Marketplace

M-F 6:30 p.m.
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

In-depth focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.

President Donald Trump heads to upstate New York on Monday to sign one of the largest military budgets in the nation’s history. The $716 billion John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act  pours money into pay, training and equipment maintenance, among other things. But some point out it adds to the fast-rising federal deficit and ask whether this level of military spending can be sustained. 

(Markets Edition) The fall of the Turkish lira continues. The currency dropped another 7 percent today, bringing its total fall of value to about 40 percent for the month. This led the Turkish president to denounce those he called economic “traitors,” and we have an economist to talk to us about what happens next. Also, President Trump is expected to sign a $716 billion defense authorization bill, which will add thousands of personnel and even more debt to the federal budget.

Last month , LA took on predatory and high-pressure sales goals at major banks by tightening its responsible banking ordinance. Now, if a bank wants the city's $17 million taxpayer-funded contracts, it must be transparent about sales goal tactics and employee compensation, and it can’t retaliate against whistleblowers who report suspected illegal bank activity.

(U.S. Edition) Turkey’s economic crisis is even worse, with the lira having lost 39 percent of its value since the start of the month. An economics correspondent from the BBC  lets us know about other solutions that are being explored. Also, with heat waves putting pressure on power grids, we remember one of history’s biggest blackouts: In 2003,  a tussle between a power line and tree in Ohio eventually left about 50 million people in the Northeast powerless. Marketplace's Jed Kim takes a look at the reliability of the grid today.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Turkey’s central bank announced measures early this morning aimed at alleviating pressure on its embattled currency, the lira, which has fallen more than 40 percent so far this year. But are the country’s efforts enough to reassure international investors? Then, many of the world’s mining companies call South Africa home – in Peru, environmental regulations for medium and large-size companies have been relaxed in order to attract more investment, but not everyone is happy about this.

In the past few months there has been a lot of debate over guns that can be made with a 3D printer, which would make it easier for people to get a gun. But there's also a push happening in the tech startup world that is focused on making guns safer. "Smart gun" technology has been around since the 1970s. While the tech has evolved over time, the idea behind it has stayed the same: that only the rightful, registered user of the gun can operate it.

The idea behind "smart guns" is that only the registered owners of firearms are able to unlock and use them. The idea goes back to the 1970s, to a design that used a magnetic ring system that owners could match to their guns. The idea has evolved to use digital innovations. But even though the concept has been around a long time, smart guns still aren't on the market.

In the red vs. blue political struggle, which areas are seeing more job growth?

6 hours ago

Many red-county voters who backed Donald Trump in the presidential race did so with the expectation that his leadership would lead to more jobs in their areas. However, a new analysis from the Associated Press has found that most (58.5 percent) of the job gains we've seen this year have been happening in counties that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Josh Boak, an economics writer for the Associated Press, helped put the report together.

Our power grid, then and now

6 hours ago

It all started with a tree and a power line in Ohio. Within hours, electricity was out for some 50 million people across eight states in the Northeast and parts of Canada. It's been 15-years since the 2003 blackout, one of the largest in history, which shut down trains, traffic lights, ATMs, refrigerators and everything else with a plug. So, how's our power grid doing today? Well, things have changed.

For one, there's efficiency. 

Clara Malave, 50, works in the hot and loud laundry room at one of the bayfront hotels in Erie, Pennsylvania, loading linens into massive industrial washers and dryers. At $8.80 an hour, it's grueling work. But it is work, and she’s grateful for it. Like most of the other workers here, she’s a part-timer whose hours change constantly. She only knows a week out what her schedule will be. She keeps a carefully balanced checkbook and a list of her impending expenses.

As Turkey’s currency tumbles, contagion fears rise

Aug 10, 2018

Turkey’s currency, the lira, is in free fall. It’s been declining for months and today it reached a record low, down by as much as 18 percent. Part of the reason is Turkey’s bad relations with the United States. The two countries have been at odds lately over the detention of an American pastor. And today, President Donald Trump announced that he’d double tariffs on Turkish metals. The turmoil has rattled European markets, which fear they may get hurt, too. How justified are those fears? And what’s the global risk?

A hedge fund gets hungry for Campbell Soup

Aug 10, 2018

There is a certain circle of life quality to corporate finance in this economy. Almost every day on Wall Street, big investment companies like hedge funds and private equity firms go looking for companies to invest in or to acquire.

This happens all the time with lesser-known companies, but just this week, it happened with the Campbell Soup Co. Its soups are an iconic American brand, and the company’s been around for 149 years, but looking at its flagging soup sales alone, you can tell it’s a bit of a dinosaur.

Multiple wildfires have already burned hundreds of thousands of acres in California this summer. The Mendocino Complex fire in Northern California is the largest in the state’s history, and the Ferguson fire forced the National Park Service to close parts of Yosemite during the busiest part of the tourist season.

We wanted to know how tourist-dependent businesses up there are doing, so we called up Lori Howard at the Yosemite Sierra View Bed and Breakfast in Oakhurst. It’s about 14 miles away from the gate of Yosemite National Park on Highway 41.

The economics of disability (encore)

Aug 10, 2018

Roughly one in five Americans has a disability. Those numbers increase with age and vary across race and gender, but every single one of those people is carving out an economic life. In this hourlong special, we focused on three pillars of the economy: education, work and health care. 

Are Turkey's problems contagious?

Aug 10, 2018

It's rare that foreign exchange markets top the news, but when they do, it's never good. Turkey's currency, the lira, fell to record lows against the dollar as President Donald Trump hit the country with additional tariffs on steel and aluminum. We'll break down what happened and try to figure out if other countries should be worried. Then, we'll talk to a business near the wildfires that closed down Yosemite National Park during peak season. Plus: The sun sets on the celebrity chef restaurant.

The business behind celebrity auctions

Aug 10, 2018

As a public school teacher in New York City, Richard Andino isn't making boatloads of money. But that doesn’t stop him from attending celebrity auctions.

At a Park Avenue sale last month, he dropped five grand on a gold watch once owned by the mid-century jazz legend Art Tatum, known as one of the greatest piano players of all time.    

“It’s something that belonged to my idol,” Andino said. “So it’s worth it.”

Andino, who’s 53 and plays piano himself, has been obsessed with Tatum since he was a teenager. That’s why he’s willing to pay up.

Toxic workplaces can lead to a balancing act for HR

Aug 10, 2018

(Markets Edition) President Trump has now chimed in on Turkey’s economic crisis, tweeting out that he’s cranking up the tariffs on Turkey, calling relations with the country “not good.” And while the Turkish economy is only the 17th largest in the world, it still carries potent global impact.

Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further

Aug 10, 2018

A financial shockwave ripped through Turkey on Friday as its currency nosedived on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the U.S., which President Donald Trump stoked further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally.

The lira tumbled 13 percent in one day, to 6.51 per dollar, a massive move for a currency that will make the Turkish poorer and further shake international investors’ confidence in the country.

New inflation numbers were released Friday morning, and it’s a curious thing: the economy is going strong and consumers are spending, which tends to push prices up. And yet, we haven’t seen all that show up in the inflation numbers yet.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The role of human resources in workplace harassment

Aug 10, 2018

When there are cases of harassment and bullying in the workplace, it's likely the company's human resources department (or a close equivalent) will eventually get involved. But according to some workplace culture experts, turning to human resources can prove to be potentially dangerous for the employees involved in workplace bullying incidents. There may be retaliation against the employee who brought the complaint about a bullying boss or manager to HR in the first place.

Court orders EPA to ban pesticide

Aug 10, 2018

It's called chlorpyrifos. It's a widespread and controversial insecticide — and now it's been banned. On Thursday, a federal court ordered the EPA to end the use of the chemical, which has been linked to developmental disabilities in children. DowDuPont Inc. is the largest producer of chlorpyrifos, which is used on crops like soybeans, apples and oranges. 

Click on the audio player above to hear more. 

Detailing the origins of the celebrity auction

Aug 10, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The plummeting value of the Turkish lira has now gotten the attention of the European Central Bank, which is keeping an eye on how the crisis could be affecting other foreign banks. Also, a federal court has banned an insecticide that has been linked to developmental disabilities in children — the latest development in the insecticide's contentious history. And, if you're in the market for any odd items that have been graced with the presence of a celebrity, Graceland in Memphis is holding an auction that includes things like a jacket from Elvis.

Turkey crisis concerns mount as lira plunge worsens

Aug 10, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … A fresh plunge in the Turkish lira today is capping a tumultuous week for the country as investors grow increasingly nervous about inaction from the government and central bankers. With a new economic plan set to be released, we’ll explore what options Turkey has to soothe investors’ frayed nerves.  Then, vacationers in Europe might find themselves waiting at the airport for new flights after Ryanair cancelled planned routes amid a pilot strike.

To finish out our series on venture capital, we'll take a look to the future. Cryptocurrency may have its disruptive eye cast toward venture capital. The initial coin offering is a type of crypto-crowdfunding that startups can use to raise cash quickly without kissing the Silicon Valley ring. But do ICOs really have the potential to replace venture capital for startups? We go back to the time Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Yuliya Chernova, who covers venture capital for the Wall Street Journal, about the pros and cons of ICOs. 

Has "the film business passed away" with its "most popular" Oscars category?

Aug 9, 2018

The ratings for the Oscars awards ceremony, as a television event, have been dropping steadily for years, with last years' program on ABC the least watched in history. So the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced some changes, including a new category: most popular film. This has a lot of people confused — what makes a movie "popular"?

How savvy investments help members of Congress

Aug 9, 2018

U.S. Rep. Chris Collins of New York was arrested and charged this week with allegedly passing on information he learned as a board member of a Australian pharmaceutical company to family members who quickly sold their stock to avoid big losses.

Collins, like about of half of his colleagues in Congress, owns stock in publicly traded companies.

Why mergers are as complicated as relationships

Aug 9, 2018

Today we learned that the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media Co. has been called off. Albertsons and Rite Aid also announced their merger will not happen.

That’s two big breakups on one day, but in the grand scheme of things, merger failures aren’t that rare. It happens about 20 percent of the time, according to David King, an associate professor at Florida State University, who has studied merger success and failure.

Day laborers are pressed by Trump immigration policies

Aug 9, 2018

In Woodburn, Oregon, a small city in the Willamette Valley, there’s a Fiesta Mexicana every summer where families gather at a local park for Latin music and dancing, Mexican food and carnival rides. A busy freight rail line runs through the center of town, past small shops catering to the Latino community. On the outskirts, fields of corn, vegetables and grass seed spread in every direction. 

"Undocumented" is a picture book that's not just for kids

Aug 9, 2018

There are millions of undocumented workers in the United States. That part of the workforce is economically significant but not often heard from. Author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh, a dual Mexican and American citizen who grew up on both sides of the border, is trying to tell the story of some of those people in a picture book.

Half of (corporate) marriages don't work out

Aug 9, 2018

There are no trade stories in today's podcast (you're welcome). Instead, we're talking about mergers and acquisitions. This summer has seen several high-profile deals go through and others fall apart. That's not unusual. In fact, one out of five announced mergers don't end up happening at all, and only half are successful. Why do they fall apart? Mostly because of people. Then, in light of the insider trading charges against Rep. Chris Collins, we'll look at congressional investing do's and don'ts.

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