Europe Debt Worries Ease — Morning Business Memo

Mar 21, 2012 8:04am

A verbal sigh of relief on Europe at least for now. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the threats from Europe’s debt crisis have eased in recent weeks. But he’s set to tell a Congressional panel today that European leaders must take further steps to contain the crisis. About one-third of assets in US money market funds – says Bernanke – are European holdings.

The US Government is slapping new import fees on solar panels made in China – saying the Chinese government is giving improper subsidies to its manufacturers. The new tariffs are considered a partial victory for struggling US makers of solar panels, but they stop short of harsh penalties some are demanding. American solar companies are facing stiff competition from China as well as weakening demand in Europe, just as President Obama is working to promote renewable energy

Big moves on the small screen: The creator of the hit TV show CSI, Anthony Zuiker, is making a movie called “Cybergeddon” for Yahoo. It’ll appear in installments on the web this fall. Zuiker’s latest move into online storytelling follows his partnership on a horror series for YouTube. Many web video companies, including Hulu, YouTube and Netflix, are pushing to put more original video content online.

Apple is cool about claims the new iPad is running hot. The company doesn’t deny reports the new tablet can get warmer than the iPad 2, but a corporate statement says the device operates “well within our thermal specifications. Consumer Reports says its tests show the new iPad runs “significantly hotter” when playing graphics-heavy games. The Wall Street Journal points to another potential problem for some users. Super fast connection speeds and the high resolution screen encourage greater use of online video – eating up tons of data from wireless providers.

“That means something has to give,” says the Journal. “Either consumers will have to get used to paying more or wireless carriers will come under pressure to change their pricing models.”

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