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It's Only Money

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 commentator

Dallas, TX – It's Friday so "It's Only Money," a review of the big and not-so-big stories of the week. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

The week began on Capitol Hill with the bad boys of World Com taking the Fifth. The market broke. President Bush decided he would get on the bandwagon scolding all those naughty CEOs, declaring that five year's jail time for white-collar crimes just isn't enough. Ten years - that'll do it. Forget about the fact that when they get, out all that nice money they made will be awaiting for these perpetrators. Oh yes. They'll be fined as well, but trust me, it will barely put a dent in their monetary worth. And here's a novel idea. Why not give the money back to the innocent victims of their greed? Nah, these fines don't even stay with the SEC. They pay down the national deficit.

Today, it was reported that retail sales for last month soured. Warmer weather and the return of strong incentives on automobiles can take the credit.

Discount shopping was up. Wal-Mart, Target, and Kohl's all reported higher earning, while Plano-based J.C. Penney's, Sears, and Federated Department Stores (that's Macy's and Bloomingdale's, to name a couple) all continue to lag in sales. Irving-based Michael's Store Inc. once again exceeded June expectations with a rip-roaring 20% increase in sales.

And as reported late Thursday online by the Dallas Business Journal, Turkey is now the seventh international partner to sign-up for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. This next-generation fighter jet is being built in Forth Worth at Lockheed Martin. Although I wish it was just a commercial airplane, since winning this contract last October, this project has enabled Lockheed to hire 2-thousand new employees. That's what Joe Stout, spokesperson for Lockheed, told me this morning. And they'll be looking to add an additional 2-thousand by 2005. And as if placing a want ad, Stout went on to say that they are still looking for engineers, especially those straight out of college, and assemblers, mechanical types for their F-16 jet. It's good to see someone adding jobs on in the Metroplex. I just wish...oh well. For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.

Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 P.M.