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  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

A daily program about business and finance, it's a fresh way of reporting business & finance subjects to the general listener. Putting a human face on the global economy, the program illuminates the ways that international business and finance relate to listeners' daily lives.

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Marketplace for Thursday, July 30, 2015

13 hours ago

Airing on Thursday, July 30, 2015: The unregulated industry of occupational licensing and tech's survival of the biggest.

The obsession with tech-company growth

13 hours ago
Adrienne Hill

Facebook is out with second quarter earnings, and the company reported steady growth in revenue and its user base. Twitter and Yelp, on the other hand, disappointed investors with growth numbers.

Not to be too dramatic about it, but if you're a tech company, it's pretty much grow or die.

Airing on Friday, July 31, 2015: Puerto Rico is about to miss a second debt payment. We look at how the debt crisis is affecting Puerto Ricans, and other travails they’re dealing with, such as a severe drought. Plus, Cruise company Royal Caribbean reports earnings Friday. Business has been robust after a challenging few years. We look at the factors boosting the company and the wider cruise sector and consider whether this winning streak can last. 

Airing on Thursday, July 30, 2015: With news that a piece of an aircraft that has washed up on Reunion in the Indian Ocean may be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, we'll talk about how the airline has been handling a disastrous year. Plus, on Medicare’s 50th anniversary, we look at what Medicare is spending most on. We'll also speak with senior economics contributor Chris Farrell about a trend towards fostering creativity within the aging boomer population.

At 50, Medicare spending more on hospice

Jul 30, 2015
Annie Baxter

Fifty years into the Medicare program, the federal health insurance program for Americans 65 and older, one feature has remained fairly constant: About 25 percent of spending goes to care in the last year of life. 

“This is actually a statistic that has been remarkably stable from year to year. It hasn't changed very much,” says Tricia Neuman, director of the Medicare Policy program at the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Egypt bans some "Made in China" souvenirs

Jul 30, 2015
Kim Adams

In any place highly dependent on tourism, there’s money to be made in selling souvenirs. But when the tourists stop coming, those businesses and manufacturers are out of luck.

That’s what happened in Egypt following the 2011 revolution. Now that some of those tourists are coming back, the government there is trying to prop up the handicraft manufacturers that remain.

Marketplace Tech for Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jul 30, 2015

Airing on Thursday, July 30, 2015: First up, we'll talk to Brian Blau, research director at Gartner, on Facebook earnings. We'll also speak with founder Bill Ottman about an anti-Facebook social network with open source code and strict privacy policies that protect user data. And Farhad Manjoo, tech columnist at the New York Times, joins us to talk about mobile gaming and tomorrow's launch of Angry Birds 2.

Amazon's vision of a drone highway in the sky

Jul 29, 2015
Sabri Ben-Achour

What will Amazon’s drone highway in the sky look like? 

Probably not a drone highway. Amazon unveiled a proposal where low-level air space would be carved out for drones: 200 to 400 feet would be reserved for high-speed transit drones. Below, there would be space for low -speed local drone traffic, and above would be a no-fly buffer zone to keep drones out of manned-vehicle air space, aka flight paths.

Marketplace for Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jul 29, 2015

Airing on Wednesday, July 29, 2015: Amazon plans a drone highway, a trade report from the tropics and Tom Cruise hangs off a plane.

Uber will tell you your passenger ranking now

Jul 29, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

I'm at the same time appalled and embarrassed.

The good people at Quartz — whom we produce a podcast with, by the way, called Actuality — noticed Uber has decided to let you know your user rating if you ask for it.

You know how users can rate drivers? They rate you, too.

How did Volkswagen conquer the world?

Jul 28, 2015
Gigi Douban

Volkswagen's very public goal has been to be the biggest car maker in the world. And it reached that goal in the first six months of this year, selling 5.04 million vehicles and moving past Toyota.

If you think of Volkswagen’s car brands as if they were part of a stock portfolio, it would be pretty diverse. And that’s a good thing, says Thilo Koslowski, vice president and automotive practice leader at Gartner. 

"As a large company that owns multiple brands, it is important that you have to have a balanced approach,” he says, “a premium brand and volume brands.”

Microsoft hoping for a revival with Windows 10

Jul 28, 2015
Kim Adams

Microsoft is rolling out its new operating system, Windows 10, tomorrow. Analysts say the company is hoping for a smooth deployment that might mend fences with customers and businesses still bitter about the last big update in 2012.

Marketplace for Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jul 28, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, July 28, 2015:  A key measure of consumer confidence is out today. The Fed is meeting Tuesday It doesn’t care how we feel about the economy. Fed decisions are all about the data. Why don’t our feelings matter? And should they? Marketplace explores. Plus, Volkswagen reached its goal: for the first half of 2015, it was the biggest car-maker in the world. What’s the value of being no.1 and how did Volkswagen get there? Marketplace explores. 

Why simple is best when it comes to corkscrews

Jul 28, 2015
David Brancaccio

As part of our series called Pro Tool: Tools of the Professional, we're looking for those must-have devices in the possession of anyone in the workforce, be they a hair dresser, dancer or 

Airing on Tuesday, July 28, 2015: BP's quarterly report this morning was full of stains. More on that. And automaker Ford will announce its earnings before the markets open on Tuesday. The Case Shiller Home Price Index is expected to reveal it’s latest figures at the same time. We'll talk about the surprising correlation between the two. Plus, one of the biggest concerns in the LGBT community is how to keep up fundraising now that the same-sex marriage battle has been won. Complicated issues can be a much bigger challenge than same-sex marriage, which is very easy to market.

Andy Uhler

First Lady Michelle Obama was in Los Angeles this weekend to speak at the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games. Boasting more than 6,500 athletes, it’s the biggest sporting event in the city since the 1984 Olympics. And officials say it’ll pump more than $100 million into LA's economy. And it could be an economic boost for others, too.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jul 28, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, July 28, 2015: First up, we'll talk with Will Oremus, Senior Tech Writer at Slate, about Twitter’s hunt for a new CEO ahead of the company’s earnings report. And, Dan Ackerman, Editor at CNET, will explain why Microsoft is taking the Apple approach to its newest software update. We'll also hear from Amy Grace, Head of Wind research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, about the Deepwater Wind project off the coast of Block Island in Rhode Island. 

Tony Wagner

Kim Adams

The website DraftKings just secured $300 million in funding, with investors including Fox Sports, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. The site allows people to play and bet on daily fantasy games in several different sports. Earlier this month, FanDuel, another daily fantasy site, raised $275 million.

Fox Sports was the lead investor, and the deal includes a commitment by DraftKings to spend $250 million advertising on Fox over the next three years.

Marketplace for Monday, July 27, 2015

Jul 27, 2015

Airing on Monday, July 27, 2015: The fantasy sports website DraftKings has raised $300 million in new funding. Investing in these virtual leagues is becoming a way for TV sports networks to cash in on live programming and expand their footprint. Plus, the tech startup boom has come to cities like Venice and Santa Monica in what's come to be called Silicon Beach. We look at what the Southern California tech world has to offer. 

What's Silicon Beach?

Jul 27, 2015
Marketplace staff

We've heard of Silicon Valley and its New York counterpart, Silicon Alley, but there's a growing group of startups based out of Venice — a.k.a. Silicon Beach. We traveled down there to talk with a few CEOs about the Los Angeles–area tech scene, and we'll be airing those conversations through the rest of the summer. Here's a preview. 

Where you live will cost you

Jul 27, 2015
Tobin Low and Janet Nguyen

Conventional thinking might lead us to believe that people who reside in cities with higher living expenses probably also have the highest debt burdens. But residents of the City by the Bay have the least credit card burden of any major metropolitan city, according to a new study by

Underwater homeowners look for mortgage relief

Jul 27, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

JoAnn Henderson bought her house New Carrollton, Maryland, in 2001. She refinanced a few years later for a higher amount. Shortly before she retired from her teaching job, she started having trouble with the steep payments.

“You would miss a couple and then you’d pay and pay and pay," she says. "And then you’d miss a couple more. Yeah — I almost lost the house.”

Henderson got a loan modification, which dropped her interest rate to 3 percent. Now she’s even got a rainy day fund.

“A tiny one," she says, laughing. "Not a big rain. A small rain.”

Colorado workers sue Chipotle following nation trend

Jul 27, 2015
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Chipotle recently extended paid sick leave, vacation and tuition reimbursement to its hourly workers.

How Amazon can be worth the same as Wal-Mart

Jul 24, 2015
Scott Tong stocks rocketed up 10 percent Friday after the company reported quarterly profits to the surprise of many analysts’ expectations. Amazon’s market value – the price if you wanted to buy the whole company – is nearly that of Wal-Mart, even though Wal-Mart makes 35 times the profit of Amazon today.

Investors, though, are betting on what happens tomorrow. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster figures Amazon added 20 million Prime members this year; those are the website shopping addicts who pay $99 for a year’s free shipping and other perks.

Kai Ryssdal

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are the Washington Post's Catherine Rampell and Cardiff Garcia of FT Alphaville. The big topics this week: Hillary Clinton's speech on the "tyranny" of quarterly earnings reports, healthcare mergers and a decline in commodities' prices. 

Marketplace Weekend Staff

Robots are coming! Do they save you money? Or time? Are they intelligent? Where are they filling in the gaps, and when are they not good enough?

What would you never trust a robot to do?

We want to hear your stories. Send us an email or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND

Housing is up and down, but mostly up

Jul 24, 2015
Mitchell Hartman

With summer, the housing market has been warming up. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales were up 3.2 percent in June, on top of strong sales in April and May, to a level not seen since early 2007. June’s new home sales figures were disappointing, with sales down 6.8 percent month-to-month.

PODCAST: Housing sales for June

Jul 24, 2015
David Brancaccio

The June report for new home sales is out today - we'll talk about what to expect. Plus, we'll talk about what to make of recent movement in the Chinese stock market. And President Obama arrives in Kenya on Friday for a three-day visit. It's his first trip to the country where his father was born since he was elected. The visit is bringing a mini-economic boost for some Kenyans.

Affordable housing for teachers in short supply

Jul 24, 2015
Aaron Schrank

Jennifer Marlar teaches seventh grade language arts at Jackson Hole Middle School in Jackson, Wyoming, but she doesn’t live anywhere near the tourist town’s shopping district or ski area.

“It just makes the most sense, financially,” Marlar says.

Instead, she commutes one hour — over a sometimes-treacherous mountain pass — from her home in Driggs, Idaho.

“It’s brutal,” says Marlar. “And that hour feels like eternity.”