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Never-ending stories in the business world

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 business commentator

Dallas, TX – There are some stories that just never end. And you know, in a lot of cases - it's good. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

Take for instance the Arts for Collin County project. Last week, after McKinney voted against it, the future for the four-city arts district was questionable. Now mind you, this venture was voted down by a mere 77 votes. But whether or not McKinney's mayor is successful in getting another vote, the committee leaders of the project have given the green light to proceed with the planning. I just hope they're not disappointed when they realize Santa Clause can't afford the $19.2 million. That was McKinney's share.

Farmers Insurance Group, in an amazing act of kindness, decided to stay in the negotiations talks with the state of Texas for thirty more days. Farmers was scheduled to withdraw from the homeowner insurance market yesterday. And - this is the nice part - they're giving a 6.8% premium reduction for all homeowners who renew with them this month. I'm overwhelmed! Of course, if I knew that on November 11th my home would no longer be insured, I guarantee you, by the 10th I would have new insurance with a new company. But unless the state backs down from their insistence that Farmers refund $150 million of overcharges, we'll be back to go next month. Farmers remains adamant they did nothing wrong.

William Webster, recent appointee for chairman of the accounting oversight board that will regulate and investigate any accounting fraud, finally said he'll probably quit. So do it already. That action should have been taken the day after his approval, which was a day after it was revealed that he was involved with a company that is being investigated for accounting fraud and a day after it was exposed that this investigation was hidden.

And you won't hear homebuilders Arlington-based D.R. Horton complain any time soon that the housing bubble has burst. Their fourth-quarter that ended September 30th was the highest quarterly earnings in company history, reporting a 57% increase for the year. 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