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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.

What a week. It began with the resurgence of mergers and acquisitions on Monday. $366 billion worth of deal making was set in motion - and that set a rally in motion. Most earnings continued to look good with very few companies worried about the current quarter. The Fed left interest rates alone and the Gross Domestic Product, the mother of all economic barometers, showed a third quarter growth rate we haven't seen in twenty years. So scary October proved to be anything but. Going into today, the Dow was up 5.7 percent.

But still haunting the American worker is the unwillingness of CEO's to hire back the unemployed. In a survey conducted by Chief Executive magazine - now there's a spooky target audience - CEO's said growth was their biggest concern. And according to the editor-in-chief, the desired expansion will occur by "squeezing it out of their existing organization and infrastructure." The CEO Confidence Index for hiring declined 6.6 percent in October from September.

And my confidence index in my cable company is plummeting! Comcast is raising rates again: 9.5 percent in the Dallas area. The only package that isn't increasing is the minimal basic coverage. But the rest of us will have to pay the increase or move to the alternative DirecTV or Dish Network. I feel really taken advantage of. Over the last five years, cable rates have skyrocketed 40 percent. Keep in mind the inflation rate for the same period was only 12 percent. And at least one consumer advocate group complains, while Comcast is paying less for programming, viewers have to pay more. Congress is ticked off, too. Let's see if they can do anything.

And guess what? They've already found some new counterfeit $20 bills. It's all got to do with that peach watermark. For KERA Marketplace Midday, I'm Maxine Shapiro.


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

Email Maxine Shapiro about this story.