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It's Only Money

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 business 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.

Unemployment for the month of October rose slightly while another 5,000 jobs were cut. No major significance here, except the labor market is definitely stalling. Manufacturing saw the biggest cut in jobs with 49,000 workers advancing to the unemployment line. Just in the past week, North Texas companies EDS, Corning and Texas Instruments drudgingly announced additional job cuts. The largest increase in jobs was in the service sector headed by mortgage bankers. Though the health service sector added some new jobs, the call for nurses is getting stronger. As we all get older and a good portion of us will be kvetching more about our aches and pains, there will be a need for one million more nurses in the next eight years. That's according to the Labor Department.

One, ten, twenty? Nah, not enough - 78 charges were filed against Former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow. Let's say he's found guilty on all charges - bad news - he'd be sentenced to 100 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines. And how's this for role-reversal - Enron Corporate is suing Bank of America for $123 million. Enron claims the bank "effected a series of unauthorized withdrawals from an Enron bank account..." days before the bankruptcy filing. No comment from Bank of America. Good luck, Enron.

And with a little apple pie on its face, McDonalds in the United States isn't sure how to explain a quote by McDonald's in France. Get this, in an "advertorial" - that's an advertisement disguised as an editorial - published in a French magazine concerning obesity in children - McDonald's France said, "There is no reason to eat excessive amounts of junk food, nor go more than once a week to McDonald's." Say what you want about the French, but sometimes they actually make sense.

Stay healthy and happy. For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.

Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 p.m. To contact Maxine Shapiro, please send emails to mshapiro@kera.org.