Business news

Now you can crowdfund your angel investors

May 16, 2016
Lane Wallace

A new kind of crowdfunding campaign launched on Monday: For the first time, companies will be able to seek out small investors by using a similar model as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

An uptick in crude oil prices

May 16, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about an increase in crude oil prices; the ongoing Verizon strike and what it highlights about the changing telecom industry; and the decline of Wyoming's coal industry. 

Wyoming's powerful coal industry facing a downturn

May 16, 2016

Wyoming’s powerful coal industry is starting to feel the full force of the market’s decline. In March, hundreds of workers were laid off from two of the country’s largest mines, and three of the state’s four largest producers are now in bankruptcy. Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports on the issue from Gillette, Wyoming, the state's coal capital.

Click the above audio player to hear the full report.

Millions more white-collar workers could get overtime

May 16, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Labor Department is expected to issue a final rule soon that could make millions more white-collar workers eligible for overtime.

Right now, workers don't get overtime if they're managers or administrative workers making at least $23,660 a year.  So, say a convenience store manager works long hours but doesn't get overtime. The Obama administration wants to change that.

Marketplace Morning Report for Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about expanded opportunities for people to participate in venture capitalism; an anticipated new rule from the Labor Department that will make millions of white-collar workers eligible for overtime; and retailers who are embracing both the old-fashioned storefront and e-commerce.

Verizon strike underscores changes in telecom

May 16, 2016
Annie Baxter

About 40,000 workers at Verizon have been on strike since April 13 in several East Coast states, including New York, Massachusetts and Virginia.

They include unionized network technicians and customer service representatives of the company's fiber optic or Fios Internet, telephone and television services.

“The workers who are striking are on what’s known as the wireline side of the business. In other words, people who deal with landline services, whether that's phone or TV or broadband,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. 

Transgender students and the cost of noncompliance

May 13, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

A Dear Colleague Letter was issued Friday by the Department of Justice and the Education Department as guidance to states, school districts and individual schools on the applicability of civil rights law (specifically, Title IX) to transgender students. Among other things, it instructs states and schools to accommodate transgender students’ access to bathrooms, locker rooms and other school facilities based on the gender identity those students choose.

Americans are not so great at talking about death

May 13, 2016
Lizzie O'Leary

Last week on the show, we asked for your stories about wills. What experiences have you had with wills? Do you have a will? Why, or why not? What questions do you have about wills?

Weekly Wrap: Hillary and the banks

May 13, 2016

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Cardiff Garcia from FT Alphaville and Leigh Gallagher from Fortune Magazine. 

Click the audio player above to listen to their conversation.

Marketplace Weekend Staff

It's wedding season, and this time of year can be pretty costly. Not just for all the people out there getting married (and their parents), but for their guests, who are shelling out a lot of cash on travel, outfits and gifts. 

We want to talk about how some of that money gets spent. For those of you who have already gotten married, tell us about some of the gifts you asked for and why. What was on your registry? What did people end up giving you? Did you feel comfortable asking for presents? Which gift do you still use? What's the most unusual thing someone gave you?

Marketplace Weekend for Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

On this week's show, Marketplace's Molly Wood and Mike Isaac of the New York Times go long and short on topics from the week's news. Marketplace's Andy Uhler discusses funding to fight Zika, and we weigh the possibility of robot assistants. Later, we continue our conversation about planning for death, and preview new Marketplace podcast The Uncertain Hour. 

The decline of the hedge fund

May 13, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about hedge funds' bad prospects; one New York hospital's experiment with at-home care; and President Obama's efforts to combat climate change.

David Brancaccio

Forty countries sent representatives to a summit in London on Thursday to fight corruption.

The countries, including the U.S., have signed a pledge to expose corruption wherever it's found and to end the misuse of anonymous companies to hide money.

We spoke with economics guru Chris Farrell, who's been following this story for us. 

On the larger issue behind tax havens:

Corruption is bad, but what really bothers me ... and particularly in the environment we're in ... is [that] the ultra wealthy are legally hiding their assets. 

JaeRan Kim

President Barack Obama is welcoming the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden to the White House on Friday. The Nordic Summit is expected to touch on many issues, including conflict and the European refugee crisis. The leaders will likely discuss climate change as well.

Though it’s sometimes easy to forget that the U.S. is an Arctic country as well (remember Alaska), that commonality gives some hope that the summit will lead to more concrete steps in achieving climate change deals among the six nations.  

Could soccer moms kill football?

May 13, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Fewer kids are playing football these days as parents worry about concussions and steer their children to other sports.

In fact, the number of people playing tackle football is down 28 percent since 2008, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, a trade group that gets some money from the NFL. 

“The issues around injury are real,” said Tom Cove, the association’s president and CEO. 

He said there are other factors — more kids are focusing on just one sport, and football can be expensive. 

Tax refund delays could sting working poor

May 13, 2016
Annie Baxter

Some low- and moderate-income workers could find themselves waiting longer next year to get their tax refunds.

A new law aimed at deterring tax fraud gives the IRS more time to review refund claims from recipients of the earned-income tax credit and child tax credit. Those refunds would not go out before Feb. 15 of next year, potentially weeks later than when people got them this year. 

Kai Ryssdal

Some of the fine print from a Wall Street research report out the other day:

Those are the people we're talking about when we say Wall Street analysts, as we sometimes do.

Anyway, this one from Bernstein Research was on the future of the video economy YouTube, Amazon, all the rest.

The caveat here is that YouTube doesn't disclose its numbers, but the estimates are mind boggling.

Here's just one.

Department stores face an uncertain future

May 12, 2016
Mark Garrison

Disappointing earnings results from Macy’s, Nordstrom and Kohl’s this week are underscoring just how rough things are for big department stores these days. There are a number of reasons, including competition from online retailers, discount clothing and fast-fashion stores. But there’s also the question of what stores have done to try to adapt to all the new competition and consumer change. Some who follow the industry don’t think they’ve done nearly enough.

Marketplace for Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12, 2016

Why Target has teamed up with researchers to determine what makes people buy groceries; Instagram updated its logo, and received a loud and grumpy response, we look at what's behind the logo change; and Krissy Clark, host of Marketplace's Uncertain Hour podcast, talks to Kai about welfare reform, 20 years later. 

Transparency over real estate in the UK

May 12, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about a push for property ownership transparency in the U.K.; a suffering retail industry; and a revitalization for some Texas lake businesses as the state's drought subsides. 

Gold prices are starting to rebound, but why?

May 12, 2016
Lane Wallace

Several large gold miners release quarterly earnings reports Thursday, and the outlook is not too shabby.

Texas lake businesses booming again after long drought

May 12, 2016
Lucia Benavides

In Central Texas, the lifeblood of outdoor activity is Lake Travis, a reservoir on the Colorado River that runs through Austin. The lake is just as popular with tourists as it is with locals, who take to its waters to cool off in the heat of Texas summers.

On a Sunday evening in early April, the weather outside is a breezy 70 degrees. The Oasis on Lake Travis has a one-and-a-half hour wait. There’s a live band, and the restaurant’s four decks are packed with customers overlooking the water, waiting for the oncoming sunset.

Access to high-quality preschool remains unequal

May 12, 2016
Sally Herships

For publicly funded preschool, last year was a good year. In some schools.

The National Institute for Early Education Research has just released its annual The State of Preschool report. Spending per child is up, enrollment is up slightly and more states met the benchmarks for quality standards. 

But that good report card depends on where you live.  

Oil companies are pressed to address climate change

May 12, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

A report out on Thursday from the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group says investors care more about sustainability than you might think. The reason? They believe companies' environmental records affect their success. This comes as a large group of academics presses ExxonMobil and Chevron shareholders to open up about their efforts to combat climate change.

Marketplace Tech for Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about increasing rates of sextortion — a form of online abuse where hackers try to blackmail others into sending them adult content. We'll also chat with actor Martin Starr, who plays Bertram Gilfoyle on the HBO series "Silicon Valley."

Maybe it's time for more emoji equality

May 11, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Emojis have actually become serious for a minute.

If you want to use an emoji to represent somebody doing a job, be it a cop, a surgeon or a construction worker, your only choices were emojis showing men. Your female choices were brides and princesses.

Some Google employees have made a pitch to the group that decides these things, asking them to roll out a new set of 13 professional female emojis -- from generic business woman all the way to farmer and teacher.

Which is cool.

Germany pays people to use electricity

May 11, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about what department earnings can tell us about the economy; the importance of CARE packages for one World War II refugee we interviewed; and negative power prices in Germany. 

Kim Adams

The 26th World Economic Forum on Africa is happening this week. It’s taking place in Kigali, Rwanda as sub-Saharan Africa faces its lowest growth in 15 years.  One way the forum is hoping to spur growth is to shift focus away from dependency on commodities and toward technology.

From college students to military service members and refugees, people have opened boxes of goodies and essentials across the world, and have been comforted. On May 11, 1946, this tradition began with CARE USA, which began sending packages of food and supplies to World War II survivors in Europe. Seventy years later, more than 100 million CARE packages have been distributed around the world.

Many of the big department store chains announced quarterly earnings this week. We'll hear from Macy's, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Kohl’s. 

Analysts are not all that optimistic. So just how much can department store earnings tell us about the health of our consumer-driven economy?

Click the above audio player to get the full story from Marketplace's Adriene Hill.