Business news

Donna Tam

President Barack Obama lifted the Cold War arms embargo against Vietnam on Monday, while also announcing a $16 billion deal for commercial aircrafts between Boeing, a top American weapons manufacturers, and low-cost Vietnamese airline VietJet.

Home sales may be turning around

May 23, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about increased cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam; home sale predictions; and the struggles for parents during summer break. 

For working parents, summer break is no vacation

May 23, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety

Over spring break, Wanda Gomez said her sons knew exactly where they wanted to spend the afternoon. “They said, today’s a pool day, but like, we cannot go to pool, because I have to work,” she said.

That’s how it goes all summer long. For many parents, public school offers an important benefit beyond education: free child care. Gomez has a 5 year old and a 14 year old, and she often brings them along to her job, registering new voters outside a local grocery store. “It’s more difficult when they start, ‘Mommy, I’m hungry; Mommy, I’m tired; Mommy, I’m thirsty,’" Gomez said.

Will work for Tesla

May 20, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

This final note today, which comes with the following caveat.

A couple of years ago, also on a Friday, as it happens, I made a joke about how that day was gonna be my last day hosting this program because I'd discovered a company in Florida that had Beer Cart Friday every week.

The boss came by with a beer cart and gave out free beer.

What's not to like, right?

Well, let's just say not everyone realized I was kidding, and I got something of a talking to.

So to repeat, this is not that.

How much has your credit card limit increased?

May 20, 2016
Marketplace staff

As aggressive banks continue peddling plastic, U.S. credit card debt is set to hit $1 trillion this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.


That number seems to indicate that Americans' fears about spending are beginning to subside, nearly a decade after the Great Recession. We asked you whether your credit card limits have crept up, and how high. Here are some of your responses:


On today's show, we'll talk about Japan's plans to revamp its economy; Puerto Rico's plans to restructure its debt; and the FDA's plans to redesign its food labels.

Lane Wallace

Central bankers and finance ministers from the G7 countries are meeting in Japan on Friday and Saturday as part of the lead-up to a G7 summit next week. The Group of 7 includes Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the U.K., Canada and the U.S., which collectively account for more than half the world’s GDP.

David Brancaccio

The AMC channel recently started the SundanceNow Doc Club, where users can stream documentaries and independent films. The club is launching a short film series called "Take 5," which consists of themed documentary film collections — just five minutes long — that focus around a single timely topic. The first set is called “Justice in America,” and it's available for free right now.

Josh Sapan, CEO of AMC Network, joined us to talk about the medium.

Andy Uhler

Puerto Rico is one step closer to figuring out what to do about its outstanding debt and addressing its decadelong recession. The U.S.

D Gorenstein

Let’s face it: When it comes to products most of us buy, health insurance is one of the least popular.

And new survey results from the Kaiser Family Foundation out Friday morning find that sentiment reaching new lows.

Kaiser’s Larry Levitt said it makes perfect sense why consumers are feeling cranky about their coverage. 

“People are paying more, and in many cases getting less,” he said.

"60 Minutes" mainstay Morley Safer dead at 84

May 19, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Longtime CBS News correspondent Morley Safer died Thursday morning.

When I say long time, I mean 52 years — 46 of them at "60 Minutes."

He talked to just about everyone about just about everything, including Bernie Madoff's wife Ruth, after the former was sentenced to 150 years in prison for running the bigggest Ponzi scheme ever. Check out that tape above.

I used to watch him every Sunday night when I was a kid.

Dispatch, Ep 16: The problem with Google

May 19, 2016
Molly Wood

Here's the thing about Google. As a company made up of people who inevitably form a complex organism that takes on a personality derived from its leadership, mission and hiring choices, it does not get product.

Kai Ryssdal

Theranos used to be one of the hottest names in Silicon Valley. Theranos and its founder and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, were equally buzzy. This was due mostly to the company's near-revolutionary blood-testing machine.

In the past six months or so, though, a good part of the shine has worn off.

Marketplace for Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016

"Grey's" long life, the fraught relationship between galleries and museums, and what it's like to live in a Chinese "Cancer Village."

Wal-Mart profits beat expectations

May 19, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Wal-Mart's much higher-than expected-profits in the first quarter; an increase in the number of seven-figure homes; and prime-time ad real estate.

Ashley Milne-Tyte

Retailers have been releasing earnings the past week, and the big names like Macy’s and Nordstrom haven’t been doing so well. Meanwhile, big box stores like Target have weathered this winter better.

Department stores are feeling their age. Ken Morris of Boston Retail Partners said they can’t whisk new fashions to market like the nimble Spanish chain Zara. And unlike their rivals, they don’t know how to attract young buyers. He said he saw a Spanish-language TV ad for Target recently that had multigenerational appeal.

Million-dollar homes are no longer anything special

May 19, 2016
Mark Garrison

A million-dollar home may be out of reach for many Americans, but a new report from the real estate website Trulia says that in many major cities, seven-figure values are becoming common.

When a $2 million pay cut is a symbolic blow

May 18, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

This final note on the way out, ending, in a way, where we started: Worker pay.

The board of directors at Viacom voted today to stop paying the salary of 92-year-old Sumner Redstone, its founder and chairman emeritus. Until this afternoon, Redstone made $2 million a year.

Symbolism here is everything. Redstone's worth something like $5 billion dollars. 

He just won a legal fight over his mental competency a couple of weeks ago.

Kai Ryssdal

Yesterday the White House announced new rules for salary workers when it comes to overtime pay. The gist of it is, if you make less than about $47,000, you get to clock overtime. In other government news, the United States will now impose even steeper tariffs on steel coming out of China.

Both of these announcements are important, especially if you're in the steel business, so Kai Ryssdal called up Lisa Goldenberg, president of Delaware Steel Co. in Pennsylvania to see how her economy is holding up.

Google wants to get into your home — again

May 18, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

It's not necessarily how a lot of us would spend an otherwise beautiful Northern California afternoon, but Wednesday was the first day of Google I/O, the internet giant's annual conference for its developer community.

New CEO Sundar Pichai and his team of executives took the opportunity to roll out their newest, and hopefully for them, whiz-bangiest piece of hardware.

Our senior tech correspondent Molly Wood was there, and Kai Ryssdal talked to her about it.

What did Google unveil? 

The perils of swapping a car for money

May 18, 2016

On today's show we'll talk about a new report that states about 20 percent of people who take out loans using the titles of their vehicles end up getting their cars seized by the lenders; a sales decline for Target last quarter; and one Mesoamerican archaeologist's must-have item: a Marshalltown trowel.

Airlines worry security lines will hurt bottom lines

May 18, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The trade group Airlines for America said airlines’ pretax earnings stayed basically flat over the past year. But its chief economist, John Heimlich, expects 4 percent more passengers this summer.

“That will be an all-time high of 231 million passengers — 2.5 million per day on average,” he said.

And all of those passengers will have to go through security. Heimlich thinks if security delays drag on months or even years, they’ll definitely have an impact on airlines’ bottom lines.

Bruce Johnson

Competition among ridesharing companies is growing at home and abroad. Just this week, Waze, the mapping app owned by Google, started a small carpooling pilot program for people in California's Bay Area.

Lyft and Uber are the two big players domestically. The companies are moving beyond ridesharing to the world of driverless cars. Lyft recently partnered with an investor, General Motors, to push forward self-driving vehicles.

John Zimmer is co-founder and president of Lyft. He believes that autonomous vehicles will roll out first on a network.

A different take on ‘Audit the Fed’

May 17, 2016

In front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today is House Resolution 24, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015. It's a bill “to require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks of the United States.” But this proposed legislation is better known as the Audit the Fed bill, an idea made famous by, among others, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

HP Inc. CEO Dion Weisler banks on 3-D printing

May 17, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Dion Weisler rapidly ascended to CEO of HP Inc. in just three years. Weisler has a solid background in PCs, holding positions at Acer and Lenovo before moving to HP in 2012 to head its Asia Pacific and Japan Printing and Personal Systems. When the company known as "HP" was split into two publicly traded companies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc., he was propelled to the top. A large proponent of technological innovation, Weisler is confident that his company will lead innovation in the digital sector despite a decline in the sales of PCs.

A jump in U.S. consumer prices

May 17, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the core rate of inflation; efforts to increase diversity in the tech field; and a $1 billion desalination plant in Carlsbad, California.

Lane Wallace

We’ve been poring over thrilling new filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that let us know where big investors put some of their money over the last quarter.

Jeff Tyler

In Southern California, fresh water is constantly in short supply. But the San Diego area can now tap into a resource that’s not dependent on rain — a new $1 billion desalination plant that is the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

In Carlsbad, California, intake pumps pull water from the Pacific Ocean.

“We bring 100 million gallons of water through our intake pump system and up the hill to the desalination plant," said Jessica Jones, spokesperson for Poseidon Water. "We get a 55 percent recovery. We turn half of it into fresh drinking water."

Annie Baxter

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell meet Tuesday with stewards of regional forest lands to discuss preparations for fighting wildfires this season. 

Last year was a record fire season. And with 2016 poised potentially to be the hottest year on record, many experts expect another difficult year for firefighting.

Seeking solutions to diversify the tech industry

May 17, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is searching for solutions to the lack of diversity in the tech industry. It's starting with a hearing on the issue this week. But some in the tech diversity sphere already have ideas.