Business news

JaeRan Kim

Republicans have announced a financial regulatory alternative they will be pushing as an effort to ditch the Dodd-Frank Act, the 2010 law designed to prevent the possibility of another financial collapse.

The Dodd-Frank Act is in little danger of being set aside during the Obama presidency. But what are the forces Dodd-Frank  set in motion? Its provisions include requirements that banks have more capital on hand to reduce risk from bad loans and those that limit proprietary trading.  

Has it made a difference?  

Unemployed oil workers find new home in solar industry

Jun 7, 2016

Eighty thousand workers have been laid off across the country as the price of oil has plummeted. In Texas, some out-of-work rig hands, pipe fitters and engineers are finding employment in solar energy.

David Webster has been managing the Mission Solar warehouse in San Antonio since February. Before finding work in the solar sector, Webster spent 10 years shipping oil out of rigs all over the world. Now, he makes sure that the solar panels are packaged and distributed to customers across the U.S.

Transitioning to solar energy was an adjustment.

After 27 years of working for fashion giants like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karen, Izumi Kajimoto took the CEO reins of Stetson Worldwide, the makers of the famous Stetson cowboy hat. Kajimoto explains how she's making hats relevant again.

Click the audio player above or subscribe to the Corner Office podcast to listen to hear more full and extended interviews with CEOs.

Verizon's $3 billion bid for Yahoo's web assets

Jun 7, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Verizon's $3 billion bid for Yahoo's web assets; how data may help curb opioid abuse; and a surge in consumer debt.

A look at the economies of the latest states to vote

Jun 7, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The six states holding  primaries and caucuses Tuesday are a mixed bag economically. Some are really hurting.

“North Dakota is the extreme case,” said Howard Cure, director of municipal research at Evercore Wealth Management. North Dakota Democrats hold caucuses. 

Cure said North Dakota’s economy relies heavily on the energy sector. So do New Mexico and Montana. 

Consumer debt continues to climb

Jun 7, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

In March, consumer credit surged by $29.7 billion — 10 percent on an annual basis — to $3.59 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. (The measure excludes mortgage debt.) That compares to a 7 percent annual increase for the full year of 2015. Consumer credit was rising at a rate of just 4.2 percent annually in 2011.

D Gorenstein

Nearly 19,000 people. That’s how many Americans died in 2014 due to overdosing on prescription pain medication, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

The Food and Drug Administration, states and health insurance companies are all tackling this public health epidemic.

Kai Ryssdal

You know how during negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership — the big trade deal the Obama Administration's trying to get through Congress — one of the big complaints from would-be opponents was that they weren't being allowed to read the thing as it was being negotiated?

There's something else people won't be able to read for a while: Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails about it.

Are you getting more comfortable with debt?

Jun 6, 2016
Marketplace staff

New consumer credit numbers may show that Americans are more comfortable with taking on debt than seven years ago, when the recession ended.

Mark Garrison

In New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, a growing crowd watches a mirror image of a common street scene. There’s a tow truck and a car, but instead of removing it from an illegal parking space, the truck is lowering it into place, on the sidewalk in front of HG Contemporary Gallery. It’s a late-model VW Beetle in black, but it’s a little hard to tell, because it’s barely recognizable under all the multicolored graffiti, the work of Nelson Saiers.

The spacy state of law around commercial moon travel

Jun 6, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

A little-known company called Moon Express may well be the first to get clearance from the government to launch an unmanned mission to the moon, according to the Wall Street Journal. The mission would be in pursuit of the Google Lunar XPRIZE, which would award $30 million to the first privately funded mission to successfully deploy a spacecraft to the moon, and is able to traverse 500 meters of lunar surface and send back HD video and images.

Co-signing loans can be bad business

Jun 6, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

This just in: No good deed goes unpunished. 

“If you co-sign with someone on a loan or a credit card, you’ve got a 40 percent chance of losing money and a 26 percent chance of damaging your relationship,” said Matt Schultz, senior industry analyst at It commissioned a survey of 2,003 adults of whom 388 had co-signed a loan. 

The conclusion: Never help anyone ever. 

“Twenty-eight percent experienced a drop in their credit score because the other person paid late or not at all," Schultz said.

Nancy Marshall-Genzer

One of the big issues likely to come up during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington? Trade.

“The U.S. is India’s largest export destination,” said Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. 

Ben Bergman

Six states will hold presidential contests Tuesday, including California. Even though California probably benefits from trade more than any other state, all three remaining candidates have been campaigning there with a solidly anti-trade message.

“We’re going to start making things again," Donald Trump told cheering supporters at an April campaign stop in Costa Mesa, CA. "We’re going to start our manufacturing businesses.”

Bernie Sanders has also made outsourcing a major theme of his campaign.

Honk if you're a real person

Jun 3, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

This final note on the way out: 

Google is working on self-driving cars, as you know. They're also, apparently, working on self-honking cars. The company wrote in its most recent update of the Google Self-Driving Car Project that it's teaching its cars when to honk, when to just give a little toot and when to really lean into it.

Their goal, they say, is for their cars to be polite, considerate and only honk when it makes driving safer for everyone.

They just don't really get the whole honking thing, do they?





Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Felix Salmon of Fusion and Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post. 

Click the audio player above to listen to their conversation.

Esperanza Spalding takes the Marketplace Quiz

Jun 3, 2016
Raghu Manavalan

Think back to your first job. Maybe you learned a lesson that stuck with you or maybe you used the money you earned from it to make an impulse purchase you really, really wish you could take back.

Jazz musician Esperanza Spalding sat down with producer Raghu Manavalan to take the Marketplace Quiz, our questionnaire based on experiences with work and money. Her latest album, "Emily's D+Evolution," is out now.

How communications tools change the workplace

Jun 3, 2016
Eliza Mills

It may be the weekend, but around the world, people are still tapped into their work lives, getting emails, chats, texts or calls that draw them back into the weekly grind. 

New messaging apps and email services pop up left and right, migrating from the startup world into mainstream offices everywhere. As the way people communicate at work changes, so does the workplace — tools like email, Slack and Gchat enable a constant stream of messaging and leaves some overwhelmed.  

On today's show, we'll talk about May's weak jobs report; truck drivers' fight to be classified as full-time employees; and Wal-Mart's collaboration with ride-booking services to deliver groceries to customers.

Why employment numbers are so low

Jun 3, 2016
David Brancaccio

Economic policymakers and market professionals got some news Friday morning that may change the way we're thinking about the United States economy — for the worse. The May employment figures were released and, with only 38,000 new jobs added to the market, they show a startling departure from forecasts. Forecasters predicted growth of about 160,000 jobs, or nearly four times the reality.

May's jobs report provide pointer to Fed

Jun 3, 2016
Adrienne Hill

The economy added 38,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in May, with the unemployment rate dipping from April's 5 percent to 4.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That jobs number is much lower than anticipated — economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expected there to be an increase of 158,000 nonfarm payrolls.

Truckers: contractors, or employees?

Jun 3, 2016
Andy Uhler

This week, many truck drivers who transport containers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to distribution centers are on strike. The issue: They are classified as contractors, but want to be full-time employees.

Fidel Gonzalez came to the United States from Oaxaca, Mexico. He started driving a truck 10 years ago because he thought he could make more money than he was paid as a garment worker. But today, he thinks the system is set up for drivers to fail.

Fighting over Zika funding continues in Congress

Jun 3, 2016
Gigi Douban

Spring break draws to a close for Congress next week. One of the more pressing items is how much money to put toward Zika prevention. More than 500 cases have been reported in the continental United States, all stemming from people who had traveled to Zika-prone regions. And health officials fear those numbers could be much higher. In the meantime, Congress returns to a Zika funding squabble.

The White House asked for $1.9 billion to fight Zika. The Senate offered $1.1 billion toward mosquito extermination and research, and the House offered up $622 million.

Molly Wood

The whole world's got problems. 

Heck, you just heard some of them: workers rights, illegal fishing, how not to exploit poor people — that's just today's show.  

The list is pretty much endless, which is why the MacArthur Foundation announced Thursday it will award a $100 million-dollar prize to someone who can solve a big global problem. That's it. Come up with a big global problem and a solution that actually helps people. Those are the only rules. 

Music festivals win big for fans, organizers, sponsors

Jun 2, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

A big music festival kicks off in New York City this weekend. The Governors Ball is featuring big stars like Kanye West, bands like The Strokes — they’re all coming to Randalls’ Island in the East River for a few days of partying. The event is going to be big business — just like most of the other 800 or so music festivals that have sprung up in recent years all over the U.S.

Thirty-two million people attended music festivals at the last count, according to Nielsen Music.

Truckers strike over employment status

Jun 2, 2016
Andy Uhler

Some drivers are currently striking at a pair of the nation’s busiest ports — Long Beach and Los Angeles — as a way to demand reclassification. Every day, as many as 25,000 short-haul trucks trek to and from the ports, transporting containers filled with goods that end up in stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Costco.

Planned layoffs down to a five-month low in the U.S.

Jun 2, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aimed at cracking down on payday lenders; the upcoming May's jobs numbers report; and apps geared toward helping those who are disabled. 

Annie Baxter

The PGA Tour said it is relocating an elite golf tournament from Donald Trump's course in Miami to one in Mexico City. The organization said the move has to do with money, not politics.

The PGA Tour’s World Golf Championships event had been sponsored by Cadillac since 2011. But Cadillac did not renew its sponsorship, and PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said the organization could not procure a sponsor at the Trump National Doral Resort in Miami for next year or for several years out.

Lisa Napoli

The dreaded morning commute. In order to combat traffic, U.S. cities over the last several years have invested $25 billion in light-rail projects.

In one of the most congested regions in America — Los Angeles — one of those new lines has finally been completed. But, when the train rolls in, so does change.

As the train on the new Expo Line barreled into Santa Monica on its first day, Robert Berman sat in his art gallery, worrying.

Disabled? There's (more than one) app for that.

Jun 2, 2016
Lane Wallace

Jason DaSilva said after he developed multiple sclerosis about 10 years ago, getting out got more complicated.

“There were times that I was finding it impossible just to go out and meet a friend at a bar, or have a date,” he said, speaking in his apartment in Queens, New York. It was hard to figure out where his wheelchair would fit, how many stairs there were, whether there was a bathroom he could use. Sometimes even a phone call ahead couldn’t clarify all his questions.