Marketplace

Weekdays 6-6:30 p.m.

Marketplace is produced and distributed by American Public Media (APM), in association with the University of Southern California. The programs 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.

Official Website: http://www.marketplace.org/

(Markets Edition) The 10-year Treasury yield remains above 3 percent, which some are blaming for our market decline. We'll talk with Susan Schmidt, senior portfolio manager at Westwood Holdings Group, about why this narrative might be wrong. Afterwards, we'll look at the connection between high gas prices and SUV/pick-up truck sales, and then we'll visit Midland, Texas, to find out why the region — one of the richest in the nation — has schools that consistently rank among the poorest in Texas. 

U.S. automakers could be headed down a rocky road

4 hours ago

For years, low gas prices fueled sales of SUVs and pickup trucks, and low interest rates made it easier for car buyers to trade up every time some shiny new technology came along. But with gas prices and interest rates rising, and tariffs on imported aluminum and steel driving up costs, automakers are facing an uncertain future.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) As the U.S. increasingly looks to Europe as a model for how to regulate internet companies, we'll look at how Europe is cracking down on one popular communication tool. There's word Whatsapp, which allows you to text and make voice and video calls using encrypted Wi-Fi, will cut off kids under 16. Afterwards, we'll talk to Zanny Minton Beddoes — editor in chief of The Economist — about how she thinks liberalism should adapt to the needs of the 21st century.

 

 

Found Furnishings is a second-hand furniture store in what locals call “old Midland.”

Kristen Covington, the owner, grew up in the area and went to public schools in the Midland Independent School District. She and her husband have kids age 2 and 5, and education weighs on her mind a lot. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The fifth time might just be a charm for Japanese drug maker Takeda in its bid to buy Shire. What’s the Irish company’s big allure, and how much is Takeda willing to pay? Then, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note is at 3 percent for the first time in four years. How does it impact you, and why does that level matter? Afterwards, today marks three years since Nepal was hit with a series of deadly earthquakes. We’ll take you to Kathmandu where one architect thinks he has the answer for making more indestructible buildings. 

When Nepal's twin earthquakes hit three years ago, entire Himalayan villages disappeared beneath tons of earth and rock. Hindu temples dating back to the 10th century shattered into shards of carved wood and stone. Urban glass and steel buildings toppled.

But seven miles from the first epicenter, a three-room public school — built to demonstrate local earthquake-proof techniques — was still standing amid the national ruin of 9,000 fatalities and 800,000 homes destroyed.

The Economist magazine celebrates its 175th anniversary this year. The publication, according to current editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, was founded to espouse "classical liberalism," or the belief that open societies, freer trade and the preservation of individual freedom are important to modern progress. 

But the rising popularity of protectionist policies in the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries has led Minton Beddoes to reevaluate liberalism's role in the world. 

Political campaigns want your data. At least that’s what the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal taught us. But data isn’t just a factor in presidential politics. Local campaigns collect lots of data as well, and that data needs to be secured. Marketpalce Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams about what kinds of information smaller campaigns have. 

When you’ve got a little extra money to work with — or a lot — what do you do with it? Maybe you stuff it under the mattress. Maybe you try to invest it and put it to work. Or maybe you spend it on yourself and some important people in your life. That last option is what many American companies seem to be doing with their cash hoards these days:returning it to investors via stock buybacks and dividends. What else could that money be doing?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

EU is unhappy with U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs

19 hours ago

When the United States imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports last month, the European Union and a handful of other key allies got a temporarily exemption that expires next week. China was not granted an exemption and took its case to the World Trade Organization. This week, the EU has decided to join that complaint, as have Russia, India and others.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Advertisers are not leaving Facebook any time soon

20 hours ago

Ads and consumer data are Facebook's financial lifeblood. Yet, after all of the recent controversies  and #deletefacebook campaigns, are advertisers concerned that users will abandon the platform for greener — and more reputable — pastures?

60: "The great lie at the heart of the criminal justice system"

21 hours ago

When Robin Steinberg and David Feige were public defenders in New York, they saw thousands of clients — often poor people of color — stuck in jail because they couldn't make bail for minor offenses. They started the Bronx Freedom Fund to pay that bail and help people stay in their jobs and with their families while awaiting their day in court. Now they're going national with The Bail Project. We talked with the husband-and-wife team about the economics of criminal justice reform. First though, this week's news fixations: the bond market and (yes, more!) privacy on Facebook.

People who live in crowded urban areas often complain about car traffic and wring their hands over how much it costs in lost productivity. But congestion itself is also a sign of thriving economic activity. Perhaps no city complains as bitterly about traffic as the so-called car capital, Los Angeles. However, there was a time not so long ago when residents used to boast you could get anywhere in the city in 20 minutes.

“I heard it and I trusted it at least in the first decade of driving that I did,” said Michael Alexander, who grew up in LA.

Midland, Texas, is booming as oil prices rise

23 hours ago

A hundred-foot oil rig pushes up amid acres of irrigated cotton fields and long dirt roads on this oil patch between Midland and Odessa, the two main towns in the Permian Basin in West Texas. Both have about 150,000 people. Tommy Taylor, director of oil and gas development at Fasken Oil and Ranch, seems to know most of them. 

Taylor has worked at Fasken for 33 years. He jokes that the oil business isn’t just on his resume, it’s in his blood. 

04/24/2018: Who's up, who's down

23 hours ago

Quick: Are rising interest rates good or bad? What about oil prices? Home prices? It's kind of a trick question. Those are all signs of an economy that's growing quite nicely — when wages are going up. That's where we're starting today. Then: If you're talking about wages, it's worth mentioning that some of the biggest companies in this country are sitting on mountains of cash: $102 billion at Google's parent company, more than double that at Apple. So what are companies doing with all that money? We'll explain.

04/24/2018: How'd interest rates get this high?

Apr 24, 2018

(Markets Edition) A key benchmark for interest rates in America — the government's 10-year Treasury note — just crossed above 3 percent since the first time since 2013. We'll talk with economist Julia Coronado about some of the causes for this increase. Afterwards, we'll look at the disparities between the rich and poor in oil-rich Midland, Texas — an area where the median household income  is $70,000. Plus: A look at the quarterly earnings report of Google's parent company, Alphabet.

Why democratic leaders can't deliver long-term economic growth

Apr 24, 2018

Recent economic numbers are good -- more jobs are added, minimum wages are growing, and unemployment rate stays low. But these numbers don't mean the economy is growing in the long run.

Torrance Neal cleans rooms at the Doubletree hotel in downtown Midland, Texas, but he considers it a side gig.

“This is my part-time job," Neal explained while on a break in the hotel lobby. "My night job is more my full-time job because I’m the operations manager for a cleaning company." 

Steel may be on the menu at the state dinner

Apr 24, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a permanent exemption from tariffs for the European Union.  Today will be the second day of Macron’s three-day state visit, and the biggest event will be the first state dinner since President Donald Trump took office 15 months ago. But it won’t be all glitz and glam. Macron is here to make a deal that will keep Trump from starting a potential trade war with Europe.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

04/24/2018: Globalism is facing a global backlash

Apr 24, 2018

(U.S. Edition) As French President Emmanuel Macron prepares to meet with President Trump at the White House today, we'll discuss what's on the agenda. A major item you can expect: steel and aluminium tariffs. Afterwards, we'll look at how smaller banks are restructuring to get away from tougher Federal Reserve regulation, and then we'll talk with political scientist Ian Bremmer — founder of the political risk consultancy The Eurasia Group — about why he thinks globalism has failed. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Iran’s president today warned of “severe consequences” if President Trump pulls America out of the nuclear deal Iran signed with global leaders in 2015. Can French President Emmanuel Macron talk the American leader into staying in the pact during his state visit? Then, a report from McKinsey says Asian countries could add $4.5 trillion to their collective annual GDP by getting more women in the workplace.

Is globalism a failed policy?

Apr 24, 2018

In the last few years, protectionist-driven political campaigns and policies have gained popularity in countries like the United States, Britain and France. Globalism, on the other hand, has more detractors than supporters these days. Does this mean that globalism has failed the world's citizens, and if so, how? 

04/24/2018: Can states regulate the internet?

Apr 24, 2018

The days are numbered for federal net neutrality regulations. In response, some states are working on their own versions to prevent internet service providers (ISP) from blocking, slowing or charging more for some web traffic. Oregon, Washington and several other states have made new rules, but a bill working its way through the California legislature would go the furthest. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Ryan Singel, a media and strategy fellow at Stanford Law School, about how a state can regulate a business that crosses state lines.

 

Forget comic book movies — in Hollywood, horror pays

Apr 23, 2018

In Hollywood, horror pays. And the reason might have more to do with how cheap these films are to make relative to their production costs. Movies like John Krasinki's "The Quiet Place" continue to sell tickets weeks after the premiere weekend. So far, "A Quiet Place" has made more than $130 million at the box office, and that's on a $17 million production budget.

Despite documented risks to people and wildlife, a controversial pesticide has escaped regulation under the Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump administration and now may receive additional protections from Congress.

The history of the song "Louie Louie"

Apr 23, 2018

Back in the 1960s, the FBI starts hearing about a song with filthy lyrics. Lyrics so dirty that they launched an 18-month investigation to prove how obscene that song really is.

Three nights and days I sailed the sea

Me think of girl constantly 

On the ship, I dream she there

I smell the rose in her hair 

Louie Louie, oh no, me gotta go, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, baby 

04/23/2018: The cost of money

Apr 23, 2018

We begin today with a number, a relatively simple number that brings with it meaning for everybody in this economy who has debt: 3 percent. That's the interest rate that the government's 10-year Treasury note is getting really close to, for the first time since January 2014. In isolation, it's not a huge deal, but in the context of the low-rate environment, it's really something. We'll start today by explaining all the hype.

(Markets Edition) The fiduciary rule — which says investment advisers and stockbrokers have to act in the best interest of their clients — is going away. We'll look at the standards that were previously in place, and what the Securities and Exchange Commission is pushing for now. Afterwards, we'll talk about one personal finance expert's decision to sue Facebook after he saw his image used in ads for get-rich-quick schemes. 

Net neutrality rollback begins

Apr 23, 2018

Businesses, states, Democratic senators are mounting challenges to the FCC repeal of internet protections.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Forecast is sunny for business

Apr 23, 2018

The National Association for Business Economics quarterly survey of corporate economists finds U.S. businesses are very upbeat about growth for the rest of this year. But those strong hiring plans and expectations of rising sales and profits are set against the realities of a rapidly tightening labor market. It’s just increasingly difficult for businesses to attract and retain the workers they need.

Meanwhile, recent tax legislation backed by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans appears to be having little impact on corporate decision-making.

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