Toyota Recalls Cars Over Spider Problem, & 5 More Things You'll Want to Know Today

Toyota vehicles on a dealership lot.
Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• Toyota (TM) is recalling 870,000 late model Camrys, Venzas and Avalons, due to a Rube Goldberg-style problem that starts with a clogged drainage tube in their air conditioners and can end, eventually, with airbags to deploying randomly. According to Toyota, the only common denominator in the blockages was spiders building their webs in the tubes.

• Welcome back, school segregation: Across a wide swath of the American South and West, middle-class families have abandoned the public school system in such numbers that low-income students now make up a majority of public school students in 17 states. That's a huge demographic shift over just a few years, and one with serious public policy and social ramifications.

• Before the debt ceiling crisis was resolved this week, a host of pundits and experts were sounding the alarm, certain that a U.S. default would cause the dollar to plunge in value.
Yet instead, as the nation approached the precipice, the dollar's value climbed. So what's happening now that Congress has at last done its job? The dollar has fallen to its lowest value since February, thanks to expectations that the Fed will keep its massive stimulus program going at full steam for significantly longer, to balance out the economic damage done by the government shutdown and debt ceiling battle.

• Bank of America (BAC) is considering offering a clever innovation to its retail customers: A checking account that won't let you overdraft your balance when taking money out of an ATM or making automatic bill payments, thus saving you from being hit with overdraft fees. (Bank accounts that won't let you withdraw more than your balance? Didn't we have those everywhere, once upon a time?)

Morgan Stanley enjoyed a 50 percent revenue jump in its third quarter, thanks to higher income from equities sales and trading, which more than balanced out a decline from its fixed-income business. Makes you wonder why Morgan's (MS) clients are trading so much more than those at Goldman Sachs (GS), which reported this week that its revenue plunged by 20 percent last quarter due to its clients pulling back on their trading activities.

• And finally, top executives of Monsanto's (MON) Indian subsidiary, Mahyco, are among those being prosecuted in a major biopiracy case in that nation. Their alleged crime: Creating a genetically modified eggplant.

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I had the same problem with my 1989 Honda Civic. About 2 years after driving it, I noticed that at night time, white spiders would crawl on the inside of the windshield. It used to freak me out!!! I would come out of my house in the morning and there were webs drapped from my car to my mother's car. And when I opened the drivers door to get in and sit, webs would hit me in the face. Finally, I brought it to my mechanic and he found webs under the hood on the hot engine! He didn't even belive it. I ended up trading it in for a Honda Accord. When the salesman asked me why I was trading it in, I told him about the spiders. He laughed at me. Oh Well, the Accord didn't have spiders, so I was happy. I feel bad for whomever got my car though.

October 19 2013 at 3:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Have been driving for 40 years. Have owned almost 50 cars in that time period, including collector and classic vehicles. Have never owned a foreign make or a foreign made car. Currently driving a 2002 American make that I bought used three years ago. No problems, no complaints, and, NO PAYMENTS !!!

October 19 2013 at 12:32 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to RMS's comment

Itsy bitsy spider crawled up the drainage spout
Built a might nest
To block the water out
Down came the drain
And pushed the airbag out
And the moguls of Toyota
Cry recall once again

October 19 2013 at 9:23 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to PACRIMCO's comment

A recall on a toyota is a recall on a good car, a recall on a domestic is a recall on junk.

October 20 2013 at 11:39 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Cute. I liked it anyway!

October 20 2013 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the motor of my toyota was made in west virginia. the body was made in tennessee. what exactly are you talking about ??

October 18 2013 at 9:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bcl1722's comment

Google "trade deficit". Read it as many times as it takes to understand it.

October 19 2013 at 8:03 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Toyota is #1 in recall 3 of the past4 years. Why is Americans still buying this junk, oh yea, they are republicans. True Americans buy American.

October 18 2013 at 8:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to toosmart4u's comment

sounds like Emperor Obama should give Toyota some more tax money from his giant monopoly game he is playing.

October 18 2013 at 7:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to po297ps155's comment

stop it's those dog gone republicans that's killing this country, not Obama. They are putting hate and party first, not the country!

October 19 2013 at 6:59 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to lkarvasr's comment

OH what do you know? Another japanese car recall haha no surprise there!

October 18 2013 at 2:23 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

My, gripes; ONE: All air tunnels, into the car, should be screened, to keep, critters, out; whose, leavings are poison to heaters... TWO: All door handles should be uniformly located, so that, crash site exits, are not, hampered by the morons who design their arrogance into their, punish, those who are customers; and, glorify their asininity; as in, THREE: dismantling, body and suspension parts, to, replace components, known to go bad, costing buyers, more punishment, by the arrogance of, manufacturers; as if, putting, engines, under dashboards, is, not, strategic, to, planned extortion, and, your reward for their, "better ideas," and, "when better cars are built; still true;" still, waiting... Edgrrr...

October 18 2013 at 12:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to edgarlongenecker's comment

How a bout giving a car a bumperzone so the whole front or Back depending on the area does not need to be replaced door guards to prevent people from putting dents in your doors when opening them without looking how close they are to your Car

October 19 2013 at 10:51 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Funny thing they should mention spiders. Last winter I was driving my Toyota in Florida one evening and noticed a large spider walking across the inside of the windshield so I stopped the car and batted at it with my hand. It seemed to fall down between me and the dashboard. I got out and looked on the floor but couldn't find it. I went about the rest of my errands then went back to my place. About an hour later at home I was getting undressed in the bathroom and as I removed my underpants the spider dropped out ! I did a panicked "bug dance" and dispatched the spider on the bathroom floor then gave it a "burial at sea" . I didn't sleep well that night, but am thankful I wasn't stung. I thought of spraying the car interior but then I would be breathing the noxious vapors . There must be a "natural" deterrent. I have "house Gekko's" in Florida which are supposed to eat spiders but don't know how well they would do in a car. I served with a guy who kept a chameleon lizard in his car to eat mosquitos and gnats.

October 18 2013 at 11:41 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
worried man

what about the spiders in the government

October 18 2013 at 11:15 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to worried man's comment

they have been stinging us for years, along with screwing us blind.

October 21 2013 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply