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/

OPEC poised to shift oil agreements

7 hours ago

Representatives from oil producing nations are in Vienna for the biannual OPEC summit. The organization’s most recent agreement capped production. But demand is soaring, so some significant changes could come out of this round of meetings. That’s because of varying goals among oil producing countries.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) Reps from oil-producing countries are meeting for the bi-annual OPEC summit, and it has the potential to turn sour. We'll look at the varying goals these nations have and the geopolitical factors that could complicate this meeting. Afterwards, we'll discuss reports that the Trump administration is planning to combine the U.S.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … New retaliatory measures are aimed at the U.S., this time from India in response to steel and aluminium tariffs. Then, it’s a big day for Greece as its creditors are expected to unveil an economic road map for the country’s third bailout. Afterwards, roads, railways, and bridges were supposed to form the foundations of a prosperous economy in Zambia. But the country has borrowed too much too quickly and now it’s in trouble.

Is the e-scooter craze more bubble than business?

9 hours ago

Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in scooters — electric scooters, specifically. On a sunny day in San Francisco, they're clogging every sidewalk. Lime and Bird are the two best-known options. They also operate in Santa Monica, California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. You use an app to check out a scooter, GPS tracks your location and you just drop it anywhere when you're done with it. There's speculation that Uber or Lyft will buy one of the bigger companies since both have invested in electric bikes. Bird is being valued at $2 billion.

Is the e-scooter craze more bubble than business?

9 hours ago

Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in scooters — electric scooters, specifically. On a sunny day in San Francisco, they're clogging every sidewalk. Lime and Bird are the two best-known options. They also operate in Santa Monica, California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. You use an app to check out a scooter, GPS tracks your location and you just drop it anywhere when you're done with it. There's speculation that Uber or Lyft will buy one of the bigger companies since both have invested in electric bikes.

Earlier this year, corporate titans Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon announced they would team up to form a new health care company. Their mission: Improve health and save a few bucks for the 1 million people who work for Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. Today we learned that Atul Gawande will lead this still-to-be-named venture. Gawande is an accomplished surgeon, a Harvard professor, a staff writer at the New Yorker and a best-selling author.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

With NBA picks, data can only take you so far

20 hours ago

The NBA draft takes place tomorrow in Brooklyn, when teams make big bets on young players, hoping they might been the next LeBron James or Steph Curry, that once-in-a-generation player who can transform a team's fortunes. But these players are notoriously risky investments.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

How a red-hot housing market made Zillow a media company

22 hours ago

A few years before the financial crisis hit, Spencer Rascoff was among the entrepreneurs who started a new website devoted to real estate. They named it Zillow, and it was meant to hold all the data and information consumers needed to buy and sell their homes. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Rascoff, who is now CEO, about the years the company's spent collecting data as home values crashed, recovered and are now skyrocketing. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Ireland is famous for its hospitality, offering visitors an abundance of “craic,” or fun.

And that warmest of warm welcomes has been extended to embrace foreign corporations, too. If they set up in Ireland, they get to pay one of the lowest rates of corporate tax in the European Union: 12.5 percent compared with the recently reduced rate of 21 percent in the United States. There are numerous, generous tax breaks in the Emerald Isle as well.

Let's do the Zestimate

23 hours ago

If you've been listening the past few weeks, you know the federal government is working on a list of companies to exclude from new, costly tariffs on steel and aluminum. During testimony today about that list, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross promised one senator that he’d personally consider a company residing in the senator's district. Ross called the place right after the hearing, and we did, too. Then: Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon have tapped surgeon and writer Atul Gawande to run their new health care company.

Even the markets care about sound bites

Jun 20, 2018

(Markets Edition) From a markets perspective, we're in a lull right now. No data releases, no big announcements from the Fed. But they will be looking out for soundbites, especially around trade, according to Westwood Holdings Group's Susan Schmidt. We'll hear from her about how all this tariff talk could *eventually* cause concern to creep into the markets. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new technology that'll help preserve avocados, and then we'll chat with the Economist's Natasha Loder about why automation doesn't necessarily spell doom for radiologists.

Spencer Rascoff has been at Zillow, the company familiar to many a person searching for a home or apartment, pretty much from the beginning. Since 2005, he's weathered the housing crisis and another housing boom. And as CEO, he's leading the real estate/tech/data company into a new market: buying and selling its own homes. He talked with us about where the housing market's been and where it's going. 

Holy guacamole! That avocado could last four weeks.

Jun 20, 2018

Giving a whole new meaning to shelf life, avocados wearing a life-extending plant-based coating debut this week on U.S. grocery shelves. It’s one of the first products to potentially help cut down the billions of dollars in food waste each year in the United States.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

The facilities that are housing children separated from their parents

Jun 20, 2018

Who's getting paid to carry out the Trump administration's policy of separating children?

In March, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge people illegally crossing the border and separate children traveling with their parents. Marketplace's Andy Uhler looked at the money that flows into the facilities housing these children, starting with a firm called Southwest Key. Below is an edited transcript. 

David Brancaccio: Tell me more about this company. How did this nonprofit grow to be such a key player in this industry?

(U.S. Edition) We're looking into who's getting paid to carry out the Trump administration's policy of separating children at the U.S. border. One of the principal firms: Southwest Key. Afterwards, we'll discuss what to expect from today's Senate testimony with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who's likely to get an earful on tariffs, and then we'll talk about a new "life-extending" coating for avocados.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... Higher tariffs on goods for the U.S. and China might be theoretical at this point, but the escalating threats are already having a real effect on financial markets. So how are emerging-market currencies – already under pressure from local political turmoil – feeling the heat? Then, there's a vote by the International Monetary Fund today on a record-breaking aid package for Argentina. But what is the country doing to help give international investors more confidence in the economy?

You have more choices for wireless than you might think

Jun 20, 2018

This week, T-Mobile and Sprint officially asked the Federal Communications Commission for approval to merge. If the merger goes through, there will only be three big wireless providers to choose from. And with net neutrality out the window, people are worried that cell phone service will keep getting more expensive.

This week, T-Mobile and Sprint officially asked the Federal Communications Commission for approval to merge. If the merger goes through, there will only be three big wireless providers to choose from. And with net neutrality out the window, people are worried that cell phone service will keep getting more expensive. But there is another collection of wireless providers like FreedomPop, Mint, Boost Mobile, Tello and Metro PCS that offer an alternative, at least on price. These companies are what's called mobile virtual network operators.

Could mounting trade tensions harm U.S. services to China?

Jun 19, 2018

President Donald Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese products, up from the $50 billion already in the works. That's a big escalation. If he follows through, nearly half of all imported goods from China could be subject to a tariff. But there's another side of trade we haven't been talking about as much lately: The roughly $56 billion worth of services the United States sells annually to China. 

Click the audio player above for the full story.

69: Why does "zero tolerance" look like this?

Jun 19, 2018

By now, you've probably seen them. Heart-wrenching images of parents and children separated and the southwest border, sent to jail or youth detention centers. The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" for illegal border crossings is just one of several seismic changes to immigration enforcement in recent weeks. Immigrants seeking asylum from gangs or domestic violence will no longer be admitted, reducing legal immigration as well. So how'd we get here? And what does Congress need to do to fix a policy that's drawn bipartisan outrage?

This guy's invention got U.S. Patent No. 10 million

Jun 19, 2018

Today marks a milestone of in the American innovation economy. Back in 1836, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued patent No.1 under the current numbering system. It took 155 years to get up to patent No. 5 million and then just another 27 years to issue 5 million more. Patent number No.

A look at China's unlikely lingerie capital

Jun 19, 2018

On a dusty road in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu, a slim, middle-aged man stood in front of an open truck and played an announcement through a speaker.

“Apples for sale! 1.20 yuan per jin,” the message repeated on a loop.

That's less than 20 cents a pound, which is cheap even for China. Guanyun County, some 300 miles north of Shanghai, used to consistently rank among the poorest areas in this province.

How a small plant became a big business

Jun 19, 2018

When things get popular on Instagram, there’s probably a profit to be made. That’s just what happened with the popular succulent house plant. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal sat down with Alyssa Bereznak of the The Ringer, who wrote "How Succulents Took Over Instagram," to talk about how the plants are a booming business. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

It's summer and that means vacation time. Kids are out of school and all the photos on Instagram seem to feature blue water and white sand. 

So what's the right way to bring it up to your boss? Perhaps your boss isn't that cool about you taking time off. Can you finagle a few more days for travel time, or use your sick days for vacation? And what are the do's and don'ts of vacation time — can you fully ignore your emails? Should you post about it on Facebook?

The view from the border

Jun 19, 2018

The tariff threats flying back and forth between Washington and Beijing have had a certain symmetry. We tax $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, and they follow. We add $16 billion in other Chinese stuff, same. But last night, when the Trump administration said it's exploring tariffs on a whopping $200 billion in goods, Beijing said fine, they're gonna hit back in "quantitative and qualitative ways." We'll start today's show trying to unpack what that means. Then, speaking of China: When Americans and Europeans were buying less, dozens of factories closed in China. Millions lost jobs ...

U.S.-China trade tensions lead to volatile markets

Jun 19, 2018

(Markets Edition) The back and forth between the U.S. and China over trade continues. Trump says he might slap tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, which has prompted China to issue its own threats. We'll look at how trade tensions are affecting the markets and whether traders are starting to panic.

This morning, a Senate committee checks in to see how the cuts to the so-called 340b program, which allows hospitals to buy drugs at a discount, are impacting hospitals and patients. Critics say there’s little evidence that hospitals used the savings to help patients.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

I visited a detention center called Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas that used to be a Walmart. It’s run by a nonprofit, Southwest Key, and it’s currently housing about 1,500 children who were detained at the Texas/Mexico border. Some of those children were separated from their parents when border protection officials captured them.

A study of public housing facilities in New York City found that those managed by private developers had higher tenant satisfaction compared to others managed by the public housing authority. But it also found that tenant turnover is higher in the privately managed buildings.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Why trade uncertainty may not be a big factor in Mexico's general election

Jun 19, 2018

Mexico will hold its general election next month. On the line are hundreds of positions in the country's Congress as well as the presidency.

While the Trump administration's tariffs are "not really an electoral deal as such," economic change is on the minds of people, according to former Mexico Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jorge Castañeda. 

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