Marketplace

Weekdays from 6:30pm to 7pm
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is a daily magazine of business and economics.

Food aid need shifts from cities to countryside

3 hours ago

Congress is working on the farm bill, a huge piece of legislation renewed every five years. The largest part of it — 80 percent — is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, what we used to call food stamps. Since the late 1970s, lawmakers have placed the nutrition program into the farm package hoping to get both urban and rural support. But that thinking might be outdated: Government data show a higher percentage of people in rural areas and small towns used SNAP than the rate in cities.

It used to be that stories of tech companies breaking all the rules and fighting city hall were considered sexy. But right now we’re having conversations with more suspicion about things like unproven driverless technology, online advertising, unstoppable data collection and automation. Yet, here with a defense of tech’s disruptive mentality is Bradley Tusk. He's a political operative turned tech consultant who has a new book called “The Fixer.” It’s full of pirate stories of him helping heroic startups like Uber work around innovation-killing politicians and their rules.

It used to be that stories of tech companies breaking all the rules and fighting city hall were considered sexy. But right now we’re having conversations with more suspicion about things like unproven driverless technology, online advertising, unstoppable data collection and automation. Here with a defense of tech’s disruptive mentality is Bradley Tusk, a political operative turned tech consultant who has a new book called “The Fixer.” It’s full of pirate stories of him helping heroic startups, like Uber, work around innovation-killing politicians and their rules.

Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money to develop new blockbuster drugs — for research, and then getting the meds through clinical trials. And of course, they try to maximize profits once those drugs are on the market with programs to encourage doctors to prescribe them, and patients to stay on them. There are pretty strict laws barring the companies from outright paying off doctors by giving them lavish trips or valuable swag to get them to write more prescriptions.

One leather goods maker on tariffs: "It's not a war, it's just business"

Sep 21, 2018

Tariffs on nearly 5,000 Chinese imports will go into effect on Monday. Called Section 301 tariffs, they target $200 billion worth of finished products, including clothing, accessories, yarn, electronics and more. Hundreds of people from businesses and trade groups have testified before the United States Trade Representative's office. While most voiced their concerns about imposing these tariffs on Chinese imports, Michael Korchmar testified in favor of the Trump administration's decision. He runs the Leather Specialty Co. in Naples, Florida, which makes leather briefcases and bags.

The electric scooter company Bird turned one this week and the company got a nice present from the state of California. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law saying adults don’t have to wear helmets when they ride. It’s a big win for all e-scooter companies, but not so great for others.

“For some people, they’re blight,” said Scott Cummings, a law professor at UCLA. “They’re strewn around, they’re everywhere. They’re in walkways.”

Cummings said it’s easy to see why some cities have banned them while others have been more welcoming.

How ticket prices affect scalping

Sep 21, 2018

Ticketmaster has allegedly been working with scalpers to increase its profits, according to an investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star.

The outlets sent undercover journalists to an industry convention in Las Vegas, where they learned about Ticketmaster's TradeDesk system. It allows scalpers to buy tickets from Ticketmaster's site in bulk and then list them again for resale, with profits from both sales going to Ticketmaster.

The 5G cold war

Sep 21, 2018

Which country will be the first to implement the next generation of wireless technology? The race to 5G is on between the United States and China. The questions is, who foots the bill? Also on today's show: Love 'em or hate 'em, electric scooters are gaining ground. California Gov. Jerry Brown says adult electric scooter riders won’t have to wear helmets starting Jan. 1. The new law is a big victory for companies like Lime and Bird, which have had tense relationships with city governments on issues like crowding and pedestrian accidents.

Trump wants OPEC to keep oil prices down

Sep 21, 2018

The countries that make up OPEC as well as Russia and other oil-producing allies will meet this weekend in Algeria. On the agenda: Upping supply. On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted, "We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!"

(Markets Edition) Under the cloud of a trade war and trouble in emerging markets, many people are cutting down the risk in their portfolios by buying more stocks. Stocks are actually seen as riskier, not safer, yet EPFR Global notes that $15B more went into the U.S. stock market last week alone. Then, we talk more with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the two Democratic lawmakers who pushed the epic financial reform law through Congress during the financial crisis. But what if the next financial crisis is triggered by something different?

Dodd-Frank: After the crisis, what's next?

Sep 21, 2018

(U.S. Edition) OPEC countries along with Russia and other oil producers are going to be meeting in Algeria this weekend, and one of the items on the agenda is increasing supply. Then, we discuss more with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the two Democratic lawmakers who pushed the epic financial reform law through Congress during the Great Recession. We talked about what worries they have when it comes to the next frontiers in regulation, among other things.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service …  China has warned the U.S. there will be "consequences" if the U.S. does not withdraw the latest sanctions it has imposed on China's military – over defense and military deals it struck with Russia. In a blow to Indonesia's huge palm oil industry, the Economy Ministry has extended a ban on new factories, continuing to blame the sector for environmental damage. Dockless bike sharing schemes seem to work in China, so we find out why not so much in Europe or the U.S.

What else can Big Data do? Pick stocks.

Sep 21, 2018

This week, we've been covering how technology has changed investing and will continue to do so. And it's perhaps no surprise that the conversation leads us to artificial intelligence. A Wall Street industry poll earlier this year said a majority of hedge funds are now using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help them make trades. These huge quant funds are even fighting Google and Facebook for engineers to crunch tons of data and build algorithms to predict the next great stock buy. This has all made markets faster, more efficient and more accessible to online investors.

What else can Big Data do? Pick stocks.

Sep 21, 2018

This week, we've been covering how technology has changed investing and will continue to change it. That conversation leads us to artificial intelligence. A Wall Street industry poll earlier this year said a majority of hedge funds are now using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help them make trades. Huge quant funds are even fighting Google and Facebook for engineers to crunch tons of data and build algorithms to predict the next great stock buy. This has all made markets faster, more efficient and more accessible to online investors.

At the China International Industry Fair in Shanghai this week, thousands of booths were displaying their shiny industrial robots.

The United States has announced that it will implement a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods starting Sept. 24. Despite this, the mood among many manufacturers at the fair remained upbeat.

For some, it may be because they have alternate markets.

When did you realize we were in a financial crisis?

Sep 20, 2018

2018 marks ten years since the financial crisis and Marketplace is exploring how the shift in the economy then continues to shape our lives today.

Through our series Divided Decade, people from all over the country have shared their stories from the Great Recession.

(Markets Edition) The Dow and S&P experienced record highs Friday, which might come as a surprise given the nature of the trade relations between the United States and China. We talk to economist Diane Swonk to make more sense of it. Then, we have a lot more with former senator Chris Dodd and former congressman Barney Frank, the duo who pushed through the huge financial reform law that bears their name.

It was a promise made in January of 2017 during a meeting with newly elected President Donald Trump. Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese online retail giant Alibaba, pledged his company would bring a million jobs to the United States by 2022. Now Ma is dialing that back.

At a two-day event bringing together Alibaba's investors, Ma told the Chinese news website Xinhua that the promise "was made on the premise of friendly U.S-China partnership and rational trade relations. That premise no longer exists today, so our promise cannot be fulfilled."

(U.S. Edition) Jack Ma, the founder of online retail powerhouse Alibaba, once promised President Trump that his company would bring a million jobs to the U.S. by 2022. That promise is now being dialed back as the trade feud between the U.S. and China has escalated. Also, we have more with former senator Chris Dodd and former congressman Barney Frank, the duo who pushed through the huge financial reform law that bears their name.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … One of China’s biggest technology startups – dubbed the country’s Amazon for services – jumped more than 7 percent in its trading debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange after raising more than $4 billion dollars in its initial public offering. Then, global growth is forecast to plateau at just under 4 percent this year and next. We’ll talk to the OECD’s chief economist in Paris who says the biggest concern is trade.

Bonus: the Dodd-Frank interview, part 1

Sep 20, 2018

We'll be back with your regularly scheduled Morning Report soon, but right now we're bringing you part one of our interview with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, the former lawmakers behind one of the country’s largest financial reform bills. In a rare joint interview we're calling "The Politics of Crisis," they talk about their biggest regrets, why there won’t be any more bailouts and why they’re not worried about major rollbacks to Dodd-Frank.

Check back here for part two tomorrow. 

(09/20/18)

If the terms of your student loan agreement suddenly look different, if your bank opens a fake account in your name, or if your credit report is inaccurate, there’s a place that was specifically made for you to complain about that.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, now also known as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, has a submission portal that allows you to report an issue you’re having with a financial service or product.

We’re continuing our look at how technology is impacting Wall Street this week. Today, we explore how the tech industry is starting to question the whole idea of Wall Street.

The tech industry isn't always a big fan of the whole becoming-a-public-company process. Companies like Google, Facebook and most recently Spotify have tried disrupting initial public offerings with different share classes and direct listings. Then there's just deciding not to go public.

A few decades ago, a company had to go public in order to attract enough investment to grow significantly. But times have changed. According to The Wall Street Journal, last year $2.4 trillion in private money was raised in the United States compared to $2.1 trillion in public markets. What’s that mean for ordinary investors? Molly Wood puts that question to Nizar Tarhuni, head analyst at research firm PitchBook, and Howard Marks, CEO of StartEngine, a company that allows everyday investors to put money into private companies. (09/20/18)

When an economy needs refugees

Sep 19, 2018

The White House said this week it will cut the number of refugees allowed into the country to 30,000 next year from the 45,000-person limit for 2018. That's a record low for the United States, which worries many local economies that depend on immigrant and refugee labor. Erie, Pennsylvania, is one of those places. The city strategically welcomed and resettled refugees when the population was shrinking and jobs were disappearing.

There was some big news this week in the auto and tech industries, which are increasingly overlapping. The world's largest automotive partnership, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which sold more than 10 million cars around the world last year, is going to start embedding Google's Android operating system in its cars starting in 2021.  The promise for consumers?  Infotainment systems that do more and are less, shall we say, buggy. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The bill that gives a nod to federal aviation spending over the next five years passed the U.S. House but has yet to take flight in the Senate. The Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill includes changes to airline ticket fees, and safety upgrades. But critics say the bill falls short in one area: improving the nation's air traffic control system, which they say is under strain as the industry expands to accommodate more and more passengers. Commercial air carriers have been pushing to move the nation's air traffic control system from radar to GPS.

When it comes to tariffs, consider today T minus five. In five days, more than 5,000 types of goods from China will be added to a list of tariffs imposed by the United States. That likely means higher prices for leather handbags. Fruit juice. Rain jackets. We may be surprised by what's on the list. But here's the thing: Lots of American factories will be surprised, too. Because in a world of supercomplex global supply chains, manufacturers don't always know what's in their own products.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

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