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  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

Marketplace, hosted by Kai Ryssdal, is 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. The 30-minute program has a reporting style that is lively and unexpected, focusing on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. Marketplace is a Peabody Award-winning program produced and distributed by American Public Media, in association with the University of Southern California.

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The No. 1 challenge of retirement

Feb 17, 2017

Working Americans who save for retirement spend a lot of time and energy making decisions on how to save. It’s confusing, it’s hard. But you know what? It doesn’t get any easier when you hit retirement. One of the biggest stresses is trying to organize your finances when you don’t know how long you’re going to be around to need them. Economists have a favorite method for dealing with this anxiety: It’s called an income annuity, but it’s not quite a household name yet.  

NASA is the government’s space agency, but not all of what NASA does is linked to space. A good portion of its work is more inward looking and has to do with our own planet — things like weather and climate change. Some Republicans are talking about rebalancing NASA's priorities and moving away from that research and refocusing on space exploration. But what potential impacts could that rebalancing have? 

What was missing from Facebook’s 5,000-word manifesto

Feb 17, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared some deep thoughts this week in a long essay about where he sees humanity going online. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with senior tech correspondent Molly Wood about what the nearly 5,000-word treatise had to say. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Kai Ryssdal: So here it is, 5,700-something words from Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, 1.9 billion people use Facebook, but it seemed to me there was no "there there" in this thing. There was no action coming out of this.

Sam Beard

In Europe, Brexit has put Grexit in the shade. The British vote to leave the European Union has dominated the economic headlines since last summer’s referendum and overshadowed the fear that Greece — the EU’s most vulnerable and debt-laden country — would crash out of the Eurozone. But could Grexit be poised for a comeback? We may get the answer on Monday. Euro finance ministers meet to consider whether the Greeks should get the next installment of their bailout money, money they must have before July if they are to avoid defaulting on some of their loans.

Sam Harnett

CEO Bill Phelps says his thoughts on minimum wage have evolved. In 1994, Phelps co-founded the fast food chain Wetzel’s Pretzels, which has almost a hundred outlets in California.

“Like most business people,” Phelps said, “I was concerned about it a couple of years ago when California started raising the minimum wage."

02/17/17: The rise of athlete activism

Feb 17, 2017

Americans are having trouble paying back their auto loans. We'll look at whether these delinquent payments pose risks to the financial system. Next, we'll discuss why there's been a rise in activism among athletes — especially among NBA players — and a plan in Washington that would keep water flowing to high-value crops.

In Venezuela: a bad week, a bad economy

Feb 17, 2017

It’s been a turbulent week in Venezuela. On Wednesday, the government ordered cable operators to take the Spanish-language version of CNN off the air, after objecting to its reporting. Last Monday, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s vice president, calling him a “drug kingpin.” But perhaps the biggest headache for Venezuela is the dire state of the nation’s economy, which has suffered from falling oil revenues and rampant inflation.  

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Eilis O'Neill

Brad Carpenter grows apples, cherries, grapes and hops — four of Washington state's most important crops. Statewide, those crops add about $3 billion to Washington’s economy. Come summer, Carpenter will need a lot of water to keep his orchards and hop yards alive.

“They’re all perennial crops,” Carpenter said. “And if you don’t get water to them, it not only affects yield from that year, but it affects the health and the viability of that plant for years to come.”

David Brancaccio

Chef Nancy Silverton — known for culinary ventures like La Brea Bakery, Campanile and, most recently, Mozza — is one of the subjects of the next season of Netflix's acclaimed culinary documentary series, "Chef's Table," which premieres this weekend.


One of the latest innovations to give athletes an edge? Neuropriming, the practice of putting electrodes on your head to shock your brain so that you can get a boost in mental abilities. Proday's Sarah Kunst stopped by to discuss how powerful the priming is and whether it could become mainstream one day. Next, we'll look at Facebook's recent decision to jump into the job recruiting game, and then play this week's "Silicon Tally" with Cadie Thompson, senior transportation editor for Business Insider. 

Kai Ryssdal

President Donald Trump had a pessimistic outlook on the economy at his press conference today.

"To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home, and abroad — a mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country. You see what's going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to Mexico and other places. Low pay and low wages."

In describing the economy, context is important. And without taking anything away from the challenges Trump faces overseas, a few things should be noted in light of his comments:

Trump tries again with new Labor secretary pick

Feb 16, 2017

President Donald Trump announced that he’s got a new pick for Labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta. Recall his previous nominee, Andrew Puzder, dropped out after a good deal of backlash and potential looming scandals. Acosta is formerly of the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Justice, and, most recently, dean of the law school at Florida International University. In other words, the exact opposite of Puzder.

Tony Wagner

We do the numbers every day around here. But on this week's "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly," we got a listener question about the numbers, specifically, data created and distributed by the federal government.

Trump nominates R. Alexander Acosta for labor secretary

Feb 16, 2017
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday announced law school dean R. Alexander Acosta as his new labor secretary nominee, one day after his original pick abruptly withdrew from consideration.

Trump said Acosta, who did not appear with the president, "has had a tremendous career." He noted that, unlike Puzder, Acosta has been confirmed by the Senate three times and "did very, very well."

If confirmed anew by the Senate, Acosta would become the first Hispanic member of Trump's Cabinet. He is now dean of the Florida International University law school.

Ambulance service in Texas now delivering home care

Feb 16, 2017
Lauren Silverman

For more than a decade, John Farris traveled through the streets of Fort Worth, Texas, working 911 calls. As a paramedic for MedStar, he would ask himself: Could he prevent these 911 calls in the first place?

02/16/17: Janet Yellen's message to Congress

Feb 16, 2017

Janet Yellen took a trip to Capitol Hill this week, with the message that the U.S. economy is entering 2017 better than it did a year ago. What does this mean for the Fed's future plans? Next, we'll discuss why Boeing workers in South Carolina decided to shoot down a plan for unionization, and then look at a new study that says some ER doctors are more likely than others to prescribe opioids.

President Donald Trump sought rights to the Trump trademark for construction services in China for years. Trademarks in China operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and someone else beat Trump to the punch. But this week, after years of refusal, China’s Trademark Office awarded the rights to Trump. The president’s legal win is raising hackles among ethics experts, who fear it suggests favoritism on the part of the Chinese government.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Boeing workers defeat union plans in South Carolina

Feb 16, 2017
David Brancaccio

South Carolina has a nonunion reputation, but the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers thought they had a shot at unionizing the Boeing aircraft plant in North Charleston.

"It would have been a grand victory for the Machinist union and for labor," said Hoyt Wheeler, a professor at the University of South Carolina and an expert on labor relations.

As Wendy’s releases its earnings, we take a look at the fast food chain’s hunt for a tastier chicken. The company is prepared to spend $30 million on smaller chickens in hopes they’ll provide more tender, less rubbery meat. Turns out, quality is an important consideration for legacy fast food companies, as they try to stay competitive with fast-casual dining chains.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

02/16/17: Who'll be our next Labor Secretary?

Feb 15, 2017

Workers in regions like D.C. and New Jersey are protesting as part of "A Day Without Immigrants," an event aimed at highlighting the importance of immigration's role in society. We'll take a look at how the strike will affect businesses. Next, we'll explore the resistance against Trump's pick for Labor Secretary, who's now resigned, and who the president's next choice might be. Finally, we'll hear from Marketplace's Molly Wood about what she learned at the annual RSA digital security conference. 

02/16/17: Russia's tech world

Feb 15, 2017

We're looking at why chipmaker Intel is dropping its financial support for the International Science and Engineering Fair; the use of tech in Russia over the years; and a new website that allows people to anonymously reach out to reporters about Trump.

New York town struggles after aluminum jobs leave

Feb 15, 2017
Mitchell Hartman

For nearly a century, the aluminum industry provided some of the best-paid manufacturing jobs in rural America.

The industry boomed from the early 1900s through the post-WWII years, as the new lightweight metal was used for ships and airplanes, home appliances and food packaging. Sprawling smelting and rolling operations, which use a massive amount of electricity, were built along major U.S. rivers with hydroelectric resources, such as the Columbia and St. Lawrence.

The Export-Import Bank gets a presidential lifeline

Feb 15, 2017

President Donald Trump is scheduled to pay a visit to a Boeing factory in South Carolina this Friday. Boeing, it just so happens, is a big fan of something called the Export-Import Bank. It's a trade-promoting agency that some Republicans have worked very hard to kill.  In fact, some senators have kept the bank only partially functional for the past year by refusing to approve people to run it. Trump is said to have a new soft spot for the agency, and he is expected to throw his support behind the Ex-Im Bank on Friday. Here's why.

Andrew Puzder withdraws his labor secretary nomination

Feb 15, 2017
Associated Press

Andrew Puzder says he is withdrawing as President Donald Trump's nominee for labor secretary.

The fast food executive says in a statement provided to The Associated Press that he was "honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America's workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity."

Puzder says "while I won't be serving in the administration, I fully support the President and his highly qualified team."

Sallie Krawcheck says gender diversity on Wall Street has stalled

Feb 15, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

Sallie Krawcheck generated headlines shortly after the financial crisis hit because she asked her boss at Citigroup to pay some of their customers back the money they had lost. It didn't go well and she was fired. After that, she ran Merrill Lynch for Bank of America, making her one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street. But then the CEO who hired her retired and she was let go soon after. At the time, she didn't think her dismissal had anything to do with her gender.

What Sallie Krawcheck learned about being a woman on Wall Street

Feb 15, 2017

Sallie Krawcheck was one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street. She was at Citigroup when the financial crisis hit, and she tried to convince her bosses to refund their clients some of the money they lost. That didn't go so well, and she was fired. After that, she ran Merrill Lynch, which had been acquired by Bank of America. Her division did well, but she was still pushed out. Now she's the CEO of Ellevest, a company she founded and which provides digital investment services for women.

02/15/17: Pay whatever you want for lunch

Feb 15, 2017

Why Trump has signed a law that would let mining, oil and gas companies pay foreign governments without disclosing their actions; a discussion about when the Fed could next raise interest rates; and a cafe that's allowing patrons to pay how much they think their meals are worth.

PepsiCo reports its earnings today. It’s a pivotal time for the company as it continues to move away from the shrinking market for sugary drinks and into the growing market sector of bottled water, worth $42 billion last year. This month the company is launching a new premium brand of bottled water – Lifewtr. It’s entering a crowded market.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

D Gorenstein

It’s a tricky time to be a physician.

Not just because of all the talk in Washington about repealing Obamacare — the job has changed. New responsibilities range from managing electronic health records, to familiarizing yourself with the cost of care.

Some budding doctors believe arming themselves with an MBA will help them better navigate this evolving profession. Dan Blumenthal is a resident — a doctor in training — at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was getting worried about the daily rounds.

LaToya Dennis

For people living in poverty, going out to dinner can be a luxury. And Christie Melby-Gibbons, a Milwaukee restaurant owner, believes that dining out should be available for low-income people as well as those who can pay for it.  

“I have just always felt like everybody deserves to eat healthy, delicious, freshly made food,” she said.