Illinois Economy

Business and economic news

Playing every role in "Hamilton"

Oct 26, 2017

If you are running a business, this is a good problem to have: Your product is crazy popular, enough that word of mouth is basically the only advertising you need. People are willing to pay top dollar, and demand is through the roof, even two years after it launched. Of course, with such success comes a desire to scale to maximize your reach, which presents its own challenges.

The NAACP is advising African-American travelers to watch out for American Airlines.

The civil rights organization has compiled accounts of "disturbing incidents," including a case involving two traveling companions who showed up with first-class tickets. The white passenger was allowed in first, while the black passenger got bumped down to coach.

(Markets Edition) Amazon will soon provide a delivery service where employees will unlock your door and drop off packages when you aren't home. And this isn't a pilot project: it'll roll out in 37 cities next month. We'll look at how this whole thing will work and how much it'll cost you. Afterwards, we'll chat with Diane Swonk from DS Economics about what we can expect from tomorrow's third-quarter GDP report, and then  discuss news that the FCC might make it easier for media companies to own more news outlets in the same local market.


Now Amazon wants to leave a package inside your house

Oct 26, 2017

You’ve maybe noticed more packages piling up at people’s doorsteps as we buy more stuff from companies like Amazon. Now comes Amazon Key, a service that allows delivery people to open your front door and drop that package inside while you’re gone. Sounds sketchy, but it’s starting in 37 cities next month. 

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Restrictions on electronic devices carried by travelers coming from some countries have been rolled back. But now U.S. officials are requiring any person traveling to the country be subject to new, tighter screenings. 

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(U.S. Edition) You might encounter even longer lines at the airport starting today. Any person traveling to the U.S. will be subject to new, tighter screenings. On today's show, we'll take a look at what these new rules will entail. Afterwards, we'll discuss Europe's rising fortunes — which may be enough for the European Central Bank to roll back its economic stimulus system. Then, we'll look at growing concerns about the amount of oil and gas that thieves are stealing from pipelines in Mexico. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service…Today, the European Central Bank meets to decide whether or not it will ease off its program to buy bonds to boost growth. What does that mean for the Euro? Afterwards, Kenyans head to the polls today - again. A presidential election in August was annulled by the country's highest court, causing turmoil and protests. We look at what impact political uncertainty has had on the country's tourism industry. Then - a group of fourteen countries in western and central Africa will be watching what comes out of Brussels with interest.

How to protect your business from the latest cyber attack

Oct 26, 2017

The latest cyberattack, called Bad Rabbit, started on Tuesday in Europe and quickly spread to the U.S. This outbreak, like WannaCry and NotPetya, are forms of ransomware. It's when hackers encrypt files on victims' computers and demand money in exchange for unlocking the system. 

Training employees is the best way to avoid a security breach.

10/26/2017: Creating a ransomware crisis plan

Oct 26, 2017

A ransomware attack called Bad Rabbit hit this week, starting in Europe and spreading to businesses in the U.S. This is the latest in a string of ransomware attacks in the past year. On this episode, we look at how an attack affected KQED, the National Public Radio affiliate in San Francisco. And we talk to a security expert about how to protect your business and recover from an attack. 

American energy companies are looking to enter Mexico's oil, natural gas and electricity markets which have been open since 2014 to foreign participation for the first time since 1938. Major U.S. energy companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron have entered the Mexican energy space.

S02-1: The Peanut Butter Grandma goes to Washington

Oct 25, 2017

Donald Trump, the business man president, isn't the first politician to rail on government regulations. In 1979 Jimmy Carter, the Democrat peanut farmer president, told a crowd: "It should not have taken 12 years and a hearing record of over 100,000 pages for the FDA to decide what percentage of peanuts there ought to be in peanut butter." 

10/25/2017: Hey, how much are you making?

Oct 25, 2017

That question is illegal in some places, as a new wave of laws in cities and states prohibit employers from asking for a job candidate's salary history in the hiring process. And the Senate struck down a rule that made it easier for consumers to sue banks and credit card companies for financial relief, which also allows banks to keep using mandatory arbitration clauses. We explore what this means for consumers like yourself and the arbitration industry. /

Commentary: Gov. Bruce Rauner recently criticized the Democrats for passing a spending plan that is more than a billion dollars out of balance, according to analysis from his budget office. That same report noted that if one-time revenues are included, the state could see a surplus at the end of the year.

A vote by the U.S. Senate last night allowing banks to keep using mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts with consumers — rather than allowing class action lawsuits —essentially preserves the status quo. You might think that more fine print in more and more contracts would mean a lot more arbitration and a bonanza for the arbitration industry. But is that so?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The private dollars that help fund our national parks

Oct 25, 2017

The National Park Service released a proposal today that would raise the entrance fee at its 17 most popular parks during peak visiting months. The rates would go from $25 or $30 to $70. They'll use the extra funds to help pay for a $12 billion backlog of maintenance and repairs at national parks across the country, which the agency's $3 billion budget won't cover all on its own. 

Congress is not the only place National Parks get their money

Oct 25, 2017

The National Parks Service has its own fundraising arm, tasked with raising private money to keep the parks open and maintained. The National Park Foundation was established by Congress in 1967 in part through the efforts of Lady Bird Johnson and Laurance Rockefeller. CEO Will Shafroth has held the job since 2015. The National Park Foundation gave $126 million to the parks last year, boosting their annual budget of about $3 billion. 

 As teenagers in high school, Luis Tinoco and Dulce Garcia rolled in different circles. Tinoco was the loud guy in the hallways, always cracking jokes.

“And I was the opposite,” Garcia said. “Really quiet, really shy, really serious.”

“That’s why I never talked to her, because she was always with that mean face,” Tinoco said jokingly.

Garcia said she wasn’t mean, just focused. She was a steadfast 16-year-old with a 20-year plan.

New laws ban employers from using salary history in hiring

Oct 25, 2017

Multiple cities and states have passed laws recently banning employers from asking a job candidate for their salary history during the employment screening and interviewing process. The goal, advocates said, is to redress the persistent gender pay gap in America.

The Senate passed a 2018 budget last week, paving the way for a tax overhaul. The House of Representatives is expected to approve it this week, and then the real show begins.

The House is expected to release its tax plan next week. Somewhere on Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee are hammering out a tax plan. And if they aren't sleep deprived now, they're going to be.

(Markets Edition) Congress has quashed a federal rule to stop banks from making consumers go into arbitration when they want to resolve a financial dispute. On today's show, we'll look at the future of the watchdog agency — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — that was behind this regulation. Afterwards, Susan Schmidt from Westwood Holdings Group joins us to chat about the 10-year Treasury yield's rise. And finally, we'll look at why female entrepreneurs get less funding than men, with an eye on the language differences venture capitalists use when speaking to them.


How in the world is Twitter still not making any money?

Oct 25, 2017

Over four years ago, in September 2013, Twitter announced that it was going public. While some had expected the news, others were left wondering: How the @### is Twitter going to make money?

This year for the first time, consumers say they’ll spend more shopping online than in physical stores. That’s according to an annual consumer holiday shopping survey by Deloitte. It’s one more data point documenting the march of e-commerce to capture ever more of America’s retail spending. Deloitte’s online survey of more than 5,000 Americans found consumers plan to spend 51 percent of their holiday dollars online this year.

10/25/2017: A key win for the banking industry

Oct 25, 2017

(U.S. Edition) The U.S. Senate has voted to kill a federal rule that banned banks from forcing customers into arbitration, which would then make it easier for consumers to sue their banks in class-action lawsuits.We'll look at what the process of arbitration entails and why Republicans came out strongly against the rule. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new survey that shows Americans, for the first time, will spend more shopping online than in stores. Then, we'll talk to one unauthorized immigrant in Houston about how she's dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. 

Senate GOP votes to repeal consumer rule

Oct 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a further rollback of Obama-era regulations, the Republican-led Senate voted narrowly to repeal a banking rule that would have allowed consumers to join together to sue their bank or credit card company to resolve financial disputes.

Getting your life together after a major disaster is tough, no matter what. It’s especially hard without one of the major lifelines after disaster in the United States — direct cash assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Unauthorized immigrants don’t qualify. Houston, struck in August by Hurricane Harvey, is home to about 500,000 unauthorized immigrants. 

Can you really make money while doing good?

Oct 25, 2017

We usually assume that investors in the tech industry have one thing on their minds: money. But that's not the only goal of every venture capital firm out there.

10/25/2017: Giving minority entrepreneurs a chance

Oct 25, 2017

There’s a group of venture capital firms that want to change the world for the better and make money. This is called impact investing. One of the firms working in this space is Impact America Fund, which invests in companies with diverse missions – for instance, a startup that helps African-American stylists sell their own hair extensions. Marketplace Tech host Molly Woods talks with Impact America Fund founder Kesha Cash about the sometimes complex collision of money and mission in venture capital.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service…U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he wants to strengthen cooperation and trade between America and India, but there are still some disagreements to be worked out. Afterwards, we’ll tell you about a law firm specializing in offshore accounts that said it suffered a hack last year, potentially revealing details on some of Britain’s wealthiest people. Then, Britain’s economy grew slightly more than expected in the third quarter but it’s still one of the slowest growing advanced nations.

Why female entrepreneurs get less funding than men

Oct 25, 2017

When entrepreneur Kim Taylor began pitching her online education startup to investors, just like the fictional character Alice, she felt like she'd fallen down a rabbit hole where the normal rules of logic no longer applied.  She didn’t just have to prove her idea was solid. She also endured questions about whether the online education market itself was even real.

“And you know, this is a market that has several multibillion-dollar companies in it," she said. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks in Saudi Arabia today at the launch of what’s being called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center. Mnuchin’s leading a weeklong delegation to the Middle East to meet with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Qatar to talk about ways to combat terrorist financing. 

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