Morning Business Memo

Nov 16, 2011 8:09am

Financial markets are still jittery about Europe. Government bond yields spiked up yesterday and fell this morning with reports of significant sovereign debt purchases by the European Central Bank. Tuesday was one of the worst on record for French sovereign debt as investors sold triple-A rated French and Austrian bonds. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says the euro zone now faces a systemic crisis, and he’s urging member states to act to deal with it.

Toys are getting safer. Recalls have been falling since a tough new product-safety law was enacted in 2008. USA Today reports there were 34 toy recalls in the 2011 fiscal year, ended Sept. 30, down from 172 three years earlier. Respected toy-testing expert Stephanie Oppenheim tells ABC News Radio “things are better in toyland in terms of safety, but you still need to look at toys carefully before you give them to your kids.”

Magnets in children’s toys are a growing hazard. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says an increasing number of incident reports indicate that high-powered magnets continue to pose a safety risk to children. From toddlers to teens, children are swallowing these magnets and the consequences are severe.

More changes at Apple. Disney’s CEO Robert Iger has joined the board. Apple has named longtime independent director Arthur Levinson as its non-executive chairman. The shakeup follows the death of CEO Steve Jobs. When he was in charge, Apple had no chairman, and investor critics complained the company’s board lacked independent advice.

More trouble for the Postal Service. It lost more than $5 billion in the past year. The Postmaster General warns losses will accelerate in the coming year.

Richard Davies, Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio, twitter.com/daviesabc

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