Aug 1, 2012

Marketplace Morning Report for Wednesday, August 1, 2012

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A federal housing regulator is rejecting a White House plan to help borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages. There are about 11 million people in that category. The power is coming back on this morning in India after yesterday's huge blackout, blamed in part on rising demand for electricity in one of the world's fastest growing economies. But in China, a blackout like this would be unthinkable. And there's more sun and heat in the forecast for St. Louis -- not great for a region that's in the midst of the worst
drought in decades. The drought is now shrinking the shipping lanes in the Mississippi River.

Segments From this episode

India more tolerant of power losses than China would be

Jul 31, 2012
Indian electricity bosses are less accountable than their Chinese counterparts even though India is a democracy and China a one-party state.

Drought takes toll on river transport cities

Aug 1, 2012
Because of the drought, there is only one shipping lane on the Mississippi. So the barges on the river have to coordinate in a way they’ve never had to.
The Mississippi River is seen flooding here on June 25, 2008 in St. Louis, Mo. Now, because of the drought, the river is 13 feet below normal, and the barges on the river have to coordinate in a way they’ve never had to.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Scant agreement on link between taxes and growth

Aug 1, 2012
Politicians bicker over whether low taxes bring high growth or not, but globally, the evidence appears to be inconclusive.

Chick-Fil-A: When politics impact business

Aug 1, 2012
The Chick-fil-A president’s opposition to gay marriage raises the question: Is it good for business to be politically outspoken?

FHFA rejects White House plan for Fannie and Freddie

Aug 1, 2012
A federal housing regulator is rejecting a White House plan to help borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages. That means they owe more than their homes are worth and there are about 11 million people in that category. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said the potential benefits of cutting mortgage balances for those people don't outweigh the costs.

The top 10 consumer complaints of 2011

Aug 1, 2012
What, as a consumer, annoys you most? A survey of the top ten consumer complaints from the Consumer Federation of America hopes to shine some light.

Turning to a consultant in the struggle for Syria

Aug 1, 2012
The battle in Syria is not just for control of the country. There's also a battle within the resistance over how that victory should be achieved. Like other "Arab Spring" nations before them, Syrians are looking abroad for answers.

The next Panama Canal could be on its way

Aug 1, 2012
The government of Nicaragua is paying two Dutch companies about $750,000 to study the feasability of building a canal -- a canal that would rival the Panama Canal and create another link from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea.

After meeting, is Federal Reserve ready to take action?

Aug 1, 2012
The Federal Reserve wraps up a two day meeting today in Washington. And the big question -- yet again...will be: Is the Fed ready to launch some new economic stimulus, in line with its mandate to help the country reach full employment?

Should the Fed do anything to stimulate the economy?

Aug 1, 2012
The Federal Reserve will be wrapping up its latest meeting with a statement that may or may not announce new efforts to help the economy.

Hotmail signs off, replaced with Outlook.com

Aug 1, 2012
If you've still got a Hotmail account -- and there are still millions of you out there -- take note. As of today, Microsoft is phasing out its free email brand. The company is renaming the service Outlook.com and adding features to better compete with Yahoo and Gmail.

Car sales expected to remain strong

Aug 1, 2012
Chrysler says this morning it sold more cars this July than it has in five years. Volkswagen and Nissan also reported stronger U.S. sales numbers. Expect consistent sales for the coming year as reliable models like the Honda Accord come in high volumes in 2012.

Despite online furor, NBC's Olympics ratings doing well

Aug 1, 2012
The network said today it's on track to break even on its Olympics coverage. NBC had expected to take a loss.

PODCAST: A flood of tweets against NBC, a changing tide in the shipping industry?

Aug 1, 2012
A federal housing regulator is rejecting a White House plan to help borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages. There are about 11 million people in that category. Power has been restored in India after a huge blackout, blamed in part on rising demand for electricity in one of the world's fastest growing economies. A blackout of this magnitude would be unthinkable in China. And there's more sun and heat in the forecast for St. Louis -- not great for a region that's in the midst of the worst drought in decades. The drought is now shrinking the shipping lanes in the Mississippi River.
Sailboat 'Intrepid' of U.S. Zac Sunderland crosses the Miraflores locks in the Panama Canal on May 19, 2009.
ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images

How overconfidence can hurt us in the workplace

Aug 1, 2012
A new study out now says that Americans are increasingly overconfident -- inside the workplace and out. And in large part, that's due to our need to say something nice, or not say anything at all.

A federal housing regulator is rejecting a White House plan to help borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages. There are about 11 million people in that category. The power is coming back on this morning in India after yesterday’s huge blackout, blamed in part on rising demand for electricity in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. But in China, a blackout like this would be unthinkable. And there’s more sun and heat in the forecast for St. Louis — not great for a region that’s in the midst of the worst
drought in decades. The drought is now shrinking the shipping lanes in the Mississippi River.

The team

Stephen Ryan Producer, BBC