Urbandaleâ€™sÂ Continental Western and other investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't receivingÂ dividend checks since all profits from the mortgage lenders are being turned over to the U.S. Treasury.Â
Li Zhao Mandelbaum comes from a nation of more than one-point-three-billion people. So the concept of small is relative.
â€śI often introduce myself, Iâ€™m from Nanning, a small city in China, and people will say OK tell me the population, and I will say well, we have about six million population,â€ť she said.
Her hometown is about an hourâ€™s flight west of Hong Kong near Chinaâ€™s border with Vietnam. Itâ€™s known for its lush greenery and hilly terrain. But despite its beauty, it wasnâ€™t enough for the adventurous, young Li Zhao.
Â Business is booming in North Dakotaâ€™s Bakken Shale oilfields. With that boom comes a need for infrastructure. More than half of the oil out of the Bakken leaves by train or truck. Â But companies are working on pipelines.Â One proposed pipeline would cut clear through the state of Iowa.Â
Data centers store digital information off site from a companyâ€™s headquarters.Â In the past couple years tech giants Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all announced plans for new facilities in Iowa.Â Â
Iowaâ€™s only nuclear power plant, the Duane Arnold Energy Center, Â is observing its fortieth year in operation with the release of a report showing its economic impact in Â the state.Â Â Governor Branstad joined company officials for a celebration at the plant outside Palo. Â
Plans to build a new regional airport are underway in south central Iowaâ€™s Mahaska County. Two existing airports â€“ in Oskaloosa and Pella would close â€“ and a new consolidated one would provide services to large companies in the area. Iowa Public Radioâ€™s Clay Masters reports on the fight over whether or not a new regional airport will help the area economy.Â
Â It's back to school season in Iowa. IPR's Clay Masters talks education economics with Sarah McCammon while she finishes up her assignment for Marketplace this summer covering business and economics news. They discuss the increasing costs for teachers and parents to pay for public school and a report by the US Department of Education found colleges giving bigger grants to wealthier kids.Â
New attention is being focused on the crumbling lock-and-dam system on the Mississippi River. Iowa officials painted a frightening scenario when they appeared before the Mississippi River Commission last week in Dubuque.Â
Many Iowans work for two companies in recent business headlines. In a nearly 1.4 billion dollar deal, Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins announced it was buying communication system company Airinc. Rockwell Collins CEO, Kelly Ortberg, calls it the biggest deal the company has undertaken.
And the latest quarter of John Deere earnings beat analyst projections. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment for Marketplace this summer, about the two news-making companies. They also discuss the state's corn crop and how it compares to the cornbelt as a whole.
The Iowa State Fair wraps up next weekend. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace, over the economics and controversy over when schools should start and how that affects state fairs and tourism. Masters also talks with McCammon about the energy stories she's done on Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that was involved in the BP oil spill three years ago, and a solar company thatâ€™s also ahead of its peers.
AdvocatesÂ for solar power are watching an Iowa court case that pits a small Dubuque company Â against the stateâ€™s giant electric utilities.Â Â Â Both sides say the case could Â eliminateÂ some of the barriers to solar power in the state. Â
Â Â The Pew Charitable Trusts and McArthur Foundation are funding a project that hopes solve public policy in an evidence-based way. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Sarah McCammon, who's on assignment with Marketplace this summer, about her reporting on the issue. They also discuss an upcoming story she's working on the economics of recycling.Â
Â Â This week Clay and Sarah discuss the state's unemployment rate which is largely unchanged for June. They also discuss an issue Sarah is reporting on regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline and its impact on the country if its built or not.Â
This week Clay and Sarah discuss big news in agribusiness and how the industry is reacting. The U.S. House passed a farm bill that strips the nutrition portion out of the legislation, breaking up the rural/urban coalition of lawmakers. Also, a deadly pig virus is causing pork producers to be even more cautious with how they operate their business. And a deadly train accident in Quebec has people in the United States looking at how the country transports oil.Â
Five years ago, on May 12, 2008, Postville's kosher meat packing plant was the site the largest immigration raid in Iowa history. Iowa Public Radio's Pat Blank talks with some of those who were there then andÂ who are still there now
Iowaâ€™s biggest economic development deal was announced Wednesday. As Governor Terry Branstad puts itâ€¦ itâ€™s all about wind energy.Â Mid-American Energy will in invest 1-point-9 billion dollars in Iowa to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation. Thatâ€™s about 656 new wind turbines IN IOWA by 2016. Branstad says Iowaâ€™s wind energy industry is a good selling point for high-tech companies like FacebookÂ which just announced it would build a data center in Altoona, just outside of Des Moines.
Warren Buffettâ€™s Berkshire Hathaway's newest Iowa acquisition, Prudential First Realty, soon will be adopting the â€śBerkshire Hathaway Home Servicesâ€ť logo. The company has 77 agents and three offices in central Iowa, and their â€śFor Saleâ€ť signs that now say Prudential, will be converted to Berkshire Hathaway.
Brennan Buckley is a company marketing executive in Des Moines.