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.

Balloons are no longer just for birthday parties. Companies are creating air-filled works of art that can cost thousands of dollars.

Rihanna and LVMH announce new luxury fashion house

May 10, 2019

Superstar singer Rihanna is already known as a fashion icon and, certainly since the launch of her make-up line Fenty Beauty, as a business phenom.

Farmers hoped for a trade deal. Instead, tariffs went up

May 10, 2019

The U.S. and China could have struck a deal this week, putting an end to the longstanding trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Instead, President Trump raised tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The rate was raised from 10% to 25%, sending shock though the stock market.

U.S. agriculture has been hit particularly hard by trade tensions. American farmers have been paying retaliatory tariffs to China for soybeans and other crops since last year.

Uber had its much-anticipated initial public offering Friday — despite losing $1.8 billion over the last 12 months, which makes it the all-time biggest money-losing IPO. The results were less than spectacular: Uber priced its shares toward the low end of estimates at $45 a share. They opened at $42 and closed at $41.55.

Meanwhile, shares in Uber's rival Lyft have lost nearly a third of their value since that IPO back in March.

Life on America's rivers

May 10, 2019

The people piloting America’s river boats are part of what keeps this economy working. By hauling petroleum, agricultural products and other goods along our inland waterways, the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry contributes about $33 billion to our annual GDP, according to a study conducted by PwC.

President Donald Trump said Friday that trade talks between China and the U.S. were continuing in a “very congenial manner” despite new tariffs the U.S. imposed Friday on $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing’s vow to retaliate.

In a series of blustering morning tweets, Trump also said the new tariffs will help rather than hurt the U.S. and bring “FAR MORE wealth.” He offered a proposal he said would ease any negative impact on U.S. farmers from lost sales to China.

How does an IPO get its value?

May 10, 2019

The ride-hailing company Uber goes public Friday in one of the biggest initial public offerings in history. Uber, however, is not seeking every penny it can potentially get from investors in its IPO. The company has priced its initial shares at $45 per share, at the low end of the price range the company and the banks it enlisted for help with its IPO had originally suggested.

The hidden junk economy on the Miami River

May 10, 2019

If you travel down to the Miami River in Florida, you might come across a micro-economy that centers around “break-bulk" shipping, a labor-intensive system where cargo is moved piece by piece, by people, instead of in giant metal crates and automated equipment.

It's also a system that runs on orderly chaos — there are no set quotas; people who use the break-bulk system are usually sending thrift store junk; and prices for shipping said junk can be haggled over as they would at a flea market.

Shoes the wrong size? Nike has an app for that

May 10, 2019

Nike says three out of every five people are wearing shoes that are the wrong size. So the sneaker company is launching an app to measure customers' feet before they order. It’ll be available on phones and in stores in July. It could help the athletic apparel maker minimize the perennial and expensive problem of returned merchandise.

Russia plays oil diplomacy card in Middle East

May 10, 2019

As the United States has pulled back from the Middle East — politically and economically — a new powerbroker is trying to move in: Russia. Moscow has leveraged its oil market power to partner with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the oil cartel's most powerful member, Saudi Arabia.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The wage gap between working mothers and working fathers is at least $18,000 a year, according to a new analysis by the National Women’s Law Center. It’s even larger for women of color: black mothers lose $30,000 a year; Latina mothers, $35,000.

Maya Raghu, director of workplace equality at the National Women’s Law Center, said discrimination and stereotypes about mothers’ commitment to work are to blame.

AI is just doing it

May 10, 2019

President Trump appears to be very comfortable with long-term tariffs. AI might help you order the right-sized Nikes online. Plus, with the U.S.'s gradual economic and political egress from the Middle East, Russia is finding an opportunity to fill the vacuum in the petroleum supply chain.

Today's show is sponsored by Indeed, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

Moscow fuel

May 10, 2019

Talks are continuing following the U.S. announcement that it's officially raising tariffs on Chinese goods, and more threats from President Trump keep coming, but China is already saying it will hit back. Plus, with the U,S.'s gradual economic and political egress from the Middle East, Russia is finding an opportunity to fill the vacuum in the petroleum supply chain.

Today's show is sponsored by Indeed, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

This week, Google showed off lots of new privacy-oriented tools and products and user agreements at its big developer conference, Google I/O. Apple is marketing privacy. Facebook is promising privacy, eventually. Federal officials are still trying to figure out privacy laws and regulations. But Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer says company promises and even regulations won't change anything because the ad-supported business model is what's broken.

China shoulders doubling of U.S. imposed tariffs

May 10, 2019

From the BBC World Service... The U.S. has triggered the doubling of tariffs on imported Chinese goods, as the trade war escalates between the two countries. The oldest toy retailer in the world Hamleys has been bought by India's richest man. We hear how the offshore splash-out fits in to his wider strategy and business aims. Plus, Netflix launches across Africa.

Today's show is sponsored by Indeed, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

This week, Google showed off lots of new privacy-oriented tools and products and user agreements at its big developer conference, Google I/O. Apple is marketing privacy, Facebook is promising privacy, eventually. Federal regulators are still trying to figure out privacy laws and regulations. But Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer says company promises and even regulations won't change anything because the ad-supported business model is what's broken. He argued in The New York Times this week that the United States should tax revenue from targeted advertising.

The 10-year treasury auction this week was a bit lackluster. Demand for the note, a safe haven for investors, was at its lowest in 10 years.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The rapid rise of rock climbing

May 9, 2019

Rock climbing, popularized on social media and the subject of many documentaries, is set to debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games — a sign that the sport has arrived, athletically and economically.

Andrew Bisharat, who’s covered climbing for National Geographic, told Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal that it’s come a long way in a short time.

“Competing on plastic holds, in an Olympic setting, has been quite a transition that’s really rapidly taken place in the last few years,” he said.

Trade deficit widens in March

May 9, 2019

The U.S. deficit with global trading partners expanded in March, increasing 1.5 % to about $50 billion. At the same time, the U.S. deficit with China, whose trade representatives are in the U.S. to try to work out a deal, narrowed further as U.S. farmers exported more soybeans.

The overall deficit getting bigger isn't necessarily a bad thing, said Dan Ikenson, director of the Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute.

"It just so happens that when the economy grows, we tend to see the trade deficit increase," he said.

Craft spirits and craft brewers compete for thirsty consumers

May 9, 2019

It’s the job of Mike Moser, executive director of the Wyoming State Liquor Association, to know what people are drinking these days.

“In my father’s era, or my grandfather’s era, they started with a Schlitz in their hand and a bottle of Ten High whiskey. And they died with it in their hand,” Moser said. “That’s all they drank.”

Moser said younger generations might have favorite brands, but they also want to try out new things.

“Where the real drop is in premium beer categories — Budweiser, Coors, et cetera — they’ve been down, every year, for a while,” he explained.

Kids get sick, like the medical system

May 9, 2019

A sick child is never fun. But it happens.

When Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin's two children woke up sick, she took them to the doctor. She has health insurance, and expected it to be a fairly quick visit. But, that quick visit turned into a stressful day as she hunted down the antibiotics her kids needed.

Google’s 2019 I/O conference is underway in Mountain View, California, with 7000 software developers registered to attend. The company is laying out its plans for software updates for the next 12 months, and revealed a new, lower priced, Android phone, and an in-home voice assistant with a larger screen and camera.

As well as attracting new users, the new hardware and software could allow the internet giant to collect even more user data, but Google says it’ll provide new ways to delete it.

Could the trade war trigger a recession?

May 9, 2019

Could failed trade talks with China trigger a recession in the U.S.? Britain goes one week without coal-powered electricity since 1882. Plus, as U.S. unemployment claims keep falling, states are scaling back on benefits and making it harder to get them.

Today's show is sponsored by BitSight Technologies and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

The master craftsmen tasked with repairing Notre Dame

May 9, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that Notre Dame Cathedral, ravaged by fire, will be rebuilt in five years. To do so, France will rely on master craftsmen called "companions," whose extraordinary apprenticeships in carpentry or roof-tiling, for example, stretch back to the building of the European cathedrals in the Middle Ages. How do they keep the old skills alive?

The China-Uber connection

May 9, 2019

Tenuous trade talks with China have some big implications for Uber, and his has little to do with cars. President Trump's budget gets graded. Amazon's smart speaker for children is under scrutiny. Plus, we look at the centuries-old guild of "compagnon" craftsmen tasked with rebuildingParis' Notre Dame cathedral following a devastating fire.

Today's show is sponsored by BitSight Technologies and Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage.

Uber's IPO arrives at a challenging time

May 9, 2019

On Friday, the newest stock to trade on Wall Street will have the ticker symbol "UBER." Yes, the ride-hailing company is going public. But because of uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade war, it may not raise as much from investors as it hopes. Some tariffs have a direct impact on Uber's businesses.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Take a pay cut to beat the robots

May 9, 2019

From the BBC World Service... As fresh U.S. tariffs loom on Chinese goods, can an 11th-hour trade deal be struck? Then, as Uber prepares to float on the New York Stock Exchange, we look more closely at the urban-rural, ride-hailing divide. Plus, economists have warned for years that robots are coming for our jobs. In order to avoid the scrap heap, a new report says many workers will have to be retrained or face taking a pay cut.

Uber is going public tomorrow, listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Some employees of the company stand to make millions, even billions of dollars.

And Uber is giving drivers with more than 2,500 rides on the platform cash bonuses that they can use to buy stock at the initial public offering price. The amounts range from $100 to up to $40,000, depending on how many rides a driver has.

But how much of a benefit is that to drivers who are already unhappy with their pay?

Uber is going public tomorrow, listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Some employees of the company stand to make millions, even billions of dollars. And Uber is giving drivers with more than 2,500 rides on the platform cash bonuses that they can use to buy stock at the initial public offering price. The amounts range from $100 to up to $40,000, depending on how many rides a driver has. But how much of a benefit is that to drivers who are already unhappy with their pay?

What our kitchens say about us

May 8, 2019

Walk into the showroom of Thurston Kitchen and Bath in Denver, Colorado, and the first thing you’ll see is a sprawling kitchen island and bar with gleaming white countertops. To the untrained eye, they look like marble. But this is quartzite, operations manager Cindy Hellgren will politely inform you. It’s a natural stone, usually ranging from white to gray with veins of color.

“Quartzite is becoming very popular,” she said in a recent interview. “I hate to use the word trendy.”

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