Business news

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who was forced out of his job as part of a new bailout deal to keep Athens in the euro zone, tells the BBC that the austerity measures that come with the agreement are "going to fail."

The financial reforms, imposed in exchange for an 86 billion euro ($93.6 billion) lifeline will "go down in history as the greatest disaster of macroeconomic management ever," Varoufakis tells the BBC.

Temperatures soar, flowers bloom and the sun rises early. On these long summer days, there still seems to be plenty of time for achieving your 2015 goals.

But not if you are a business lobbyist. For you, time is short.

Here's what you want by Christmas: a Pacific Rim trade deal; an updated No Child Left Behind Act; revival of the Export-Import Bank; long-term highway funding and a completed federal budget.

After the U.S. banned international slave trading in 1808, more than 1 million people were forcibly moved from the Upper South to the Lower South.

Often, the first stop was the slave markets of New Orleans, where families were divided for good.

And today, little evidence of what happened in these places, and to these people, remains.

Back when cotton was king, New Orleans was its queen city.

You can snap up a home for just a few thousand dollars in Detroit these days. But just because a property is cheap, that doesn't necessarily make it a good investment.

Peter Allen with the University of Michigan is equipping local residents with housing investment know-how with the hope that they can go on to revitalize their neighborhoods.

Reddit proposes new rules

Jul 17, 2015
D Gorenstein

A lot of people know Reddit through its Ask Me Anything channel; even President Barack Obama has held a chat there.

David Pakman, a venture capitalist at Venrock, says Reddit’s footprint is enormous.

“It’s about a top 33 site on the internet globally. Top 10 in the U.S. It attracts, like, 165 million unique visitors a month," Packman says. "It is really one of the largest media properties on the planet,” he says.

Marketplace for Friday, July 17, 2015

Jul 17, 2015

Airing on Friday, July 17, 2015: Housing starts jumped in June, led by a 29 percent increase in apartment and condo construction. That creates fewer jobs than the single-family house market, but these monthly numbers are also highly volatile. Next: Word is that Hulu will go to a two-tiered structure of free with ads — or no ads for a fee. It's just the latest service to offer what will likely be to the luxury crowd a way to bypass advertisers. If this really picks up steam, what will advertisers do when big spenders are out of reach? Marketplace explores. 

Nova Safo

If you're in Illinois, maybe you're a little happier this week. That's because happy hour is back.

After a 26-year ban and some serious lobbying by the state's hospitality industry, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner reversed the ban Wednesday and was effective immediately.  

Similar bans exist in 11 other states, and seven states have limits on happy hours. The aim of these laws, put in place decades ago, is to curb drunken driving and binge drinking. But advocates for ending the ban said it was outdated and cost the state tourism dollars.

Hulu may offer ad-free TV, for a price

Jul 17, 2015
Adrienne Hill

Anyone who subscribes to Hulu knows it never met an ad it didn't love. Its shows are crawling with them.  

"Too much ad clutter makes some people say, 'I don’t want to be exposed to all these ads,' and they go to a competitor," says Thales Teixeira, associate professor of marketing at Harvard Business School.

That's  a challenge for services like Hulu, because the ad-free-TV competition is growing: Netflix, Amazon and HBO, even YouTube, is working on a paid, ad-free model.

Kai Ryssdal

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Leigh Gallagher of Fortune and the Wall Street Journal's John Carney. The big topics this week: Greece and the EU kicked the can, the potential looming meltdown in China, Google's earnings and the Fed.

If you look hard, housing data offers good news

Jul 17, 2015
Scott Tong

Housing starts rose 9.8 percent in June, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday. Yet behind that big monthly number is some economic noise. Almost all the building increase came in apartments and condos, which creates fewer jobs than the single-family house market and can be a volatile statistic month to month.

How millennials live, in four charts

Jul 17, 2015
Linda Lin and Tony Wagner

Nearly a third of millennials still live with their parents, and about four in 10 older millennials live with children, according to Census Bureau data released this week. Millennials — the oft-marketed-to generation of 18- to 34-year-olds — make up a third of the labor force, and they're a generation in transition. How do millennials live? And with whom? Let’s do the numbers:

"Son, when will you move out?"

Our Robot Servants

Jul 17, 2015

Industrial robots are big machines capable of merciless speed and power. In a recent report in Time, a robot "grabbed and pushed" a man against a metal plate at a Volkswagen production plant, crushing him.

Can Limited Resources Lead To Better Innovation?

Jul 17, 2015

Part 5 of TED Radio Hour episode Finite.

About Navi Radjou's TED Talk

Navi Radjou has spent years studying "jugaad," also known as frugal innovation. While researching emerging markets, he realized that creativity might be the most precious renewable resource.

About Navi Radjou

Marketplace Weekend Staff

Next week on the Marketplace Weekend, we'll be looking at the places where we seek shelter in our cities, lives and in our wallets.

We want to hear from you! Where do you seek financial shelter? Tell us your story.  

The German parliament has approved the latest bailout for Greece, voting overwhelmingly for the 86 billion euro ($93.65 billion) package aimed at keeping Athens in the eurozone.

Ahead of the vote in the Bundestag, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned lawmakers of "predictable chaos" if they failed to OK the deal. The final vote was 439 in favor, 119 opposed and 40 abstentions.

Since news of the Iran nuclear deal broke, lots of business clients have been calling up Washington lawyer William McGlone, a specialist in trade law and economic sanctions. He says he's been forced to give them a bit of a cold shower.

"There's this expectation, or assumption, in the business community that the sanctions are being lifted," he says, "when, in fact, the U.S. legal framework is scheduled to remain in place."

The problem with Puerto Rico's debt

Jul 17, 2015
Andy Uhler

On Wednesday, one of Puerto Rico’s government agencies failed to transfer a debt payment of $93.7 million to a trustee. Failure to make an additional payment on August 1 could constitute a default. If this same scenario were happening in a state, that agency would probably restructure what it owes — just look at the city of Detroit in 2013. But Puerto Rican agencies can’t do that.

Nova Safo

Airing on Friday, July 17, 2015: The Senate passed an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind act Thursday. Annual testing will still be required in most grades, but the federal government will have less of a role in how those tests are used to hold schools accountable. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joins us to talk about it. Plus, General Electric has asked the U.S. government for permission to do business in Iran. We look at the company's strategy for operating there ahead of GE's earnings report out Friday. Puerto Rico missed a second bond payment as its finances worsened.

Just sponsor it

Jul 17, 2015
Kitty Wells

We got details this week on the biggest apparel deal in college sports history: Nike will pay the University of Michigan $169 million to be the school's official athletic brand.

And if that sounds like a lot of money just to put the iconic swoosh on Wolverine jerseys, then you have to understand the battle that brands are waging right now to own college campuses.

For fans, this stuff matters. 

Marketplace Tech for Friday, July 17, 2015

Jul 17, 2015
James Perla

Airing on Friday, July 17, 2015: First up, we'll talk to Pai-Ling Yin, from the Stanford Center for Economic Policy Research, about Google earnings. Next, singer-songwriter Neko Case talks about her favorite piece of gear, a Fender Jazzmaster guitar, as part of Marketplace Tech’s “Noise Makers” series. And how well have you kept up with the week in tech news? It's time for Silicon Tally! This week, host Ben Johnson takes on Alex Fitzpatrick, Deputy Tech Editor at Time.


Neko Case talks about her favorite guitar

Jul 17, 2015
James Perla

As part of a series about music technology called "Noise Makers," we're talking to musicians about their favorite noise-making device.

When asked about the most important gear she brings on tour, Neko Case immediately points to the 1960 Fender Jazzmaster. Previously, the guitar belonged to Case's favorite guitar player of all time, Pete Staples.

Welcome to the (very expensive) dollhouse

Jul 17, 2015
Marketplace staff

1 million

That's how many flight miles two hackers were given apiece for finding a hole in an United Airlines' website. As the BBC reports, the reward came as part of a bug bounty program offered by many companies to locate flaws in security before hackers with malicious intent can find them. 

$169 million

Until this spring, California port truck driver Alex Paz was considered an independent contractor. He had paid for fuel and registration of a truck, but the truck itself was owned by the trucking company. Some months, after the company deducted his costs, he ended up owing the company money.

"I didn't feel like I was working for myself," he says.

Under pressure from Paz and the Teamsters Union, the company reclassified him as an employee.

"It's a lot better because now you get paid. You know you're an employee," Paz says.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Chaebol versus the shareholders

Jul 16, 2015
Sally Herships

South Korea is home to a very big corporate empire – Samsung. And Samsung is in the middle of a very big takeover fight right now.

It's in one corner and in the other, across the Pacific Ocean, is Elliott Associates, an American hedge fund with a large stake in the subsidiary at question. With any other company, you could boil this down to a battle between a founding family and its shareholders. But Samsung is a unique kind of company. And that means this isn't your typical takeover fight.

Oil slump takes Canada into recession

Jul 16, 2015
Adam Allington

Canada's central bank has cut its key interest rate and slashed its economic outlook in the second quarter due to the impact of lower oil prices and weaker demand for exports.

The Bank of Canada cut its target for the overnight rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.5 percent. In response, the Canadian dollar dropped to a post-recession low of about 77 U.S. cents.

This news is troubling enough, but it also marks the second straight quarter where Canada’s gross domestic product actually contracted — the textbook definition of a recession.

Marketplace for Thursday, July 16, 2015

Jul 16, 2015

Airing on Thursday, July 16, 2015: Canada weathered the financial crisis better than most countries, but it also went all in on oil production. So now that oil prices have fallen by half, the economy is also falling, and Canada is in recession. Plus: There's a serious challenge to the all-powerful family that controls Samsung. An American hedge fund is fighting for a merger it calls a bad deal for shareholders. Samsung is pulling out all the stops to win the vote, which happens Thursday night. 

Gigi Douban

Many schools are still testing students for drug use, despite the end of federal funding and mixed evidence on whether it's worth the expense. Some are expanding their testing.

Hayes Johnson has six children. At home in Vestavia Hills, near Birmingham, Alabama, on a recent morning, she and two of her kids, 6-year-old Joseph and 16-year-old Celeste, were busy cleaning up the breakfast remains — syrup and marshmallow fluff and bacon. 

Could those OPM hacks lead to security updates?

Jul 16, 2015
Molly Wood and Bridget Bodnar

The recent cyber-attacks on the Office of Personnel Management left the personal information of 22 million people vulnerable to hackers. Kara Scannell of the Financial Times says,

Password sharing's open secret

Jul 16, 2015
Mark Garrison

Viewers who use streaming video services on someone else’s account may be costing media companies as much as half a billion dollars in worldwide revenue, according to a new study from Parks Associates. That raises the question of why companies like Netflix and HBO aren’t cracking down on password sharing, even though it is technically possible.

One theory goes that a customer sharing an account now is more likely to become a paid customer down the road.