Marketplace

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Award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine on business and economics news "for the rest of us." The 30-minute program—with an irreverent reporting style all its own—airs weekday evenings on more than 320 public radio stations nationwide and boasts the largest audience for any business program in the United States on radio, cable or network television. In conjunction with Marketplace Morning Report and Marketplace Money, this trio of financial programming covers listeners from wallet to Wall Street.

Insuring governments against disease outbreaks

8 hours ago
D Gorenstein

In the wake of the Ebola outbreak in Africa, a new plan has emerged to guard against future risk: insurance for disease outbreaks. The idea is to help protect governments and industry against the costs of pandemics. A San Francisco firm announced $30 million in funding for the idea this week.

Another Y2K moment? The 'leap second.'

8 hours ago
Mitchell Hartman

On June 30, 2015, at midnight Greenwich Mean Time/Coordinated Universal Time, an extra second will be added to the world’s master clocks. That’s to sync up with the earth’s rotation, which does not precisely match the clocks and computers we earthlings use.

This so-called ‘leap second’ is being planned for by financial exchanges and firms that depend on precise pricing and transaction data, down the micro-second.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, May 22, 2015

8 hours ago
Marketplace

The impact of Baltimore's $100 million investment

8 hours ago
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

Phyllis Young has a full life: three children, five grandchildren, a mortgage, and a job she loves. 11 years ago, Young, a geriatric nurse's assistant, was making $8 an hour and hoping to boost her wages to $12. She hit a stroke of luck.

Baltimore, in 1994, won a federal contest aimed at alleviating poverty in urban cores. Six cities were given a federal grant of $100 million each as well as a package of tax breaks for businesses and employers. The money and tax credits were intended to revitalize each city's poorest neighborhoods, which were called Empowerment Zones.

Hillary's new LinkedIn résumé

21 hours ago
Tim Fitzsimons

Hillary Clinton is not the first person to get on LinkedIn — about 115 million Americans joined before her.  Nor is she the first 2016 contender. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and others already have profiles there.

"The difference between Hillary Clinton and every single other candidate running, including Jeb Bush, is she has universal recognition already," says Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. 

This argument is similar to the one being made by her campaign. They say everyone knows her name, but few know the real Hillary.

Blake Farmer

The number of farmers markets has more than quadrupled over the last 20 years, according to the USDA. The trouble has become defining what a farmers market is.

One of the country’s larger markets is going through a painful process of purging vendors who don’t meet a new “producer-only” standard.

“There’s nothing here. There’s no farmers,” retiree Walter Gentry says with a laugh, which echoes through the empty sheds of the Nashville Farmers’ Market. “I thought I could get some peaches here.”

Cars: hardware or software?

21 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal

Modern technology and the law are running smack into each other at highway speeds.

At a recent copyright hearing, a lawyer for General Motors said that even after you pay off your car — even after you own every last nut, bolt, creak and rattle — GM still owns the software that basically makes modern day cars go.

What, then, are you doing when you buy a car? You're licensing the software.

Jack Dorsey: Twitter founder, Square CEO, punk

21 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal, Tommy Andres and Mukta Mohan

You have about a 0.00006 percent chance of starting a billion-dollar business. Jack Dorsey didn't just start one — he's got two.

Dorsey was 29 when he launched Twitter with his pals Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass back in 2006. His handle, @Jack, is Twitter's first personal account.

Marketplace for Thursday, May 21, 2015

21 hours ago

PODCAST: New York as a lesson in economics

May 21, 2015
David Brancaccio

A new report from the OECD shows income inequality in many parts of the world including the U.S. The data shows the gap between the rich and poor is seven times larger than it was in the '80s. Plus, our senior economics contributor Chris Farrell talks about the economic lessons learned and taught by New York City.

How the Disney 'ecosystem' works

May 21, 2015
Nova Safo

Disneyland in California turns 60 this summer, and it's kicking off festivities with a big party this weekend. Revelers can stay overnight at Disney's theme parks in California and Florida.

But Disney, the media company, has more than a birthday to celebrate. A couple of weeks ago it reported second quarter profits that beat expectations—led by its theme parks and the film Frozen.

How can a film from two years ago still be a profit maker for the company?

Parent Gap Inc. benefits as Old Navy gets stylish

May 21, 2015
Gigi Douban

Clothing retailer Gap Inc. reports first-quarter results on Thursday. Revenue in 2014 totaled $16.2 billion, up 3.2 percent from the previous year. For the last four quarters, profit has gone up year-over-year by an average of 4 percent. But there's an interesting fragmentation within parent company Gap Inc. Last fiscal year, store sales fell 5 percent at Gap stores; Banana Republic's sales were also unimpressive. But at Old Navy, sales went up 5 percent.

Old Navy started out as a place where the whole family could pick up cheap fleece jackets and tank tops.

Marketplace Tech for Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015
Marketplace

Currency control sits uneasily in trade deal

May 20, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

Congress is debating whether or not to attach some new rules about what countries can and can't do with their currencies to a pending "fast track" trade bill, which would allow Congress to vote on free trade deals but not filibuster or amend them. 

My First Job: Video dating service

May 20, 2015
Robert Garrova

Melissa O’Neil’s first job was working the front desk for a dating service, but this was before the days of sites like eHarmony or Match.com

“Back in the day before the internet, they would actually take videos of people doing all the things they do in the online forms now,” O’Neil says.

According to O’Neil, sometimes customers’ dating videos had outtakes.

“The guys very much got in trouble and had to be edited for saying things about what they were looking for … and women were more on the side of saying things about themselves that they shouldn’t have said.”

Marketplace for Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015

Rate rigging in London affects U.S. consumers

May 20, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Justice Department says five big banks have agreed to plead guilty to manipulating foreign exchange markets: Barclays, Citibgroup, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. UBS also pleaded guilty to skewing a benchmark rate called LIBOR.

LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, is what big banks charge each other for loans. Lots of consumer loans with variable interest rates are based on it, such as adjustable-rate mortgages, private student loans and car loans.

The job application for Al-Qaeda

May 20, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified a whole bunch of documents it found in Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

Lots of fascinating stuff — among them a job application to join Al-Qaeda, which will sound familiar to anyone who's ever filled out any job application.

These are all quotes:

How many jobs does $100 million get you?

May 20, 2015
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

Like many cities, Baltimore is dotted with the ghosts of industry: businesses, large and small, that have moved elsewhere or closed altogether.

There's the old FMC Corp. campus in Fairfield, its the lawn still neatly trimmed, but the parking lot is empty, and the property is ringed by fences and "No Trespassing" signs. FMC left Baltimore in 2008, part of a cost-cutting move.

The Globe Screen Printing building is on Hollins Street, right across from St. Peter's church, where Babe Ruth was baptized. Globe Screen, a family business, closed about 12 years ago.

PODCAST: Skin in the game

May 20, 2015
David Brancaccio

How the head of the fed is keeping Wall Street workers chained to their desks ahead of the long holiday weekend. Plus, the Senate Education Committee meets Wednesday. Senator Lamar Alexander, who chairs the committee and is a former secretary of education, has proposed that colleges share in the risk of lending to student. He says this would lead to reduced student borrowing. How would it work if colleges had “skin in the game” and how realistic is the proposal? We'll also talk to Allan Sloan of the Washington Post about the costs of investing in a hedge fund.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015
Marketplace
Marketplace

If students default, should colleges pay up?

May 20, 2015
Nova Safo

In the Senate, a committee hearing on Wednesday is scheduled to look at the idea of having colleges pay part of the cost of student loan defaults, which totaled $99 billion in 2014.

Some seven million Americans have defaulted on their student loans, and 70 percent of them are college drop-outs. They average about $14,000 in student debt.

"You want people to care about the debt beyond the day after they issue it, and to make colleges somewhat financially responsible," says Ben Miller, who studies education policy at the Center for American Progress.

The perfect surface for writing

May 20, 2015
David Brancaccio

We're launching a series called Pro Tool: Tools of the Professional. What we're looking for is that must-have device in the possession of anyone in the workforc, be they hair dresser, welder or writer.

The second item in our series? A notebook.

America's infrastructure isn't sexy

May 19, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

America's infrastructure has fallen behind other nations. Highways are congested. Bridges are crumbling. Flights are delayed. Clearly, we need a solution. Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter identifies the hallmarks of successful transportation systems and explains the work being done to address these issues in her new book "Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead." 

Kai Ryssdal

This whole "Ooh-milliennials! Gotta-cater-to-the-millennials!" thing pretty much jumps the shark. 

Bloomberg reports today that Tic Tac is coming out with a new product: varieties that change flavor as you suck on them.

The company has apparently spent 18 months studying—yes, Tic Tacs—to make sure that Tic Tacs are "appealing to those younger consumers." 

There are, it seems, three reasons people buy Tic Tacs.

The global influence of hip hop and breakdancing

May 19, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios

Although hip hop culture has made its way through much of the world, there are still some places where you wouldn't expect hip hop music to flourish, and countries like Colombia, Yemen, Cambodia and Uganda, might not come to mind when discussing the art of breakdance. 

How calculating GDP is like making a gravy

May 19, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco says our rough winter weather skewed the data on gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter. GDP grew at just two-tenths of a percent at the beginning of the year.  

Was it really that bad? Or were the numbers just not crunched enough?

“Of course, it’s always hard to separate the wheat from the chaff,” says Glenn Rudebusch, director of research at the San Francisco Fed.

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