Dec 6, 2011

Marketplace Morning Report for Tuesday, December 6, 2011

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The latest threat for Europe comes from Standard & Poor's: a possible downgrade of 15 countries if the debt problems continue. Irish citizens are bracing for the fourth year of austerity. Author Robert Neuwirth says the informal economy could soon make up two-thirds of the world's workforce. Pollution in China could be a benefit for the U.S., and Microsoft sets out to revamp XBox Live.

Segments From this episode

Mid-day Extra: Do theme parks depend on Harry Potter?

Dec 6, 2011
An announcement is expected today that Universal Studios Hollywood will open a Harry Potter attraction, following the success of the Orlando location.

Have austerity measures worked in Ireland?

Dec 6, 2011
Ireland was bailed out a year ago, and it is now facing another round of austerity measures. How are the Irish people faring in these stricter conditions?

Some businesses will feel the sting from USPS cuts

Dec 6, 2011
Businesses like Netflix depend on same-day mail delivery, but the U.S. Postal Service will feel tough budget cuts in the coming months that might put a damper on such efficiency.

American car sales rise in China

Dec 6, 2011
General Motors and Ford both reported a rise in car sales in China.

PODCAST: The U.S. weighs in on Europe

Dec 6, 2011
The latest threat for Europe comes from Standard & Poor's: a possible downgrade of 15 countries if the debt problems continue. Irish citizens are bracing for the fourth year of austerity. Author Robert Neuwirth says the informal economy could soon make up two-thirds of the world's workforce. Pollution in China could be a benefit for the U.S., and Microsoft sets out to revamp XBox Live.
Debt in the eurozone and in the U.S. have been under strict scrutiny by ratings agencies. Is there a better way?
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

TV is the next consumer electronics battleground

Dec 6, 2011
As Microsoft revamps its Xbox to act as an interactive content-streaming device, other tech companies are also coming up with ways to reinvent the TV.

White House trying to avoid economic headwinds from Europe

Dec 6, 2011
Leaders in the U.S. are increasingly worried about the debt crisis in Europe. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on a grand tour this week to check in on progress there.

Payroll tax decision nears end of the year deadline

Dec 6, 2011
Senate Democrats want another vote this week on extending a payroll tax cut for workers. But Republicans say they can't support the Democratic proposal.

President Obama pushes for payroll tax extension

Dec 6, 2011
A tax hike could be in store for all Americans at the start of next year if Republicans and Democrats in Washington can't agree. The current payroll tax cuts put money into the pockets of consumers.

Eurozone threatened with downgrade if summit fails

Dec 6, 2011
Yet another summit is planned in Europe this week to find a solution to the debt problems there. But is this summit the one that will produce results?

The rise of the informal economy

Dec 6, 2011
Author Robert Neuwirth says that the the informal economy will grow to include two-thirds of the workers in the world by the end of this decade. What does that mean for the world and its formal economy?

Businessman singled out by Syrian protesters

Dec 6, 2011
Rami Makhlouf is the owner the successful cell phone company Syriatel -- and cousin of President Bashar al-Assad. That relation has made the businessman and his company the target of Syrian protesters.

China's pollution could be a benefit for the U.S.

Dec 6, 2011
Chinese pollution particulates are shown to change weather patterns in the U.S., which will mean better skiing, more water for Californians, and even a better life for fish here at home

The latest threat for Europe comes from Standard & Poor’s: a possible downgrade of 15 countries if the debt problems continue. Irish citizens are bracing for the fourth year of austerity. Author Robert Neuwirth says the informal economy could soon make up two-thirds of the world’s workforce. Pollution in China could be a benefit for the U.S., and Microsoft sets out to revamp XBox Live.

The team

Stephen Ryan Producer, BBC