Money in a Minute: Headlines for March 14, 2011

WORLD: Bank of Japan to pump cash into banks

Following this weekend’s triple tragedy of earthquake, tsunami, and near-nuclear meltdown, Japanese leaders say they will “provide markets with a lot of liquidity” and prevent trading tactics that take advantage of the situation, CNN Money reports.

EARTHQUAKE: Tepco, Toshiba, JR East may be among most hurt by earthquake

Major Japanese electric, electronic, and rail companies may be among the worst off following the “the nation’s worst nuclear accident in at least 33 years,” Bloomberg reports. These and many other businesses will be forced to shut down factories and various operations in the near term.

TAXES: $200 million tax refund? We goofed, officials say

Nearly 10,000 people in Ohio are probably a little disappointed but not surprised. A technical glitch led to 9,700 Ohioans receiving a letter promising each a $200 million dollar tax refund. The error has been fixed and those effected notified, MSNBC reports.

CARS: Kia recalls 70,000 Optimas for transmission defect

Using the parking brake is highly recommended for 2006-08 Kia Optima owners — unless you want your car to roll away. Kia is “recalling more than 70,000 Optima midsize sedans to fix transmission problems,” USA Today reports.

COMMODITIES: Milk sliding 14 percent as cows boost output, cheese jumps to 1984 high

Got milk? Apparently fewer people do these days due to high prices. Less demand, combined with highly productive cows, means milk futures “may drop 14 percent to $16.86 per 100 pounds by Dec. 31,” Bloomberg reports. In the meantime, cheese prices are as high as they’ve been in more than 25 years.

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