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FROM THIS EPISODE

For at least a year, some economists have predicted the bursting of what they call the housing "bubble." The real estate industry has insisted that won't happen, and the superheated housing market did protect the economy when the stock market faltered, but have good things finally come to an end? Fortune magazine says the boom is over, and foreclosure rates are beginning to rise. In Harper's, an economist observes, "Never before have so many Americans gone so deeply into debt so willingly," and that the "investments" they believe will lead to wealth and freedom may be a kind of slavery. If prices drop, what's the fate of homeowners with interest-only loans? What are the consequences for the economy as a whole? We hear from economists, realtors and investment experts.
  • Making News: Iran's President Writes Bush, as US Seeks UN Resolution
    In Florida today, while speaking to senior citizens about the Medicare Drug program, President Bush was asked about Iran's nuclear program. Without dismissing alternatives he called diplomatic efforts to prevent the building of atomic weapons his first choice. At the UN, the US, Russia, Britain, China and Germany failed to reach agreement on strategy, and Secretary of State Rice says that President Ahmadinejad's letter does not address the issue. Carla Anne Robbins is chief diplomatic correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Mariana Islands' "Made in the USA" Sweatshops
    Some 30,000 sweatshop workers unprotected by fair labor laws are producing garments labeled "Made in America." The hitch is they're employed in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US Territory in the Western Pacific Ocean. What do former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Senator Tom Delay have to do with it? Rebecca Clarren is a freelance journalist whose article on the Marianas appears in the Spring edition of Ms magazine.

President Ahmadi-Najad's letter to President Bush

Robbins' article on Ahmadinejad letter

Fortune magazine article on deflating housing market

NAR article on current housing market

Laperrier's (Weekly Standard) article on housing-bubble trouble

Clarren's (Ms) cover story,

Congressman George Miller on sweatshops

Northern Mariana Islands Covenant Implementation Act (S 1052, Murkowski, 1999)

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