Business news

If you can't pay bail, aren't you unfairly incarcerated?

18 hours ago
Sabri Ben-Achour

Does bail discriminate?

There are around 450,000 Americans in jail who haven't been convicted of a crime. How many of them are there because they are poor is hotly contested and varies from place to place. Data from Los Angeles suggest it's 14 percent there. A New Jersey study from 2013 put the number at 39 percent, advocates say it's higher. By any measure it's tens of thousands of people on any given day.

Soon, the house next door could be a rental

18 hours ago
Mitchell Hartman

According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Single-Family Rental Market Report for Q3 2016, approximately 25 percent of single-family homes in the U.S. are owned by investors and rented out, rather than occupied by their owners.

ATTOM senior vice president Daren Blomquist said that purchases of properties in 2015 were even more investor-driven, with approximately one-third of single-family homes being purchased by investors.

Let's do the numbers... on the debt

19 hours ago
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The thing about numbers:  you can slice and dice them to support whatever point you’re trying to make.  Politicians are especially good at that.

When University of Georgia economist William Lastrapes sees this, he just shakes his head.

“When politicians start talking about the federal government debt, it’s very easy to talk about the big numbers," he said. "But you need to keep those numbers in perspective.”

Donna Tam

Donald Trump talked about plenty of policy during last night's third and final debate, but he also made some of the most memorable statements of the night, including calling immigrants “bad hombres” and rival Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman.”

On today's show, we'll talk about the presidential candidates' thoughts on the labor market and their plans to reduce the national debt; whom Americans think the economy is rigged toward; and one commission's plan to protect Boston's Citgo sign.

If the economy is rigged, toward whom?

Oct 20, 2016
Kim Adams

The economy is "rigged." At least most Americans think so, according to the latest Marketplace-Edison Research Economic Poll. Supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree.

Regardless of party, most Americans agree economic benefits are skewed toward the rich and big corporations.

Pop quiz: What positions will the next prez appoint?

Oct 20, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

"Quick!" I asked, " What appointments will the next president make?"

I'm on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., by the monuments where tourists congregate.

Jessie Salazar is here from Salt Lake City.

“All I can think of is, just the Supreme Court,” Salazar said.

“Uh…the judge?” guessed Denise Hames, from Birmingham, Alabama.

And Andrea Thornton, from Nashville, Tennessee said, “I think of the show the 'West Wing' — all the staffers." 

You have a message from Codebreaker

Oct 19, 2016
Bruce Johnson

The key starts with zero. Once you've cracked it head to

Stay updated on all things Codebreaker.

Email Address *

ER visits continue, despite insurance

Oct 19, 2016
D Gorenstein

Emergency rooms and hospitals are among the most expensive places to get health care. One of the big selling points for Obamacare was the idea that if people get insurance, they’ll have better preventive care and end up in the ER a lot less.

Today we have new data that buries that idea.

CBS is on board for Google's live TV service

Oct 19, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Competition is getting fiercer for web-only TV — Netflix and Amazon are expected to spend $5 billion and $1.5 billion on original content this year, respectively. But cable TV doesn't want to feel left out.

It's not just Barb, Netflix is also having a moment

Oct 19, 2016
Sally Herships

Welcome to Hawkins. It’s a tiny town in Indiana — the setting for Netflix’s hit show, "Stranger Things." A small boy has gone missing. There’s a strange creature in the woods, flickering lights and people in the town are disappearing, one by one. The show is practically impossible not to binge watch.

Saudi Arabia offers $17.5 billion in bonds

Oct 19, 2016
JaeRan Kim

Saudi Arabia has made the largest emerging-market bond offering, with the sale of $17.5 billion in debt on Wednesday.

For the oil-rich nation, it’s a matter of timing.

“They’re basically running out of money,” said David Ottoway, a Middle East fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

With oil’s huge price decline, Saudi Arabia has been running budget deficits for years.

On today's show, we'll take a look at earnings season as the election season winds down; look at why Jim Beam employees are on strike; and talk about the value of a gap year. 


Gap years: just for the rich?

Oct 19, 2016
David Brancaccio

The idea of a gap year between high school and college is becoming increasingly popular for young people fortunate enough to afford it. Taking time off to travel, volunteer or work is ideally supposed to give students the chance to mature and get more out of college when they start.  

One fan of the gap year is New York Times columnist Ron Lieber. He wrote a book on this called "Taking Time Off" in 1996. Now he's checking in with the students he spoke to back then to see how it worked out. 

The election is giving investors heartburn

Oct 19, 2016
Mark Garrison

The wild battles between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — along with the various smaller skirmishes that will determine control of Congress — have been blamed for swings on Wall Street. Should Americans consider changing their retirement portfolios because of what’s happening on the campaign trail? The short answer is no.

Click the above audio player to hear from retirement savings experts about what really matters when it comes to long-term financial planning.

The big banks post a surprisingly strong quarter

Oct 19, 2016
Lane Wallace

In the past week, profits at Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs all beat expectations. The big banks are seeing stronger results even though the interest-rate and regulatory environments haven’t changed, factors that the banks have blamed for disappointing results in the past.

Unions bet big on the Senate

Oct 18, 2016
Gigi Douban

There's been big spending by labor unions in this election — and even more in the last couple weeks. The powerful AFL-CIO has spent millions on 2016. Of course, labor unions have long supported Democrats, but this year they’re looking beyond the presidential race to the Senate and even farther down the ballot. 

Union reps are already in battleground states from Ohio to Wisconsin doing what they do best: knocking on doors, making calls, handing out leaflets at factories. And over the coming weeks, voters in those states can expect an even bigger push. 

D Gorenstein

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new inflation numbers today.

Turns out consumer goods are about 1.5 percent more expensive today than they were last fall.

It’s the usual culprits — gas, housing. But deep among the data was a figure which grabbed our attention.

Prescription drugs have gone up 7 percent since last year — the highest annual increase since 1992.

It's an historic price spike, but health policy people aren’t exactly sure what’s behind it.

Let's do the numbers: our latest economic anxiety poll

Oct 18, 2016
Marketplace staff

There are plenty of numbers in our recently released Marketplace-Edison Research Economic poll , but the overall takeaway is Americans are even more anxious about the economy than they were a year ago. What does that really look like? Washington Bureau Chief Andrea Seabrook breaks down the numbers behind the poll via Twitter:

Cost of living adjustment ticks up, barely

Oct 18, 2016
Adam Allington

The annual cost of living adjustment, known as COLA, was released this morning.

Starting in January, Social Security recipients will receive a tiny bump in pay of just 0.3 percent, which equates to something close to $4-5 per month for the average retiree.

COLA increases have been essentially flat in recent years. Since 2009, the cost-of-living hike has been more than 2 percent only once, and has been zero three times.

National graduation rate hits a new high

Oct 18, 2016
Amy Scott

We learned this week that the national high school graduation rate is higher than ever. More than 83 percent of high school seniors finished on time in 2015, according to federal figures released Monday. The biggest gains were made by students learning English, low-income students, and black and Hispanic students, though big gaps remain.

What's a "good job"?

Oct 18, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Marketplace-Edison Research Economic poll asked respondents what attributes were important for a job to be considered a “good job.” The top selection among the choices offered was that the job provide health benefits — picked as “essential” by 73 percent of respondents. Next in line was “provide a good working environment,” followed by “provide opportunities for advancement,” and “make you feel valued.”

The Nobel Committee can't find Bob Dylan

Oct 17, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Let me preface the following with my long standing, widely unpopular opinion — I never was a big fan of Bob Dylan.

Is Walmart’s investment in employees paying off?

Oct 17, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

A year-and-a-half ago the company announced a higher starting salary and other employee benefits. 

Walmart is generally known for its low, low prices. The catch is that those prices were made possible by pay for Walmart workers also being low, low.

Economics being what it is, that bottom tier pay structure brought some not so intended consequences sales-wise.

So a year-and-a-half ago the company promised to raise pay and make things better for its workers.

Goldman transcripts show how Clinton has evolved

Oct 17, 2016
Lane Wallace

The transcripts of Hillary Clinton’s expensive speeches to Goldman Sachs came out over the weekend, and while they don’t contain any bombshells, they do reveal some differences between Clinton circa 2013, and Clinton on the campaign trail today.

Where did 'I approve this message' come from?

Oct 17, 2016
Adam Allington

Given that it is election season, there is a particular bit of audio we’ve all heard dozens, if not hundreds of times. “I’m candidate X, and I approved this message.”

So we at Marketplace wondered — when exactly why did “approving a message” become a thing?

Personally, I physically cringe every time I hear that ubiquitous phrase pop up on TV or radio.  It just seems obvious, and more than a little bit dorky.

Turns out there is a good reason for forcing candidates to add the disclaimers, and that reason is accountability.

Pepsi looking for sweeter returns, but cutting sugar

Oct 17, 2016
Adam Allington

PepsiCo is rolling out plans today that would, among other things, reduce the amount of sugar in its soft drinks and improve water efficiency.

According to the company, at least two-thirds of its drinks will have 100 calories or less, per 12 ounces.

The move comes as there is increasing pressure on “Big Soda" for the role they play in the obesity epidemic.

Donald Trump may be getting a TV network

Oct 17, 2016
David Brancaccio

An agent for Donald Trump has reportedly met with a financier on setting up a TV network.

The Financial Times says Trump’s son-in-law and campaign adviser, Jared Kushner, spoke about the idea of a Trump TV network as late as August with the New York investment banker Aryeh Bourkoff. Bourkoff is the founder of LionTree, a bank that does media deal financing.

David Brancaccio and Dong-ill Shin

This election season, Marketplace is casting its eyes toward the future, asking how the country can address long-term opportunities and threats — the ones that don’t fit into a single federal budget or election cycle. 

When (original) content is king

Oct 17, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Netflix reports its third-quarter earnings on Monday, and the company’s numbers — especially how many new subscribers it added and old subscribers it lost — will be closely watched for signs of how many eyeballs the company is attracting with its big push into new original programming.

Netflix originally built its business streaming TV shows and movies that had already aired, but this is a multibillion-dollar bet for the online streaming giant to generate original content.