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.

Backyard chicken keeping has taken off in the Bay Area as residents seek ways to disconnect from technology. Most people spend $1,000 or less on their birds and coops, but a wealthier subset of chicken owners have really gotten into it, in some cases sinking $20,000 or more into fancy heritage chickens and ornate homes for them.

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Another rural hospital has closed, the 85th to shutter in the U.S. since 2010. This latest closing happened in Dunklin County, Missouri, one of the poorest counties in the state. The hospital was home to the only OB-GYN physician in a region that has one of the highest premature birth and infant mortality rates in the state.

How are consumers spending their money?

Jul 16, 2018

The U.S. Census Bureau will release June retail sales data this morning. We already know that consumer spending is strong right now due in part to a tight labor market and inflation. But how are consumers financing their current spending spree and what are they spending on, exactly?

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(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … It’s official: Chinese growth figures showed the economy lost steam in the second quarter against a backdrop of growing trade tensions. Is it time to worry about the world’s second-largest economy? Meanwhile, European Union leaders have urged China, the U.S. and Russia not to start a trade war. We ask if multilateralism, mutual understanding and mutual respect are enough to avoid one. Then, imagine flying from New York to Singapore in just a couple of hours. The boss of Boeing thinks hypersonic jets are coming sooner than you think.

Ten years later, what we learned from WALL-E

Jul 16, 2018

Ten years ago this summer, we all became familiar with the little trash compacter that could — WALL-E — and his slightly scary, Earth-scanning, but eventual companion Eve.

Disney's "WALL-E," which took home the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture in 2009, offered a darker look at Earth's possible future — one where humans have ruined the planet's environment with trash — and are forced to live in space, captive to screens, self-driving chairs and robot servants. 

Ten years later, what we learned from WALL-E

Jul 16, 2018

Ten years ago this summer, the Pixar film “WALL-E” came out. It's about a future where humans have ruined earth's environment with trash, so they live in space, captive to screens, self-driving chairs, and robot servants. One little robot is left on Earth to clean up the mess, until he finds love — and ends up saving humanity from itself. As part of our summer entertainment series, we're pondering the critiques and lessons of Wall-E with sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson, who also happens to be a big fan of the film.  (07/16/2018)

Income inequality, the gap between people at the top of the income scale and those at the bottom, has been growing bigger in the U.S. for several decades. And if you break down income inequality by race and ethnicity, large variations emerge, even within some of those groups.

Until Viagra hit the scene in the late '90s, treatment options for erectile dysfunction were limited.

“The thing that made Viagra so wonderful was the only thing before that was a drug called Caverject,” said former Pfizer attorney Kent Bernard. “Caverject needed to be injected into your penis about half hour before you wanted to have sex. You would not want to come within a mile of using that product,” he said.

Why Hulu is a real prize in the battle for Fox

Jul 13, 2018

Disney and Comcast have been outbidding one another the last several months to buy Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. It looks like Disney may have landed the final bid. Disney and Fox shareholders are expected to vote on the merger at the end of this month.

And one asset that’s been a big draw in all this is Hulu. The two companies bidding for Fox – and Fox itself – each own a 30 percent stake in Hulu, but the winner will get majority ownership.

Trump's stirs controversy during U.K. visit

Jul 13, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May’s heart must have sunk. As she waited for President Donald Trump outside Blenheim Palace — a magnificent 18th century mansion in Oxfordshire where she was hosting a banquet in honor of the president – the prime minister was told about an interview her unpredictable guest had given earlier to a British tabloid newspaper, The Sun. In the interview, he lobbed a metaphorical grenade into May’s most important policy and made remarks which one of her supporters described as “deeply insulting.”

China might be worried about an economic slowdown

Jul 13, 2018

(Markets Edition) China reported last month that it had a record trade surplus with the U. S. — another way of saying it had a record trade deficit with the country. But there were some other surprises buried deeper in the data, which we'll dive into on today's show. Afterwards, we'll discuss how Amazon's competitors have started hopping on the "Prime Day" bandwagon.

FIFA World Cup by the numbers

Jul 13, 2018

Croatia and France will battle for the title of best soccer team in the world on Sunday at 11 a.m. EST in the FIFA World Cup final. You can watch the game on Fox or Telemundo (if you're jonesing for those awesomely-elongated goal calls).  Many fans were hoping for an England vs. France final, but in an upset, Croatia beat England 2-1 in Wednesday's semifinal. And if you're an executive for one of the World Cup broadcasters, you were probably hoping for that final as well, because Croatia's not really a club that’s a household name.

What Big Macs can tell us about currencies around the world

Jul 13, 2018

We go through a lot of economic indicators on this program, but only one can claim to be the tastiest of them all: The Big Mac Index

Trump, on U.K. visit, blasts May's Brexit plan

Jul 13, 2018

British politicians from the left and right have condemned blunt comments on Brexit made by President Trump yesterday. The president is in the U.K. for his first official visit since taking office. In an interview with the tabloid newspaper "The Sun," Trump said Prime Minister Theresa May was "wrecking Brexit." He also cast doubt on the prospects for any bilateral trade deal between Britain and the U.S.

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The Big Mac Index

Jul 13, 2018

(U.S. Edition) President Trump visited the U.K. this week, leaving some very mixed messages. We'll discuss how the trip went, along with the British prime minister's push to snag a bilateral trade deal with the country. Afterwards, as part of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's first broadcast interview, we'll preview parts of his conversation with Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal, and then we'll talk to The Economist about its "Big Mac Index," which measures the difference between the price of a Big Mac in different countries to help us understand their currencies.

Trump dampens hope for U.K.-U.S. trade after Brexit

Jul 13, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Protesters have lined the streets in central London this morning to speak against President Trump’s visit to the capital. Prime Minister Theresa May was counting on support from her U.S. counterpart with Brexit negotiations reaching a crescendo, but overnight comments from the president might have squashed her hopes. Then, new figures released today show China’s trade surplus with the U.S. hit a record high last month. How much of that has to do with escalating trade tensions between the two nations?

Twitter is in a big game of "bot or not"

Jul 13, 2018

This week, Twitter announced that it's removing locked accounts from its platform. That's in an effort to clean up its bot problem. Bots are fake Twitter accounts that spread propaganda and intimidate people. A New York Times story in January suggested that up to 15 percent of Twitter's user base could be bots. Twitter says it was more like 5 percent. But now, as the company is trying to clean up the bot problem, some investors are worried that Twitter may have fewer human users than they thought. Kevin Roose follows social media for the New York Times.

Jay Powell's been the chairman of the Federal Reserve for about five and a half months. His office in the Federal Reserve Building on Constitution Avenue is still getting put together, but he's already put his mark on the central bank and chatting with us today is part of that. We talked about transparency, trade disputes and stagnant wages, but he wasn't able to talk about inflation. The numbers came out just minutes after our conversation ended, and they showed consumer prices are growing faster year over year than they have since 2012.

How the Fed has changed

Jul 12, 2018

Things happen slowly at the Federal Reserve, and that includes changes in the culture. For most of its 104 year history, the Fed has been about as transparent as a fortress. Recent Fed chairs have pulled back the curtain a bit. But current Fed Chair Jerome Powell is trying to pick up the pace on transparency — within Fed limits, of course. Here’s a look at some of the Fed chairs who’ve managed to shift the culture at the central bank.  

Jerome 'Jay' Powell

His term: February 2018 — present

Full interview: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell

Jul 12, 2018

In the five months since Jerome “Jay” Powell took over as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the country is facing a growing number of tests: stagnant wage growth, tariff disputes around the world and a White House that likes to publicly offer the Fed economic advice.

Costa Rica recently created a program to offer hormone replacement therapy for transgender people for free through its national universal health care system. Since the program started in fall of 2017 about 30 people have signed up. The government is expecting around 600 people to sign up. Officials are confident the hormone replacement therapy will be low cost for the country, and might actually defray future costs by keeping people out of the black market where they might fall victim to bad medicine and dirty needles.

Vanilla bean prices have been running between the equivalent of $1,000 and $1,200 dollars per pound, nearly five times what it was a few years ago. And that's rippling through the ice cream industry.  One key reason for the increased cost is last year's cyclone in leading vanilla producer Madagascar, which created a huge crop shortage. Larger ice cream companies, like Minnesota-based Kemps, a top-selling brand in the Upper Midwest, are having to make some adjustments.

A crisis in the vanilla economy

Jul 12, 2018

(Markets Edition) Over the next few days, the country's biggest banks are gearing up to report their earnings for the most recent quarter — and expectations are high. We'll look at why analysts are anticipating strong earnings. Afterwards, we'll discuss how investors are starting to ask for higher returns in the short term from the government — a potential sign of a recession. Then finally, we'll talk about the rising price of vanilla, which is forcing some players in the ice cream world to make adjustments.

In the five months since Jerome “Jay” Powell took over as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the country is facing a growing number of tests: stagnant wage growth, tariff disputes around the world and a White House that likes to publicly offer the Fed economic advice.

(U.S. Edition) With the China and the U.S. constantly going back and forth about trade, we'll take a look at how U.S. businesses in China are feeling about escalating tensions. Afterwards, we'll discuss what the United States' increase in oil production means for U.S. consumers, and then we'll explore how Costa Rica has created a program to offer hormone replacement therapy for transgender people.

Crunch day for Brexit

Jul 12, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … After a stormy week of resignations, the British government is about to publish its latest proposals for exiting the European Union. Will this blueprint deliver the promised "comprehensive vision" to businesses craving a clear direction? We hear from the new Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, and Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce. Also in this edition: as President Trump begins his first official visit to the U.K., the BBC's Anu Anand finds out whether he can expect to receive a warm welcome.

Yes, lots of people are still playing "Pokemon Go"

Jul 12, 2018

This page was updated on July 12. 

The summer of 2016.

It may not be the most notable summer in history, but it was most definitely a special summer for some people after the release of Pokémon Go.

For those of you who didn’t happen across the phenomenon that swept the globe like wildfire, Niantic’s Pokémon Go brought the world of Pokémon into the hands of millions of smartphone users across the world through the use of augmented reality.

Yes, lots of people are still playing "Pokemon Go"

Jul 12, 2018

"Pokemon Go" was one of 2016’s most popular mobile games, but it seemed to lose players just as quickly as it gained them. That may have been due to some technical glitches, but "Pokemon Go" appears to be back. That's at least in part thanks to some new social features. Those are what got Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood back in the game, and got her thinking about who else is playing "Pokemon Go."

More Americans are quitting their jobs nowadays, according to the latest numbers out from the Labor Department. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) shows that in May, the “quits rate” hit its highest level in 17 years.  That means that in some sectors, workers feel good enough about the economy to leave a job and take a chance on a new gig. And some workers are finding they may be rewarded for changing jobs, in this low unemployment, low wage-growth environment, with better pay or other perks.

NATO's IOUs

Jul 11, 2018

If you thought all the Chinese trade talk was testy, you should see footage from President Donald Trump's first day of North Atlantic Treaty Organization meetings today. Trump slammed American allies, saying "many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money" from years of defense spending. And that was just the photo op. We'll fill you in on the NATO meeting and what to expect during the next few days of talks in Brussels. Plus, the latest on those tariffs.

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