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decision to put its catalog on


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iTunes DRM-free is "absolutely a step that has to be taken," Cody Willard of CL Willard Capital tells Aaron Task on Monday's

Real Story podcast. "This is the direction the world is going."

Willard predicts other music labels will soon follow EMI's lead. "You can't make order out of the chaos of the Internet," he says. "This is an acknowledgement

record labels have to build new business models."

The arrangement is "virtuous" for both companies but a bigger positive for EMI than Apple, Willard says.

The fund manager and

contributor was less optimistic about the possibility of


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getting into a bidding war with


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. "I hope

Google doesn't win because it would be a defensive move."

Task's second guest, Richard Hoey, chief economist of Dreyfus and Mellon Financial, says the "housing recession will persist" for the remainder of 2007, but predicts it is unlikely to drag the broader economy into negative growth.

The key difference between the current housing downturn and past cycles is that the current slide was not caused by "sky high" interest rates, Hoey says. The implication being the rest of the economy is relatively insulated from housing's downturn.

Hoey's comments come on a day when

M&T Bank

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said the problems in subprime mortgage lending "have had a negative effect on the rest of the residential mortgage marketplace," particularly for Alt-A loans, which represent the middle ground between subprime and prime loans.

In addition,

New Century Financial


filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The troubled subprime lender said it will sell some assets and reduced its workforce by 54%.

Task discusses the implications of these developments as well as Monday's weaker-than-expected ISM manufacturing data.

In the remainder of the podcast, Task address the day's other corporate news, including KKR's bid to acquire

First Data

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agreement to take over

Global Imaging Systems

( GISX); and


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announcement its avian influenza vaccine triggered a "robust immune response."


here to listen to the entire podcast.