Marketplace

Weekdays at 6:30pm
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

Business, the economy, and events that influence them. Presented by American Public Media.

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U.S. tightens foreign investment rules

12 hours ago

Some sensitive industries — everything from technology to defense firms — will face tougher federal scrutiny under new regulations formalized Wednesday. The Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, announced its pilot program will take effect in 30 days. The announcement has some innovation, defense and tech companies scrambling to comply so they don't face penalties.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Sears teeters on the edge of bankruptcy

13 hours ago

Shares of Sears fell today on reports from the Wall Street Journal that the company has hired advisors to prepare a bankruptcy filing. The department store chain has been struggling for decades, announcing one turnaround effort after another.

Why rock is still king on the concert circuit

13 hours ago

With a nod to the fact that nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame came out this week, there's an economic reality about the music business that needs to be recognized: Last year, hip-hop and rhythm and blues replaced rock as this country’s most popular music genre. That’s according to Nielsen’s analysis of digital and physical album sales as well as streaming. There's a twist here, though, because what Nielsen did not consider was how much money people spend on concerts.

Here are some reasons why China's currency is sinking

13 hours ago

One U.S. dollar today is worth about 9.92 Chinese yuan. That's down nearly 10 percent from where it was last spring. That drop has the attention of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said Wednesday he wants to make sure China is not doing "competitive devaluations." That's when a country seeks an advantage by making its currency, and therefore its goods, cheaper relative to other countries. But the cheap yuan might have more to do with what's going on in the United States than it does with China.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Dow Jones industrials sink 700 points as bond yields rise

14 hours ago

U.S. stocks are plunging toward their worst loss in six months on Wednesday as technology companies continue to take sharp losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 700 points in afternoon trading.

The losses were widespread as bond yields remained high after steep increases last week. Companies that have been the biggest winners on the market the last few years, including technology companies and retailers, suffered steep declines.

6 Supreme Court cases to keep an eye on this term

15 hours ago

The U.S. Supreme Court has been in the spotlight in recent weeks over the confirmation of its latest justice, Brett Kavanaugh. Now attention turns to the cases the fully staffed high court will consider this session.

For more on what the new makeup of Supreme Court will mean for business and the economy, and some of the cases to watch, we spoke with Jessica Levinson, a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. The following is an edited conversation with Levinson. 

President Donald Trump, who created a business out of licensing his name, recently tried his hand at branding something else: the North American Free Trade Agreement.

(Markets Edition) With the Chinese yuan falling, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attempted to warn China of taking part in “competitive devaluation” of the currency. Then, we check on the markets with Jeffery Cleveland, chief economist with Payden & Rygel in Los Angeles. Finally, we look into networking. Before, connections could be made over a round of golf.

Inside Tsuda Shoten — a fish processing plant in Kamaishi, Japan — large machines whir and clang, connected by networks of chutes and rollers that shuttle tons of fish around the building. While much of the work is automated, many tasks still need human hands. That’s where workers like Nguyen Ti Thanh, 26, come in.

The high economic toll of mental illness

22 hours ago

Mental disorders are estimated to cost the global community nearly $2.5 trillion each year — and those costs are increasing.

Unlike costly physical illnesses like cancer, where expenses are largely hospital-based, mental health costs are often indirect, such as not being able to work.

LinkedIn's co-founder breaks down "blitzscaling"

23 hours ago

(U.S. Edition) We check in on the decline of the yuan, the national currency of China. Shaun Rein, the managing director of the China Market Research Group, told us more. A global summit on mental health concludes Wednesday in a bid to secure money and treatment comparable to other health issues. Worldwide, mental disorders cost governments almost $2.5M per year.

Register to vote or die

Oct 10, 2018

We're a couple weeks away from the midterm elections, and it's crunch time for voter registration. Political organizations and campaigns have spent millions on voter registration efforts targeting young and diverse voters, but will it work? Also on today's show: Amid trade tensions, the value of the Chinese yuan has been falling against the dollar, which has both the United States and China worried. Plus: How YouTube is changing parenting and the entertainment industry for children.

The LinkedIn co-founder on "Blitzscaling" a company while mitigating risk

Oct 10, 2018

“Don’t focus on early revenue, measuring your long-term value or your customers” might not be the advice a new entrepreneur would expect. But Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, says if your business idea is a worthy one, “don’t sweat it.” Just focus on getting big quickly.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … A day after it downgraded its forecast for global growth next year, the International Monetary Fund is out with a new warning Wednesday about what it calls "dangerous undercurrents" threatening the world economy. Then, more than half a million people have been urged to evacuate their homes in the southeastern part of the U.S. as Hurricane Michael prepares to make landfall. That’s just weeks after storms ravaged Indonesia and the Carolinas.

The next generation of wireless technology, 5G, could be a huge deal. The speed and the number of devices that can be connected could spawn new businesses we haven't even thought of yet. Last year chipmaker Qualcomm and tech research firm IHS Technology put out a report that said 5G could enable $12 trillion in economic output across the world by 2035 and add some 22 million jobs. The report compared 5G to electricity. Compare that to 4G, which, just in the U.S., contributed about half a trillion dollars to the economy in 2016.

Why the race to 5G is a bet on a multi-trillion dollar economic impact

Oct 10, 2018

The next generation of wireless technology, 5G, could be a huge deal. The speed — and the number of devices that can be connected — could spawn new businesses we haven't even thought of yet. Last year chipmaker Qualcomm and tech research firm IHS Technology put out a report that said 5G could enable $12 trillion in economic output across the world by 2035 and add some 22 million jobs. The report compared 5G to no less than ... electricity. Compare that to 4G, which, just in the U.S., contributed about half a trillion dollars to the economy in 2016.

Duke Energy CEO on the future of energy

Oct 9, 2018

With the rush of technological change, evermore severe storms and the push for renewable energy sources, this is not the easiest time to run an energy company. Yet Lynn Good does just that, having taken over Duke Energy as CEO back in 2013. Duke is now one of the largest energy companies in the United States, with more than 7 million customers in the Midwest and Southeast.  

For Good, the biggest challenge in leading an energy company is thinking about the future and the speed at which the world is changing.

IMF forecasts slower global growth

Oct 9, 2018

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday it's shaving off some of its earlier optimism about world economic growth over the next couple years. It has downgraded its growth forecast for this year from 3.9 percent to 3.7 percent, and for next year, the IMF has ticked the world's growth down from 2.7 percent to 2.5 percent. The forecast took some of the wind out of U.S. and Chinese economic expansion, too, saying both countries would grow more slowly than previously thought. So what could be dragging us down in a year's time?

R.I.P., Google Plus

Oct 9, 2018

We hardly used ye. Google is phasing out its social platform Google Plus after a massive data breach. We look at how this could affect Google’s business model. Also on today's show, the International Monetary Fund predicted in its global economic forecast that trade disputes and turbulent emerging markets will slow global economic growth. And, are electric scooters all that bad, or are they a sign of where our transportation system is headed? A report on the electric scooter craze from Los Angeles.

Credit card interest rates are rising

Oct 9, 2018

A report out today from Creditcards.com shows that credit card interest rates are on the rise. The average rate is just over 17 percent, up from about 16.15 percent this time last year and 15.22 percent in 2016.

The reason? The Federal Reserve has been hiking interest rates since 2015. That means banks have been paying more to borrow money, and they’re passing that cost on to their customers, including credit card borrowers, said Lucia Dunn, professor emeritus at Ohio State University.

85: Expl4inathon

Oct 9, 2018

It's time for another Explainathon, the biannual tradition when we put Kai and Molly to the test: In 30 minutes, they'll try to answer as many of your questions as possible. It's going to be tough, because this might just be our widest-ranging 'thon yet: Gamers! Trade wars! Gas prices! Bots on the trading floor! Plus, Kai and Molly will try to stump each other.

Coin-operated gumball machines aren't as common as they used to be. With sales slowly dwindling over the years and high domestic sugar prices, America's sole remaining gumball maker has been branching out to stay afloat.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(Markets Edition) New numbers show the benefits of aggressively helping young people finish school and find jobs. A study followed two groups, both ages 16 to 24, on their journeys. Then we dive into the markets, where the latter half of this week signals the beginning of a new season of sorts for market participants. Also, we check in on the last American gumball company standing, Ford Gum and Machine Company, which has been around for more than a century.

A Wall Street Journal report finds that the private information of nearly half a million Google users was vulnerable from 2015 to March 2018.

Ask a Manager: Should we talk politics at work?

Oct 9, 2018

Watercooler chit chat isn’t always captivating: Martha’s got a new cat, traffic really was terrible today and Garrett wants to explain the difference between bouldering and top roping, again. But conversations at the watercooler don’t always stay cool. Talking politics at work can heat things up very fast. With the midterms less than a month out, it might seem impossible to avoid.

(U.S. Edition) A new report details how the private information of almost half a million Google users was exposed to hackers until Google sealed up the leak in the spring. The apparent weak link was Google Plus, so we take a look at the data vulnerabilities that can occur when a platform fades into oblivion. Then, we check the global economic pulse with new data from the International Monetary Fund.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The IMF has downgraded its view of global growth due in part to ongoing trade tensions. We’ll hear from the organization’s chief economist. Then, after a month of speculation, Pakistan put rumors to rest and said it will seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund to tackle its mounting balance of payments crisis. We’ll hear from our reporter on the ground in Islamabad.  Afterwards, Korean pop band BTS has stepped in to fill the boy-band vacuum, igniting a wave of excitement around the globe with its “Love Yourself” world tour.

A report last week from Bloomberg Businessweek suggested that Chinese spies had embedded tiny microchips on motherboards that control computers in order to steal information from nearly 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon. Both of those companies, and Super Micro, the electronics maker that was allegedly infiltrated, and the Chinese government have categorically denied the report. But the story is lingering, in part because it brings up a very scary reality that lots of cybersecurity experts keep talking about. Molly Wood talks about it with cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier.

A report last week from Bloomberg Businessweek suggested that Chinese spies had embedded tiny little microchips on motherboards that control computers in order to steal information from nearly 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon. Both of those companies, and Super Micro Computer Inc., the electronics maker that was allegedly infiltrated have categorically denied the report.

The U.S. Census Bureau says it needs to hire hundreds of thousands of workers to complete the 2020 census. But since the economy is in such good shape, with unemployment down to 3.7 percent in September, that hiring task may be a lot harder than it was back in 2010. And the census faces more competition in the gig economy from other part-time jobs, like ride-sharing services, that may be offer more appealing opportunities.

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