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Recent Episodes and Articles

Marketplace: UPS and SkyMall

Friday, January 23, 2015

Airing on Friday, January 23, 2015: UPS' investment in late-order Christmas deliveries illustrates the risk when a company tries to keep up with changing customer expectations. The company estimates it lost $200 million on the venture. Plus, cloud-based storage company Box goes public after a yearlong delay, and we look at how the IPO market works. Finally, the parent company of SkyMall, the over-the-top catalog in seatback pockets everywhere, has filed for bankruptcy.
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Marketplace: Google wireless and pipeline spill

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Airing on Thursday, January 22, 2015: Google is reportedly making deals with T-Mobile and Sprint to sell wireless plans directly to customers. We examine how this might work and how much disruption it might cause in the industry. Plus, a broken pipeline in North Dakota that's spilled millions of gallons of wastewater underscores a big cost of the fracking boom – the huge amounts of wastewater from wells that must be disposed of.  
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Marketplace: middle-class economics and Davos

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Airing on Wednesday, January 21, 2015: The idea of middle-class economics was front and center in the president’s State of the Union address. Sure, it serves as a political framework, but how does it work as an economic one? Plus, as part of a settlement with the SEC, ratings agency S&P has been banned from rating certain bond deals for one year, creating an opportunity for competitors. Finally, reporter Stan Alcorn defines Davos Man as, "the suit-wearing, power-wielding Ubermensch that is the incarnation of the global financial elite." We look at the evolution of both the term and the man.
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Marketplace: State of the Union and oil

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, January 20, 2015: The U.S. is still struggling, as the president will note in this evening's State of the Union speech, but at least the economy is still growing. Most of the rest of the world is slowing. Plus, as the world market continues to be flush with low-priced oil, traders are looking for ways to profit from the slump. One strategy: Storing oil in rented tankers until prices go back up.  
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Marketplace: healthcare and the rich

Monday, January 19, 2015

Airing on Monday, January 19, 2015: Well-funded lobbyists are rallying to end a $3 billion-a-year tax and refund the revenue to the medical device industry. Its potential repeal reflects how difficult it is to change the healthcare system. Plus, Obama has a plan to raise $300 million by raising taxes on the rich –and going after the banks. What would that entail, and how likely is it to happen? And, apparently, the rich keep getting richer. What will it take to reverse this trend? 
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Marketplace: currency trading and public school

Friday, January 16, 2015

Airing on Friday, January 16, 2015: There’s a huge currency trading market that companies use to even out the value of the world’s many currencies – and that traders large and small speculate in. When there’s a surprise like the Swiss franc move, it sends shock waves through the market. How businesses and governments are assessing the damage. Plus, for the first time in at least 50 years, the majority of children in public school are from low-income families. We look at the calculation and ask: How did public schools become warehouses for the poor?  
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Marketplace: big banks and sick leave

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Airing on Thursday, January 15, 2015: Big banks are reporting lower revenue, in part because of less trading. Are lower profits for banks, especially from trading, necessarily bad for the economy? Plus, the Swiss franc soared today after Switzerland decided to abandon the cap on the currency value against the euro. We look at what was behind the decision and what difference it will make. Finally, President Obama proposes seven days a year of paid sick leave, arguing that providing more sick leave makes businesses more competitive and workers more productive. We examine the economics of the sick day. 
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Marketplace: retail sales and big banks

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Airing on Wednesday, January 14, 2015: Falling gas prices are putting more money in people’s pockets, but retail sales were down in December, even after excluding cheap gas. Where is the money going, and how reliable are retail sales as an indicator for our changing economy? Plus, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon says banks are under assault, a reference to dealing with multiple regulators and the bank’s multibillion-dollar legal costs. We take a look at Dimon's claim.  
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Marketplace: Aetna and work wellness

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015: Aetna is raising wages for its lowest-paid workers to a minimum $16 an hour. Those affected are mainly customer-service and billing people. Aetna says it needs to attract the best people it can, and retain them, as health insurance becomes more of an individual-customer business. Plus, a new survey shows U.S. companies are increasingly using penalties to encourage their workers to join wellness programs. Why is this part of the affordable act so popular with employers?
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Marketplace: McDonald's and auto shows

Monday, January 12, 2015

Airing on Monday, January 12, 2015: McDonald's new ad focuses on franchises around the country that have used their signs to support the community. But the new strategy is getting a mixed response. Plus, President Obama calls for new rules for companies hit by data breaches. We investigate the best practices for companies that experience breaches, and measure how the proposal stacks up. Finally, in light of this week's Detroit auto show, we take a look at the auto show industry. 
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01-09-2015- Marketplace- The cost of free college

Friday, January 09, 2015

In theory, a growing economy and tighter labor market mean increasing competition among employers, which should push wages up. That's still not happening. Plus. Time Warner Cable and AOL merged 15 years ago, and almost immediately fell behind the times, partly due to the culture clash that occurred when old and new media became one. Also: President Obama proposes making two years of community college free. What would that accomplish? 
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Marketplace: housing, 40 hours and biologics

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Airing on Thursday, January 8, 2015: Obama pushes a plan to lower some mortgage premiums by $900 a year. What does that mean for the housing market? Plus, we look at the evolution of the 40-hour workweek in light of a Republican push to define "full-time employment" for the purpose of health insurance eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Finally, cheaper versions of biologics – drugs made out of living cells – could hit the market soon. We run the numbers.   
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Marketplace: deflation and diversity

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Airing on Wednesday January 7, 2015: Europe officially has deflation, and its economy is weak. But is  some deflation better than others? Plus, Intel throws $300 million at workplace diversity problem, which is really a pipeline problem. Can you fix the pipeline? If so, will $300 million make a dent?
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Marketplace: ESPN and CES

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Airing on Tuesday January 6, 2015: At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, there's an explosion of gadgets that would place sensors throughout your home. Plus, ESPN has always been the key network for cable bundles, but now Dish is offering ESPN pretty much by itself. How can they do that? Finally, Coach will pay as much as $574 million to buy luxury shoemaker Stuart Weitzman.  
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Marketplace: Grexit and carbon tax

Monday, January 05, 2015

Airing on Monday January 5, 2015: Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, is the latest to warn of a Greek exit – or "Grexit" – from the Eurozone if the anti-austerity Syriza party comes to power. We look at whether a "Grexit" would harm Europe more now that it would have a few years ago. Plus, why falling gas prices could lead to new taxes on gas.   
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Marketplace: college football and the Noid

Friday, January 02, 2015

Airing on January 2, 2015: The first college football playoffs are upon us, and they are a huge moneymaker for football and colleges. The biggest question may be how quickly they can be expanded. Plus, we uncover the story behind a notoriously creepy Domino's mascot from the 1980s, the Noid.
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Marketplace: hangovers and housing market

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Hangovers have existed as long as overconsumption of alcohol. (That is to say: as long as alcohol.) But even though every few years a new technique or pill is offered as a cure, the task may be futile. Plus, most housing market watchers are predicting that 2015 will be better than 2014. How much better? Some expect home sales to increase about 10 percent this year.
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Marketplace: Weight Watchers and nonprofits

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Airing on Wednesday December 31, 2014: As nonprofits work hard to get your end-of-year donations, some will also try to get something else: permission to share your information with other charities. Plus, the weight-loss industry is on a diet of its own. Weight Watchers has endured seven straight quarters of losses. Jenny Craig got dumped by Nestle. NutriSystem’s sales have been falling since 2008. One big reason? The growth of fitness trackers and weight-loss apps.
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Marketplace: AirAsia and auto bailout

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Airing on Tuesday December 30, 2014: How AirAsia will handle the insurance payouts to families of victims. Plus, the federal government’s final reckoning of the auto-industry bailout shows it lost $9 billion on an $80 billion investment. So what did the industry and the economy get for that $9 billion?
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Marketplace: NFL, Greece and AirAsia

Monday, December 29, 2014

Airing on Monday December 29, 2014: It's Black Monday, the day after the end of the NFL regular season when many losing teams fire their coaches, starting a mad dash to hire new ones. Plus, Greece faces economic uncertainty after its parliament today rejected the presidential candidate put forward by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Finally, the search for the AirAsia airbus with 162 people on board continues over Indonesian waters.  What do we know about this airline?
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