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.

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are done with their first round of NAFTA talks. One thing the U.S. wants NAFTA to implement: a rule requiring a set percentage of cars' components to come exclusively from the U.S. Canada and Mexico aren't on board with this, and neither are many U.S. automakers. We'll discuss why. Afterwards, we'll talk about the United States' plans to meet with South Korea over a five-year-old free trade agreement, and then look at why the town of Skagway, Alaska may lose its modern-day gold rush: cruise ship tourism. 

The use of prison labor, and its meager compensation, has long been a contentious issue. But while it is private prisons that get a lot of media attention for their for-profit business model, wages for the incarcerated in public and federal prisons, which hold the vast majority of inmates, have declined over the past two decades.

How Atlanta attorneys are helping kids stay in school

12 hours ago

Kids in low-income neighborhoods tend to change schools more often than their peers. And studies show that can have a detrimental effect on their education. So this past year, one public school in Atlanta tried to break the trend — by providing families with lawyers.

At Thomasville Heights Elementary School, in southeast Atlanta, Christal Reynolds and Ayanna Jones-Lightsy have just started their day.

Reynolds, a community advocate, is already on the phone. She’s talking to a parent who needs her apartment windows replaced.

What is the best way to help people in need? Some economists argue, well, just give them money.

That's exactly what one man did. 

Once upon a time, there was a flamboyant entrepreneur named Percy Ross who made millions in plastics. In the '80s and '90s, Ross had a newspaper column out of Minnesota where he set himself up as “America’s Rich Uncle” and gave money to people who wrote in.

The United States, Mexico and Canada concluded their first round of NAFTA renegotiation talks in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. President Trump has been promising to renegotiate the agreement, signed in 1994, saying it has shifted jobs to Mexico and resulted in large trade deficits between the U.S. and its neighbors.

One hundred years ago, Skagway, Alaska was the entryway for fortune-seekers of the Klondike Gold Rush. Its present-day economy is dependent on a different sort of gold rush: cruise ship tourism.

But the people in Skagway are worried about losing their prime spot in the cruise market. That’s because a private company holds the key to the waterfront. 

If you’ve ever been on a cruise to Alaska, chances are good you stopped in Skagway. Lisa Chapple, a tour guide who is British, comes here every summer to show people around.

Could those symbols of Americana — the Jeep and Ram pickup truck — become Chinese? On today's show, we'll look at news that Great Wall Motor may be interested in buying Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Afterwards, we'll discuss how businesses are benefiting from the exodus from Mar-a-Lago — President Trump's palm beach resort. Then we'll chat with writer Jacqui Shine about her Longreads profile on Percy Ross, a self-made millionaire who gave away his money to those who wrote into this newspaper.

As you might have heard, there's a solar eclipse happening today. But even if you're not in the so-called path of "totality," you can stream it on Twitter thanks to its partnership with the Weather Channel. Neil Katz, editor in chief of The Weather Company, joined us to talk about how it's going to film the eclipse and how the company thinks about programming in the digital age. Afterwards, we'll dive into issues with data privacy agreements. 

Doing the math on back-to-school tax breaks

Aug 18, 2017

Last week on the show, we talked a lot about the costs associated with school: the cost of sending kids back to school, the cost of teacher supplies and the cost of a poor education.

The cargo shipping industry is turning things around

Aug 18, 2017

After the Great Recession, the cargo shipping industry overestimated how fast the consumer economy would bounce back. It’s been a tough few years, with empty space on many cargo ships that carry furniture, clothes and office supplies — pretty much all the stuff Americans buy in stories. But now, old ships are getting replaced with a fewer number of new, bigger vessels, owned by fewer companies. All that efficiency has freight rates climbing.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

China’s government today unveiled new rules for overseas investments by Chinese businesses. The rules discourage companies from what are called "irrational" acquisitions of assets in industries ranging from real estate to hotels and entertainment.  In recent years, China has invested heavily in the U.S. What will the new rules mean for U.S. businesses?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Rachel Abrams of The New York Times and Cardiff Garcia of FT Alphaville join us to discuss the week's business and economics news. On Friday, Stephen Bannon was pushed out of his role as chief strategist to president Donald Trump. We discuss what the move can mean for the markets. Also, we recap Trump’s stance on the violence in Charlottesville. With Trump alienating corporate America and Republicans admonishing him, can the White House withstand the latest political whiplash thrown its way?

Greenbelt, Maryland, can't hide its town pride

Aug 18, 2017

The U.S. government tried a different approach to public housing during the great depression by creating entire towns that were federally planned and subsidized. The idea was to build communities where poor Americans and displaced farmers could work. Only three of these "greenbelt towns" were built before the project ended. But those three towns still stand today as a reminder of the New Deal's history.

There is a lot of debate around office etiquette. In the past, Marketplace Weekend has spoken with Ask A Manager's Alison Green about the right way to handle job interviews and how to dress for the office. Now we're taking on the topic of kids at work. Is it ever appropriate?

Having a diverse workplace is a worthy investment

Aug 18, 2017

It may feel like the topic of diversity in the workplace pops up all the time. So many industries seem to struggle with it — Hollywood, media, Silicon Valley.

Coal under Trump: one miner’s perspective

Aug 18, 2017

At 11 p.m. on a recent Friday night, the West Elk Mine outside Somerset opened its gates. Cars and trucks started rolling out, signalling the end of a coal mining shift in this rural pocket of Colorado.

Workers had been opening up a new section of the mine 4 or 5 miles underground, a tough job made tougher considering that the current economics of the coal industry means fewer workers at the mine.

08/18/2017: Life in a "New Deal Utopia."

Aug 18, 2017

Steve Bannon has joined the list of recent White House departures, and with that, the prospect of a trade war with China got a little less likely. And that's good, because in spite of all the real economic competition between the world's two largest economies, they need each other. To that end: Beijing put out some new rules on overseas investments today, specifically limits on certain kinds of foreign acquisitions by Chinese companies. We'll talk about what that means. Then: During the Great Depression, the government started an experiment.

Can HR tell you what not to do and say outside of the office?

Aug 18, 2017

Last weekend's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia has inspired an ongoing discussion about public hate speech and rallying as they relate to employment.

In the aftermath of the rally, several people have been identified on social media using photos taken of them carrying Nazi flags and other white supremacist paraphernalia. In the age of social media, the process of identifying people and tracking down their workplaces was speedy, and in the days after the rally, some people lost their jobs.

08/18/2017 Free speech, hate speech and work

Aug 18, 2017

In the wake of the white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, we dig into the nuances of how businesses handle the First Amendment and their own ethics policies. Plus, a discussion of the case for diversity in business, the question of whether you can bring your kids into the office and the ongoing debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

 

 

08/18/2017: Globalization might be getting too much blame

Aug 18, 2017

Market players are concerned that President Trump's senior economic adviser, Gary Cohn, might resign over his disappointment with Trump's comments on the Charlottesville protests. But he's the one figure in the administration who gives Wall Street the most comfort, and he could become the next Fed Chair. On today's show, economist Christopher Low joins us to talk about the qualities someone should have to take on the most powerful economic policy position in the U.S.

President Trump pledged sweeping political and economic changes during the campaign. We have no idea if Trump can deliver on those promises, but we can explore what it’s going to take for him to try. It’s all in our series The Big Promise.

Rhonda Glover is between jobs as a home health care aide. For weeks, she’s been talking with different companies. Usually things are going well, she said, until the interviewer asks how will she get to work.

Estee Lauder, meet Kylie Jenner

Aug 18, 2017

Estee Lauder announced earnings this morning. The cosmetics company beat estimates, reporting net income of $229 million, up from $94 million for the same period last year. Net sales rose 11 percent in the fourth quarter. Behind the numbers is the reality that established beauty brands like Estee are facing big challenges from beauty startups like Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics.

 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

In the week since a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville lead to deadly violence, some of the participants have been outed online and even fired from their jobs. Now, more protests and counter protests are springing up around the country. While the first amendment protects speech — including hate speech, the freedom to express your views and not run afoul of your employer can depend on where you live and who you work for. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Is globalization in decline?

Aug 18, 2017

The idea of more open, global trade has been sold as necessary for economic success. Yet today we hear calls to "build a wall" and to break up trading partnerships. Turns out we've seen the pendulum swing between free trade and protectionism many times before. Our series Trade Off looks at key moments when trade barriers have been built up or torn down and at globalization's winners and losers. 

Markets are down in Europe today, after they dropped by more than 1 percent in the U.S. We'll discuss what's contributing to the ongoing downturn. Afterwards, we'll take a look at globalization through the lens of the "elephant chart," a creation from former World Bank economist Branko Milanovic that explains who the winners and losers of this phenomenon are. 

A wave of tech companies have condemned white supremacist organizations and websites, like the Daily Stormer. But will their online presence eventually fade away, or just find another outlet? It turns out that the Daily Stormer has moved its operations to what's called the Dark Web. Nicolas Christin, an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, joined us to discuss whether sites like these will be able to thrive on the Dark Web. Plus: We play this week's Silicon Tally with Doree Shafrir, a senior tech writer at Buzzfeed and author of the book "Startup: A Novel." 

Despite a growing fossil fuel export business, the U.S. economy has actually seen its emissions of carbon dioxide fall the last two decades. A new analysis lists the specific reasons, and there are many: more natural gas burned instead of coal, more wind and solar power, more efficient factories and cars. But tomorrow's path to lowering emissions may look very different as new technologies come online and more things run on green electricity.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Changes at the top for Wells Fargo

Aug 17, 2017

Scandal-besieged Wells Fargo seems to be cleaning up its act. It's replacing three of 15 board members, including the chairman. Stephen Sanger will step down at the end of the year and current Vice Chair Elizabeth Duke will take his place. Is this a real change for the bank?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Are we at economic war with China?

Aug 17, 2017

Déjà vu all over again? A Trump administration official has called a reporter up and had a very candid, shall we say, colorful conversation, which he maybe did, maybe didn't think was on the record. This time, the official was White House chief strategist Steve Bannon who said: "We're at economic war with China." Bannon said he thinks the U.S. is losing. How much truth is there in that? How are economic relations between the U.S. and China?

At his Tuesday press conference in New York, during which he discussed the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump spoke about his theory on how to overcome America's racial divides. He said, "We have many companies, I say pouring back into the country. I think that's going to have a huge, positive impact on race relations. You know why? It's jobs. What people want now, they want jobs. They want great jobs with good pay and, when they have that, you watch how race relations will be."

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