Business news

Mark Garrison

The online loan platform Lending Club announced Monday that CEO Renaud Laplanche resigned after an internal review found the company’s business practices had been violated. It’s the latest bit of bad news for the industry many call peer-to-peer lending. Wall Street was once high on companies like Lending Club and Prosper, but not so much lately. And it turns out, the industry may not be as peer-to-peer as many people think.

Kim Adams

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration filed a lawsuit against the federal government Monday. It accused the U.S. Department of Justice of overreaching in its response to the state’s “bathroom law." DOJ filed its own lawsuit in response, saying North Carolina's law that bans transgender people from using public bathrooms that don't match the gender on their birth certificates violates civil rights law. 

Tony Wagner

It's possible West Virginia's coal mines might never come back. It's something both presumptive presidential nominees have been reckoning with as they campaign in the state ahead of Tuesday's primary.

On today's show, we'll talk about the possibility of a more simple medical bill; fluctuating oil prices; and highly urbanized cities around the world.

Lyft and Uber say they’re leaving Austin

May 9, 2016
Donna Tam

Ride-hailing companies said they are leaving Austin after failing this weekend to overturn a city rule that requires fingerprint background checks for drivers.

D Gorenstein

There are few things as flat out baffling as a medical bill.

And that matters more and more as many of us end up paying out of pocket to cover our health costs. But there’s a chance these pages of gobbledygook may soon do the unexpected and explain what we owe.

On Monday morning, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services kicks off a competition to redesign medical bills and the billing process for consumers. In case you’ve missed the memo, federal health officials are overhauling health care to bring more “value” to the system.

JaeRan Kim

Recent headlines around the world have caused a lot of uncertainty in oil markets. Over the weekend, in Saudi Arabia, long-term oil minister Ali al-Naimi was replaced by Khalid al-Falih. The switch-up was part of a wider push by the kingdom to reduce its dependence on oil. 

NYC lets go of free bags ... reluctantly

May 9, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

Nobody likes a hassle, least of all New Yorkers. 

Yet New York City has joined cities like Washington, D.C., and Buenos Aires in imposing a fee on paper and plastic bags. They will be 5 cents apiece in New York City starting in October.

“Five cents to take a plastic bag out of a grocery store?” asked Adolph Teams incredulously. 

“It’s petty!” said one New Yorker who goes by Sexy Mama. 

“It’s just one more thing that complicates my life,” said Miriam Gonzales. 

Think of the poor!

Think of the dog poop!

A look at the most gambling-addicted states

May 9, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Kentucky Derby just happened this past weekend. It was a big event for horse lovers, of course. But also for gamblers.

Which brings us to a new study from the personal finance website WalletHub that looks at which states have the most addicted gamblers and why. 

People bet on horse races, of course. But in many cases, racetracks are connected to casinos.

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Redfin's Nela Richardson and Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal. The big topics this week: job numbers, treasury bonds and debt. 

Click the audio player above to listen to their conversation.

The New York Times gets in the food delivery game

May 6, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

I'm pretty sure this is the marker for peak online food delivery services.

The New York Times is getting into the game. Yes, that New York Times. Actually, it's just the ingredients from recipes pulled from the NYT Cooking site.

Which is pretty good, truth be told. It's that whole, "we'll send you the ingredients, you cook" thing.

Me? I'm good with takeout.

We're running out of Beyonces

May 6, 2016
Tony Wagner

I might not be able to scam my way into free music much longer.

Two huge albums have landed exclusively on competing streaming services less than a week apart. Drake's "Views" is drawing big numbers on Apple Music and Beyoncé's "Lemonade" stopped the world (again) with an HBO special before landing on Tidal. 

April jobs report shows weak growth

May 6, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the April jobs report, which revealed that the U.S. has added 160,000 new jobs to the economy; new regulations aimed at preventing money laundering; and lead contamination in Los Angeles. 

It’s not often the mundane task of government budgeting is compared to an episode of “Shark Tank” — the reality TV show for entrepreneurs. But there’s been a shake-up in Nashville.

The Sport of Kings after American Pharoah

May 6, 2016
Nova Safo

The gates swing open at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, for the unofficial start of the horse-racing season. It is the first big race.

Last year, a horse named American Pharoah ended a long dry spell, winning the Derby and two of the following big races for a Triple Crown. It was the first time that's happened in 37 years.

The question now: Can horse racing get a boost from American Pharoah's improbable feat and a level of media attention the sport hadn't seen in decades?

Annie Baxter

New rules issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration could have a big effect on the electronic cigarette industry, which will now have to submit products for a safety review if it wants to keep them on the market. The same holds for new products.

The rules would also impose restrictions on products like cigars and hookah tobacco.

KFC introduces finger lickin' good nail polish

May 5, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Finger lickin' good just took on a whole new meaning.

Kentucky Fried Chicken has introduced edible nail polish. It comes in Original Recipe and Hot and Spicy, just like the actual chicken. KFC apparently worked with McCormick, the spice company, on the formula — I hate to call it a recipe. Apparently what you do is you lick it once it's on your nails and it tastes just like chicken.

Sadly, it's available only in Hong Kong.

Dispatch, Ep 14: It's a meal delivery apocalypse

May 5, 2016
Molly Wood

Oh you need some food to come to your house? I think there's an app for that.

In fact, here is what's probably a partial list of the various food and meal delivery services operating in the San Francisco Bay Area.

JaeRan Kim

Amelia Vallejo's son Michael is 5 years old. He is developmentally delayed, mostly deaf, has vision problems and a host of other physical ailments his mother attributes to the high concentrations of lead that had been in her yard's soil.

“This Exide battery plant has ruined my family for the rest of their lives, with my son being disabled," Vallejo said, looking at the new sod recently installed in her yard by state employees. “I think it’s great, but the damage has been done.”

Donna Tam

North Carolina violated the U.S. Civil Rights Act when it put restrictions on access to public bathrooms, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The DOJ sent a letter to the state’s governor Wednesday, detailing how North Carolina’s law limiting access for transgender people is actually, well, against the law. 

Donna Tam

The Federal Drug Administration released new e-cigarette regulations Thursday that may have a dire impact on the fledgling industry.

On today's show, we'll talk about the sharp rise in the number of people who signed up for unemployment benefits this past week; how Donald Trump has financed his presidential campaign and how he'll continue to throughout the rest of the race; and the controversy over George Lucas' plans to build a museum in Chicago.

New IRS hires will boost enforcement

May 5, 2016
Tracey Samuelson

Looking for a new job? How about the Internal Revenue Service?

The IRS has announced it’ll hire 600 to 700 new employees, focusing primarily on enforcement — the first significant hiring in that area in five years.

The positions are sorely needed, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Overall, the agency’s down 15,000 employees since 2010.

Billions in aid for low-income seniors go unclaimed

May 5, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

The number of seniors living in poverty has increased during the last few years. Today more than 4.5 million people live on less than $12,000 a year. Meanwhile, a lot of benefits seniors could tap in to help pay for health care and housing aren’t being used.  

Full interview: Pinterest execs on fish pins, global use

May 5, 2016
Bruce Johnson and Levi Sharpe

Pinterest is breaking the stereotype of only being a platform for Midwestern housewives. 

Last week the photo-sharing site, valued at $11 billion, announced that more than half of its 100 million active users are located outside of the U.S. 

“One of the reasons it's so important for us to grow Pinterest all over the world is that catalog of ideas we're building is only as good as the diversity of ideas inside of it,” said Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest. “We want that service to work for everyone.”

How pingpong tables are an economic indicator

May 4, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Let's call it the pingpong table index.

There's been speculation here and elsewhere that we're in a tech bubble and that as all bubbles do, it will eventually pop.

The Wall Street Journal got creative, went out to Silicon Valley and talked to a pingpong table salesmen. Pingpong tables being one of those icons often found in startups and tech companies.

Marketplace for Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May 4, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

If big money doesn't support Trump, does it stay home?; a look at the mechanics of counting votes; and Hulu announced it would offer a low-cost streaming package of television channels.

As heroin and opioid addictions continue to spread among middle-class communities, families who never thought they’d face this problem are finding out one simple truth — treating someone for an addiction can be really, really costly. And some are turning to the time-honored method of the community fundraiser.

Andy Uhler

European officials met Wednesday morning, tentatively agreeing that Turks should be allowed to travel in much of Europe without a visa. 

In March, Turkey agreed to help stop migrants crossing the Aegean Sea into Europe. The European Union had agreed to give Turkey €6 billion. Eric Schwartz, dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, said Turkey was in a strong bargaining position.

Full interview: Vimeo CEO on helping creators

May 4, 2016
Bruce Johnson

The video-sharing company Vimeo bought a service this week called VHX, which may help creators on its service sell more of their content.  

“Now any creator can essentially launch their own version of Netflix," said Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor. "[It's] a premium ad-free channel of their own videos at any price they wish, launched anywhere in the world, consumable on any device.”