Business news

Donna Tam

Many well-known brands come from companies that have little to no female representation within their leadership, according to a database released Tuesday.

Created by LedBetter, a volunteer-driven research group, the index tracks gender equality among the boards and executive teams of companies, and covers 2,000 brands. It found that, on average, women make up about 20 percent of the leadership at these companies.

Background checks only tell you so much

Jun 14, 2016

The man Orlando law enforcement says is responsible for the night club shooting reportedly passed several background checks for his job as a security guard.

Businesses that turn to the background checking industry often rely on companies that scrape data from court records and elsewhere to assess if someone is a risk. Information can be scattered and incomplete. Even if it wasn’t, security experts are quick to point out that not even the best screening can always catch those bent on killing.

Video game insiders head to a new dimension at E3

Jun 14, 2016
Lane Wallace

Tens of thousands of video game insiders head to Los Angeles this week for E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, a giant exhibition where major companies launch new products and game updates, and try to create buzz.

The $23.5 billion industry is changing quickly, with growth driven by digital game sales and the sustained popularity of mobile gaming.

Every year, video game makers try to one-up themselves and each other with game updates and new hardware.

IBM: when corporations took care of their employees

Jun 13, 2016
Dan Bobkoff

For those of us feeling insecure about our jobs and our futures, this story may sound like a fairy tale. Imagine for a moment an employer that takes care of you from cradle to grave, a company that hosts lavish carnivals for your family, a place where workers feel intensely loyal because they're treated so well. That company was IBM. 

Introducing "The Price of Profits"

Jun 13, 2016
Marketplace staff

For many people, it feels like the wheels have come off the American Dream. Wages are stuck. The once sure-fire step up, a college degree, is becoming unaffordable. Jobs a family can plan a future around can seem scarce. Much of the angry passion this election year stems directly from these concerns about Americans' personal economies.

Microsoft purchases LinkedIn for $26.2 billion

Jun 13, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about business security amid the news that a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida; the future of Theranos; and Microsoft's decision to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion.

Loyalty frays for both employers and employees

Jun 13, 2016
Steve Gardner

The ranks of Americans working contract, freelance and temporary jobs are growing. Many companies have a two-tier workforce now, a blend of permanent employees and contractors. We’ve been here before.

AR-15 rifle becoming tragically iconic

Jun 13, 2016
Annie Baxter

A gunman at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida killed nearly 50 people Sunday and injured at least as many more. The gunman, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, was wielding a handgun and a style of semi-automatic rifle called the AR-15, a weapon that has now been used in several mass shootings.

The AR in AR-15 stands for ArmaLite Rifle, named after the company that developed it in the 50s — originally for military use. Later, a civilian variant was designed.

Marketplace Weekend for Friday, June 10, 2016

Jun 10, 2016

On this week's show, we go long and short on stories from the news with Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer and The Atlantic's Vann Newkirk II. Writer Sloane Crosley takes the Marketplace Quiz, and Lizzie interview's former Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota. We continue our conversation about traveling on a budget with kids, and Buzzfeed's Sapna Maheshwari joins Lizzie to talk about the changing landscape of retail. 


On today's show, we'll talk about investors' flight from the low — and negative — yields of Asia and Europe; Nordstrom's partnership with the Tony Awards to sell clothing viewers see on the red carpet; and Airbnb's plans to revamp its service so that hosts don't discriminate customers based on race.

Nordstrom partners with the Tony Awards to sell clothing

Jun 10, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

This Sunday is Broadway’s biggest night — the Tony Awards are taking place in Manhattan. The event hasn’t exactly drawn stellar viewership during the last few years, but the organizers are hoping all that will change this year given the buzz around the smash hit musical "Hamilton."

And one famous department store is hoping the same thing. 

Boat-sharing can make your sailing dreams a reality

Jun 10, 2016
Jonathan Bastian

These days it’s not hard to Uber your car or Airbnb your apartment. But what exactly do you do with a sailboat?

One young couple from Santa Barbara, California is using the shared economy to turn the elite world of boating into an affordable adventure.

I was lucky enough to learn about this firsthand when I jumped on their 42-foot boat, and sailed down the west coast of Costa Rica with three other crew members.

Why the middle class has less money and bigger bills

Jun 9, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Tommy Andres

More from this month's series

Election 2016: Presidential Twitter drama

Jun 9, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

On the solemn constitutional obligation we're all embarked upon — choosing the next President of these United States: Donald Trump saw President Barack Obama's Hillary Clinton endorsement video this morning and tweeted this:

What it feels like to be a middle class family today

Jun 9, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Tommy Andres

More from this month's series

The middle class is the most talked about group in the 2016 presidential election. But who are they?

Marketplace staff

A recently introduced bill could establish a program that would train healthcare providers to identify and aid human trafficking victims.

George Soros is back in the trading game

Jun 9, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about billionaire George Soros' gold purchases; a new report that finds the U.S. will become majority non-white over the next two decades; and California's overabundance of solar power. 

A backlash may be brewing against no-tipping policies

Jun 9, 2016
Sally Herships

How much to tip? Figuring between 10, 15, 20 percent, or extra for extra excellent service is one decision. But when it comes to haggling over the percentage of a gratuity, the choice is no longer solely in the hands of diners.

The shifting U.S. working class

Jun 9, 2016
Adrienne Hill

The working class in the U.S. — defined as working people without a college degree — will be "majority-minority" more than a decade before the overall population. That's according to a new study from the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute. The report's author, Valerie Wilson, projects the working class will become majority non-white in 2032.

Sold: Playboy Mansion for $200 million

Jun 8, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

This final note on the way out today: A little bit ew, a little bit misplaced nostalgia.

Businesses ponder the effects of Brexit

Jun 8, 2016
Sam Beard

In less than three weeks,  Britain holds a critical referendum on whether it should remain a part of the European Union or, after more than 40 years of membership,  pull out of the bloc.

One of the battlegrounds in the campaign has been business. British companies (or their managers and employees) are facing an excruciating  choice: would they be better off staying inside the tariff free, single market of 500 million Europeans or would they prosper more if they were free from the constraints of EU regulation.      

More than half of 2015 grads are working

Jun 8, 2016
Tony Wagner

Millennials may be living with their parents more than ever, but at least they're working.

On today's show, we'll talk about the European Central Bank's kick-off of its corporate-bond buying program; the nuclear power industry's decline; and the success of a San Francisco homeless shelter program. 

Annie Baxter

Low prices and a global oversupply of cotton have been putting a lot of pressure on the nation's cotton producers. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would offer cotton growers $300 million in aid to help stabilize the industry.

“The market is certainly not where any of us would like it to be,” said Steve Verett, executive vice president of the Plains Cotton Growers in Lubbock, Texas, the nation's leading cotton-producing state.

Why nuclear plants are having trouble making money

Jun 8, 2016
Mark Garrison

Nuclear power may have made Mr. Burns a rich man on "The Simpsons," but in the real world, it’s getting harder and harder to make money running nuclear plants.

On June 2, industry leader Exelon said it will shut down two Illinois nuclear plants in 2017-2018. It says they have lost a combined $800 million in the past seven years. The company had hoped Illinois legislators would help out the plants, but it didn’t happen.

Kai Ryssdal

General Mills is doing something it hasn't done in 15 years: introducing a new breakfast cereal.

It's called Tiny Toast. The cereal comes in strawberry and blueberry flavors — flavors the company says are actual strawberry and blueberry powder, no artificial flavors involved.

Kai Ryssdal

Stetson Worldwide is most known for its wide-brimmed cowboy hats founded by John B. Stetson in 1865. The company enjoyed success with the popularity of his iconic "Boss of the Plains" hat, and by the early 1900s, the company's Philadelphia plant had grown into the world's largest hat factory. Unfortunately, the trends of the mid-1960s put the company through some major setbacks.

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.

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