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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 Midday.

The Fed lowered short-term interests to 1%. My credit card companies didn't. But in all fairness, because I continue to be a loyal user of plastic and pay on time, I have been rewarded with lower rates and an increase in my cap spending. Thanks but no thanks on the cap spending.

Though any snail could have beaten out the pace at which our economy grew last quarter, applications for jobless benefits fell last week. One economist pointed out claims have come down four out of the last five weeks. Encouraging. And even more heartening, we spent less and made a little more in May. Economists had thought our paychecks should have been a bit higher, and I wish they were right - though, expectations are for salaries to keep growing. And the market stepped back this week to digest the news and figure out which way it wants to go after the last three-month upturn.

In a lovely White House ceremony this morning, President Bush announced the inauguration of the National Do Not Call Registry. I myself tried logging on to donotcall.gov, but after seven torturous minutes of watching the page try to open, I decided I'll wait 'til later. Bush said there were already 800 people a second registering. And unlike Texas, there is no fee for signing up and Texas is not sharing its list with the Feds.

I love to fly, for many reasons. Gets me to my destination quickly, and I can actually relax or read without few disturbances. It is one of the only public places left where I don't have to be annoyed by a cell phone. I'm just as guilty as the next guy of answering my calls and talking as if I were in the privacy of my living room. Well, this morning American Airlines announced we will now be able to use our cell-phone longer before departures and sooner after landing. That's fine, but I beg the FAA to stop there. It'll take all the magic out of flying. For KERA Marketplace Midday, I'm Maxine Shapiro.

Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 p.m.

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