Business

Business news

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
David Shane / Flickr

State lawmakers across the country are increasingly saying "no" to cities and counties seeking to impose local restrictions on businesses.

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

Making food more selfie-friendly

May 15, 2015
Brian De Los Santos

25,513

That’s how many people follow Chili’s on Instagram, as of Friday morning, and the chain is sprucing up its dishes to try and attract more. They've started serving fries in stainless steel containers and using burger buns with more visual appeal, Bloomberg reported.

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Marketplace Tech for Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015
Marketplace

Marketplace Morning Report for Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015
Marketplace

Marketplace for Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 14, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Facebook's new Instant Articles feature allows news organizations like Buzzfeed and the New York Times to publish articles directly to the site. The pitch is that they'll load faster, so users won't waste precious seconds waiting for content to load. Here's a few things you can do with that free time.

This video was produced by Preditorial.

PODCAST: Mad Men ends

May 14, 2015
David Brancaccio

First up, more on the news that college enrollment in the U.S. is down 2 percent from last year. Plus, a growing number cities are taking banking regulation into their own hands—requiring the banks they work with to pass muster as "socially responsible." That means investing in low-income areas, helping distressed homeowners and avoiding predatory lending practices. And with Mad Men ending this Sunday, AMC is rolling out a marathon ... and an interesting ad strategy.

Marketplace

It's a Mad Mad Men world for AMC

May 14, 2015
Nova Safo

AMC is sending off its series "Mad Men" in style. On Wednesday night, the network started a marathon of all episodes of the show, running in order, leading up to the series finale Sunday night.

During the finale, AMC will also turn off programming at its sister networks, including IFC and BBC America, pointing audiences to the "Mad Men" finale.

The major promotional push for the show is also a strategic business move for AMC.

Food companies face water risk

May 13, 2015
water faucet
Jenn Durfey / flickr

 

America’s biggest food production companies face a growing threat of water scarcity, according to a new report from Ceres, an environmental sustainability group.

The report cites pollution as one of the primary culprits.

How human behavior impacts the economy

May 13, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

The problem with many macroeconomic models is that they make predictions that don't account for human behavior. And, as many of us may know, human beings are not always logical.

"In the 1940s, economics started getting highly mathematical," says Richard H. Thaler, founding father of behavioral economics and a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "It was basically because economists weren’t smart enough to write down models of real behavior, that they started writing down models of highly rational behavior – and they kind of forgot about humans."

Marketplace for Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 13, 2015
Marketplace

PODCAST: Uber loans

May 13, 2015
David Brancaccio

On top of Macy's reporting disappointing profits Wednesday, there's news that retail sales last month were flat. More on that. Plus, we'll talk about Facebook luring publishing companies into putting their content directly onto the social media site. And Uber has a finance program for potential drivers with bad credit. Getting more drivers on the road means more money for Uber. But those loans can have high interest rates and some drivers are struggling to make the payments. 

Marketplace

A look at Macy's bottom line ahead of a new strategy

May 13, 2015
Annie Baxter

Macy's reported disappointing earnings Wednesday morning, with sales down .7 percent from last year to $6.2 billion.

In an attempt to improve those numbers, the company will be trying a new growth strategy. This fall, it will open four discount stores in New York City called Macy’s Offstage.

Other big retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus have already established themselves in the discount game and are seeing good results from it.

Pumping gas
File Photo / KBIA

 

  Drivers who have seen a steady rise in the price of gasoline can relax: They will almost certainly be paying far less for gas this summer than they have in at least six years.

The Energy Department said Tuesday that it expects the price of gasoline to average $2.55 between April and September, which would be the lowest since 2009. Over the course of the year, a typical U.S household could save $675 in gasoline prices compared to last year.

In the NBA, 'Hack-a-Shaq' is fouling ratings, too

May 12, 2015
Gigi Douban

As the NBA moves through its playoffs, the league is looking at the widely debated strategy known as 'Hack-a-Shaq,' named after the notoriously bad free-shooter Shaquille O'Neal.

Most recently, it's Hack-a-Jordan or Hack-a-DeAndre, for LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. Amazing player, and terrible at free throws. Hack-a-Shaq, or hack-a-whomever, is when a team targets the opposition's worst free-throw shooter, pounding him with fouls. He has to take the free throw, he misses, the other team gets the ball.

Re-thinking the boring bond

May 12, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

The usually boring bond market has been distinctly un-boring of late. What began in German bonds a couple of weeks ago has arrived at the U.S. Treasury market.

German rates have climbed about half a percent, “which is a big move in bond world,” says Brian Rehling, co-head of global fixed income strategy at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. “That’s really what’s moved U.S. rates higher.”

The yield on the 10-year Treasury on Tuesday climbed to its highest level since late November before settling back down slightly, to 2.26 percent.

Marketplace for Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015
Marketplace

On YouTube, it's always late night

May 12, 2015
Tony Wagner

Late night TV is increasingly not on TV, or even on at night. In the past year nearly every major player — CBS, NBC, Comedy Central — have seen host shake-ups, with more on the way. HBO and Netflix are joining the fray and, as the New York Times points out, competition is stiffer as more viewers aren't bothering to stay up and watch anymore.

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