of wind and rain from that hurricane that blew through, Wall Street opened on time and traded as usual today.

Pending sales of existing U.S. homes fell in July from June in the latest sign of weakness in the housing industry, data from a real estate trade group showed on Monday.

The government said today consumer spending rose in July by 0.8 percent.

President Obama is set to announce his nominee to be the new head of the Council of Economic Advisors. It’s Alan Kreuger, who is a Princeton University economist known for his research on the job market.

We learned this morning that Yoshihiko Noda will become Japan’s sixth prime minister in five years. He’s currently the finance minister — and he plans to raise taxes.

News that two of Greece’s biggest banks are merging, in hopes that one huge bank will be better prepared to withstand the European debt mess.

On Wall Street Friday, stocks jumped following Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s announcement that he’s not planning any additional monetary stimulus at the moment.

Oil is trading around $85 a barrel this morning, and regular unleaded gasoline is averaging $3.61 a gallon nationwide.

Then to Switzerland, which might have a new political party competing in this year’s parliamentary elections. A political party with one thing in mind: banning power point presentations. The anti-power point party is trying to collect 10,000 signatures so that it can do away with those fancy slideshows once and for all. The founder of the party says the Microsoft program is causing the Swiss economy to lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year — because the presentations are boring. His solution? Old fashioned Whiteboard flip charts, which he says are much more pleasant and more interesting to watch.

Time Magazine is known its person of the year, that it names every year. Well now the magazine is out with a title that’s not quite as prestigious: The 10 Creepiest Product Mascots. McDonald’s Hamburglar made the list, as did that old Domino’s pizza pusher, the Noid. Hey, I sense a trend here — most of them are selling junk food! There’s also Count Chocula, and the headliner: Burger King’s creepy, plastic big-headed King. As we reported last week, Burger King got rid of its King ad campaign. He was dethroned as it were, because customers were a little creeped out by him.

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