Business news

Donna Tam

Presidential debates are highlighting an area of spending that has a direct impact on U.S. relations with other countries: defense contributions.

The U.S. spent an estimated $650 billion on defense last year. That’s nearly 4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), more than any other NATO country, CNN reported Monday.

Oil pushes out Venezuela's agriculture

Apr 18, 2016
Scott Tong

At a time when oil prices are low and petrostates are suffering, economists and historians mention the term “resource curse.” It is a paradox: many natural resource-rich economies have under-performed, faring worse economically than non-endowed countries. How could this be?

Buying your own U.S. citizenship

Apr 18, 2016


Filed your taxes yet? You have until tonight! Here are some need-to-know numbers for your day.

Investing your way to U.S. citizenship

Apr 18, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the price of crude oil; why Netflix is looking for growth abroad; and the controversial EB-5 visa which grants citizenship to those who are rich enough to invest over half a million dollars in the United States. 

Mark Garrison

Big, high-profile real estate developments in America are scooping up funding from an unusual and controversial source: foreign investors angling to become Americans. The EB-5 visa program offers a path to citizenship to those rich enough to invest at least half a million dollars here. But there’s a growing debate about the program, with fierce defenders and critics who cut across traditional partisan lines.

Netflix counts on an international audience

Apr 18, 2016
Adrienne Hill

Netflix announces quarterly earnings on Monday. And, as always, subscriber numbers will be key.

The streaming service has more than 75 million members globally, with a majority in the U.S. 

But there's not a whole lot of room to grow here. So Netflix is counting on the international market. In early January, Netflix stormed into more than 130 countries, giving it a presence nearly everywhere — except for China, North Korea, and a couple other countries. 

Kim Adams

Arguments start Monday in a major immigration case before the Supreme Court. It’s about the “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans” program, which would allow people who’ve been in the U.S. more than five years and have children who are in the country legally regularize their immigration status.

NBA jerseys are getting ads

Apr 15, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Just days after the NBA's regular season went out in a double-blaze of Steph Curry/Kobe Bryant glory, NBA owners voted Friday to allow ads on players jerseys starting in two years.

Nova Safo

The Obama administration has announced an ambitious plan to spur more competition in the economy, beginning with the set-top box.

In an executive order, President Obama said he gave federal agencies 60 days to identify sectors in the economy where the government can help stimulate competition.

The opening salvo came from the Commerce Department, which filed comments with the FCC in support of its proposed plan to open up competition in cable set-top boxes. 

Perceptions toward pay

Apr 15, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about tobacco settlement payments; tax transparency among the 2016 presidential candidates; and the difference in perceptions between men and women about workplace pay.

A few surprising facts about Emancipation Day

Apr 15, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

A holiday in the District of Columbia celebrating freedom for slaves, and a quirk in the U.S. tax code have combined to give Americans a 3-day grace period on their taxes this year.


Former social media editor and journalist Matthew Keys was sentenced to two years in prison this week. He was convicted last year of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after he gave login credentials to the hacking group Anonymous in 2010, goading them into defacing the The Los Angeles Times website.

Tax preparers prey on low-income filers, study finds

Apr 15, 2016
Mark Garrison

A new study says tax preparation companies are taking advantage of low- and moderate-income people who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. The popular program shaves the tax bills of nearly 28 million Americans, but Progressive Policy Institute researchers say an alarming amount of the refund money winds up in the hands of tax preparers.

Kai Ryssdal

Segregation is a loaded word. It brings to mind different times, times that in the law have been done away with but which in reality still linger -- especially in some of our biggest cities. 

One such city, Chicago,  is the subject of Natalie Moore's new book “The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation.”

Moore spoke with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal.

On how housing is the manifestation of segregation in Chicago:

Kai Ryssdal

Microsoft has been churning out experiments in artificial intelligence for a while now.

Last month brought us a Twitter bot named Tay. The whole thing went sideways when the account started spewing racist and sexist nonsense. The latest, CaptionBot, is more benign and more fun.

It's pretty simple: plug in a photo and CaptionBot will try to tell describe what's in it as well as a human can.

Alibaba's humble beginnings

Apr 14, 2016
Janet Nguyen

We hope your Wednesday ended on as high of a note as Kobe's. And for today, here are some need-to-know numbers to send you off on another high note.

D Gorenstein

The federal government has invested more than $30 billion in electronic medical records. The idea is that these records will let doctors and hospitals improve patient care – and potentially lower costs – by tracking all the treatment a person receives.

The government may want its money back.

Desperation in the streets of Puerto Rico

Apr 14, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about possible sanctions against Theranos; the U.S. government's frustration with inaccurate electronic medical records; and how residents in Carolina, Puerto Rico are dealing with the territory's debt crisis.

Peabody Energy, the nation's largest coal miner, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday as a crosscurrent of environmental, technological and economic changes wreak havoc across the industry.

Mines and offices at Peabody, a company founded in 1833 by 24-year-old Francis S. Peabody, will continue to operate as it moves through the bankruptcy process. However, Peabody's planned sale of its New Mexico and Colorado assets were terminated after the buyer was unable to complete the deal.

The Fed's Beige Book is actually pretty colorful

Apr 13, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Today is one of my eight favorite days of the economic year. We got the Fed's Beige Book, the central bank's anecdotal look at the American economy, this afternoon. And when I say anecdotal, I mean it.

The Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog does a great job of pulling out the best tidbits.

Like this one from the Minneapolis Fed:

Logging in northern Wisconsin was slowed by a warm winter that made the ground too soft for equipment.

Even during football’s off-season, the controversy around football-related concussions continues to take a toll on the sport, especially at the youth level. According to a 2015 report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, participation in youth tackle football has dropped nearly 20 percent since 2009.

 And while you’d think this would be bad for the football business all around, helmet manufacturers may actually benefit from what some are calling the sport’s “concussion crisis.”

Janet Nguyen

Ready for tax day? (Which won't fall on April 15 this year, by the way). In anticipation of our beloved annual tradition, here are some numbers for your Wednesday. 

Business opportunities amid a debt crisis

Apr 13, 2016

On today's show we'll talk about why nearly 40,000 Verizon workers have gone on strike; a decline in retail sales; and how residents in San Juan, Puerto Rico are dealing with the territory's debt crisis.

Panama papers: Mossack Fonseca headquarters raided

Apr 13, 2016
Marketplace staff

From our partners at the BBC:

Police in Panama have raided the headquarters of the law firm at the centre of a massive data leak.

Prosecutors said the operation had been carried out at the offices of Mossack Fonseca in Panama City "without incident or interference".

The leaked "Panama Papers" have shown how some wealthy people use offshore firms to evade tax and avoid sanctions.

It's tax time — and time for tax scams

Apr 13, 2016
Annie Baxter

It's tax season, and along with it comes tax refund fraud. In the latest scam, cyber criminals impersonate a corporate executive, forging an email in his or her name to, say, a human resources colleague, demanding access to employee W-2 forms. 

“Criminals are putting quite a bit of work into making these emails look like they've come from within the company,” said Verenda Smith, deputy director of the Federation of Tax Administrators. 

Hows to make money killing zombies

Apr 12, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

It's become clear that humanity has too much time on its hands.

From the Wall Street Journal, this item:

There's now a website where for the low price of five dollars a month you can watch some guy and his buddies fight zombies.

It''s called Zombie Go Boom (semi-NSFW), if you wanna look it up, its on 24/7.

History fans among you will know that the city of Atlanta was originally called Terminus — named for the many rail lines that came together there. 

Fast forward 160 years or so and parts of those old railroad beds have become something called the Atlanta BeltLine, a proposed 22-mile loop of trails, light-rail redevelopment and green space.

The Atlanta BeltLine is the brainchild of Ryan Gravel who tells the story in his book “Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities.”

Beverly Cleary celebrates her centennial birthday

Apr 12, 2016

(Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons)

On this Tuesday, we celebrate a children's author legend. Here are your need-to-know numbers.

Beverly Cleary's legacy

Apr 12, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about tomorrow's anticipated earnings reports from the banks; racism in the bond market; and Beverly Cleary's legacy as she turns 100.