Economy & Business

Business news

Yen's Drop In Value Could Fuel Curency War

May 16, 2013

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Japan's economy is finally getting a lift. The stock market is soaring there. Companies like Toyota and Sony are seeing a surge in profits. And today, Japan's government reported the economy grew a three-and-a-half percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, a significant improvement.

Across the country, cash-strapped state and local governments are not just cutting services — they're also cutting access to courts. The tip of the iceberg may be small claims courts.

These courts, dealing with disputes involving small sums of money, are the workhorses of the judicial system. There are thousands of such courts across the country, but perhaps nowhere are they being cut more dramatically than in California.

Caterpillar and its South Milwaukee Union are engaged in tough talks.

Last week, the United Steelworkers Local 1343 voted down a contract that called for allowing the company to temporarily close the plant if needed during downturns, along with wage freezes.

Where are you from?  Ask that to the next person you meet on the street in Milwaukee, and they’ll probably look at you funny.  So, instead, take our word for it – the answer is probably someplace local.

Writer and Lake Effect essayist Avi Lank says where we are from says a great deal about where we are going:

Olivu

Napoleon Dynamite included, a lot of us rely on lip balm to keep our mouths moisturized. But it's likely few of us ever thought about making our own product.

One Sheboygan woman has given more than lip service to the importance of pampered puckering. Caitlin Brotz is carving a niche for her homegrown lip balm company, called Olivu 426.

Young professionals are gathering across Milwaukee this week, not only to network, but to also talk about their visions of the city’s future. Organizers of the second annual Young Professionals Week have arranged more than 20 events.

Farm Land
flickr.com/sawmillsergio

Wisconsin may soon allow foreign investors to purchase large parcels of land here. For more than 100 years, the state has limited foreign interests from owning more than 640 acres. However, Governor Walker’s proposed budget removes the cap, including for corporations. The Wisconsin Realtors Association asked for the change, according to spokesman Thomas Larson.

Milwaukee leaders plan to engage in an exercise to spur entrepreneurship. Dozens of people packed into a room at the new UWM School of Public Health Thursday, to hear about the plan. Milwaukee would be the first city in the U.S. to test the initiative.

Caterpillar
Mark Sardella, Flickr

In less than a week, contract negotiations will begin at Caterpillar in South Milwaukee. The talks will be the first since the company took over former Bucyrus International in 2010.

A developer announced plans on Wednesday for a new five-story building to be constructed in the "The Brewery " neighborhood. The Brewery - a mixed-use development - is located on the northern edge of downtown Milwaukee, on the grounds of the former Pabst Brewery.

The rent-to-own industry has been working for years to change the way Wisconsin governs those shops. It now appears Gov. Walker is on board with change. As WUWM’s LaToya Dennis reports, he has included in his budget a provision bringing Wisconsin in line with most other states. His plan will certainly reignite a battle here between consumer advocates and an industry insisting it provides an option some shoppers need.

Earlier this week, the MATC Board and its teachers union reached a new one-year contract – months ahead of schedule. The pact takes effect next February, when the existing three-year contract expires.

MATC
Dave Reid, Flickr

The MATC Board and its faculty union agreed to a new one-year contract this week, set to take effect in 2014, when their existing three-year pact expires.

What makes the deal noteworthy is the fact it happened months earlier than usual and while courts consider challenges to Act 10. That relatively new state law prohibits most public unions from negotiating for anything except limited pay increases.

UWM CUIR graph

Wisconsinites would like to see the state spend money from its projected budget surplus on education and Medicaid, according to the results of a new poll released today.

The Wisconsin Economic Scorecard poll, conducted by UWM’s Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, asked 621 residents across the state how they would prioritize spending.  Forty percent of respondents said education should be the top priority, while thirty-three percent said additional Medicaid funding should be the most important.  An additional sixteen percent said income tax cuts should be at the top of the list, while ten percent thought it was most important to cover shortfalls in the transportation fund.

Fondy's Food Market

The Fondy Market at 22nd and Fond du Lac is one of the Near North Side’s success stories. There had been a farmer’s market in the area for decades, but about 10 years ago the market really took off in its present form, thanks in great part to Young Kim.

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