Marketplace

Weekdays 6:30-7 p.m., 10:30-11 p.m.
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

In-depth focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace  is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.  

T-Mobile dials into mobile banking

Apr 19, 2019

All kinds of tech companies have been piling into the financial services business lately. There's Google Pay, Amazon Cash, Apple Pay. Now, T-Mobile is jumping into the fray. This week, the telecom company rolled out T-Mobile Money nationwide. It's basically a digital, mobile checking account. It's the wireless carrier's latest effort to distinguish itself from larger rivals AT&T and Verizon. It also could turn out to be an attractive option for lower-income, "under-banked" consumers.

How the vest became Wall Street's bulletproof armor

Apr 19, 2019

Ever since the rise of Silicon Valley, followed by the financial crisis, the dress code of the finance and technology industries has become more relaxed. Hoodies and jeans are one thing but, lately, tech and finance companies have embraced a different accessory: the vest. Worn over business casual attire, often with a company logo on the right breast, vests are a big part of the way business looks right now.

Brexit touches German funny bone

Apr 19, 2019

The world has followed the Brexit imbroglio with astonishment, dismay, derision and laughter. The endless, inconclusive debates in Parliament, the twice-delayed departure date, the thrice-rejected withdrawal agreement, the United Kingdom’s apparent inability to decide how, when or even whether it wants to leave the European Union.

“Like a "Monty Python" sketch,” observed Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. “No, it’s more like an episode of 'Fawlty Towers'” insisted another Continental connoisseur of British comedy.   

Home building remains stuck in the mud

Apr 19, 2019

New government data shows home building fell to a nearly two-year low last month. Both building permits and housing starts were down. Midwest flooding last month is one likely factor, but this isn't just a one-month blip.

 

After a challenging year, the catfish business bounces back

Apr 19, 2019

For catfish farmers, inventory can be tough to manage. It takes years for a catfish to mature into a healthy product for the market. Throw in a warm winter, and you just might get too many catfish, which drives down the price. Townsend Kyser is a Marketplace regular who runs Kyser Family Farms with his dad in Greensboro, Alabama. We visited him a few years back, as part of our My Economy series, when business was strong.

Fleece power vests are big business

Apr 19, 2019

As tech and finance businesses have loosened up their dress codes in recent years, one garment has ascended to near ubiquity: The Vest. Usually fleece, worn over casual business attire with a company logo on the right breast, the vest is a big part of the way business looks right now. Today, we look at why. Plus: Why T-Mobile wants in the banking business, and who's really to blame for slow Brexit negotiations. 

Immigration is a major factor driving population growth across America. Areas like Harris County, Texas, and King County, Washington, have experienced some of the largest increases in international migrants, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  

"With less population growth from what's called 'natural increase' — births minus deaths — a larger share of U.S. population growth is coming from international migration," said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed.com. 

The Mueller Report becomes an overnight bestseller

Apr 19, 2019

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is coming to a bookstore near you.

The report is available for free on the Department of Justice’s website, but that hasn’t deterred publishers from racing to package it into book form for consumers to buy.

USMCA would slightly boost U.S. economy, says ITC report

Apr 19, 2019

On Thursday, the International Trade Commission released its assessment of the projected economic impact of USMCA, President Trump's proposed replacement for NAFTA. The report shows the new deal is projected to boost the U.S. economy by .35% when fully implemented. The ITC’s findings are likely to further fuel the trade debate as USMCA makes its way through Congress. 

Walmart and Amazon are now accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, commonly known as food stamps, for online grocery delivery in New York. It’s part of a Department of Agriculture pilot program that aims to give low-income communities better access to healthy food.

Towns along Route 66 are concerned about their future

Apr 19, 2019

Dozens of towns along Route 66 — once known as "Main Street of America," stretching from Chicago to Santa Monica, California — went from boom towns to ghost towns when a four-lane interstate was built, bypassing them. A federal grant has helped businesses in these towns, but that's scheduled to end in the fall. It's not clear whether new supportive measures will be put in place.

The number of new homes being built in the U.S. drops to its lowest level in two years. People owed money by nearly bankrupt Sears are suing the company's CEO in hopes of getting paid. Plus, Congress is considering renewing a grant to help the former boom towns along storied Route 66, which have turned into ghost towns over the decades.

Today's show is sponsored by GAIN Capital Group and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

What about that other government report?

Apr 19, 2019

A recent report finds the "new NAFTA" will benefit the U.S. economy. Amazon and Walmart are now accepting the modern version of food stamps. Plus, how are prisons dealing with the opioid epidemic?

Today's show is sponsored by GAIN Capital Group and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

From the BBC World Service… Employees of India's troubled Jet Airways are holding more demonstrations today in New Delhi. The company halted operations Thursday after failing to secure emergency funding. Then, we take you to St. Paul's Cathedral in London, a landmark that's been destroyed and rebuilt four times in its history, to chat about why funding preventative preservation and restoration efforts of historic buildings is so challenging.

This week the European Parliament passed a law establishing basic rights for workers in the gig economy. It could apply to some 3 million people, everyone from Uber drivers to couriers for the United Kingdom's Deliveroo. The law requires companies to pay when work is canceled last minute or for mandatory training. It also bans "exclusivity clauses," which prevent freelancers from "gigging" for other companies. It's supposed to make working short-term gigs a little more stable.

This week the European Parliament passed a law establishing basic rights for workers in the gig economy. It could apply to some 3 million people, everyone from Uber drivers to couriers for the United Kingdom's Deliveroo. The law requires companies to pay when work is canceled last minute or for mandatory training. It also bans "exclusivity clauses," which prevent freelancers from "gigging" for other companies. It's supposed to make working short-term gigs a little more stable.

How "The Tick" stands among the superhero giants

Apr 18, 2019

With the new "Avengers" movie poised to dominate screens in about a week, you’d think there wouldn’t be room for anyone else in the superhero landscape. Tell that to Ben Edlund, creator of “The Tick,” a show and character that’s found a small but lasting foothold in superhero culture. We also examine the struggles faced by regional grocery stores and how Texas factors into the discussion about immigration and the economy.

Texas leads way in population growth

Apr 18, 2019

The share of U.S. population growth that’s driven by immigration has steadily risen over the past 10 years, partly because the birth rate is falling and the population is aging.  One of the places you can see these demographic trends playing out is Texas, which has four of the country’s 10 fastest-growing counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The world’s largest private equity firm – The Blackstone Group – will change its legal structure from a partnership to a corporation. The upside: As a corporation, Blackstone’s shares will be more liquid and can be included in indices and exchange-traded funds, which could increase demand. The downside? Blackstone will pay the corporate taxes on profits, rather than passing them along to shareholders and letting them pay the taxes. The switch is proving popular since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

Regional grocery chains are in fight-or-flight mode

Apr 18, 2019

The Publix Super Market in southeast Orlando is, at first glance, a standard American grocery store. It's a well-lit space with a pharmacy, a fresh produce section and more than a dozen aisles lined with neatly stocked shelves of cereals, beverages and canned goods, among other grocery cart items.

Creating the superhero comedy "The Tick" in a world of epic blockbusters

Apr 18, 2019

There's a guy in the superhero business who has hung around on the sidelines. Ben Edlund is that guy. He's an artist, writer, producer and director for a number of television shows.

Automakers are showcasing electric sedans and SUVs at the Shanghai auto show in the hope that these models could reverse a sales slide in the world’s largest car market. Overall car sales in China have been contracting for nine months straight because of an economic slowdown and the government's removal of a sales tax break at the end of 2017.

However, sales of electric vehicles jumped more than 60% to 1.3 million in 2018.

Kicking the habit

Apr 18, 2019

Many people in Wise County agree that they can’t jail their way out of a drug epidemic, but there’s a lot less agreement on what to do instead. And we find out what happened to Joey Ballard. 

African Americans' wages nearly stagnant over decade

Apr 18, 2019

The unemployment rate is near historic lows, the job market is tight, and wages have been rising steadily.

But since the Great Recession, wage gains have varied significantly by race, with African Americans’ earnings nearly stagnant over the period, while other groups' median pay has risen between 5 and 10%.

Movie industry puts pressure on Georgia's abortion bill

Apr 18, 2019

Thanks to lucrative tax incentives and investments by the state to lure production, Georgia has a vibrant film industry. Lately, the swaying power of that industry is being tested. Lawmakers in the state passed a so-called “heart beat” bill that would restrict abortions once a pulse is detected in an embryo.

Consumers give the economy a much needed bump. China Mobile, the world largest cell mobile phone operator, wants to expand into the U.S., but regulators want to keep the state-owned company out. Plus, the movie industry is putting pressure on Georgia as lawmakers consider a bill restricting abortions.

Today's show is sponsored by BitSight TechnologiesWasabi Hot Cloud Storage and Indeed.

By most indications, the U.S. economy is booming. However, workers of color are seeing fewer gains from this growth than their white counterparts. The video conferencing company Zoom goes public today, so why is the tech still so bad? Plus, electric vehicles are making a splash in China.

Today's show is sponsored by BitSight TechnologiesWasabi Hot Cloud Storage and Indeed.

From the BBC World Service… It's not often we hear about e-commerce behemoth retreating in any market it's entered. But today, Amazon is preparing to close its online store that connects local buyers and sellers. Then, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney launched a new initiative for 34 central banks to "green the financial system." It comes as a group called Extinction Rebellion takes to the streets of London to protest inaction on climate change.

Last year, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act, which requires companies to be more careful in the way they handle consumer data. It doesn't go into effect until next year, and it's still a work in progress. Big tech companies have been proposing almost constant changes to the law since it passed, while on the other side privacy advocates push for even more teeth. But however the final law is written, companies are also working on compliance, which is clearly confusing and can also be costly.

Last year, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act, which requires companies to be more careful in the way they handle consumer data. It doesn't go into effect until next year, and it's still a work in progress. Host Molly Wood checked in with Jessica Lee, a partner at the law firm Loeb & Loeb advising clients on data privacy regulations.

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