Monday, May 04, 2015
Airing on Monday, May 4, 2015: When executives run for office, their record in business can be a double-edged sword. They can cite their experience in executive decision making, but there are also plenty of bad business decisions that will get picked over. As former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina formally enters the 2016 race, we look at the political peril that comes with a business record. Plus: McDonald's plans on revamping the company by increasing the number of restaurants it franchises and buying back more shares.
Friday, May 01, 2015
Airing on Friday, May 1, 2015: Marketplaces collaborates with FiveThirtyEight to look at the world of podcast advertising. Turns out that the majority of ads in today's podcasts are from mid-sized companies that sell online. Next: Tesla unveiled the Powerwall — a big battery for your home — on Thursday in California. The battery will operate by using energy that comes from your roof's solar panels.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Airing on Thursday, April 30, 2015: China introduces deposit insurance on Friday. This has less to do with protecting Chinese bank customers' money and more to do with the Chinese government controlling the amount of risk that Chinese banks are taking. Plus: Secret, a social networking app that keeps its users' identities hidden, has just shut down. Now, Secret has announced it’s giving its investors their money back. We look at the reasons behind the unusual move and whether it will have ramifications for other start-ups.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Airing on Wednesday, April 29, 2015: The residents of Baltimore neighborhoods hit by rioting are still in cleanup mode today. There’s clearly an economic cost to the individuals whose property was damaged, but what about the broader economic impact of the social unrest there? We'll look at Baltimore's recent efforts to position itself as a tourism destination. Next: the Securities and Exchange Commission is going to demand that companies are more transparent about CEO pay, so that it's easier for investors see how salaries line up with the companies' stock performance. But CEO pay is already included in company reports. So what does this change, who does it benefit, and why is the SEC doing it now?
Extended Interview: Warren Buffett on Jamie Dimon as Treasury Secretary, the fiscal cliff, and taxes
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
All the talk these days is about the likelihood of the U.S. Congress avoiding a fiscal cliff. You know who’s not worried? Warren Buffett. Plus, his views on the next Treasury Secretary, Oreos for breakfast, and taxing the rich.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Airing on Tuesday, April 28, 2015: Tyson announced that it will stop routine feeding of antibiotics to chickens. But the USDA reports the dispensing of antibiotics to livestock like cattle and hogs continues to grow. Plus, Charles Koch says his company, Koch Industries, will no longer ask job applicants to check a box attesting to whether or not they’ve been convicted of a felony in the past. He joins a national movement that seems progressive on its face, yet includes a number of prominent right-wingers. What’s in it for these companies to “ban the box”?
Monday, April 27, 2015
Airing on Monday, April 27, 2015: For-profit Corinthian Colleges Inc. says it will close its remaining campuses, displacing thousands of students. The business has struggled since the Department of Education cut off access to federal student aid over graduation rates and allegations of falsified job placement rates. There are also state investigations, and a lawsuit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We check on government regulation of the industry, and on the broader for-profit education sector. Next: say you're a restaurant chain, and you decide using non-GMO ingredients was a smart business strategy. What would it take? For Chipotle Mexican Grill, it took two years to be the first restaurant to have no GMOs, and it started with a fairly simple menu.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Now we know the size and scope of Amazon's growth engine: its cloud services. They're pretty powerful. But Marketplace reporter Sabri Ben-Achour reports, the competition is coming on strong, and it's going to take some big investment for Amazon to hold its own, even with its big lead. Next, the match-up between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao has finally been confirmed, with the event set to take in millions of dollars. Kenneth Shropshire from the Wharton Sports Business Initiative joins us to talk about the much-anticipated fight.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Airing on Thursday, April 23, 2015: The opposition to giving the president expanded authority to work on a trade deal with Pacific nations is coming together around the issue of currency manipulation. So what does that mean, exactly, in the context of international trade? We explore. Next, after initially looking like a straightforward deal, it appears the Time Warner-Comcast merger may be on its deathbed. If the deal doesn’t go through, what’s the fallout for consumers – good, bad, a little bit of both? Or will there be no effect at all?
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Airing on Wednesday, April 22, 2015: After years of trying, Congress is getting close to passing a big cybersecurity bill. Business interests and privacy advocates finally have the common ground to get behind a single piece of legislation. The reason? Hacks are becoming much, much bigger and much, much more common. We look at how they managed to find common ground. Next, Verizon has unveiled a new basic TV package for $54.99 a month, prompting objections from major content providers like ESPN. The cable industry has been disrupted as pay-TV distributors, such as Verizon, respond to pressure from “cord-cutter” consumers, who are demanding these “skinny programming packages”. But media companies like Disney are fighting to protect their most lucrative source of revenue – programming fees. We consider whether the content providers or the distributors have the upper hand in this battle and how it’s it likely to shake out.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Airing on Tuesday, April 21, 2015: Committee votes in Congress are expected in coming days on whether to give the president special authority to finish negotiating a major trade deal with China and others. The deep skepticism that exists among Democrats is summed up well in a line New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said last week : “I don’t believe in these agreements anymore. I’ve changed.” We look at what else has changed since the North American Free Trade Agreement era when it comes to the U.S. economy and its place in the world economy. Next, California’s long history of anti-tax, anti-government propositions, starting with Proposition 13, now stands in the way of the state responding to a devastating drought. How’d that happen? Plus, the Department of Energy is proposing billions in investment in power grid infrastructure to make it more reliable and secure. The U.S. suffers far more outages than other developed countries. And the entire system is vulnerable if extreme weather or human attacks take out transformers--devices which are essential to moving electricity long distances.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Airing on Monday, April 20, 2015: At least 700 migrants are believed to have died in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean on Sunday. We talk with BBC's European correspondent Chris Morris about why hundreds of thousands of migrants from places such as Libya and Egypt have been attempting to leave their home countries for Europe. Next, Google revs up a revised mobile algorithm on Tuesday that gives preference to sites that are easy to read on mobile devices. You know, not desktop websites crammed onto little screens, but redesigned, reprogrammed sites. This is most likely going to affect small local businesses, whose sites will be pushed down the search list if they haven’t managed to keep up with digital change. Plus, health and biotech firm stocks are performing well. We explore why.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Airing on Friday, April 17, 2015: German luxury car companies BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have reported record-high global sales for the first quarter of 2015. Though these carmakers started out in the upscale market, they’re now pushing for a more inclusive customer base. Will entering the mass market hurt their prestige? We explore. Next, an outage at financial-data giant Bloomberg shows how much some traders rely on it. The event led some markets to stop trading and caused the U.K. government to delay certain bond sales. We take a look at why the ripple effect happened.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Airing on Thursday, April 16, 2015: A judge rules that General Motor's bankruptcy shields the company from lawsuits over defective cars built before the bankruptcy. We sort out the consequences of the decision if it stands. Next, the Los Angeles Unified School District wants its money back for iPads loaded with Pearson software that is sub-par. This is yet another expensive chapter in LAUSD’s disastrous $1 billion-plus classroom tech effort. It’s also another stumbling block on the larger road to the digital classroom. Marketplace reporter Nova Safo uses the LAUSD debacle to talk about what’s at stake as schools convert to digital classrooms and companies vie for their share of the multibillion-dollar ed-tech market.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Airing on Wednesday, April 15, 2015: Stephen Dubner, the author of "Freakonomics," rejoins the Marketplace team to discuss the value of diamonds and their hard resale value. High jeweler markups and a limited buyer's market for diamonds have created what's called a "thin market" for the good. Next, some tax preparers are charging high fees and making dubious loans to vulnerable clients. We look at some of the controversial practices these businesses are employing during tax season. Also, the European Union has brought antitrust charges against Google, with claims that the company has taken advantage of the European market by using its search engine to boost its shopping service. Are monopolies always necessarily a bad thing? We explore.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Airing on Tuesday, April 14, 2015: We’ve been talking a lot about the drought out here in California and just who should get how much water and for what purpose. One of the ways the state’s dealt with shortages in the past is through the spot market, where farmers with strong water rights sell their water to thirsty cities and farmers with more junior rights. But as Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, the state's drought is causing that market model to come up short. Next, IBM has teamed up with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to launch its "Watson Health Cloud," a service that will use data to create health profiles for patients. We look at the profit motive for each. Plus, a recent draft report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee suggests that red meat consumption in the U.S. can be bad for one's health and the environment. The suggestion has caused controversy over whether sustainability concerns should have factored into the committee's report.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Airing on Monday, April 13, 2015: A study finds that nearly three out of four recipients of Medicaid, food stamps and other aid are members of families headed by someone who works –meaning, someone who works but doesn’t earn a wage high enough to keep them out of poverty. The study says this amounts to a $150 billion subsidy of low-paying employers. This comes as several companies have raised their minimum pay to $9 an hour ($18,720 a year), and unions and others advocate for a minimum wage of $15, as median incomes haven’t grown in 20 years or so. Next, a historic handshake this weekend between Presidents Obama and Castro at the Summit of the Americas has helped to fuel optimism over warming relations with Cuba. But – handshakes aside – what obstacles remain to trading with Cuba for businesses both small and large? We explore.
Friday, April 10, 2015
Airing on Friday, April 10, 2015: General Electric, once a manufacturing titan, made a hard-headed decision to become a financial company and is now going back to manufacturing. Finance is simply too costly and highly regulated. Does General Electric's move mark a sea change in the American economy — perhaps the end of the dominance of finance? Next, apps on a smartwatch are going to have to be entirely re-visualized — small screen, viewed at arm’s length. It’s a new platform for any app. We look at the design challenge for app makers. Plus, Florida is placing limits on the high-stakes standardized tests. The Florida Legislature on Thursday passed a bill that caps the time students spend on state-authorized tests to no more than 45 hours a year. Will other states follow?
Thursday, April 09, 2015
Airing on Thursday, April 9, 2015: Google plans to offer subscriptions on YouTube. We want to look at how this will work, and what's behind it. The answer to the latter question will take in the fact that YouTube has a profit problem, and explain the landscape that is moving Google in this direction (streaming competition with Netflix, for example). Next, will people in Massachusetts, or Michigan, or anywhere, end up with less satisfying showers because of California’s drought? California is imposing new low-flow rules on faucets, showers and toilets. We look at how its huge new market for low-flow could swing manufacturers and other states in the same direction. Also, the deceased Latina singer Selena has been given a new lease of life. Some of her unreleased songs are being remastered and released, and she is going on tour. Or a hologram of her is, at least. So many questions. How big is the market for holo-acts?
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Shell is teaming up with BP — just one of the many oil and gas mergers in the works. A look at the pressure for the industry to consolidate, and if some sectors are under more pressure than others. Next, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is in Moscow today meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Financially-strapped Greece is making slow progress in debt talks with the EU, and some Greeks believe Russia may be able to help the country financially. Also, California's drought is hitting the agricultural Central Valley hard. Farmers are, of course, business people, and if they only have a certain amount of water, they will invest it in the most lucrative crops. Plus, John Hancock announced today it is the first life insurance company in the nation to offer financial incentives for customers with wearable health technology, who share that data with the company. How will it work, and will other companies follow?
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