Business news

A world of inequality

Apr 4, 2016
Janet Nguyen

Welcome back! Here are your need-to-know numbers for Monday.   

Donna Tam

Minority women may be missing out on more than $1 million in earnings, if they work in Washington, D.C., Alaska, or California, according to a wage gap study released Monday from the National Women’s Law Center.

What the Virgin America acquisition means for flyers

Apr 4, 2016
Mark Orlowski

I remember how thrilled I was when I first flew Virgin America in early 2008, less than eight months after the airline's inaugural flight. My flight was from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco and when I arrived, I had been online the whole time, my laptop and phone were fully charged and I had three bottles of water that were magically delivered to my seat by a flight attendant after I tapped a few buttons on the seat back TV screen.

Panama Papers scandal implicates world's elite

Apr 4, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the Panamanian law firm that has been helping wealthy clients hide their money in offshore accounts; Chinese president Xi Jinping's connection to the Panama Papers scandal; and a new broadband subsidy aimed at helping low-income families gain access to the internet.

Marketplace staff

From our partners at the BBC:

A huge leak of confidential documents has revealed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.

Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

They show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax.

Xi Jinping's family linked to Panama papers

Apr 4, 2016
Rob Schmitz

SHANGHAI — The family of Chinese president Xi Jinping is among at least eight current and former top Chinese officials linked to offshore deals that hid their millions of dollars, according to documents leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. All of the officials involved are or have been members of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s top ruling body.

Nova Safo

Nine dollars, 25 cents. Doesn't sound like a lot. But the Federal Communications Commission is banking on that small subsidy being enough to get a lot more people online.

The FCC approved plans last week to extend its Lifeline subsidy for low-income households from just phone lines to cellular data and broadband plans. 

"Saving $10 goes along way in communities like Red Hook," said Tony Schloss, who works with a nonprofit that provides Wi-Fi in the Brooklyn community, much of which is low-income housing projects.

Adrienne Hill

Hashtag think-before-you-tweet

Lululemon found itself in a battle with Beyonce fans this week when the athletic gear company tweeted that Beyonce's new fitness line copied Lululemon's designs.

The company posted a tweet that read: "They do say imitation is the best form of flattery. Maybe Beyonce is so Crazy In Love with our brand, she made her own."

Weekly Wrap: A look at the labor market

Apr 1, 2016

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy and the New York Times' Catherine Rampell. 

Click the audio player above to listen to the conversation

Mitchell Hartman

Another 215,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, according to the The Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday, and this means more lower-skilled workers are finally getting hired.

A total of 2.4 million people have joined the labor force since September 2015, pushing the labor force participation rate higher month-after-month for the first time since the recession hit.

For countries that produce oil, each day brings possible signs that prices will rebound. No country needs that more than Venezuela. The petrostate is almost entirely dependent on drilling for oil and selling it – crude accounts for 96 percent of export revenue.

Yet by most accounts Caracas has mismanaged the resource, and today Venezuela stands as one of the world’s most miserable economies. The country sits on the largest proven reserves in the world, yet produces a fraction of what Saudi Arabia and Russia do every day.

So, Hamburger Helper dropped a mixtape

Apr 1, 2016
Tony Wagner

Over your lunch break on Friday, you might have heard two loud booms off in the distance, like a jet breaking the sound barrier.

The first was Hamburger Helper dropping a mixtape. The second was the popular Twitter account @BrandsSayingBae imploding.

Federal, state and local officials are celebrating the news that the federal government has picked a site in north St. Louis for an expansion of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

Unveiling the new Tesla

Apr 1, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the March jobs report, which showed that the U.S. added 215,000 jobs during the month; changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, that could mean benefits losses for up to 1 million Americans; and the launch of Tesla's new Model 3.

Molly Samuel

The Carroll County College and Career Academy in west Georgia serves students from high schools all over the county. They come to it for what’s called, these days, “Career and Technical Education.” In addition to auto repair and welding, students learn IT skills and video production. 

Chicago teachers stage one-day walkout

Apr 1, 2016
Nova Safo

As teachers in the nation's third-largest school district stage a one-day strike to draw attention to the financial troubles in Chicago's public school system, a former chief of Chicago Public Schools offered a grim assessment.

"Effectively, the district is bankrupt," said Terry Mazany, who was an interim chief at Chicago Public Schools from 2010 to 2011. Mazany is currently the CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, a philanthropic foundation.

Kai Ryssdal

Missouri state Representative Tracey McCreery become my own personal hero.

I read today in the Washington Post that Representative McCreery has offered up Missouri House Resolution 1220, which reads in full


What does MetLife’s win in court mean for other big businesses?

Mar 31, 2016
Andy Uhler and Tracey Samuelson

If you ask people what they remember about the financial crisis, they may recall the stock market crash, the Great Recession, zillions of foreclosures and thousands and thousands of jobs lost. Most people will also surely remember “Too Big To Fail.”

Consumers trust social media stars more than celebrities or ads

Mar 31, 2016

If you’re trying to buy a celebrity endorsement these days, it would actually serve you better to pay someone who is not a big star.

A preschool for low-income children

Mar 31, 2016

Before you get ready to settle in and make your weekend plans, let's send you off with some need-to-know numbers for Thursday.

College grads are moving out-of-state for work

Mar 31, 2016
Jessica Jardine

A lack of affordability isn’t stopping recent grads from leaving their states and moving to some of the country’s most expensive cities, according to survey results released Thursday.

Student loan marketplace Credible looked at 20 large U.S. cities and found that cities with the highest ratio of out-of-state grades include ones with a high cost of living like San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas and Washington D.C.:

Marketplace for Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mar 31, 2016

Silicon Valley's educational divide

Mar 31, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about General Electric's request that it no longer be considered "too big to fail"; the unveiling of Tesla's more "affordable" Model 3 on Thursday night; and a preschool program in Silicon Valley that wants to help low-income kids.  

Tesla previews a more affordable Tesla

Mar 31, 2016
JaeRan Kim

The long-awaited Model 3 is set to be unveiled Thursday night at Tesla's Hawthorne facility near Los Angeles. The new car is expected to go 200 miles on a single charge and has a price tag starting at $35,000. That’s much more affordable than previous models, and Tesla hopes the more modest price will make it a real choice for regular car buyers. 

Elon Musk’s vision to shift the world to electric vehicles may take a back seat to making sure his company stays viable. 

The Men's Underwear Index: an economic indicator

Mar 30, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

We talk a lot about different kinds of economic measurements at Marketplace, including CPI, the Consumer Price Index, and GDP, the Gross Domestic Product. But there's another measurement you may not of heard of: MUI, the Men's Underwear Index.

Although it's not measured by the government, it is championed by Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. The idea is that men only buy underwear when they feel pretty good about the economy and that when they start buying, it means the beginning of an economic recovery.

Tony Wagner

There's a lot more traffic in the Arctic sea's Northwest Passage recently. Ships are coming through with cargo, drilling equipment — and soon, luxury cruise ship passengers.

Katie Colaneri

Even before Tax Day,  Philadelphia resident Roslyn Sanders is ahead of the game. She’s at her local community development corporation getting her taxes done and it’s the second time she’s come here.

Sanders is back because last year, the organization helped her and her husband, Donald get a big refund by figuring out they qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. She said they got a check in the mail for more than $3,000.

Paying criminals not to commit crimes

Mar 30, 2016

You still with us? We've already made it halfway through! Here are some need-to-know numbers for Wednesday.

Kenya: stop donating your used clothes to us

Mar 30, 2016
Donna Tam

The president of Kenya continues to campaign for a ban on second-hand clothing from foreign donors as part of an effort to grow the business of local manufacturers.

A less colorful glass art world

Mar 30, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about jobs report expectations; Microsoft's focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning; and the suspension of several colors for the glass art world.