Business news

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.

A market bounceback

Jun 28, 2016

On today's show, we'll  talk about an uptick in the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500; look at the possibility of companies using Brexit as a justification for poor performance; and interview Larry Rosin, the president of Edison Research, about the results of our joint poll on economic anxiety. 

Volkswagen agrees to $14.7 billion settlement

Jun 28, 2016

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $14.7 billion to settle with consumers who bought VW and Audi cars that had small diesel engines designed to cheat emissions tests. This covers 475,000 cars, mainly in the U.S., and grants VW owners with a useful option if they don't want VW to try to fix the cars — which could reduce the vehicle's performance. 

Click the above audio player to hear the full report. 

Brexit could be a goldmine for lawyers

Jun 28, 2016
Lane Wallace

News of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has gone over pretty badly with a lot of global industries and markets. But there’s at least one industry where the whole thing might actually be a windfall: the legal industry.

Yep, your very favorite people are licking their chops right now — and by licking their chops, we mean fielding a bunch of panicky calls from clients.

Andy Uhler

Norway is not a member of the European Union. But through the European Economic Area Agreement and European Free Trade Association, it maintains a close trade relationship with the rest of the Continent. That relationship is key to its economy. But Fiona Hill, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, said Norwegian officials she's spoken with don't think the relationship is all that favorable. 

Americans' anxiety around the economy grows

Jun 27, 2016
Andrea Seabrook

Welcome to the post-Brexit world – a global economic outlook more uncertain than ever.

Brexit: Corporations read the fine print

Jun 27, 2016
Sally Herships

In the world of corporate contract law, Brexit isn’t actually that unusual.  That is, when it's considered as grounds for language,  meant to protect your firm, listed within the fine print of a corporate legal contract. 

Here's what financial advisers are saying about Brexit

Jun 27, 2016
Mark Garrison and Tony Wagner

The global economic turmoil that followed last week's Brexit has promoted financial advisers to spring into action Monday. Advisers had already been on guard, but the huge market reaction to the surprise "remain" vote meant financial planners had to get emailing. We cleared out our own inboxes and complied their insights for you to peruse.

The European Union's grand experiment

Jun 27, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the shape of the world's markets following Thursday's Brexit vote; how uncertainty may start plaguing the U.K. auto industry; and the future of Europe. 

What are the true costs of Medicare?

Jun 27, 2016
D Gorenstein

New research raises questions about the cost of expanding Medicaid – the health care program for low-income and disabled Americans.

Some 19 states have yet to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act – often thanks to concerns about the sticker price.