Business news

At Wimbledon, the purse is suddenly smaller

Jul 4, 2016
Andy Uhler

Any business that crosses international borders is going to be affected by the currency market. Matthew Futterman, author of the book "Players: The Story of Sports and Money, and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution", said people should think about sports as just another industry.

“Any business that is that big is going to be affected by the macroeconomic earthquakes that happen," he said.

A potential UK tax break for corporations

Jul 4, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about how the recent Brexit vote could mean a big corporate tax break; the creation of the Latino Alliance of Mayors, a group that will aim to make sure the Census Bureau isn't undercounting Hispanics; and retailers' concerns about holiday sales.

Your own private food tester

Jul 4, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

Maybe you know somebody – or you are somebody – who has cut gluten from their diet. According to the NPD group, about 30 percent of Americans are trying to reduce their exposure to gluten, though only a small percentage of those truly can’t digest the stuff.

Latino political clout grows in cities

Jul 4, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Immigration is top of mind and front of burner this election year. A sign of the times: The U.S. Conference of Mayors has just launched a new Latino Alliance of Mayors, chaired by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, at its annual conference held last week in Indianapolis. 

Kai Ryssdal

 As we start the stretch run to the political conventions later this month -- July the 18th in Cleveland for the GOP and the 25th for the Dems in Philadelphia) we take a look back at the economic legacy of our most recent ex-President:  George W. Bush.  He's the subject of a new biography, titled "Bush," written by Jean Edward Smith. 

On the economic environment when Bush took office:

Kai Ryssdal

There really are markets in everything.

The Chinese ecommmerce site Taobao -- part of entrepreneur Jack Ma's Alibaba group -- has made it illegal to bet on the length of Taylor Swift's romantic relationships, specifically her most recent reported beau, British actor Tom Hiddleston.

Xinhua--the state run media over there--reports the betting began last week.

No word on the odds, but The Hollywood Reporter notes Swift's romances average about two and a half months.

Women are killing it in taxidermy

Jul 1, 2016
Joanna Clay

Koti Warner, 33, is trying to put a bird’s head back together again.

“I just put the eyeballs in the skull and then, when you do that, you have to turn it inside out,” said Warner, a microbiologist from Orange County. “I’m pulling the neck skin down over its skull. It’s just very weird. It just feels weird.”

Worried about airport security lines this weekend?

Jul 1, 2016
Reema Khrais

Travelers have been facing pesky security lines at the airport. One reason why? 

“It’s simple math. You have more people flying and you have actually slightly fewer screeners now than you had a year earlier,” said Seth Kaplan, an analyst with Airline Weekly.  

Air travel this summer is predicted to reach an all-time high with about 2.5 million people flying a day. To help accommodate all of those people, the Transportation Security Administration  is making some short-term fixes, Kaplan said.

Apple in talks to purchase Tidal

Jul 1, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Apple's interest in purchasing Tidal; criticism toward Trump from a traditional GOP backer; and the TSA's efforts to keep airport lines moving along. 

Greg Echlin

The nickname for New York’s old Yankee Stadium is “The House That Ruth Built.” That’s how much Babe Ruth mattered in the Bronx during the 1920s. Today, Oklahoma City has that feeling about its star basketball player Kevin Durant.

The look of the downtown area has dramatically changed since the Oklahoma City Thunder — with Durant — moved from Seattle eight years ago. The city is bracing itself for a decision by Durant that could shake things up. As of Friday he's a free agent — although the city is praying he'll choose to stay.

Panama tries to shake off "Panama Papers" brand

Jul 1, 2016
David Brancaccio, Katie Long and Justin Ho

Panama has just opened a new, wider canal, but less cause for celebration is another feature of the Panama brand: its reputation as a go-to spot for hiding money.

Who wants to work in a biodome?

Jun 30, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Jeff Bezos, being a billionaire and all, can do whatever he wants and people say, "Oh, OK."

Bloomberg News has a story up about the new headquarters Bezos' company. Amazon is building in Seattle.

Here's the tidbit:

Out front there are going to be three 100-foot-tall biodomes filled with more than 300 plant species from around the world.

I'm just gonna quote Bloomberg here:

GMO labels are about to hit Vermont shelves

Jun 30, 2016
JaeRan Kim

Grocery market shelves are about to look a lot different in Vermont beginning Friday because of a new state law that requires all food labels there to say whether products contain genetically modified ingredients. It’s been the source of fights within the industry, including a last-minute effort to supersede Vermont’s law with a national one that would make GMO disclosures through codes on labels that are readable by smartphones.

Brexit uncertainty clouds UK economic outlook

Jun 30, 2016
Sam Beard

The FTSE Index of Britain’s top 100 companies hit a 10-month high on Thursday. Could this stock market jubilation be a sign that Brexit will pay off? Not quite. What put a rocket under shares was a statement from the Bank of England saying that it may cut interest rates over the summer. And that’s not a good sign at all.

“The economic outlook has deteriorated,” said Mark Carney, the bank governor.  

Tony Wagner

America's biggest banks are cleared for billions in stock buybacks after most of them passed the second round of Fed stress tests this week.

In all, 31 of 33 passed — Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander were the only failures — including all eight systematically important banks. That means more dividends and buybacks are on the way.

This robot wants your memories

Jun 30, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

There’s been a lot of chatter about artificial intelligence recently. Sometimes they’re beating humans at board games or composing music, but they are all still very ... robotic. But in Vermont, the Terasem Movement Foundation is pioneering a new kind of AI geared to be almost completely human, programmed with users memories, thoughts and feelings. To test out the software, the organization created a sentient chatbot, Bina48, a human-robot hybrid.

On today's show, we'll talk about stress test success for 31 of America's biggest banks. Plus, we'll take a look at whether the construction of the Panama Canal will improve or worsen wealth inequality in the country. 

31 of 33 big U.S. banks pass stress tests

Jun 30, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Federal Reserve released the final results of its annual bank stress tests on Wednesday. Thirty-one of the 33 big banks that operate in the U.S. and are subject to stress testing passed. That includes all eight of the country’s biggest banks deemed “systemically important” to the financial system: Wells Fargo, State Street, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of New York Mellon and Morgan Stanley.

The canal has made Panama rich, but inequality persists

Jun 30, 2016
David Brancaccio, Justin Ho and Katie Long

Panama is in the news this week for the opening for its new, expanded canal. It's a GDP success story — the country has grown twice as fast as other countries in the region in the last 15 years. Thank the canal, thank its Singapore-style hub for financial services and thank its Dubai-style duty-free zone. But it’s still a country with grinding poverty and uncomfortable contrasts.


Andy Uhler

On Wednesday, legislation to help Puerto Rico restructure its more than $70 billion of debt finally passed through the Senate.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill by the end of the week, which is when the island was set to default on $2 billion worth of payments to bondholders. 

The bill passed with bipartisan support, but not everybody is happy. A major issue is the establishment of a federal board to oversee Puerto Rico’s finances.

Some, like Puerto Rican Sen. Ramon Luis Nieves, say the board won’t bring any money to the island.

Male Contraception

Jun 29, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour and Tim Fernholz

They said it couldn't be done: The "male pill." Actuality asks why men haven't seen a new reversible contraceptive in centuries—and if we need one. We found out why Big Pharma gave up on a male pill, and meet people who want to make it happen anyway.

D Gorenstein

You know that term "Too Big to Fail"? The ultimate symbol of this last recession when taxpayers had to bail out huge companies for the sake of the broader economy?

Yeah, nobody wants that to happen again.

So "Too Big to Fail" became more than a symbol.

These days the companies that are so big they’re a risk to the whole system are slapped with heavy regulation.

Marketplace for Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jun 29, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Brexit may turn out to be a regional issue as markets begin to stabilize and panic subsides; we asked Americans if they think the economy is rigged and 71 percent said yes; and how Facebook is changing newsfeeds to feature more personal content

Survey says: Americans feel the economy is rigged

Jun 29, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

We’re digging into the results of our latest Marketplace-Edison Research poll.  This time we asked whether people feel the economy is rigged in favor of certain groups.  Almost 71 percent of the 1022 people we polled said yes.  That includes majorities of Democrats, Republicans, young, old, rich, poor, blacks, whites and Hispanics.

About 83 percent of the African Americans we polled felt this way.  Including Brad Lewis.

He lives in Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood.

Stock market up for second day in a row

Jun 29, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the news coming out of the European Union's meetings in Brussels; market psychology following Thursday's Brexit vote; and Obama's last meeting as part of the Three Amigos (the U.S., Canada and Mexico). 

Marketplace staff

According to our partners at the BBC

The death toll in a gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport has risen to 41, 13 of them foreign nationals, with 239 injured, the Turkish city's governor says.

Three attackers arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance late on Tuesday. They blew themselves up after police fired back.

PM Binali Yildirim said early signs pointed to so-called Islamic State.

U.S. slips in 2016 Social Progress Index

Jun 29, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Social Progress Index for 2016 ranks the United States No. 19 among 133 countries in the world, behind Ireland, France, Canada and New Zealand, and just ahead of Slovenia and Portugal. Full details of the rankings and analysis can be found here

Obama's last ride as part of the Three Amigos

Jun 29, 2016
JaeRan Kim

The leaders of the three North American countries are gathering Wednesday for the “Three Amigos Summit,” a meeting during which President Barack Obama and his counterparts will discuss a wide variety of interests the nations share.

The discussions will likely include public assurances that the recent decision by United Kingdom voters to withdraw from the European Union will not have overly damaging impact domestically.

If Great Britain goes, so could the English language

Jun 29, 2016
Sally Herships

Trying to do business internationally can feel like working on the Tower of Babel. But Andy Molinsky, a professor of international management and organizational behavior at Brandeis University's International Business School, said there's a common fix. 

Irish passport applications spike in Brexit wake

Jun 28, 2016
JaeRan Kim

After the Brexit vote, one hot commodity in the United Kingdom is a passport from a country that will still be in the European Union. Having one will make it easier to travel, live and work within Europe at large. That’s made many turn to Ireland, which isn’t in the U.K. and whose application process is relatively simple. That simplicity only goes so far, however.