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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.

Viewmaster goes VR

13 hours ago
Molly Wood

This Black Friday, everything old is new again.

Remember the Mattel Viewmaster from your childhood?

You'd put those round little picture reels in it, and click through to see 3-D images of animals and the pyramids in Egypt and all sorts of cool places and things. It debuted in 1939, at the World's Fair, and you could argue it was kind of a very early virtual reality viewer.

Molly Wood

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post and Felix Salmon from Fusion. The big topic this week: what's the state of Black Friday in 2015, and should retailers be concerned? Plus, we look at Pfizer's latest attempt at a corporate inversion.

Sunday nights aren't what they used to be

14 hours ago
Beth Teitell

Until now, Sunday had held its own in our shifting world. Never mind that Thursday has been declared the new Friday, and Cyber Monday is the new Black Friday, and Christmas starts in October, and TV shows premiere in summer and schools begin in August.

Sunday night was Sunday night. Only the doctors and drug dealers were on call. But now we’re all on duty all the time, and that includes Sunday night—which has turned into the new Monday morning.

D Gorenstein

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 86 million American adults have prediabetes, and of those, as many as a third will become diabetics within five years.

Beginning January 1, 2015, virtually all private insurers must cover services — with no copay — that help people with elevated blood sugar levels change their diets and increase their physical activity.

Health officials hope the change in coverage will drive down diabetes rates.

New law updates guidelines for space industry

15 hours ago
Molly Wood and Kim Adams

Before heading off for Europe this week for climate change talks, President Obama signed a several bills into law.

Marketplace for Friday, November 27, 2015

15 hours ago

The month or so between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is huge for charities. But when you make a year-end donations, you could be contributing personal information to marketers too. Plus, new guidelines for the commercial space industry and LAX's new terminal for the rich and famous.

Data sharing generates revenue for some charities

16 hours ago
Annie Baxter

Americans making their year-end contributions to charities might be surprised to learn their information might be shared, especially if they're small-time contributors.

“It's going to cost a lot of money to kind of move you through the funnel to be a more high-end, committed donor,” said Sandra Miniutti with the watchdog group Charity Navigator. “So a quick way for them to generate some additional revenue off of you is to sell your personal information.”

Noel King

The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will soon have a new terminal, but it's not for regular folks. It's for celebrities, diplomats and wealthy travelers who are willing to spend bucks for their own lounge, security lines and the ability to avoid the rest of the flying public.

We thought travelers might find this unfair, but a quick trip out to LAX proved us wrong. Most people said they were fine with it, as long as it wasn't being built with their tax dollars.

Millennials don't take a gamble

Nov 27, 2015
Noel King

On today's show, retailers attempt to keep up with our online ordering habits; why millennials don't like to gamble; and we have a profile of a Congolese surgeon who had to wait six years to receive asylum in the U.S.

Fear Fast Fashion

Nov 27, 2015
Sabri Ben-Achour and Tim Fernholz

This week, Actuality slips into some fast fashion and learns how it pushes your brain's buttons to make you buy. But the trick means hiding the true cost of the clothes — including some surprisingly bad news for the environment. Plus, bitter cats.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, November 27, 2015

Nov 27, 2015

Airing on Friday, November 27, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about if the infrastructure around online ordering is in place to handle the anticipated volume; how Black Friday shopping habits have evolved in the digital age; and more on the dark web from our Codebreaker podcast.


Airing on Friday, November 27, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk a huge drop in Asian markets; retailers eyeing China this holiday season; and a seven acre patch of land in City Park that brings young together to farm.

Like Angry Birds, but for money

Nov 27, 2015
Sally Herships

Millennials like going to Vegas. After all, indulgence looks awesome on Instagram. And the food is #gr8. 

"There’s obviously a ton of experiences there, lots of things they can broadcast," said MaryLeigh Bliss, chief content officer with YPulse, a youth marketing research firm.

"But gambling is a huge issue," she said. "Right now the casino industry is literally throwing out there anything that they can to appeal to millennials and what they like."

Retailers keep one eye on China ahead of the holidays

Nov 27, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Before you do your holiday shopping, retailers do their own. They're looking for the best deals from suppliers. China devalued its currency, the yuan, to make its stuff even cheaper. That could save U.S. retailers a little money.

“I think most retailers are actually just going to enjoy the savings that they get and pass them straight to the bottom line,” said Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer for Kantar Retail.

Black Friday looks bleak for workers

Nov 26, 2015

16 million

That's how many people are currently employed by the retail industry, and an additional 700,000 have been hired for seasonal work as we head into the holidays. And many of those workers will put in long hours on Black Friday, especially at struggling companies like American Apparel. As the New York Times writes, Black Friday has become a sore spot for workers who are paid low wages and are expected to work on holidays.

IMF set to give Chinese currency a stamp of approval

Nov 26, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

The Chinese renminbi is likely to get a big stamp of approval from the International Monetary Fund next week. On Monday, the IMF’s executive board will vote on whether to add the RMB, as it’s commonly abbreviated, to its basket of reserve currencies.

Essentially, the International Monetary Fund has its own artificial currency – a mash-up of the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, the euro, the pound sterling – and perhaps soon – the RMB as well.

Kim Adams

Russia is considering several kinds of economic sanctions against Turkey in retaliation for Turkish forces shooting down a Russian jet this week. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told government leaders to have suggestions for sanctions on his desk in two days.

ESPN's ratings are slipping

Nov 26, 2015
Molly Wood

Thanksgiving Thursday officially kicked off one of the great sports weekends of the year, with wall-to-wall college football and NFL games all the way until Monday night on the schedule.

It seems like the kind of weekend ESPN was made for — unfortunately, fewer and fewer people are actually watching ESPN these days. Walt Disney Corporation revealed on Wednesday that its sports network behemoth, which accounts for a huge portion of Disney's yearly profits, has lost about 7 million subscribers since its audience peak in 2013.

On patrol with the drought police

Nov 26, 2015
Abbie Fentress Swanson

California Governor Jerry Brown has called on cities to cut water use by 25 percent through next October. Already four Southern California water utilities, including Beverly Hills, are facing fines for failing to meet that mandate.

One place that has cut its water use sharply is Burbank, a city of roughly 105,000 residents just north of Los Angeles.

Marketplace for Thursday, November 26, 2015

Nov 26, 2015

The IMF debates adding the Chinese renminbi to its basket of currencies, why Georgia has seen the highest growth in Latina-owned businesses in the U.S. and Marketplace's Scott Tong explains whats at stake ahead of next week's United Nations' Paris Climate Change Conference.

Portland puts its best foot forward in shoe design

Nov 26, 2015
Mark Garrison

On today's show, we'll talk about hot trading around the world on Thanksgiving day; a big year for toy makers; and why Portland, Oregon is a hub for shoe making and design.

Thanksgiving in the Jungle

Nov 26, 2015
Sabri Ben-Achour and Tim Fernholz

In a holiday bonus episode, Actuality gets grateful after a visit to a refugee camp in France where migrants from the Middle East and Africa await asylum, and a reporter was surprised to learn her own family's refugee story.

Turkey meat's screwy pricing

Nov 26, 2015
Sabri Ben-Achour

While Thanksgiving is a unifying holiday, the turkey itself divides us into two camps: lovers of dark meat and lovers of white meat.  

If you’re in the dark meat category, “you’re in the minority,” said Thomas Elam, president of FarmEcon. “And we in the turkey industry appreciate your taste for dark meat cause it’s a product we wish we could sell more of.”

White meat is sold for domestic consumption, and dark meat is exported more.

But dark meat’s time has come. Maybe. For a minute.  

A bumper year for toys

Nov 26, 2015
Noel King

The toy industry is expected to have what may be its best sales year in a decade.

In the first half of 2015, the toy industry grew by 6.5 percent, or $400 million, according to The NPD Group, which tracks sales. Some of the reasons are obvious. Consumer confidence has improved, gas prices are down, and consumers have a bit more discretionary income. And of course, there are the toys themselves.


Airing on Thursday, November 26, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about the Pope's visit to eastern Africa; how the bird flu affects the price of Turkey meat; and why non-GMO doesn't necessarily mean no pesticides. 

Marketplace Tech for Thursday, November 26, 2015

Nov 26, 2015

Airing on Thursday, November 26, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about predicting which Legos (and other gifts) will be the hot toy this holiday season; and tech in the kitchen.

Kim Adams

Pope Francis is in eastern Africa Thursday, carrying his warnings about climate change and poverty that have become the hallmark of his papacy.

He arrived in Kenya on Wednesday, beginning a six-day tour that will include stops in Uganda and the Central African Republic. Pope Francis used his first stop in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, to warn of the “grave environmental crisis” of climate change. 

Non-GMO doesn't mean no pesticides

Nov 26, 2015
Annie Baxter

A lot of Americans are worried about foods made from genetically modified crops, which largely means products that have corn, soy or sugar beet ingredients.

The genetic material of those crops has been modified in some way.

Critics of GMOs eschew the synthetic chemicals applied to genetically modified crops, such as the weed killer glyphosate.

“A lot of people are worried about that,” said Megan Westgate with the organization the Non-GMO Project, the de facto standard-setter for Non-GMO products.

Andy Uhler

The western United States is in a drought and it's been hot and windy in southern California over the last few weeks. Wildfires love these conditions, which means more property is at risk of damage or destruction. Insurance companies are well aware of this, so they're expanding homeowners' insurance packages essentially to include firefighters. 

Marketplace for Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nov 25, 2015

Farm income will fall 38 percent this year, a look at what this means for consumers; Baltimore businesses recover after riots earlier this year; and the science behind Christmas shopping.