Marketplace

Weekdays, 4:00PM - 4:30PM
  • 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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Podcasts

  • Friday, July 21, 2017 10:00am
    We pay tribute to the summer movie season with a look back at the thriller that put blockbusters on the summer calendar: "Jaws." Plus, we talk short selling with the Wall Street Journal's Ben Eisen and get into Amazon's $12 million lobbying budget and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's message to GOP lawmakers grappling with President Trump's tax plans.
  • Friday, July 21, 2017 9:12am
    Bottled or tap? When it comes to water, Americans are going through a whole lot of plastic. Marketplace Weekend takes a look at the business of selling something you can get for free. Plus, a deep dive into the health insurance business, a discussion of border water and a look at side-hustle nation. 
  • Friday, July 21, 2017 3:00am
    The U.S. Treasury has just slapped ExxonMobil with a $2 million fine for violating business sanctions against Russia. We'll take a look at how the controversy began and how Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (the former CEO of ExxonMobil) has responded. Afterwards, we'll discuss the challenges that General Electric's incoming CEO John Flannery may face, and then talk about Amazon's new social network: Spark.    
  • Friday, July 21, 2017 2:56am
    We're starting off our show today by playing Silicon Tally, the game where we try to stump each other with numbers from the week's news. Our guest for this episode: Marketplace reporter Ryan Kailath. Afterwards, we'll examine an unexpected threat to the computer vision systems in autonomous vehicles: kangaroos.  
  • Thursday, July 20, 2017 10:00am
    While the Senate keeps on trying to figure out what it's gonna do about health care, there are plenty of other economic policy problems to deal with. The next big project on the table is tax reform. We take a look at how that debate is shaping up. Also on today's show: What do gold, glitz and lawsuits have in common? The Trump International Hotel. Plus, we talk to Clint Rainey from Bloomberg Businessweek about America’s cheese surplus and the "mad cheese scientists" who are trying to solve it. That's right, cheese scientists.   

As Amazon grows, so does its lobbying budget

23 hours ago

Amazon just keeps growing. So does its spending on lobbying in support of policies it thinks will aid that growth. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show the company is on track to spend $12 million lobbying this year, $1 million more than it spent in 2016. What's on Amazon's wish list?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Today was a rare day in the red for the major indices. They were down just a little. One day, however, does not a trend make. That brings no comfort to short sellers, traders betting the markets are due for a fall. They're becoming scarce as stocks keep on going up. Ben Eisen wrote about the lack of short interest in the Wall Street Journal today and spoke with Kai Ryssdal. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

What does the uncertainty around health care mean for insurers?

Jul 21, 2017
Lizzie O'Leary and Eliza Mills

It's been an uncertain time for health insurance providers. The back and forth debate in Congress over potential plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has been an ongoing source of stress for consumers and insurers. The complexities seem never-ending — and tensions are running high, even within the Republican party.

Medicaid has become a major point of contention, as Republican senators who have expanded Medicaid in their states want to defend their constituents against future cuts.

07/21/2017: Stop worrying and love the summer

Jul 21, 2017

We pay tribute to the summer movie season with a look back at the thriller that put blockbusters on the summer calendar: "Jaws." Plus, we talk short selling with the Wall Street Journal's Ben Eisen and get into Amazon's $12 million lobbying budget and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's message to GOP lawmakers grappling with President Trump's tax

07/21/2017: Bottled water and side hustles

Jul 21, 2017
Marketplace

Bottled or tap? When it comes to water, Americans are going through a whole lot of plastic. Marketplace Weekend takes a look at the business of selling something you can get for free. Plus, a deep dive into the health insurance business, a discussion of border water and a look at side-hustle

The Treasury Department has fined ExxonMobil $2 million for violating economic sanctions against Russia while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was running the company. On today's show, the BBC's Jonathan Frewin joined us to break down the controversy. Afterwards, we'll discuss Sears' new business relationship with Amazon, and then look at a possible cut in federal funding to an early earthquake-warning system.

Driverless cars can't figure out kangaroos

Jul 21, 2017
Bruce Johnson and Kristin Schwab

There's been a lot of talk about how driverless cars will navigate city streets, where pedestrians affect traffic flow. But what about the "pedestrians" of suburban and rural areas? Animal-related car accidents are a real concern for driverless car makers. And so far, engineers have been able to adapt cars to deal with creatures like deer, moose and elk.

David Brancaccio

Amazon has just announced a new social network for shoppers who are looking to scan around for new items, but may not have something specific in mind.

The service, Amazon Spark, is a feed for Prime users that looks a lot like Instagram, where users can share stories, pictures and ideas that include stuff to buy. 

Marketplace's Molly Wood joined us to talk about the overall effectiveness of social media and whether Amazon can get you to make a spontaneous purchase.

For companies, bad reputations come at a cost

Jul 21, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

It seems that the adage, “there’s no such a thing as bad publicity,” is not exactly true — at least when you are a hiring manager or recruiter for a company with a bad reputation. A new survey from CareerBuilder found that 71 percent of U.S. workers would not apply to work at a company with negative press.

Sears has inked a deal with Amazon that it hopes will boost its flagging sales. Amazon will begin selling appliances by Kenmore — one of Sears’ flagship brands. But there could also be a downside for the struggling department store chain.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

 

General Electric is expected to report its second quarter earnings before the markets open today [[Friday]]. [[Update with earnings news.]] It’ll be longtime CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s last chance to seal his legacy at the company before stepping down at the end of the month. GE’s stock has earned the distinction of being the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average during Immelt’s tenure. The challenge of boosting profits and GE’s many divisions will fall to incoming chief John Flannery.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The "Illuminati of cheese" is filling fast food chains with cheesy dishes

Jul 20, 2017

"Got Milk?" is arguably the dairy industry's best ad slogan ever. But how about "Got Cheese?" That do anything for you? Americans are eating record amounts of cheese — 35 pounds of it per person each year on average. But diary farmers still have plenty left over, and there's a huge surplus of the base product, milk, too. Enter Dairy Management Incorporated (DMI), a quasi-government trade group whose mission is to find a use for all that extra milk, cheese and butter. Their answer? Fast food chains like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Burger King and Domino's.

We haven’t seen much in wage gains out of recent jobs reports from the Labor Department. The most recent one, for June, showed average hourly wages, as reported by employers, up just 2.5 percent over the past year, not much better than inflation. But another measure of income from the Labor Department, based on a survey of American households, is telling a more upbeat story. That report, called “Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers,” showed median earnings up 4.2 percent, compared to the second quarter one year ago.

In a bid to avoid the legislative fiasco that was the attempt at Obamacare repeal, the GOP has tried to take a more deliberate approach to its next big priority — tax reform. The White House said it has held "hundreds of listening sessions" on the topic, and Politico reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn have been meeting behind closed doors with CEOs, businesses and tax experts. But tax reform remains a heavy lift for Republicans. Here’s why. 

Carrie Barber

Smart speakers, those voice-controlled devices reminiscent of “Star Trek’s” multitasking computer, are finding a place on kitchen counters and in living rooms. They can play music, answer questions, control lights and, in the case of Amazon’s Echo, place shopping orders. Turns out they are lending a virtual hand to parents, too. 

Gigi Douban

If you’re driving around West Jefferson. Ala. looking for a place to eat, you won’t find much. The Alabama Rose, a restaurant that pops up on a phone search, actually burned down a few years ago. But it’s still where 78-year-old Arthur Graves lives.

07/20/2017: The line between free speech and propaganda

Jul 20, 2017

In Paris, 25 senior economists and public officials from about two dozen countries recently met behind closed doors to talk about how the world economy is doing. One of them: Diane Swonk from DS Economics. She shared some good news (the rest of the world seems to be doing better) and bad news (these gains have caused negative undercurrents in political elections).  Afterwards, we'll look at how companies are trying to find allow free speech, while blocking propaganda from terrorist organizations like ISIS at the same time.

The cost of repealing — but not replacing — Obamacare

Jul 20, 2017
Lizzie O'Leary and Eliza Mills

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its calculation of the costs and benefits if Congress repeals the federal health care law, but doesn't replace it. About 32 million people would be uninsured by 2026 and premiums would double. On the other hand, the federal deficit would drop by $473 billion. 

Marketplace's Dan Gorenstein joined us to talk about the possibility of another repeal-and-replace plan in the cards and the future of Medicaid. Below is an edited transcript.

Visa is set to report third-quarter earnings today after market close and all signs are pointing to good news. The company’s investment in digital platforms is contributing to growth. Visa Checkout, for one, has more than 20 million enrolled accounts and other initiatives are expanding globally. But they’re not the only digital pay app in the game. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Uber’s whole value proposition is that it’s cheaper, quicker and easier. But this week the ride-sharing service was accused of being not so easy for people who are disabled. The group Disability Rights Advocates, filed a class-action lawsuit against Uber. The suit argues the company discriminates against New York City riders with disabilities because it doesn’t offer enough wheel-chair accessible vehicles. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

07/20/2017: A new way of cleaning your house

Jul 19, 2017
Marketplace

They may not be the most anticipated items in the world, but transparency reports are important because they reveal how companies disclose information about the way they deal with the U.S. government. On today's show, we'll talk with Michee Smith, a product manager at Google, about the changes the company is making to its report. Afterwards, we'll look at the model behind Up & Go, a service that connects those in New York City who need cleaning services with small business owners.

07/20/2017: Repealing Obamacare, by the numbers

Jul 19, 2017
Marketplace

The Congressional Budget Office has calculated the costs and benefits of repealing Obamacare, but not replacing it. An estimated 32 million people would be left uninsured. On today's show we'll take a look at what the release of these figures mean for the GOP's health care strategy. Afterwards, we'll talk with APM Reports about the Trump administration's infrastructure plans, and then discuss a class-action lawsuit filed by the Disability Rights Advocates against Uber over wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Sorry Spotify, country music is still a radio industry

Jul 19, 2017

Over on the Billboard Country Charts, a song called "In Case You Didn't Know" by Brett Young is sitting at the No. 2 spot. Young is relatively new to the country music scene, and just last year, he went out on a radio tour across the U.S., as many new country artists do. The radio tour is a right of passage for new singers in the industry. After an artist signs a deal with a label, they travel around America, visiting upwards of a hundred radio stations. The singers meet with radio program directors, trying to convince them to add their songs to the rotation.

Tax reform is like health care reform in at least one important way: If Republicans want to pass it without Democrats, they can’t raise the deficit too much over the long term. But tax experts who have analyzed the GOP’s main proposals say they would add trillions of dollars to the deficit. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Can a better-designed bike helmet make people safer on the road?

Jul 19, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Robert Garrova

In the middle of downtown Los Angeles' bustling Arts District, you’ll find the headquarters of Thousand occupying one of the few work/live lofts left in the area.

It's a company that makes bicycle helmets, but think less duck-billed head gear and more Steve McQueen in the 1960s.

Sabri Ben-Achour

It's vacation season, and for some, that means setting off to a new state or country.

But we here at Marketplace know the value of a dollar, so when it comes to travel, we try to find ways you can spend your money strategically and not get ripped off.

We turned to Mark Orlowski, who does a lot of travel as the founder of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, to find out when to use your points and how airlines are starting to devalue their miles. Below is an edited transcript.

Trump's desire for private infrastructure money will narrow his choices to mostly urban projects

Jul 19, 2017
Tom Scheck, APM Reports, Curtis Gilbert, APM Reports and Will Craft, APM Reports

Officials in states, cities and counties are increasingly looking to use private money for public infrastructure projects like roads and bridges, a result of tight budgets, eager financial investors and a president who believes that business — not government — can deliver better services to Americans.

A House subcommittee will consider proposals Wednesday that would bar states from setting their own rules for self-driving cars and take other steps to remove obstacles to putting autonomous cars on the road. The measure would be the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

The annual Comic-Con International kicks off this week in San Diego. Comic-Con makes money selling tickets, renting floor space to vendors and exhibitors, and getting sponsors. GuideStar, which tracks nonprofits, says the convention has seen steady year-over-year revenue growth for the last 17 years, as comic culture has become central to pop culture. The most recent report puts convention revenue at $19 million, which exceeds its expenses. The convention brings tourism dollars to San Diego and has spun off other events in other places. 

After months and years of trying, there's going to be no replacing — or repealing — of Obamacare. At least for now.

You might expect that health insurance companies have been holding their breath, waiting to see what’s next. But it turns out many of the larger insurers don’t make much of their money selling insurance in the individual market. For example, UnitedHealth, which is largely out of the exchanges, announced huge second quarter earnings on July 18, beating Wall Street expectations.

So how are insurers boosting profits in these uncertain times? 

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