Marketplace

Weekdays 6pm-6:30pm
  • 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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Your funeral home may be ripping you off

13 hours ago
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Every year, the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, does an undercover investigation, to make sure funeral homes are following the FTC’s funeral rule. 

They're supposed to give customers a price list immediately, and they're not supposed to sell unnecessary services.

The idea is for consumers, “to be able to take a deep breath and look at a document that says, 'This is what I’m going to pay,'" says Lois Greisman, who heads the FTC’s funeral enforcement. "'Can I really afford this?'”

PODCAST: Show me the money, airlines

13 hours ago
Matt Nesto

Asian stocks spring while most of the world's stock takes a breather. More on that. Plus, lower fuel prices have translated into huge savings for airline companies. Very little of those savings are being passed along to customers. So, what are the airlines doing with all of that money? And on a quest to invent a smart smoker, a Harvard engineering class is partnering with Williams Sonoma. We check in on their results.

Cheaper fuel, cheaper flights. But not for you.

13 hours ago
Sabri Ben-Achour

A gallon of jet fuel will cost you around $1.66 a gallon these days. That’s down 40 percent from what it was this time last year.

At Harvard, even the meat smoker is smart

13 hours ago
Sam Kaplan

On a quest to invent a smart smoker, a Harvard engineering class is partnering with Williams-Sonoma. Over the last few months, junior-year engineering students have smoked more than 200 pounds of brisket. The result? Well, as a self-admitted meat lover, I figured the only way to really know was to take a bite.

It wasn't hard to find the class. The mesquite aroma led me right to teaching assistant Peyton Nesmith. The Alabama native is tending a 300 pound, black, hour glass shaped ceramic smoker. The contraption is covered with wires, gadgets and gizmos.

Marketplace for Friday, May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015

Why the CPI doesn't figure in the Fed's calculations

May 22, 2015
Tim Fitzsimons

The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.1 percent last month, according to figures out Friday. You could think of it as one more piece of evidence in the "no inflation" pile.

The CPI is used for a variety of things, particularly in adjusting rent and wages, as well as "in private contracts to escalate values of money ... by the government ... to adjust social security, and so forth," says Steve Reed, an economist at the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics who works on the CPI.

Marketplace Weekend Staff

On the next episode of Marketplace Weekend, we're looking at your money across the years.

We want to know: What's the first thing you ever saved up to buy?

Send us your memories of your first purchases and how much they cost. 

PODCAST: Disappearing grocery stores

May 22, 2015
Noel King

The guessing game over when interest rates will go up ... continues. More on that. Plus, we all know what a 'leap year' is, but what about a 'leap second'? On June 30th, an extra second will be added to the world's clocks to make up for the discord between the earth's rotation and the clocks we humans use. And while it may not seem like much, it's a big deal to the world's markets. Plus, residents in the struggling city of Flint, Michigan, have seen their share of hardship over the years.

Hillary's new LinkedIn résumé

May 21, 2015
Tim Fitzsimons

Hillary Clinton is not the first person to get on LinkedIn — about 115 million Americans joined before her.  Nor is she the first 2016 contender. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and others already have profiles there.

"The difference between Hillary Clinton and every single other candidate running, including Jeb Bush, is she has universal recognition already," says Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. 

This argument is similar to the one being made by her campaign. They say everyone knows her name, but few know the real Hillary.

Blake Farmer

The number of farmers markets has more than quadrupled over the last 20 years, according to the USDA. The trouble has become defining what a farmers market is.

One of the country’s larger markets is going through a painful process of purging vendors who don’t meet a new “producer-only” standard.

“There’s nothing here. There’s no farmers,” retiree Walter Gentry says with a laugh, which echoes through the empty sheds of the Nashville Farmers’ Market. “I thought I could get some peaches here.”

Jack Dorsey: Twitter founder, Square CEO, punk

May 21, 2015
Kai Ryssdal, Tommy Andres and Mukta Mohan

You have about a 0.00006 percent chance of starting a billion-dollar business. Jack Dorsey didn't just start one — he's got two.

Dorsey was 29 when he launched Twitter with his pals Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass back in 2006. His handle, @Jack, is Twitter's first personal account.

Marketplace for Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015

PODCAST: New York as a lesson in economics

May 21, 2015
David Brancaccio

A new report from the OECD shows income inequality in many parts of the world including the U.S. The data shows the gap between the rich and poor is seven times larger than it was in the '80s. Plus, our senior economics contributor Chris Farrell talks about the economic lessons learned and taught by New York City.

How the Disney 'ecosystem' works

May 21, 2015
Nova Safo

Disneyland in California turns 60 this summer, and it's kicking off festivities with a big party this weekend. Revelers can stay overnight at Disney's theme parks in California and Florida.

But Disney, the media company, has more than a birthday to celebrate. A couple of weeks ago it reported second quarter profits that beat expectations—led by its theme parks and the film Frozen.

How can a film from two years ago still be a profit maker for the company?

Currency control sits uneasily in trade deal

May 20, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

Congress is debating whether or not to attach some new rules about what countries can and can't do with their currencies to a pending "fast track" trade bill, which would allow Congress to vote on free trade deals but not filibuster or amend them. 

Marketplace for Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015

Rate rigging in London affects U.S. consumers

May 20, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Justice Department says five big banks have agreed to plead guilty to manipulating foreign exchange markets: Barclays, Citibgroup, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. UBS also pleaded guilty to skewing a benchmark rate called LIBOR.

LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, is what big banks charge each other for loans. Lots of consumer loans with variable interest rates are based on it, such as adjustable-rate mortgages, private student loans and car loans.

PODCAST: Skin in the game

May 20, 2015
David Brancaccio

How the head of the fed is keeping Wall Street workers chained to their desks ahead of the long holiday weekend. Plus, the Senate Education Committee meets Wednesday. Senator Lamar Alexander, who chairs the committee and is a former secretary of education, has proposed that colleges share in the risk of lending to student. He says this would lead to reduced student borrowing. How would it work if colleges had “skin in the game” and how realistic is the proposal? We'll also talk to Allan Sloan of the Washington Post about the costs of investing in a hedge fund.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015
Marketplace
Marketplace

America's infrastructure isn't sexy

May 19, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

America's infrastructure has fallen behind other nations. Highways are congested. Bridges are crumbling. Flights are delayed. Clearly, we need a solution. Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter identifies the hallmarks of successful transportation systems and explains the work being done to address these issues in her new book "Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead." 

Marketplace for Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19, 2015

PODCAST: American cars in Russia

May 19, 2015
David Brancaccio

First up, we'll talk about the Supreme Court's ruling on 401(k)s, and what it means for workers. Plus, we look at the job ahead of Keith Hall, the new head of the Congressional Budget Office. His role is meant to be a non-partisan scorekeeper, but we look at the difficulties of remaining independent in a charged political atmosphere. And America's car makers are struggling to keep their businesses in Russia on the road as the country's economy stalls. However as we find out, car factories in Detroit are not the only ones feeling the cold winds of Russia's troubled economy.

Marketplace
Kai Ryssdal

BBC journalist Mark Lobel and his team recently traveled to Qatar at the invitation of the country’s prime minister.

Lobel was invited to go on a tour of new and improved migrant worker facilities that would address Qatar’s reputation of laborer mistreatment. With Qatar getting ready to host the 2022 World Cup, there’s been an influx of migrant workers to house.  

But Lobel quickly found that he would not be allowed to complete a balanced report of Qatari labor camps.

The dark side of online education

May 18, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios

Online education is the new thing, but there’s a dark side to it. The New York Times Pakistan bureau chief Declan Walsh wrote about a company in Pakistan that’s making millions of dollars by selling fake credentials to whoever wants them. His piece is called "Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakastani Company Axact Reaps Millions." 

Marketplace for Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015
Marketplace

PODCAST: Good news for the Georgia pecan

May 18, 2015
David Brancaccio

New limits are on the way for military-style gear used by police officers. More on that. Plus, luxury brands take Alibaba to court over counterfeit goods on the site. And Calpers wants to sell a portion of its timberland holdings, mostly in Louisiana. Timber is performing below par compared to private equity, public equity and real estate since the recession hit. And with years of drought in California affecting nut production, some farmers are looking at other places, and other nuts, to grow. That’s good news for Georgia pecan growers.

China's not building islands for mere economic gain

May 15, 2015
Sabri Ben-Achour

Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Beijing this weekend.  Originally he was supposed to be laying the groundwork for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first state to the U.S. this fall.  But now he’s going to be talking about islands.  The Islands that China is building in the highly disputed South China Sea.  

Complexity on the high seas

There are seven so far, about 2,000 acres in all, whipped up out of thin air – or rather, whipped up out of sand dredged from the sea floor and built up on top of coral atolls.

Marketplace for Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015

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