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FROM THIS EPISODE

Far from threatening to overtake the US anytime soon, China is wrestling with major problems that threaten internal stability. We hear what new leadership and the latest five-year plan could mean for China itself and its relations with the rest of the world. Also, Bank of America thaws frozen foreclosures. On Reporter's Notebook, are insurance companies already exploiting loopholes in healthcare reform?  Should President Obama take action?

Banner image: A Chinese bank clerk counts a stack of one-hundred yuan notes for a customer at a bank in Hefei, east China's Anhui province on October 14, 2010. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images


Producers:
Christian Bordal
Gary Scott
Frances Anderton

Reporter's Notebook Should Obama Order a Freeze on Insurance Rates? 9 MIN, 12 SEC

In writing healthcare reform, Congress required that Americans buy health insurance by 2014, but declined to empower the government to set a fair price. One consumer calls it “a potential disaster that the president cannot afford to ignore.” Recently, health insurance companies have begun notifying policyholders of premium increases, pointing the finger at federal healthcare reform. We get two perspectives from Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog in California, and Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans.

Guests:
Jamie Court, President, Consumer Watchdog (@consumerwd)
Robert Zirkelbach, Spokesman, America's Health Insurance Plans

Main Topic China: New Leaders, New Plans and Potential Troubles 33 MIN, 41 SEC

China's been a major engine of growth in the weakened global economy, but, today, in the hopes of slowing things down, it stunned economists and rattled stock markets worldwide by raising interest rates for the first time in three years. Though China's economy grows fast, a population equal to that of the US is moving from the countryside into the cities. Can the government maintain control? China watchers are trying to analyze the leadership choices and new five-year plan determined in four days of high-level, secret meetings by 300 top Communist Party leaders. What's next for economic growth, the environment and housing prices? Will censorship give way to greater openness? What about competition with the US?

Guests:
Adam Minter, Bloomberg World View (@AdamMinter)
Elizabeth Economy, Council on Foreign Relations (@LizEconomy)
Pieter Bottelier, former International Economist, World Bank

The River Runs Black

Elizabeth C. Economy

Making News Bank of America Thaws Frozen Foreclosures 7 MIN, 23 SEC

Widespread reports of improprieties led big banks to suspend foreclosures earlier this month.  But Bank of America, which services about 20 percent of the nation's mortgages says it is starting up again. Binyamin Applebaum is domestic correspondent for the New York Times.

Guests:
Binyamin Appelbaum, New York Times (@BCAppelbaum)

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