Wal-Mart is likely to take more of a negative hit from the investor community than its customers in the ongoing Mexico bribery scandal, economist Jeff Collins said during taping for the upcoming The City Wire Show.
Also on the show, House and Senate candidates from Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith area say jobs and a likely Medicaid budget problem will be the top issues in the 2013 General Assembly.
Collins said the alleged involvement of Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores in a bribery scheme that allowed the retailer to more quickly open stores than competitors is not likely to cause customers to boycott the store. Collins, who works with StreetSmart Data and is an economist for The City Wire, said the Wall Street/investor community is focused with how the scandal will impact international operations for Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart’s international posted double-digit gains in sales revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011 and the full year. Net sales totaled $125.873 billion in fiscal 2012, up 15.2%. The international business is roughly 28% of the company’s total revenue.
Also part of the show are Rep. Tim Summers, R-Bentonville, and Bart Hester. Hester and Summers face each other in the Republican primary for the Arkansas Senate District 1, which covers part of Benton County. There is no Democrat in the race, which means the winner of the GOP primary will capture the seat.
Summers said increasing jobs in the area and in Arkansas will help solve a lot of state budget problems. With respect to the Medicaid issue, Hester suggested the state could save money by not advertising Medicaid programs at Razorback football games.
According to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI), Arkansas could soon face a “$60 million Medicaid budget shortfall.”
The other political candidates interviewed were Rep. Denny Altes, R-Fort Smith, and Mat Pitsch. The two face each other in the GOP primary for Arkansas House District 76. There is no Democrat in the race, which means the winner of the GOP primary will capture the seat.
Altes said cutting fraud and waste from the Medicaid program would resolve the budget shortfall issue. Pitsch said eliminating fraud would only partially relieve the problem.
Watch The City Wire show on Saturday and Sunday mornings to see more of the interviews with Collins, the candidates and learn about Artosphere.
ABOUT THE CITY WIRE SHOW
5NEWS (KFSM TV 5 and KXNW TV 34) and The City Wire produce a weekly one-hour news show designed to provide more indepth information about business, politics and arts & entertainment news in the Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas areas.
The City Wire Show, which appears Saturday and Sunday mornings in the two markets, includes a recap of major events, updates and details on ongoing issues, updates on newsmakers and discussion of arts & entertainment action.
The show, officially titled “5NEWS Presents: The City Wire,” airs on Saturday mornings at 8 .m. on KXNW-TV 34, which is channel 20 for Cox cable customers in Northwest Arkansas and channel 8 for Cox cable customers in the Fort Smith area. The show airs on Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. on KFSM-TV 5.
5NEWS Anchor Daren Bobb and The City Wire managing editor Michael Tilley serve as hosts for the show. Also, Kyle Kellams, news director for KUAF 91.3FM, Cyd King, arts & entertainment editor for The City Wire, are part of the show and talk about the cultural scene in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith areas.