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.

A possible strategy change for the financially strapped United States Postal Service.

The USPS is in some trouble, as you may have heard. Billions in deficits every year more billions in pension liabilities.

The Finnish post office is in the red, too, and has a plan. Posti, as the Finnish postal service is called, will start mowing customers' lawns starting next month.

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post and John Carney of the Wall Street Journal. The big topics this week: interest rates, global markets and China's slowing economy.

The Lowline experiments with natural sunlight underground

Apr 29, 2016
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Lizzie O'Leary and Bruce Johnson

Part-public park, part-mad scientist experiment, The Lowline in the Lower East Side of New York City hopes to bring natural sunlight and gardens indoors and underground. Using mirrors, lenses and aluminum in a formerly abandoned building, co-founders James Ramsey and Dan Barasch Dan hope to turn their 1,000-square foot experiment into a 60,000-square foot public park and garden open to the public.

You can read more about the park's plans at their website: thelowline.org

California makes an expensive primary appearance

Apr 29, 2016
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Sabri Ben-Achour

To the many unexpected things in this presidential campaign cycle, add California.

“This is the first time a California presidential primary will make a definitive difference since the 1972 Democratic primary,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

Usually, by now, the winners of the national primaries are pretty much figured out and they can just snooze through California's June primary. But on the Republican side especially, things aren't quite figured out. That means the state's 172 GOP delegates have suddenly become very important.

Marketplace for Friday, April 29, 2016

Apr 29, 2016
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Marketplace staff

Unpacking this week's business and economic news with the Weekly Wrap; the cost of California's impact on this election cycle; and introducing The Uncertain Hour, a podcast from the Marketplace Wealth & Poverty Desk that looks at the impact welfare reform 20 years after changes took place.

The taxpayer-funded pop album all about welfare

Apr 29, 2016
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Marketplace staff

President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform — officially known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act — into law 20 years ago this summer.

It was one of Clinton's key campaign promises, and it's still seen as one of his big domestic policy achievements. But with two decades of hindsight, what effect has welfare reform actually had? What do we really know about it?

Rovi buys TiVo for $1.1 billion

Apr 29, 2016
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Adrienne Hill

There was a time, not that long ago, when TiVo was so cutting edge that it was a verb. As in: "I TiVo'd the Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime show." 

"It's remarkable how quickly the TV upstart, TiVo, is now no longer relevant," said James McQuivey, a media analyst at Forrester Research. "And, it's simply because television is being rethought."

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Marketplace Weekend Staff

In the wake of Prince's death, the people handling his estate realized that the star didn't leave behind a will, meaning that there are lots of questions still to be answered about Prince's back catalog and his assets. 

That inspired us to ask our listeners: what experiences have you had with wills? Do you have a will? Why, or why not? What will you leave behind? What questions do you have about wills? 

We want to know what you think? 

Marketplace Weekend for Friday, April 29, 2016

Apr 29, 2016
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Karen Clark, Caitlin Esch and Gina Delvac

On this week's episode, Newsweek's Zoë Schlanger and Marketplace's Adriene Hill go long and short on the news of the week. We hear from listeners about what paid family leave means for them, and author David Wheelan discusses his book, Naked Money. Lizzie and Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson explore Manhattan's forthcoming Lowline park, and we preview the new podcast The Uncertain Hour. 

The Conversation: Paid family leave

Apr 29, 2016
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Eliza Mills

Every week, we ask our listeners questions about how economic and financial issues are impacting them in their everyday lives. Last week, we asked you what paid family leave means for you, and whether you think it should be provided by the government.

We heard back from a wide variety of people. Some wrote to us to say they think paid family leave should be determined by employers and employees – not funded at all by state or federal taxes, and not mandated by the government.

ExxonMobil and Chevron profits slide on low oil prices

Apr 29, 2016
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Marketplace staff

From our partners at BBC Business:

ExxonMobil reported Friday a 63 percent slide in first quarter profits, following low crude oil prices and weak refining margins.

The company reported a profit of $1.8 billion — it is its lowest quarterly profit since 1999, and a sharp decline from $4.94 billion for the same period last year.Revenue dropped 28 percent to $48.7 billion, but it had strong results from its petrochemicals division.

On today's show, we'll talk about the complicated relationship between CalPERS and tobacco; a lousy earnings season; and "Teach Children to Save Day," brought to you by the American Bankers Association. 

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David Brancaccio

There are a lot of choices to make when you file for Social Security — when to file, whether to suspend, when to collect. 

Teaching kids the power of the piggy bank

Apr 29, 2016
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Sally Herships

Today is "Teach Children to Save Day," an unofficial holiday sponsored by, yes, the American Bankers Association. With interest rates so low for so long, savings haven't been a big priority. The personal savings rate has been hovering around 5 percent for three years. So it seems hard for any of us, kids or adults, to save.  

Some consumers are like sharks, constantly circling banks on the hunt for an interest-bearing account that offers an extra fraction of a percent. 

Full interview: CloudFlare's CEO on TOR and politics

Apr 29, 2016
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Bruce Johnson

CloudFlare is a company that helps people and companies all over the world keep their websites online in a way that makes those sites quickly accessible and secure. There's been a dust-up recently between CloudFlare and The Onion Router, or TOR project. TOR is the set of tools that helps people use the internet anonymously — good guys and bad guys. CloudFlare has made it more difficult for TOR users to access sites it hosts.

Matthew Prince is CEO of CloudFlare, and spoke with us Friday. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Staying connected while on the go

Apr 29, 2016
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Mark Orlowski

Imagine never needing to scour for Wi-Fi at hotels or airports, nor having to search for coffee shops offering Wi-Fi when you’re abroad. Or, the ultimate image of a busy traveler: having the ability to send emails from your laptop while aboard a plane awaiting takeoff (before the cabin door is closed, of course).

This Puerto Rico default is different

Apr 29, 2016
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Andy Uhler

Barring an economic miracle, Puerto Rico is going to default on a more than $400 million debt payment on Monday. The implications could be pretty far-reaching because it would be defaulting on some bonds that are guaranteed by the territory’s constitution. 

The government’s still running, officially, but everyday Puerto Ricans are already suffering, said Edwin Melendez, director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, April 29, 2016

Apr 29, 2016
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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about Amazon's revenue growth; interview Matthew Prince, the CEO of CloudFlare, about the company's dust-up with the TOR project; and play this week's Silicon Tally with Bridget Carey, senior editor at CNET.

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Marketplace

On today's show, we'll talk about Amazon's large quarterly profit; Puerto Rico's more than $400 million debt payment due Monday; and a Social Security loophole.

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Adrienne Hill

The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will have an official poet and poem. The poetry competition is a return to an Indy 500 tradition from the 1920s.

An Indiana University graduate student, Adam Henze, will read his winning poem during qualification weekend.

It'll also appear in the program on race day.

Marketplace called him up and asked him to read his ode to the Indy 500: “For Those Who Love Fast, Loud Things.”

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D Gorenstein

In the small universe that is health insurance, 2017 may turn out to be pretty nice for the men and women who predict how much insurers have to pay out in claims.

“Actuaries across the country will be able to sleep better at night for 2017,” John Bertko, chief actuary for Covered California, said.

Marketplace for Thursday, April 28, 2016

Apr 28, 2016
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Marketplace

Tthe island needs to make a $422 million dollars payment on its bonds, but it’s a payment it can't afford; Facebook will create a new class of share to sell to investors that don't give investors voting power; and how the Halloween "scare industry" is at work year-round 

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Andy Uhler

Puerto Rico is in over its head. At the end of this week, the island needs to make a $422 million dollars payment on its bonds, but it’s a payment it can't afford, according to its government. The U.S. territory sold tens of billions of dollars in bonds to balance its budget as tax incentives were phased out and citizens, along with tax revenue, left the island.

Investor Carl Icahn dumps Apple stake

Apr 28, 2016
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Reuters

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said Thursday he had sold his entire stake in Apple Inc, citing the risk of China's influence on the stock.

Comcast to buy DreamWorks for more than $3 billion

Apr 28, 2016
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Marketplace staff

To listen to Marketplace’s Adriene Hill and Variety’s Cynthia Littleton talk more about what this deal means for Comcast and movie goers, click on the audio player at the top of the page.

Comcast confirmed Thursday its interest in DreamWorks Animation, announcing it will pay more than $3 billion for the film company. Wall Street responded favorably.

US GDP growth slows to 0.5 percent

Apr 28, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about slow economic growth for the U.S.; the decline of brick-and-mortar stores; and how the NFL draft grew into a major public spectacle. 

Facebook's new C class. It's no Mercedes...

Apr 28, 2016
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Tracey Samuelson

One share, one vote. That’s how most companies allocate voting rights to shareholders.

Companies can, and sometimes do, create a tiered system with higher voting rights for some shares, lower for everyone else. Facebook already has this two-tier structure. So does Warren Buffet's company, Berkshire Hathaway. Facebook announced Wednesday it wants to add a new level, one without voting rights. Google already has a similar three-class structure.

NFL draft has become a spectacle in itself

Apr 28, 2016
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Nova Safo

The NFL draft, which begins Thursday in Chicago, has undergone a major evolution.

The draft used to be a closed-door meeting of NFL team officials who huddled to make deals over college players who are drafted into the professional football league.

"It used to be only sports writers cared. They used to hang out in the hotel where the draft is going on," said Rodney Fort, a professor of sports management at the University of Michigan.

Retail shakeout: Web stores on the rise

Apr 28, 2016
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Mitchell Hartman

Brick-and-mortar retail is going through a substantial shakeout in 2016. While retail sales overall have held up moderately well (up 3.1 percent in 2015), growth has stalled over the past several years. Virtually all the recent expansion in retail has been in online sales, rising by double digits annually.

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Annie Baxter

A new report from the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization, Feeding America, points to a persistent problem of food insecurity: the socio-economic condition where people have limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

The report said food insecurity rates across counties remained high at 14.7 percent in 2014, the most recent year its data captured.

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