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Studio 619 for March 23, 2008

Local and National Economy

The word recession is on the tongues of economists around the country, but is America headed for one? That answer may very well be in the Beige Book, a quarterly report put out by the Federal Reserve. It’s designed to show financial trends before they happen. This year’s Beige Book shows an economic slowdown in Louisville. WFPL’s Gabe Bullard talked to Regional Fed Director Howard Wall about the report.

Shareholders and Environmental Responsibility

Shareholders are using their leverage with the companies whose stocks they own to persuade those companies to do something about climate change. Among these shareholders are some of the biggest institutional investors around, like the California teachers retirement fund. A group called the Investor Network on Climate Risk boasts 60 shareholder members that control, collectively, more than $5 trillion in assets.

One method they’re using to get companies to disclose the risks they face because of climate change or to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is filing a shareholder resolution. They filed a record number of shareholder resolutions dealing with climate change this year. WFPL’s Kristin Espeland has more.

Louisville and a National Recession

News of the economy just keeps going from bad to worse. But PNC Financial Services Group’s chief economist says Louisville may be able to weather a recession better than other Midwestern cities. He spoke with WFPL’s Kristin Espeland about the outlook.

Sudan DivestmentThe genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region has moved some Kentucky lawmakers to draft legislation encouraging Kentucky to stop investing in foreign companies that do business in that country. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

 Digital TV switch

One year from now, all television broadcasts in the United States will be digital. Across Kentucky, thousands of television viewers will need to get new equipment to keep receiving over-the-air transmissions. WFPL’s Gabe Bullard has more.

 Vienna 1814The world, or at least the European portion of the world, was exhausted and in turmoil in the fall of 1814. Napoleon had finally been defeated and many countries were in turmoil over boundaries and rulers. A peace conference was set for Vienna, Austria and notices were placed in newspapers throughout Europe. Minor and major nobility, their courtiers, wives, mistresses and servants began pouring into Vienna and what was thought to be a four week peace conference turned into a months long party. After much intrigue, political juggling, gambling, balls and the escape and resurgence of Napoleon, the peace accord was finally signed in June 1815. Join WFPL’s Robin Fisher as she talks with David King about his new book Vienna 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War and Peace at the Congress of Vienna. And learn more about the party that changed the world.

Listen to the show.