By Marketplace

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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our leading business news radio program and podcast is about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy developments, we help listeners understand the economic world around them. Marketplace makes sense of the economy for everyone, no econ degree or finance background required. Marketplace doesn’t just report on the numbers, we take it deeper, adding context to what’s happening in the stock market and how macroeconomic policy can affect you and your business. Monday through Friday, our team speaks with a wide range of industry professionals– from small business owners to Fortune 500 CEOs, Marketplace breaks down complex topics related to business and the economy without industry jargon and over complicated explanations.  Kai Ryssdal has led the program since 2005 and has hosted the program from China, the Middle East and dozens of cities across the United States. As a leading public media voice, Kai has been a trusted broadcaster for two decades and is the recipient of the DuPont-Columbia Award, a George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy. Produced and distributed by American Public Media (APM) our popular business news podcasts are available worldwide on Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, and RSS Feeds and any place else where you get your podcasts.

Episode Date
The view of this election from China

We’re a week out from Election Day, and Americans aren’t the only ones watching closely. President Trump’s trade war with China put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of products, and so today we’ll hear from businesses in China about what they’re predicting and how they’ll respond to a Biden presidency or a second Trump term. Plus: Mall defaults, holiday jobs and a history lesson on presidential pressure on the Fed.

Oct 27, 2020
The outdoors aren’t so great right now

Cooped-up Americans across the country escaped to city and state parks during the shutdowns early in the pandemic. But with parks departments facing budget cuts and the extra use taking its toll, the country’s parks need some TLC to keep from deteriorating. Plus: Dunkin’s potential sale, shrinking homes and COVID’s ripple effect on the HVAC business.

Oct 26, 2020
Who gets the Thanksgiving leftovers this year?

We’re about a month away from Thanksgiving. As the pandemic continues, many Americans will have a smaller table this holiday. Meanwhile, turkey farmers have birds they’ve been raising all year, and retailers still have to make sales. Today, we’ll look into the push and pull of the turkey economy. Plus: the “casualization” of the workplace, why QR codes are making a comeback and where the economy stands 11 days before Election Day.

Oct 23, 2020
The $20 billion missing from this economy

October so far has the fewest first-time unemployment claims since March, but there are still tens of millions of Americans relying on money from the government while they’re out of work — and extra benefits keep running out. Today, we’ll look at what that’s doing to the economy. Plus: savings plans, permanent work-from-home and a conversation with Bradley & Parker CEO Wynne Nowland about coming out as transgender.

Oct 22, 2020
What happened to Quibi?

How do you blow through $1.75 billion? We’re not sure, but today we’re going to puzzle through what happened with Quibi, the well-funded mobile-first streaming service that’s shutting down after six months. Plus: robots taking our jobs and the story of an affordable housing project in Baltimore.

Oct 21, 2020
The antitrust case against Google

The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google was a long time coming, but our tech correspondent Molly Wood says a more robust case might have taken a little longer. We’ll talk about the outlook both for the government and big tech. Plus: another lawsuit over H-1B visa rules, a new COVID-19 workplace safety law and what our poll says about the more than half of Americans afraid of losing their jobs right now.

Oct 20, 2020
China shows what a coronavirus recovery could look like

China’s GDP rose 4.9% in the third quarter, driven in large part by a resurgence of consumer spending. Today, we’ll dig into China’s post-coronavirus economy. Plus: how the pandemic is changing pharmacies, the lithium rush and rising housing insecurity.

Oct 19, 2020
Americans are on the move

According to our Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, more than a quarter of Americans have recently moved or are considering moving, citing flexibility to work from anywhere and the need to be closer to family. On today’s show, we’ll look at what that moving means for the economy and whether the effects will stick. Plus: the latest consumer spending numbers, the racial wealth gap and what stockpiling does to the supply chain.

Oct 16, 2020
Could you handle a surprise $250 expense right now?

According to our latest poll with Edison Research, nearly half of Americans would find that bill at least somewhat difficult to cover. Today, we’re going to dive into more of our polling data, on household responsibilities and trust in government economic data. Plus, changes to Medicare and the problem with “optimism bias.”

Oct 15, 2020
What you need to know about unemployment benefits right now

The unemployment benefit system is complicated, even more so after the CARES Act. But there’s an acronym you might be seeing more and more, if you’ve been watching weekly jobless numbers: PEUC, or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. But what exactly is PEUC? We’ll explain. Plus, airline COVID testing and a deep dive into two important indicators: bank reserves and the Producer Price Index.

Oct 14, 2020
The one-child policy is history, but rules in China still restrict families

It has been nearly five years since China ended its one-child policy, but the number of births in the country last year was the lowest it’s been since 1961. On today’s show, we’ll look at why. Plus: Google without Chrome, voting rights lawsuits and Disney’s big restructuring.

Oct 13, 2020
The holiday shopping season is already here

Each year, it feels like Black Friday sales come earlier and earlier. And this year is no different — except it’s supply chain issues driving retailers to start their holiday sales before Halloween. We’ll talk about it. Plus: airline cash burn rates, pay adjustments for our new work-from-anywhere normal and one community battling a 30% unemployment rate.

Oct 12, 2020
So … about that relief bill

Just when you thought the coronavirus relief bill negotiations couldn’t get any sillier, here we are. We’ll kick off today’s show talking about the state of play in Washington, D.C. Plus: IBM’s pivot to the cloud, Yelp’s attempts at fighting racism and why some businesses can’t seem to hire right now.

Oct 09, 2020
Making a COVID vaccine is one thing, distributing it is another

There are several companies racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine. But when one is ready, we’ll need a vast infrastructure of storage and labor to get it out. Today, we’ll look at the logistics of vaccination and what it will cost. Plus: workplace coronavirus testing, Zoom school substitutes and 5G. But first, how did the Biden campaign sell so many fly swatters so fast?

Oct 08, 2020
Delaying COVID-19 relief could do lasting damage

President Trump tried to restart negotiations for a piecemeal pandemic relief bill last night, after pulling the plug hours before. Still, all signs point to no additional aid before the election. On today’s show, we’ll look at what all this politicking costs individual Americans and the economy overall. Plus: holiday shopping in a pandemic, how your grocery stores work and why bad teeth can derail your career.

Oct 07, 2020
The economy is on its own for another month

President Trump announced today that there’d be no additional coronavirus relief talks until after Election Day — he wants the Senate to focus on getting a new justice on the Supreme Court. Today, we’ll look at the needs of state and local governments and what Fed Chair Jerome Powell has to say about fiscal policy and recovery. Plus: the trade gap, campaign contributions and a hidden civil rights issue.

Oct 06, 2020
Let’s check in on those businesses that got PPP loans

The uncertainty surrounding the health of the president and several members of Congress has implications for this COVID economy. Especially when it comes to the next round of stimulus and the future of the Paycheck Protection Program. Today, we’ll check in with some small businesses looking for clarity on PPP loan forgiveness. Plus: movie delays, college admissions and why the luxury watch business is booming right now.

Oct 05, 2020
The easy part of this recovery is over

The U.S. economy added a seasonally adjusted 661,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.9%. That’s not bad news, but it’s not nearly as good as what we’ve seen in previous months. That means this is the hard part of coming back from the recession. We’ll talk about what that looks like. Plus: women leaving the labor force, H-1B visas and, oh yeah, Brexit. Remember that?

Oct 02, 2020
A new month, same ol’ bad economy

From coast to coast, unemployed workers and their families are facing an uncertain winter. On today’s show, what happens to a local economy when a major industry shuts down, and how furloughed workers are coping. Plus: the warehouse business, telehealth copays and the struggling bars in the pandemic.

Oct 01, 2020
Recession alphabet soup

During last night’s presidential debate, you might (might!) have heard moderator Chris Wallace mention the distinction between a “V-shaped” and “K-shaped” economic recovery. On today’s show, we’ll look at what both letters symbolize. Plus: Massive layoffs at Disney parks, learning pods and taking back the streets in Los Angeles.

Sep 30, 2020
A few weeks in, how are colleges doing?

Millions of students are in college, but not at college, this fall. They’re living and taking classes 100% remotely, but plenty more are on campus for all in-person classes or a hybrid model. Today we’ll check in on how they’re doing, and look at schools that are suspending admissions to doctoral programs for the next academic year. Plus: consumer spending, the flower business and Amtrak.

Sep 29, 2020
“The worst crisis in the history of American aviation”

That’s how one expert described what’s happening to airlines right now. Armageddon. On today’s show, we’ll look ahead to Thursday, when carrier’s bailout terms allow them to cut tens of thousands of jobs. But first, a conversation about race and the economy with Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic. Plus: grocery store algorithms, chip wars and murder mysteries.

Sep 28, 2020
How does a whole country go carbon neutral?

At the United Nations General Assembly this week, China, which is the world’s largest polluter, pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060. Today, we’ll look at how that might work. Plus: California’s gas ban, piped-in crowd noise in sports and the history of voter suppression in the United States.

Sep 25, 2020
Thousands of workers are literally stuck at sea

You might feel adrift in the pandemic and its resulting recession, but not more than the 300,000 commercial ship workers who are stranded at sea right now. On today’s show, we’ll look at their situation. Plus: free speech online, socially distanced Fashion Week and Hollywood’s comeback.

Sep 24, 2020
Florida is a battleground for voting rights too

Florida voters said formerly incarcerated people should be able to vote. But the state’s courts said no — not unless those people pay off fines and fees. Now money is pouring into the state to pay off those fees and for the legal fight. We’ll talk about it. Plus: homeschooling, the FinCEN Files, airline bailouts and PPP fraud.

Sep 23, 2020
At least the government isn’t shutting down

There’s a lot going on in the United States right now. The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has reached 200,000. The election’s in 42 days. There are fires in the West, storms in the South and in D.C., and a bitter fight over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court. Amid all that, negotiations over additional aid for farmers almost pushed the government into a shutdown. We’ll talk about it. Plus: TikTok, Quibi and the looming holiday shopping season.

Sep 22, 2020
What we know (and what we don’t) about the TikTok deal

In an unexpected move, Oracle is partnering with Walmart to take over U.S. operations for TikTok, but it’s not completely clear how much of the company’s technology they’ll control. Plus: wildfires, meat prices and COVID-19’s impacts along racial lines in Chicago.

Sep 21, 2020
Teens are on TikTok, businesses are on WeChat

… And both are banned under a new executive order from President Donald Trump. Today, we’ll talk about the ripple effects both on consumers, businesses, U.S.-China relations and the broader internet. Plus: futures contracts for water, remote learning and how museums are faring in the pandemic.

Sep 18, 2020
Remember the trade war?

Due to pandemic recession and political friction, investment between the U.S. and China may have fallen to its lowest level in nine years. Plus: the LGBTQ economy, gyms going out of business and why Chuck E. Cheese wants to destroy seven billion prize tickets.

Sep 17, 2020
Wear a mask, people

Starting this week, not wearing one on the New York City subway could cost you $50. We’re talking about the behavioral economics in a pandemic today. Plus: retail sales, all the movies being pushed back and, of course, the latest from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Sep 16, 2020
The COVID-19 diet

No, not that kind of diet. We’re kicking off the show today talking about food: where we go out to eat it, where we buy it. First up, we’ll examine the hiring slowdown in restaurants, then we’ll look at the rise of online-only “dark” grocery stores. Later, we’ll look at N95 mask laws to protect agriculture workers and others who are in the smoke right now. Plus: election money, dentists and college esports.

Sep 15, 2020
The tick-tock on TikTok

In the saga over the Chinese video app TikTok, Walmart and Microsoft are out and Oracle is in. They’re close to a deal, but Chinese media is reporting that Oracle won’t be getting TikTok’s algorithm. We’ll take you through what that would mean. Plus stories about volunteer firefighters, frequent fliers and Black women entrepreneurs in Detroit.

Sep 14, 2020
Six months in, how are you doing?

It’s been 184 days, or six months, since the coronavirus pandemic started. Today, we’re gonna check in on how things are going with our personal economies, with the stalled federal relief plan, with Brexit (remember Brexit?) and more. But oh, that all sounds like a drag, let’s get excited for the next “Verzuz.”

Sep 11, 2020
Churn, baby, churn

More than 800,000 people filed new state unemployment claims last week, but job gains are way up, too. Today on the show: what churn in the labor market can tell us about this economy. Plus: Voting at arenas, wildfire insurance and why homeowners are better equipped for this recession than renters.

Sep 10, 2020
Change is in the air

And not just because it’s nearly fall. Today, we’re looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all kinds of businesses, like trans-Pacific trade, luxury retail, petroleum barges and takeout. Plus, we’ll follow several workers as they journey back to the office after months away to pick up their stuff.

Sep 09, 2020
Reed Hastings on his vision for Netflix

Long before he’d start Netflix, consider selling it to Blockbuster for a song and get a 10-year head start in the streaming wars, Reed Hastings was getting coffee at a dot-com company. On today’s show, Hastings will tell us about Netflix’s path to dominance and where it’s going next. Plus: “Tenet’s” box office performance, the thousands of furloughs turning into layoffs and Angela Merkel’s economic legacy.

Sep 08, 2020
Sweating out the summer heat at home

For workers who have been at home all summer, many of whom lack AC, the heat this summer has been a bigger problem than the past. And it’s only getting worse with a record-breaking heat wave hitting California this Labor Day weekend. Electricity use has decreased overall during the pandemic, but residential energy use is up. Basically, workers — for the most part — are paying for AC themselves. But some states have strict reimbursement laws for working-at-home costs. Plus: hotels are still struggling, only 3% of financial regulators in the U.S. have been Black and talking to kids about money requires honesty.

Sep 07, 2020
What to make of a good (not great) jobs report

Under normal circumstances, gaining 1.4 million jobs in August would have been incredible for this economy. But this isn’t any other August, and it comes a few months after the U.S. lost a full 15% of its jobs. On today’s show, we’ll look at the progress the country is making digging out of that hole. Plus: home refinancing, Campbell’s soup and the life of a children’s entertainer in the age of Zoom birthday parties.

Sep 04, 2020
The Adjustment Bureau

First-time unemployment claims were down last week to about 881,000, their lowest point since the pandemic started. But last week was also the first report since the Bureau of Labor Statistics changed how it does seasonal adjustment. That’s a formula the bureau uses so it doesn’t seem like the sky is falling when thousands of seasonal jobs disappear in January. But now the sky really is falling, so the adjustment needed adjusting. We’ll explain. Plus: Farmers’ economic outlook, racial inequities in health and what it’s like running a mall right now.

Sep 03, 2020
Long-term unemployment is looming

It’s been nearly six months since the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the U.S. economy. Economic recovery remains sluggish and, as of July, only 40% of the newly unemployed were working again. Now, workers who were temporarily furloughed face permanent layoffs and long-term unemployment, defined as lasting more than 26 weeks. At that point, jobless benefits begin to run out. Plus: E-scooters are back, remittances are rebounding and manufacturing is surging.


Sep 02, 2020
Centering Black women to make this economy more equal

Last year, Black women earned 62 cents on the dollar compared to white men. Now, Black women are among the hardest hit in this recession, and some economists want policy to reflect that. We’re going to spend much of the show today talking about how to rebuild the economy to be more equitable and fair. But first: the economics of K-pop, weighting blankets and Walmart vs. Amazon.

Sep 01, 2020
Cash back on streaming and wine?

Credit card balances were down $76 billion in the second quarter as Americans cut back on spending. Chase is trying a different tack to get clients during the pandemic: cash back on groceries and drug store purchases. U.S. Bank recently launched a card with perks for takeout and streaming services, and another new card, called Grand Reserve, offers points when you buy wine. Plus: Americans are producing a lot more residential trash and how New York subway cuts could hurt essential workers.

Aug 31, 2020
Back-to-school stress on another level

Schools across the country are welcoming students back in person, online or some hybrid of the two. But how are schools handling students’ mental health during this extra-stressful time? Some are using mental health hotlines and virtual counseling while others are offering socially distanced in-person help. Plus: Personal incomes were surprisingly up in July, yet another retail bankruptcy and what trucking has to do with economic recovery.

Aug 28, 2020
Athletes have so much more than symbolic power

They have real power, too, and they’re using it. As pros in at least five leagues decline to play in protest of police brutality, we’ll look at what kind of leverage athletes have and what could be coming. Plus, we’ll look at how several small businesses are coping right now and check in with an Iowa farmer after the devastating storm there a couple weeks ago.

Aug 27, 2020
Life on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic

Experts say the country needs to be testing for COVID-19 at over five times its current rate. Today, we’ll talk with a testing lab manager in Washington state about how things are going. Plus: The latest durable goods numbers, the economic impact of storm evacuations and a conversation with a Black banker.

Aug 26, 2020
Let’s take Americans’ temperature

Not literally. But, you know, that couldn’t hurt. No, today we’re talking about consumer confidence, which is now at a six-year low. We’ll talk about why consumers are feeling worse, and what it means for the economic outlook. Plus: changes in the Dow, the hottest summer ever and a conversation with a doctor who’s also school board president.

Aug 25, 2020
The stock market is surging, benefiting very few

Three decades ago, the wealthiest 10% of Americans owned 79% of the stocks and mutual funds in the market. Now they own 87%. So when Wall Street hits record highs, like it is now, the millions of Americans laid off, furloughed or just squeaking by are largely left out. We’ll talk about it. Plus: Trump’s second-term agenda, the new unemployment benefits now available in two states, that Zoom outage and … yeah, we need a drink. We’ll take you to a new Black-owned brewery in Inglewood, California.

Aug 24, 2020
We’re in a SNAP boom

Use of federal food assistance like SNAP has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, and bringing the service online is likely to drive even more to use it. Today we’ll talk about how the pandemic is changing consumer habits, especially at the supermarket. Plus, the cybersecurity risks of online college and the disproportionate household duties that are pulling women out of the workforce.

Aug 21, 2020
The coronavirus recession is bad, but just how bad is it?

Today, on the heels of big market gains and unemployment numbers that seem to be moving backward, we’re reconvening our panel of economic history experts to talk through where things stand. Plus, what political fundraising looks like in a recession, a Portland bar’s final days and the uphill battle facing reopening movie theaters.

Aug 20, 2020
Black capitalism, then and now

After George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, business owner Aurora James called for major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to products made by Black-owned companies. Today, we’ll look at how it’s going. Plus, the story of Soul City, falling rents in New York and San Francisco, and whether college students can expect a tuition refund for canceled in-person classes.

Aug 19, 2020
Back-to-school makes it hard for parents to go back to work

All the kids being schooled at home in the coming weeks will need watching, as well as help with their online learning. And parents — predominantly mothers — will provide that supervision, making it very hard for them to keep working and earning a living. Those out-of-work parents are supposed to qualify for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, but those benefits aren’t easy to get. We’ll talk about why. Plus: the changing pizza market, Walmart’s big earnings report and what it’s like to publish your first book in a pandemic.

Aug 18, 2020
What happened to the Postal Service?

Long before it became a flashpoint in the upcoming election, the United States Postal Service has been in deep trouble because of its deep debt. Today, we’ll dig into how pension obligations and congressional pressure have squeezed the USPS. Plus: remote learning for disabled students, rolling blackouts in California and why you really should take a vacation.

Aug 17, 2020
This is an important week for the pay gap

Yesterday, Aug. 13, represents how far into 2020 Black women would have had to work to earn as much as white men did by the end of 2019. On today’s show, we’ll talk about why. Plus: The toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on mental health and some parts of the retail sector.

Aug 14, 2020
Grand opening, grand closing

Outdoor retailer REI had plans to open a brand-new headquarters in Seattle this summer. But with employees working from home, the company is looking to sell its new building before it’s even moved in. Today, we’ll look at the lessons learned by REI and other companies looking to cut costs in the pandemic. Plus: Some states are requiring companies to pick up the cost of employees’ Wi-Fi and home office supplies. But first, the latest unemployment claim numbers and cities’ budget shortfalls.

Aug 13, 2020
How problems at USPS could affect its workers

Recent changes at the U.S. Postal Service are causing mail to slow down. The delays could lead to more business shifting to private-sector competitors — and that could have consequences for workers. Most private competitors are less generous with pay and benefits than USPS, which has long been considered a provider of “solid middle-class jobs.” Plus: Bankruptcies are on the rise, apartment vacancies could lead to less affordable housing and a look at the perils of industrial farming and the risk to food.

Aug 12, 2020
From vacant buildings to a community of Black women homeowners

One of the consequences of structural racism in the U.S. economy is the persistent gap between Black and white homeownership. Black Women Build is working to change that. The group is converting some of Baltimore’s 16,000 abandoned buildings into a community, working with Black women to refurbish the homes and then selling the homes to them at affordable prices. Plus: another potential rise in tariffs on the EU, an end to easier SNAP benefits and how the pandemic has changed the back-to-school shopping experience.

Aug 11, 2020
What would a payroll tax holiday look like?

President Donald Trump ordered a payroll tax deferral on Aug. 8, but it only applies to workers who make a certain amount of money, and it’s going to be really complicated for employers. And it’s unclear how payment would work after the deferral period ends in January. Plus: What the consumer price index means for your wallet, how airports are suffering and one scientist’s experience with sexism in academia.

Aug 10, 2020
Jobs aren’t coming back for everyone

We got a decent, not great, jobs report to kick off the weekend. The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%. But jobs aren’t coming back equally. We’ll tell you what you need to know and break down the week with our expert panelists. Plus: the latest on President Trump’s potential ban on Chinese apps, why Kodak was tapped to help make coronavirus treatments and how one family is getting through months in lockdown.

Aug 07, 2020
Unemployment is bad, but we don’t know just how bad

As we await the July jobs report, we’re going to spend some time today talking about how those monthly jobless numbers are compiled, and why figuring out that number can be so challenging. Plus: The recording industry’s legacy of exploiting Black artists, the decline in household debt and how robots can help with distance learning.

Aug 06, 2020
America’s ‘caste system’

We’ve talked a lot on this program about structural economic racism, but what if the word “racism” isn’t even enough to describe the inequities in this country? Today we’re talking with author and journalist Isabel Wilkerson, whose new book argues just that. But first: What’s CFIUS and what does it have to do with TikTok? Plus the market for caregivers who have survived COVID-19, the ongoing legal battle over gig worker classification and how “creative accounting” works.

Aug 05, 2020
The pandemic has been especially hard on Black-owned businesses

A new report from the New York Federal Reserve confirms that Black-owned businesses have been having more trouble during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lot of it comes down to relationships with banks. We’ll look at why those relationships are so important. Plus: pay disparities in the video game industry, CEOs put pressure on Congress and a view from a college campus preparing to reopen.

Aug 04, 2020
Unemployment benefits vary wildly in this country

That’s not exactly breaking news, but it’s important because more than 30 million people started facing their economic futures this week without an additional $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. We’ll look at what that means depending on where you live. Plus: the inflationary and deflationary pressures on this economy, the disconnect facing students this fall and what’s going on with the White House, Microsoft and TikTok.

Aug 03, 2020
What it means to plant your flag in a coronavirus vaccine

The Trump administration today announced a blockbuster, $2.1 billion vaccine-development deal with two drug companies, giving the United States dibs on 100 million vaccine doses. Hours later, the European Union struck a similar arrangement for even more doses. On today’s show, we’ll dig into fears around so-called “vaccine nationalism.” Plus: What’s going on with the economy (and whether Americans’ savings accounts are ready for it), how loss leaders work and the state of labor organizing in a pandemic.

Jul 31, 2020
Let’s (sigh) do the numbers

We expected a bad GDP report today, but that doesn’t make the historic contraction easier to swallow. Ditto for the 17 million continuing unemployment claims for the week ending July 18. Today, we’ll dig into what it all means for the economy. Plus: defining “disinflation,” the economics of the NBA’s Florida “bubble” and Ron Howard talks about “Rebuilding Paradise.”

Jul 30, 2020
What you need to know from the Big Tech hearing

Today the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon faced a (virtual) grilling from lawmakers over a whole slew of issues. We’ll run down everything you need to know about that, plus the latest from the Federal Reserve. Later, we’ll look at big retailers’ Black Friday plans, why a gap year isn’t an option for most college students and how some Americans are faring at the end of the month.

Jul 29, 2020
What’s holding up more coronavirus relief?

We’re talking a lot about negotiation today, in your household and in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there won’t be a new COVID-19 relief package without liability protections for companies. It’s just one of many fault lines in the bill, and we’ll spend some time today talking about it and others, like unemployment benefits. Plus: America’s new multigenerational homes, what comes after “Our Black Year” and the behavioral economics of wearing a mask.

We’ll also bring you a preview of our new podcast for kids and their families, “Million Bazillion.” Subscribe on your favorite podcast app!

Jul 28, 2020
A gold rush means nothing good for this economy

Stocks have been on a run since March’s lows. But gold, the investor’s last resort, is hitting a record high. So what gives? Today, we’ll look at what a surge in the precious metal means for confidence in this economy. Later, we look at China’s live-streaming marketplace and reopened box office. Plus: How do you enforce a mask mandate?

Jul 27, 2020
Get ready for a wave of evictions

The federal moratorium on evictions expires today. As you may have heard, the federal government’s unemployment benefits expire at the end of this month, too. Today, we’ll look at what it means to have an eviction on your record, and how long those effects last. Plus, we’ve got three stories on state and local politics, playing out in grocery stores without hazard pay, city-run cooling centers and on the streets in places without stay-at-home orders. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at

Jul 24, 2020
When the U.S. sneezes…

Well… you know the rest. Today we’ll talk about how America’s struggle to slow down COVID-19, and the resulting recession, could ripple through the global economy. Plus, we’ll tell you about the merger between two clickbait companies and the specific struggles facing minority-owned businesses and gig workers seeking coronavirus relief.

By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick, anonymous survey at

Jul 23, 2020
What happens when you take billions out of the economy overnight?

We’re about to find out. Unless Congress has a new plan in place by next week, tens of millions of people are going to lose an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits — around a 60% cut for most. A few days later, rent is due. Today, we’ll continue our look at the impact that loss will have on American households. Also set to change: requirements in many places for getting benefits at all. Plus: the coin shortage and what it takes for a company like Apple to become carbon neutral. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick, anonymous survey at 

Jul 22, 2020
Pod save America?

With many school districts going to online learning this fall, some parents are teaming up to hire private educators to tutor their “pod.” Today, we’ll look at how the system could work — and who it could leave behind. Plus: What you need to know about the government’s new COVID-19 tracking site and the coronavirus relief bill’s potential payroll tax cuts. Later, we’ll introduce you to Marketplace’s brand-new podcast, “Million Bazillion”!

By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at 

Jul 21, 2020
What will out-of-work Americans do without that extra $600 per week?

More than 25 million Americans stand to lose $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits at the end of July if Congress and the White House can’t agree to extend them. Today, we talk with some people for whom that extra money has been a lifeline. Plus: The decline of Black-owned insurance companies, how the pandemic is affecting the auto industry and why this crisis could be the end of tipping. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at 

Jul 20, 2020
The coronavirus vaccine economy

Nearly two dozen coronavirus vaccines are currently in clinical trials. With hundreds of groups racing to create their own, today we’ll look at how COVID-19 treatments could be priced. Plus: The upcoming “tsunami of evictions,” the viral hot spots along the border and another fierce competition in this pandemic: food delivery. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at 

Jul 17, 2020
Two weeks until the bottom falls out

Maybe less. Today we’re talking about that extra $600 per week going to the 14 million people claiming unemployment benefits. That extra money, set to disappear at the end of the month, is keeping a bad economic outlook from getting worse. Plus: The latest on yesterday’s big Twitter hack, this year’s political conventions and how parenting in the pandemic hurts women’s careers.

By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at

Jul 16, 2020
America’s debt “time bomb”

JPMorgan Chase announced it’s setting aside more than $10 billion to cover losses on loans for borrowers hurt by the coronavirus. Today, we’ll look at all the debt Americans have accumulated and how some of them are coping. Plus: More streaming services, more money in electric cars and more states and cities name racism a public health crisis. Later, an interview with the CEO of shared scooter company Lime.

Jul 15, 2020
How clothing can be a ‘tool of resistance’

Protests against racism and police brutality are continuing across the country — and what protesters wear when they take to the streets has long played a role in social movements. Today, we’ll look at the history of activism and fashion and where they intersect. Plus: the latest economic picture, new demand for Black therapists and the Huawei saga continues. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at

Jul 14, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic’s global ripple effects

Coronavirus cases are surging around the U.S. They’re also surging in Honduras, where one of our guests today runs a yarn factory. Today, we’ll look at the ripple effects moving through textiles, trade and the global economy. Plus: earnings season, marketing masks and the market for fracking sand. By the way, please help us out by taking a quick anonymous survey at

Jul 13, 2020
Welcome to the “low-touch” economy

COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and communities that were on a path to reopening their economies are now facing renewed shutdowns and restrictions. Businesses have had to adapt their operations for the pandemic. That’s not easy, because it turns out (appropriate) touching is a pretty big part of the economy. Plus: the Goya boycott, college sports and back-to-school shopping when it’s not clear who’s going back to school.

Jul 10, 2020
The struggle facing parents working from home

The pandemic has exacerbated the challenges of juggling full-time work with caring for and home-schooling children. Uncertainty around school reopenings has many families facing the prospect of doing double duty indefinitely, which could have an effect on job security. Plus: What’s ahead for airlines, pharmacies and retail as the pandemic stretches into another month.

Jul 09, 2020
Baltimore’s deadly vacant housing problem

There are millions of vacant and abandoned houses around the country. But in some parts of Baltimore, vacant buildings have become an intractable, even deadly, problem. Today, we take a deep dive into why. Plus: How some states are starting to close the racial pay gap, what bankrupted Brooks Brothers and why Disney World is reopening as COVID-19 cases spike.

Jul 08, 2020
Who got all that PPP money, and how’d they spend it?

The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program. There are some surprisingly big names in there. Today, we’ll look at how one business spent its  $90,000. Plus: Why test shortages persist, what fall holds for foreign students and the problem with the Beige Book.

Jul 07, 2020
The complicated history of McDonald’s and Black America

All the way back to the civil rights era, McDonald’s has had a strange relationship with unrest and Black Americans. Today, we’ll explore what the Golden Arches has and hasn’t done for Black business owners. Plus: Corporate debt, home equity and other things that will help businesses and families survive this crisis.

Jul 06, 2020
COVID-19 is bringing back the road trip

Cheap gas coupled with uncertainty about traveling by air or rail during COVID-19 has vacationers turning to their cars. But summer travel decisions continue to be complicated during the pandemic. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut just issued a two week quarantine on any out-of-state visitors. Plus: the story of Janet’s List and the continuously rising cost of cord-cutting.

Jul 03, 2020
What does it take to get a break on rent?

Nearly four months into this pandemic, and we’re starting to see evidence that the rental market is softening, if only in the highest-price cities. Today, we’ll do the numbers on New York real estate and what might happen to the rest of the country. Plus: The ongoing ad boycott at Facebook, arts organizations’ turn to streaming and the June jobs report.

Jul 02, 2020
How the BLS does the numbers

We’re getting the June jobs report Thursday, a little early because of the holiday. The unemployment rate is expected to drop for the second month in a row, but the picture might not be as accurate as we’d like. That’s partly because since the start of the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has said it might be  undercounting furloughed workers. Today, we’ll dig into the BLS survey and what you should make of it. Plus: How enforceable are interstate travel restrictions?

Jul 01, 2020
What happens when the coronavirus relief runs out?

The $600 a week in extra benefits provided to every jobless worker who’s on unemployment insurance right now — about 29 million Americans — is set to expire by July 31. And if Congress doesn’t do something before then, things could get ugly in this economy. Plus: Why black-owned banks are undercapitalized and a conversation with Visa CEO Al Kelly.

Jun 30, 2020
As COVID cases spike, let’s look at the PPE supply chain

Coronavirus cases are surging in Arizona, Florida, Texas and California, and hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with patients. Other parts of the country have been there — and we all saw what happened. Today, we spend some time checking in on N95 masks, gowns and other protective gear. Plus: The latest Paycheck Protection Program loan deadline and what it’s like reopening a museum right now.

Jun 29, 2020
Black Americans are far more likely to be denied a mortgage

As we continue exploring structural economic racism, today we’re looking at a huge source of the wealth gap between Black and white Americans: homeownership. Plus: Facebook’s about-face on ads and Texas’ influx of Californians.

Jun 26, 2020
Why isn’t racism in Economics 101?

Systemic economic racism is fundamental to understanding this moment, so why not teach it that way? Today, we talk with Gary Hoover, chair of the economics department at the University of Oklahoma, about why he folds race into his intro courses. Plus: Virginia is set to become the first state mandating COVID-19 workplace safety measures, and bars are adapting to takeout cocktails.

Jun 25, 2020
As COVID-19 cases surge, reopenings could become reclosings

Arizona, Florida, California, Texas and other states are seeing sharp increases in coronavirus cases as they reopen restaurants and other businesses. So what happens when those places have to shut their doors all over again? Today we look at it. Plus: The IMF’s grim forecast, unemployment data as sound and “The Great Indoors.”

Jun 24, 2020
Visa restrictions could lead to more offshoring

We’ve said it before: Immigration is a labor force story. So today we’re going to look at the ways the White House’s new restrictions on H-1B visas could ripple through this economy: offshoring jobs, worker shortages and so on. Plus, a look at the history of discriminatory and family-based immigration policies in the 20th century.

Jun 23, 2020
Forget the rally — TikTok and K-pop fans will cost Trump money

Those big online groups are giving themselves some credit for spamming ticket reservations and driving down attendance at President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend. It’s not clear how much that (and COVID-19 fears) depressed turnout, but they definitely did give the Trump campaign a whole lot of bad data. Today we look at how expensive that data is to clean up. Plus: drive-ins across the pond, racist film classics and “Diversity, Inc.”

Jun 22, 2020
What happens when COVID-19 aid runs out?

The fiscal relief for the coronavirus pandemic is set to run out at the end of July, but many Americans are still out of work. Today, we’ll look at what could happen to this economy if Congress allows that aid to expire. Plus: How companies decide which holidays, like Juneteenth, to take off and Tulsa’s eviction problem.

Jun 19, 2020
Immigration is a labor force story

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the White House’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants today. We’re going to look at the role those Dreamers play in this economy. Plus: Checking in on the financial health of historically black colleges and universities, and we talk with Howard University professor William Spriggs about his open letter to economists about systemic racism in their field.

Jun 18, 2020
Hollywood is back to work, but TV and movies won’t look the same

The CBS soap “The Bold and the Beautiful” was one of the first scripted series to turn cameras back on after officials allowed filming to resume in Los Angeles with restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. But movies and TV produced during a pandemic will look a little different. Plus: Racism in tech, unemployment in the U.K. and the difference between the debt and the deficit.

Jun 17, 2020
The view from a COVID hot spot

Just down the road from the Smithfield pork-processing plant where hundreds of employees are off the job after a coronavirus outbreak is Grand Prairie Foods. They make eggs and breakfast sandwiches for hotel chains and convenience stores. Today, we’ll talk with the CEO about how they’re managing, along with a Black business owner in Utah who’s seeing a boom. Plus: Chinese unemployment and why the Fed started buying corporate bonds.

Jun 16, 2020
Discrimination has steep economic costs

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic wrote recently that “systemic racism is a yoke that drags on the American economy.” We’ll spend much of today’s show talking with Bostic about that essay and what’s next for the economy in a turbulent year. Plus, today’s big Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ workplace discrimination, online internships and the transparency (or lack thereof) around who gets half a trillion in Paycheck Protection Program money.

Jun 15, 2020
Why diversity and inclusion programs often fall short

The national outcry over systemic racism has pushed employers big and small to examine their own failings in diversity and inclusion. Today, we’ll look at why so many companies’ efforts haven’t worked — some have even made things worse — and whether this time could be any different. Plus: Some people are getting lax on masks even as COVID-19 cases rise, and we’re short on contact tracers.

Jun 12, 2020
Small businesses struggle with protests and reopening

It’s not just big corporations feeling the pressure to respond to the protests against police violence around the country — small businesses are trying to figure out what to do, too. And, oh yeah, there’s still a pandemic going on. Today we’ll follow two different businesses to see how they’re managing. Plus: cops on TV, Zoom in China and annualized GDP, explained.

Jun 11, 2020
Can researchers work on anything besides COVID-19?

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, all other research froze. Some scientists packed it in, others pivoted to searching for a vaccine. Now, along with the rest of the economy, labs across the country are looking to reopen. Today, we’ll look at what that means. Plus: Hollywood inequality past and present, and a recap of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference.

Jun 10, 2020
The legacy of slavery in this economy

In order to understand the structural economic racism that lead to this moment, you need to know your history. So today we head to Thomas Jefferson’s plantation to look at business strategies of slaveholders, and the legacy of those strategies today. Plus: How the National Bureau of Economic Research makes a call on what’s a recession, and the racial wage gaps at Bon Appetit and beyond.

Jun 09, 2020
What it means to defund police

Almost two weeks after George Floyd was killed in police custody, a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council has come out in favor of dismantling the city’s police department. Today, we look at how reallocating cities’ large police budgets could work. Plus: Why the jobs report needed a correction, how aggregated economic data contributes to racial inequality and the problem of child care during a pandemic.

Jun 08, 2020
Where’d those 2.5 million jobs come from?

If there’s one lesson to take from today’s show, it’s that economists are just as confused as you are. We’ll talk with experts and analysts about what to make of the May jobs report, how much of it has to do with PPP loans and what it says about the changing state of the economy. Plus: The New York Times’ Wesley Morris calls in to talk about why the protests against the police killing of George Floyd feel different.

Jun 05, 2020
Big companies say they’re anti-racist, but what are they actually doing?

After more than a week of protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody, businesses small, large and super-massive are declaring solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But words are one thing, action is another. Today, we’ll take you beyond the PR of it all. Plus: America’s overnight food deserts, who’s paying overdraft fees and COVID-driven state budget cuts.

Jun 04, 2020
How communities rebuild after protests

From coast to coast, communities are coming together to clean up after protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. But some neighborhoods are better equipped to recover than others. Today, we take you inside one rebuilding effort in the Bronx. Plus, why black women entrepreneurs are missing out on startup funding and a conversation with the director of “Do Not Resist.”

Jun 03, 2020
Structural economic racism

George Floyd’s death in police custody sparked nationwide protests, but the kindling has been building for decades. Today we’re going to take some time to talk about the deep racial economic divide in this country. Plus: we do the numbers on states of emergency, what brands are and aren’t saying around Black Lives Matter and the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street right now.

Jun 02, 2020
How bail activism works

As protesters across the U.S. call for justice in the death of George Floyd, people are showing support by donating to bail funds, known as bail activism. The Minnesota Freedom Fund has received $20 million in donations and is focusing on the hundreds of activists being arrested nationwide. The argument is that the bail system disproportionately affects low-income people and people of color. Bail activism is just one component of the current protests against police brutality. Plus: Activists call for cuts to police budgets, the U.S.-China trade war has continued during the pandemic and the long recovery communities face after protests.

Jun 01, 2020
Some of those temporary layoffs might become permanent

More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since mid-March. Many of them told the Labor Department that they considered their layoffs “temporary,” that they’d been furloughed and would be back at work at some point. But “some point” seems to be dragging on, and coming back from layoffs might not happen at all for some. Today, we do the numbers. Plus: tourism, bar reopenings and problems in the supply chain.

May 29, 2020
Why so many women are losing their jobs

Another 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance this week. About  55% of the people who lost their jobs last month are women, which is a contrast from the last financial crisis. Today, we’ll look at the dynamics playing out now and why benefits have been historically hard for people to get. Plus: life on the farm and on the reservation.

May 28, 2020
How to reopen colleges

Most colleges in the U.S. have been shut down for months in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. But NYU’s campus in Shanghai could provide an example of how to reopen mid-pandemic. Today, we take you there. Plus: the PPP extension, a literal economic slowdown and how breweries are adapting to social distancing.

May 27, 2020
Can we have a 4-day workweek every week?

Some companies have been experimenting with the four-day workweek to improve productivity and morale. Will the coronavirus pandemic finally push more workplaces to make the switch? Plus: what it’s like to quarantine in an RV, and will Q3 be the “fastest-growing quarter in U.S. history”?

May 26, 2020
As states reopen, which rules apply to which businesses?

States — and counties within those states — are reopening at different stages with different rules and guidelines. Business owners are navigating the uncertainty around those rules as they try to determine which apply to their businesses. A bar owner in Boise, Idaho, thought she might be able to reopen, but realized her bar doesn’t serve enough food to meet the state requirement. Plus: a program in California focused on housing the homeless during the pandemic, high school seniors are facing a difficult decision and the life-saving properties of soap.

May 25, 2020
8 weeks after the CARES Act… how are we doing?

It’s been about two months since Congress passed the big coronavirus relief bill, and 10 weeks since President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency. We’ll talk with some of our contributors and historians about the state of the economy and the historical context. Plus: China abandons GDP targets, Americans settle into working from home for the long haul and we chat with the president of the New York Stock Exchange.

May 22, 2020
How to read those unemployment numbers

Another 2.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. That’s down from the week before, but still about the population of Houston. There are two ways the government measures joblessness in this country, and it’s important to keep an eye on both. We’ll explain. Plus: how emerging markets are faring in this crisis, why evictions could surge in Texas and a conversation with the CEO of the travel company Booking Holdings.

By the way, this is the last day of our last fundraising drive for our fiscal year. If you can, make a donation today at

May 21, 2020
What will dining out look like post-COVID?

Restaurants, already operating on thin margins, have to balance keeping customers safe and making them feel safe, while trying to restore some normalcy. Today, we look at how one Atlanta Vietnamese spot is doing it. Plus: How Americans spent their relief checks, the coming wave of farm bankruptcies and the fight over hazard pay.

May 20, 2020
Home improvement and animation are up, commercial rent is down

Today we’re going to dig into some ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While companies are looking for breaks from their rent, Home Depot says sales are up, and animation is about the only entertainment production still working. Plus: How remote work in oil and gas … works.

May 19, 2020
What does education look like after coronavirus?

We asked the CEO of digital education company Chegg. Plus, we’ll dig into the auto supply chain, examine how banking has changed and get a preview of the new season of “The Uncertain Hour.”

May 18, 2020
Most Americans’ retirement savings were low before the pandemic

…Now they might dip into those funds. Today on the show, we’ll look at the long-term effects of this economic crisis. Plus: new retail sales numbers, travel in a reopened China and the Americans staying away from hospitals even when they need care.

May 15, 2020
So you’re graduating into a pandemic. Now what?

As colleges and universities across the country plan virtual graduations for the class of 2020, many new graduates are looking for their first jobs in a very different world than they were planning for just a couple months ago. Today we check in with some of them. Plus: how rural libraries are holding up, how consumer spending is changing and the tense dynamic between reopening companies and employees who don’t feel safe coming back.

May 14, 2020
Powell warns of “lasting damage” without more aid

Fed Chairman Jay Powell is live-streaming during this crisis like everyone else, and today he warned of a prolonged recession caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Today we’ll break down his remarks and what Congress might do about it. Plus: why home prices aren’t falling and how children’s TV changed America.

May 13, 2020
Buy American? Not so fast

Over 200 economists have signed a letter asking the Trump administration not to impose its new “Buy American” restrictions on medical supplies over fears they’ll exacerbate shortages and raise prices. Today, we do the numbers. Plus: the life of a hairstylist in a reopening state, what it would look like if a major American airline went under and a conversation with the CEO of Twitch.

May 12, 2020
Even when stores reopen, will anyone go?

Across the country, many nonessential businesses and restaurants are reopening. But when the public is scared of the ongoing pandemic, we might be opening the door for more demand shock. Plus: 78% of the people who lost their jobs last month were temporarily laid off. Should they feel optimistic about going back to their original jobs? And we’ll look at the market for masks and rental housing.

May 11, 2020
We knew that unemployment report was coming, but it still hurt

Nearly twenty-two million jobs lost and unemployment at 14.7% for April. It was a bad jobs report, no way around it. But there’s more to it then that. Today we dive into how furloughs are counted, what this means for people trying to make rent and what the “diffusion index” can tell us. Plus: We’re watching a lot of TV, but do people want to watch shows about the pandemic?

May 08, 2020
The stock market is — say it with us — not the economy

Today the NASDAQ closed up for the year. We’re not sure how you square that, except by once again digging into why the stock market is not the economy. We’ve also got Chinese trade and small business loan forgiveness on the docket today. Plus: How are you sleeping?

May 07, 2020
A third of workers got their hours cut, and a sixth are working more

The economic effects of this pandemic are not equal. In our latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, we found a third of people have lost work, while about one-sixth of them are working more hours. Today we dig into why. Plus, the view on the ground as Texas reopens, a conversation with the CEO of Land O’Lakes and how the flower business is faring ahead of Mother’s Day.

May 06, 2020
41% percent of Americans can’t handle an unexpected $250 bill

The newest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll is out today, and it paints a stark picture of how Americans are feeling amid the coronavirus crisis. We’ll dig into one figure in particular: more than four in 10 Americans say they couldn’t come up with the money for an unexpected $250 expense. Plus, how the health care system is changing, what it’s like to be making COVID-19 tests right now and how hazard pay works.

May 05, 2020
There’s still money left for small businesses, but for how long?

The Small Business Administration says that as of Friday, banks have loaned out $175 billion from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. That’s good news for businesses and the banks lending to them. Today, we look at how long that money will last amid a new surge of applications. Plus, what’s going on with Texas oil, how consumer prices are changing and what to expect from Disney’s first-quarter earnings.

May 04, 2020
Work won’t be the same after COVID-19

Even as the economy reopens, returning to work could mean more than just changes to the physical space. Workers could be on staggered schedules and shorter weeks with scheduled remote days. Today, we look at office life post-coronavirus. Plus, fiscal vs. monetary policy, the crush of customer service calls and where those $1,200 checks are going.

May 01, 2020
Keep an eye on the labor force participation rate

We now know that more than 30 million people have filed for unemployment since early March. That’s roughly 1 in 5 people who had a job back in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But when we get unemployment numbers for April, the rate will likely be far below 20%. So what gives? Today we do the numbers. Plus: AMC bans Universal Pictures, corporate earnings are terrible and influencers are still … influencing.

Apr 30, 2020
This crisis will get worse before it gets better

We’re starting to get a picture of just how much damage the pandemic is doing to the economy: GDP fell 4.8% in the first quarter, and this is the beginning. Plus: Why businesses don’t see the point in applying for emergency loans, the power and limitations of OSHA, and Michael Schur talks about bringing back “Parks and Recreation.”

Apr 29, 2020
China may be back to work, but the supply chain isn’t

With China a little further along in restarting its economy, it might be reasonable to assume that a company whose supply chain is deeply intertwined with China might have a leg up right now. But it doesn’t really work that way. We’ll take a deep dive into those supply chains today. Plus, how Hollywood productions might work around COVID-19 and a conversation with the CEO of GoFundMe.

Apr 28, 2020
Will round two of small businesses loans go smoother?

Banks began accepting applications for $320 billion in new emergency payroll protection loans this morning. Last time, the process was unclear and bottlenecked. How’d things go today? We spent the day calling banks and small businesses to find out. Plus: The view from Shanghai, surprising essential businesses and why the stock market is not the economy.

Apr 27, 2020
Face masks become a lifeline for retailers

Throughout the economy, you’re seeing businesses pivot in response to COVID-19. Auto plants are making ventilators, distilleries are making hand sanitizer and many clothing retailers are making masks. Plus: that Congressional Budget Office report about how bad things will get, what happens when bodegas close down and love in the time of coronavirus.

Apr 24, 2020
We need to change our economic indicators to keep up with the crisis

With 27 million jobs vaporized in just five weeks, economists, analysts and other observers are realizing that quarterly and monthly economic data just isn’t cutting it anymore. Today, we look at how looking at the economy has changed. Plus: the need for more contact tracers, the states leading on small business loans and putting a dollar value on human life.

Apr 23, 2020
Americans aren’t very good at saving money

How’s your savings account looking? According to the data, not great. But it’s not your fault. Today, we’ll look at the cultural and economic forces that make Americans bad at saving money. Plus: how businesses are preparing to reopen, state funding in a crisis and Netflix is (surprise!) doing pretty well right now.

Apr 22, 2020
Some home health aides are on duty 24/7

Home health care workers are fighting COVID-19 by trying to keep their clients out of emergency rooms, which sometimes means quarantining with them. Plus: Oil’s storage shortage, declining home sales and how we talk to each other on Venmo now.

Apr 21, 2020
How do you end up with negative oil prices?

U.S. crude oil prices plunged into negative territory today for the first time, falling to minus $37.63 per barrel. That’s possible because storage is the most valuable commodity in the commodity market. We’ll explain. Plus: how experts reckon with COVID-19’s impact on GDP and a conversation with a banker who’s giving small business loans.

Apr 20, 2020
China and the U.S. are growing (or not growing) apart

China’s first-quarter GDP contracted for the first time since 1992, and a new survey shows more American executives seeing the two countries “decoupling” economically. Today we look at another dimension of the pandemic and what it means for global supply chains. Plus: what it’s like to run an unemployment insurance program right now.

Apr 17, 2020
The real number of unemployed Americans is even higher

Five million more people filed for unemployment insurance last week, bringing the total past 20 million for the month. But the real number is actually much higher. Today, we look at who isn’t counted. Plus, earnings season’s new “COVID metrics,” the New Yorkers not paying rent and the high delivery app fees squeezing restaurants.

Apr 16, 2020
Small businesses are still waiting for relief

As of today, the Small Business Administration’s pandemic emergency lending program has approved more than 1.3 million loan applications worth nearly $300 billion. We’ll check in on the state of the program and some businesses that have applied. Plus, the spring clothing stranded in stores, coronavirus’ effect on college admissions and the country’s yeast shortage.

Apr 15, 2020
It was supposed to be Tax Day tomorrow

In a normal year, the nation’s procrastinators would be firing up tax software or digging around for a W-2 tonight. But now that tax day is delayed three months, there’s a different kind of chaos unfolding for accountants. Plus: a new IMF outlook, the challenges of managing staff remotely and an unexpected essential business: livestock auctions.

Apr 14, 2020
When will toilet paper be back in stock?

Whether it’s TP or a Nintendo Switch, if you’ve had trouble finding an item in stores or online recently, it all comes back to the supply chain. Today, we’ll break it down. Plus: The U.S. Postal Service’s financial trouble, how social distancing is changing the urban landscape and a conversation with the CEO of Feeding America.

Apr 13, 2020
Will insurance cover telehealth?

As state after state encourages people to stay home, therapists and psychiatrists have moved their practices onto the internet and over the phone. While mental health care can make that switch relatively easily, getting it covered is another matter. Plus, America’s truck driver shortage and the psychology of app-based tipping.

Apr 10, 2020
Unemployment is even worse than it looks

About 17 million Americans filed unemployment claims in the past three weeks and the actual number of jobs lost is almost certainly higher. Today, we’ll try to figure out how high unemployment might go by the summer. Plus: how food banks are coping with the crisis and how credit markets might indicate recession.

Apr 09, 2020
COVID-19 is not “the great equalizer”

People of color are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, in part because they are disproportionally represented among frontline workers. Today, we do the numbers on this country’s labor force and how workers’ families are affected. Plus, converting hotels into homeless shelters, when unemployment turns recession into depression and our new embrace of processed food.

Apr 08, 2020
Who’s getting hazard pay in a pandemic?

With so many “essential” workers putting themselves at risk, hazard pay has become a national topic of debate. Today, we’ll spend some time looking at exactly what it is and how it’s used. Plus, we explain deflation, the new distressed property market and why unemployment numbers are even higher than the data suggests.

Apr 07, 2020
When can the economy “reopen”?

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute offers a roadmap — today we’ll talk with a co-author. Plus: consumer spending’s drop-off, what happens when retailers stop paying rent and how social distancing can lead to social media overload.

Apr 06, 2020
What happens when millions of people can’t make loan payments?

We got the March jobs numbers this morning — 4.4% unemployment, more than 700,000 jobs lost, and it’s going to get a lot worse. Lenders are bracing themselves for missed mortgage payments and investors are avoiding loans that aren’t backed by the government. Today, we’ll dig into the economic ripple effects. Plus, small businesses trying to apply for emergency loans and the impact of COVID-19 on both funeral homes and the ad industry.

Apr 03, 2020
Pay cuts spread further down the ladder

Unemployment claims passed 6.6 million last week, more than double the week before. Many workers who still have their jobs are now doing them for reduced pay. We’ll ask how those pay cuts might ripple through the economy. Plus: the huge number of immigrants who will miss out on checks from the government, and the logistical challenge of giving small businesses emergency loans.

Apr 02, 2020
Why ventilators are getting more expensive

States and FEMA are separately competing for ventilators, which is driving prices up to roughly $25,000 each. Today, we look at the market forces at work. Plus: What it’s like to run a barge company right now, why employers are backing off 401(k)s and how the housing market is adapting to low interest rates and no in-person showings.

Apr 01, 2020
How the COVID-19 crisis compares to the Great Depression

We’re starting to see some devastating economic indicators around the coronavirus pandemic. But just how bad are things going to get? Today we assembled a group of historians to talk about the economic crises of the past, and why it’s unlikely this one will look like the Great Depression. Plus, Britain’s ventilator shortage, insurance hikes and the science of setting the markets to music.

Mar 31, 2020
Is it ethical to shop online right now?

If your inbox looks anything like ours, you’re seeing a bunch of ads for online sales. With nonessential businesses closed all over the country, many retailers are doing what they can to drum up business. It’s true that consumer spending is a primary engine of this economy, but is it right to splurge on fancy sweats right now? Plus: how deep this recession will get, how Americans are confronting the bills due this week and a conversation with rapper, singer and writer Dessa.

Mar 30, 2020
Small businesses are barely hanging on

Lawmakers have finally passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package. When it comes to saving small businesses, will the aid be enough? We talk with some business owners who are barely getting by. Plus: the new economies of Canadian border towns, retailers’ rush to staff up and a conversation with the president of the Dallas Fed.

Mar 27, 2020
Those medical supplies hospitals need? They’re overseas.

Ventilators, masks, gloves and other supplies American hospitals need are produced in China, Italy, Malaysia and elsewhere. That puts the U.S. at a disadvantage in its fight against COVID-19. We’ll look through the supply chain and potential solutions. Plus: the new lifestyles of working parents and the non-traditional workers being hit especially hard by this crisis.

Mar 26, 2020
Is this country ready for 2.5 million jobless claims in a week?

Tomorrow’s first-time unemployment claim numbers are expected to be exponentially higher than a typical week, and many states have cut back on unemployment insurance in recent years. What about the people losing employer-sponsored health care? Today we’ll do the numbers and check in on the status of the stimulus bill that could provide some relief. Plus: What a 90-day tariff deferral would do for the people paying (that’s us).

Mar 25, 2020
What’s the difference between being laid off and being furloughed?

When you’re losing work because of COVID-19, it might not feel like there’s much difference between getting laid off and furloughed. But it’s an important distinction. We’ll talk about it, plus the unemployment claim numbers coming this week, how the repo market works and the nationwide mask shortage.

Mar 24, 2020
Ben Bernanke on saving the American economy

When you’re staring down a financial crisis, you want to talk to someone who’s been there before. So today we called up Ben Bernanke, who’s both a scholar of the Great Depression and ran the Federal Reserve during the Great Recession. He says fiscal policy is going to have to “get its act together.” Plus: what an economic “restart” looks like, how small businesses in China are still under pressure and encrypted social platforms’ struggle to fight COVID-19 misinformation.

Mar 23, 2020
How will we know when the coronavirus crisis is over?

We have pretty good, near-real-time data on the COVID-19 virus, the number of new cases, tests and so on (you can find daily updates on our website). But the economic impact? Not so much. Today, we’ll tell you what to keep an eye on. Plus: A few stories from a tidal wave of layoffs, and is Boeing too big to fail?

Mar 20, 2020
Even traders are working from home because of COVID-19

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange is usually full of people, but on Monday it will move to electronic trading only to combat coronavirus. Today, we talk about how that will work and ask Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman why markets are still open at all. Plus, the state of mental health benefits, economic impacts of the 1918 Spanish flu and a conversation with “World War Z” author Max Brooks.

Mar 19, 2020
How work has changed under COVID-19

In just a few weeks, coronavirus has completely reshaped the way Americans are working. Today, we’re looking at the layoffs, the newly housebound office workers and the folks who still have to go out and risk spreading the virus, sometimes for minimum wage. Plus, more listener questions, like: What’s the difference between a recession and a depression? And can’t the Fed just pay for a stimulus?

Mar 18, 2020
What a coronavirus recession would look like

President Donald Trump acknowledged Monday that the economy may be headed toward a recession. Is that just due to the coronavirus, or is it the recession economists have been predicting for years? Today we talk a bit about the difference and what’s on the horizon. Plus: remote education in the digital divide, Americans stocking up, and why stocks are up.

Mar 17, 2020
What happens to the economy when COVID-19 throws on the brakes?

We’re answering more of your questions about the coronavirus pandemic today. Starting with: What exactly did the Fed do this weekend, and what would happen to the global economy if activity in the U.S. shut down? Plus, how China’s 270 million students are learning at home, what’s changing for supply chains along the border, and why working from home is great for hackers. Of course, we’ll also talk about stocks, which had their biggest single-day drop of the crisis so far.

Mar 16, 2020
Your coronavirus questions, answered

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t causing an economic slowdown in the United States, it’s causing an economic stop. You probably have a lot of questions, like where the Fed’s $1.5 trillion went, how algorithmic trading is affecting volatility and what numbers to watch as we prepare for a recession. We’re going to answer all of them and more. Plus: What it’s like to run a movie theater right now and the increased risks for the hundreds of millions of homeless Americans.

Mar 13, 2020
This was a terrible day for markets. Here’s what comes next.

Stocks had their worst day since 1987 and the economy is experiencing uncertainty unseen since 2008. Today, we’ll help you understand what’s happening and what’s coming. We’ll talk with experts, business owners, a farmer and a doctor (who’s also school board president) about how they’re feeling the spread of COVID-19 and what they’re bracing for. Plus: the millions of uninsured or underinsured Americans who can’t afford to see a doctor even if they suspect they might have the new coronavirus.

Mar 12, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis isn’t 2008 … yet

With a the Dow in bear market territory and a bunch of stimulus proposals under consideration, the COVID-19 pandemic might be giving you flashbacks to the financial crisis of 11 years ago. Today we compare current economic conditions to 2008. Plus, online dating and stockpiling “essentials” during the outbreak.

Mar 11, 2020
How do you prevent a coronavirus recession?

As new cases of COVID-19 spread across the nation, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the economy is going to take a serious hit. With that in mind, the White House has floated a payroll tax cut and other steps to prevent a recession. Today, we’ll look at how that would work. Plus: canceled flights, canceled classes and a price war on oil.

Mar 10, 2020
How worried should we be about COVID-19 and the economy?

Phew, OK, wow. Like the markets this morning, let’s trip our own “circuit breaker” to recalibrate and talk through everything that just happened with stocks and oil. Plus, we’ll look to Austin, Texas, where residents and businesses are reeling from the cancellation of SXSW, and to Shanghai, where people are ever-so-slowly getting back to work and shopping.

Mar 09, 2020
Hollywood isn’t immune to COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has virtually shut down the entire movie industry in China, and that’s having ripple effects for big blockbusters, often the only reliable moneymakers in Hollywood right now. We’ll look at what’s happened so far and consider the summer movie season. Plus, what we can get out of today’s jobs report, diminishing returns on the 10-year T-note and a visit to the dark web.

Mar 06, 2020
Coronavirus is hitting America’s Port

They call the Port of Los Angeles, which handles more cargo than any other port in the Western Hemisphere, “America’s Port.” Thanks to COVID-19, February volume was down 25% from last year. Today, we talk with the port’s executive director about what’s going on there and why it matters. Plus, what you need to know about market volatility and algorithmic trading, and the debt collection case in front of the Supreme Court.

Mar 05, 2020
Look to the futures

Markets are down 1,200 points one day, up 1,200 points the next. There’s lots of activity on the bond market and a lot of people looking to the equity index futures market. Today we talk through what that is and how you can read the futures, too. Plus, how airlines and OPEC are reacting to COVID-19, “Women’s Work” and why affordable mental health care can be so hard to find.

Mar 04, 2020
There’s only so much the Fed can do

There’s a lot the Federal Reserve can do to keep credit moving and help businesses weather the storm caused by the new coronavirus disease. Today, the Fed cut interest rates by a half point. But rates are already low, and in a COVID-19 outbreak, what if the economy needs more than the Fed can give? Plus, we’ll talk about what that decision might have been like in the Federal Open Market Committee and the reaction from the G-7 and the Treasury.

Mar 03, 2020
More Americans are working from home

As COVID-19 spreads to the United States, more workers here are staying home — and boosting telecommuting stocks. Plus: The mood in Shanghai, Jack Welch’s legacy at GE and how Judge Judy made a fortune in syndication.

Mar 02, 2020
Mercury is in retrograde

C’mon, have you seen markets this week? Today we’ll talk about stocks, bonds and why millennials are so into astrology. Plus, mortgages are getting cheaper and what a $200 million fine means to billion-dollar wireless carriers.

Feb 28, 2020
It’s a correction, folks

COVID-19 fears have driven stocks down 10% from a 52-week high, putting us officially in a market correction. Goldman Sachs says S&P 500 companies won’t see any earnings growth this year. We’ll talk about what all that means, plus: the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center, the history of corporate buzzwords and we “sundown” our series “United States of Work.”

Feb 27, 2020
If you’re sick, stay home!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had pretty straightforward advice for staying healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak: wash your hands and stay home when you’re sick. For a lot of Americans, the former is fine but the latter is easier said than done. Plus: What President Trump talks about when he talks about coronavirus, Silicon Valley’s VC drought, and in the latest installment of “United States of Work,” one woman tells us about working past retirement age.

Feb 27, 2020
Workers in Shanghai are back at the office, but not back to normal

A lot of economic activities in China remain stalled, but as cases of COVID-19 are on the decline, some workers are back on the job. Today, we look at how office life has changed in Shanghai after the outbreak. Plus: more market reaction to the coronavirus and another installment in our series “United States of Work.”

Feb 25, 2020
Take a deep breath

You had to know this was coming, right? The Dow dropped more than 1,000 points as COVID-19 spread continued its spread. We spend some time at the top of today’s show getting context for that reaction, and looking at why consumer confidence is still so high. Plus, made-to-order clothing at scale, more seasonal work visas and our series “United States of Work” heads to a private practice in rural Ohio.

Feb 24, 2020
He sees a lot of the “United States of Work”

On today’s installment of “United States of Work,” we’re talking with Steve Fields, a Kansas City, Missouri, trucker who sees a lot of this country — and sees economic changes down the road, too. Plus, we meet a Los Angeles construction worker and dig into the latest business activity numbers.

Feb 21, 2020
The economy needs rule of law

“Rule of law” is a legal phrase that’s been getting a lot of attention amid President Donald Trump’s controversial interactions with the Justice Department. But it’s not just the foundation of the legal system — it keeps the economy together, too. Plus: Morgan Stanley buys E-Trade, Bath & Body Works is one of the last mall stores standing and our series “United States of Work” heads to Nashville.

Feb 20, 2020
What it’s like to be a service worker right now

Two in 10 American workers are in the service industry. As part of “The United States of Work” series, we’re following a bartender in Portland, Oregon, and a hair stylist in Boise, Idaho. Plus: sinking toy sales, new producer price index numbers and what it’s like to build your own house.

Feb 19, 2020
This is “United States of Work”

There are 164 million people making this economy go. We don’t have room on our show to profile the entire workforce, but this year we’re going to follow 10 of them in a new series, “The United States of Work.” We’re starting with Michael, a New York-based accountant. Plus, how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting Apple and Nintendo earnings and a look at the booming market for hard seltzer.

Feb 18, 2020
How Zillow and online real estate have become a millennial addiction

Portals into the dream of homeownership look a little different these days. Real estate apps and websites like Zillow have attracted a swelling audience of millennials looking to take a peek into the real estate market. Also, we talk about the sleep economy, apps helping native business and how George Washington handled national debt.

Feb 17, 2020
The U.S. has one bathroom for every person

The number of private bathrooms per American has doubled in 50 years. Doubled! Today, we talk to The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson about why the U.S. has so many toilets and what that says about us. Plus, Delta’s plan to become carbon neutral, dismal retail numbers and why teachers in D.C. aren’t managing to live where they work.

Feb 14, 2020
Who gets student loan forgiveness

The Congressional Budget Office says the U.S. government is on track to forgive over $200 billion in student loans over the next decade. Today, we look at how the program works and who benefits. Plus: The cost of canceling the Mobile World Congress, Asia’s pilot shortage and a conversation with the woman who runs Wikipedia.

Feb 13, 2020
What makes a song successful now?

Matthew Wilder’s “Don’t Break My Stride,” a 1980s one-hit wonder, has been going viral on TikTok for weeks. So has Roddy Ricch’s “The Box,” which beat Justin Bieber to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. When does virility start to pay? Today, we do the numbers on streaming, memes and chart success. Plus: fake coronavirus news, unemployment insurance cuts and in-home grocery delivery.

Feb 12, 2020
I quit!

Thanks to a tight labor market, more and more Americans are changing jobs, and faster. Where does that leave the customary two-week notice period? Plus: the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, WME’s failed IPO and the first responders who can’t turn to Google Maps.

Feb 11, 2020
What China wants with Equifax data

The Justice Department is charging four members of the Chinese military in the 2017 Equifax data breach, in which hackers got the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of 145 million Americans. Attorney General William Barr said it was the biggest in a string of connected attacks, which China has denied. Today, we’ll look at what the Chinese would want with Americans’ personal data. Plus, President Donald Trump’s budget, the economies of early primary states, and the Oscars’ spotlight on hair discrimination.

Feb 10, 2020
Uber’s path to profitability

Growth is not a problem for Uber, but when it will start making money is another question. The company says it will be profitable by the end of year, and while Uber Eats accounts for two-thirds of its losses, it’s doubling down on food delivery. Today we’ll talk about why. Plus, how coronavirus is hitting supply chains, Brexit brain drain and why Warner Music is going public … again.

Feb 07, 2020
How much money do you have tied up in gift cards?

Billions of American dollars are resting in unused gift cards and digital wallets. Starbucks and Walmart together have about $3.5 billion, PayPal is holding tens of billions. Where is that money sitting and what do companies do with it? That’s what we’re finding out on today’s show. Plus: The latest China trade news, how to get your personal data back and why Iowa’s caucus app failed.

Feb 06, 2020
Advertisers are cautiously getting back on Reddit

It was tough to be a Redditor in 2015. For every small, vibrant subreddit devoted to a hobby or earnest advice, there was a cesspool of misogyny or a community devoted to snuff films. But CEO Steve Huffman has been working to make the site less scary, and advertising revenue has started growing. The story of how a sinking ship righted itself could offer insights for other other social media sites trying to clean up. Plus: Ripple effects from cutting down flights to China, Casper’s IPO and more from Kai’s conversation with Janet Yellen and David Malpass.

Feb 05, 2020
America’s debt is “unsustainable”

That’s what former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said onstage in Washington with World Bank President David Malpass this morning as part of a wide-ranging discussion with Kai Ryssdal. Today, we bring you some highlights from that conversation. Plus: YouTube’s earnings and how AI could help track the coronavirus outbreak.

Feb 04, 2020
Why mall owners are buying Forever 21

Fast fashion giant Forever 21, which filed for bankruptcy last month, is selling itself to a consortium of buyers that includes two large mall owners. Today, we take look at why America’s malls have an interest in buying their tenants. Plus: coronavirus turned Shanghai into a ghost town, tariff exemptions are harder to get and the world’s biggest oil producers mull cutting production.

Feb 03, 2020
The big business behind “Cheer”

Netflix’s new documentary series “Cheer” is bringing new attention to both the world of competitive cheerleading and Varsity, the company with a monopoly on the sport. Plus, farm bankruptcies, the real cost of one-day shipping and Iowa’s deluge of political ads.

Jan 31, 2020
The end of the beginning of Brexit

Britain will finally exit the E.U. tomorrow. The U.K. now has eleven months to finalize a new trade deal with their former bloc. Today, we look at what comes after Brexit day. Plus, the return of the 20-year bond, sluggish business investment and America’s effect on Mexico’s economy.

Jan 30, 2020
Welcome to … the “dead zone”

For a lot of retailers, especially restaurants, afternoons are tough. That’s why happy hour exists. Starbucks beat earnings expectations in part because it’s been able to bring more shoppers in during the afternoon. Today, we look at how coffee shops and other retailers are fighting through the “dead zone.” Plus: Warren Buffet gets out of newspapers, the latest from the Fed meeting, and how one man is finding shelter amid LA’s homelessness crisis.

Jan 29, 2020
What weighs down GDP?

The Federal Reserve’s first meeting of the year just started, and gross domestic product numbers are out later this week. The production slowdown of Boeing’s 737 Max is slated to show up in that number, and we’re taking a look at the other products that impact GDP. Plus: 3M’s job cuts, Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G network and the latest consumer confidence and durable goods numbers.

Jan 28, 2020
Chinese workers are staying home because of coronavirus

The Chinese government extended the Lunar New Year holiday to slow the spread of coronavirus. While some workers will get paid time off, not everyone is so lucky. Today, reporter Jennifer Pak gives us the view from the streets of Shanghai. Plus, the outbreak’s ripple effects, new steel and aluminum tariffs and the official start of tax season.

Jan 27, 2020
Some workers haven’t recovered from the government shutdown

The federal government shutdown ended a year ago, but it’s still hurting temporary workers, like security guards, who will never get that month of wages back. The Trump administration is using a lot more contractors than previous White Houses, and today we talk with some people still paying off credit cards and other debt they took on. Plus: The head of the New York subway system steps down, the “American Dirt” controversy and how China is responding to the coronavirus.

Jan 24, 2020
Low inflation is still a mystery

And not just in the U.S. All around the world, central banks have kept interest rates low or even negative, but inflation isn’t going up as expected. What’s going on? We kick off today’s show trying to answer that question. Plus: P&G’s earnings, bricklaying robots and the effects of the government shutdown, a year later.

Jan 23, 2020
The business of TV in 2020

With a record 532 scripted series on air and an expensive streaming war on, this is a challenging time to take over a cable channel. We’ll talk about the business with AMC President Sarah Barnett. After that, we look at how Netflix measures its shows’ success and what counts as a “view.” Plus, the latest on auto tariffs, Boeing and Venezuelan refugees in Chile.

Jan 22, 2020
Is this really a “blue-collar boom”?

President Trump told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos today that the U.S. was in a “blue-collar boom.” We’re going to take some time to assess that claim and the state of blue-collar work in general. Plus: AI goes to the movies, a new spate of retail closures and why China is leading the world in solar, wind and … coal.

Jan 21, 2020
Microsoft taking a $1 billion shot at climate change

Microsoft has recently announced plans to spend $1 billion on technologies that will help eliminate carbon from the atmosphere. It’s part of the company’s greater plan to becoming carbon negative in the next 10 years. Molly spoke to Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s chief environmental officer, about this approach. Plus: Thousands of business leaders and lawmakers converse on Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. We also look at the IMF’s 2020 economic forecast, Ireland’s housing crisis and negative perceptions of female CEOs.

Jan 20, 2020
The trade war had an upside for U.S. garlic farmers

While we’ve been hearing a lot about how the trade war has negatively impacted U.S. farmers, the executive vice president of the largest garlic producer in the country wants people to know it’s helped others. “We’re apolitical as a company,” said Ken Christopher of Christopher Ranch. “What we are is pro-American garlic farmers.” Plus: negotiations over a digital tax is causing a rift between the U.S. and E.U., when companies should split in two, and we find out just how the trade deal with China was approved.

Jan 17, 2020
Citizen’s United, a decade later

The Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission allowed corporations and unions to spend money in politics in an unprecedented way. It’ll be 10 years next week, so today we’re taking a look back on how our elections have changed. Plus: new retail and supply chain numbers, and the economics of hologram musicians.

Jan 16, 2020
The trade war isn’t over

The U.S. and China signed a phase one trade deal this morning. Today we’re answering more of your trade questions, talking with a farmer about how she’s affected by the trade deal and examining more of America’s trade disputes around the globe. Plus, Target’s sluggish growth, the affordable housing shortage and Amazon’s fraught relationship with FedEx.

Jan 15, 2020
Looking back on a long trade war

The trade saga between the United States and China has gone on for almost two years. Now it might just be at the end. With President Donald Trump set to sign a phase one deal tomorrow, we’re devoting most of today’s show to the trade war: how we got here, what tensions still remain and how the conflict has impacted people, businesses and regulators here and abroad.

Jan 14, 2020
How U.S. sanctions led to Instagram censorship in Iran

According to the International Federation of Journalists, more than a dozen Iranian journalists recently reported having their Instagram profiles suspended after they posted about Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s death. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, said any accounts or posts that are being blocked is because the company is being careful not to violate sanctions. It makes sense that sanctioned people, like Soleimani, might be blocked from the platforms, but what about people just posting about him? Plus: How phase one of the trade deal between the U.S. and China is affecting the steel industry, a new way to measure inflation and the lack of diversity in the financial planning industry.

Jan 13, 2020
Lime scoots out of a dozen cities

As soon as the electric scooters showed up America’s streets, they were gone. Some of them, anyway. One of the big players, Lime, is laying off 14% of its staff and pulling out of 12 cities. Today, we take a look at the competitive landscape of scooting. Plus: Verizon kills the bundle, gift cards had another big holiday season and, of course, we have to talk about the December jobs numbers.

Jan 10, 2020
The streaming wars will be fought with giant robots

While most of the conversation around streaming services has focused on big American brands like “Star Wars” or luminaries like Martin Scorsese. But don’t sleep on anime — it’s a big draw for a young, engaged international audiences, and services like HBO Max, Hulu and Netflix are inking big deals with the premier Japanese animation studios. Plus: What you need to know about Facebook’s political ad policies, credit card fee hikes and how monetary markets are reacting to the conflict with Iran.

Jan 09, 2020
What a disinformation campaign from Iran might look like

There are some signs that tensions between the U.S. and Iran could be de-escalating, but there’s more than just a physical war to worry about. Today we assess the tools for cyber warfare Iran has at its disposal, and the market reaction to last night’s missile attack in Iraq. Plus: a look at how technology might bring down the cost of prosthetic limbs, and more from our “Adventures in Housing” series.

Jan 08, 2020
Markets are still figuring out what happened last week

Stocks hardly reacted to the first part of a trade deal with China last month, but the U.S. assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and new tensions with Iran have caused a stir. Today, we’re going to dig into how unpredictability riles markets and what it means for events to be “priced in.” Plus: What the low trade deficit does and doesn’t tell us, modern email etiquette and how the #MeToo movement has changed the American Economic Association’s annual conference.

Jan 07, 2020
Would the Fed go negative?

Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke sparked chatter in economic circles by saying the Fed should not rule out using negative interest rates. That would discourage banks from stashing their cash in the central bank and nudge them to lend. Even though the economy is growing at the moment, it could be good to have the option when things stall. But current Fed Chair Jerome Powell has pretty much ruled that out. Plus: How sanctions have shaped Iran’s economy, how alternative milks are putting a dent in the dairy industry, and how a Bahamian island is still recovering from Hurricane Dorian.

Jan 06, 2020
U.S. airstrike is causing turmoil in oil markets

A U.S. airstrike in Iraq early Friday morning killed Qassem Soleimani, a powerful Iranian military leader. Iran has vowed retaliation, and while nothing has come yet, the oil markets are reacting. This is a critical spot in the oil market, and analysts are trying to assess where the heightened risks are to oilfields, workers, pipelines, processing facilities, vessels and shipping lanes. Plus: global spending on video games hit a high in 2019, a new industry that’s helping adults make friends and economic opportunities that lie on the hiking trails.

Jan 03, 2020
The dollar is going down

The U.S. dollar rose for most of last year, until September hit.  Since then, it has lost about 2.6% of its value, according to the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index. The rise and fall of global markets affects the value of the dollar because it’s thought of as a sort of safe haven. At the same time, the U.S. Federal Reserve started pumping more dollars into the U.S. financial system. But should we worry about the dollar’s drop? Plus: the fourth quarter election fundraising numbers are in, a new Nevada law that bans employers from denying jobs to applicants who test positive for marijuana, and the story of an international consultant who finally landed at home.

Jan 03, 2020
A shopping fast for the soul (and the wallet)

Ever realize you have 17 bottles of hand lotion and decide to reevaluate? That’s what Haley Falconer realized before she decided to do a shopping fast. She decided she would buy only the essentials, like groceries, and forgo all else. In the latest installment of our series “How We Shop,” we hear how she did it and how the year long experiment saved her family $4,000. Plus: A look back at this decade in the workplace, the story of a security guard who just turned 80 and a conversation about the board game industry.

Jan 01, 2020
Closing the year with an open office plan

A tweet from presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg about making the East Room in the White House an open office plan set the internet ablaze. Open plan office spaces have been trending for a few years now, but research shows there are quite a few downsides, like increased illness and decreased communication. Will the end of the decade bring the end of the open office? Plus: an update on U.S. trade relations, how a retired government contractor is winding down on the vineyard and a look at this decade in housing.

Dec 31, 2019
The tech trends of the 2010s

“Marketplace Tech” host Molly Wood dropped by to tell us about the major tech trends of the past decade. If the 2000s were about the growth of the internet, the 2010s were about learning how to use it. Software saw a boom, with the rise of apps like Uber and platforms like Facebook. Molly’s big prediction? By 2030, phones will be no longer. Plus: the trade deficit in goods shrank for the third straight month, California’s new data privacy law kicks in at the start of the new year and a nurse navigates finances in her semiretirement.

Dec 30, 2019
Can a free streaming service work?

Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company, is reportedly in talks to buy Xumo, a free streaming service totally supported by advertisements. That could help NBCUniversal make good on its plans to launch Peacock as a free, ad-supported service not unlike good old fashioned TV. Plus: Tesla is set to deliver its first cars built in China, a sleeping pill-induced money horror story and how swimsuit fabric drummed up controversy at the Olympics.

Dec 27, 2019
Clean shipping is coming to a port near you

With new global emissions rules kicking in Jan. 1, most analysts agree shipping costs are likely to rise. Shipping companies can do a couple different things to reduce their emissions, including purchasing cleaner but pricier fuel. The upside: Our air will be cleaner. Plus: a look at automatic inflation adjustments in minimum wages, how Saudi Arabia is pushing entrepreneurship and Pantone’s 2020 color of the year.

Dec 26, 2019
Will you get more overtime pay in 2020?

With the holidays wrapping up, we’re looking ahead at changes coming our way in 2020. The Department of Labor is raising the salary threshold for lower-paid salaried workers. Starting January 1st, 1.3 million workers will be eligible for overtime pay, we’ll talk about who is covered in this ruling. Plus: A look back at the last decade in trade and the last year in China.

Dec 25, 2019
Basic the Baby Yoda merch is

Disney Plus launched last month, along with the Star Wars universe show “The Mandalorian.” The breakout star is The Child, whom the internet has lovingly dubbed Baby Yoda. While the green little guy is huge online, there’s a noticeable lack of merchandise. We look at why the entertainment giant didn’t have the goods in time for the holiday season. Plus: a climate-conscious Christmas, a look back at the year in retail and one state’s efforts to curb traffic congestion.

Dec 24, 2019
CEO of Boeing is finally going

Over a year after the first 737 Max plane crashed, Boeing announced CEO Dennis Muilenburg will depart immediately. The board’s current chairman David Calhoun will officially take over on Jan. 13. What’s next for the company and when will the 737 Max be back in the air, if ever? Plus: a chat with the LA mayor, a breakdown of what being a “most-favored-nation” means, and why there’s an overload of packages being delivered to the office.

Dec 23, 2019
The GOP tax cuts, two years on

The big GOP tax cut package will turn two over the weekend. We ask whether the cuts paid for themselves and stimulated the economy as the White House and its allies promised. Plus: Chinese surveillance companies finding blacklist workarounds, new consumer spending numbers and why it’s still so hard to shop sustainably.

Dec 20, 2019
What makes a worker “skilled”?

Executives from middle market companies say one of their top challenges is finding more skilled workers. Today, we pick that distinction apart a bit and look at what it takes to be a “skilled worker” and why they’re hard to come by. Plus: the economics of tangerine season, chat bots that can “yes and” and a conversation with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.

Dec 20, 2019
Santa’s workshop is in your office

A survey from consulting firm Robert Half said about half of employees planned to spend time online shopping at work this holiday season. Whether that puts you on the naughty list at work is none of our business. Today we dig into the overall effect on productivity, which isn’t as bad as you might think. Plus: The latest consumer price index numbers, FedEx’s “horrific” earnings and a conversation with the CEO of the nation’s second-largest charity.

Dec 18, 2019
How big is Boeing’s slice of the GDP?

Turns out it’s about 1%. Today we look at the impact of halting production of the 737 Max, and how the decision could reverberate through the supply chain and economy as a whole. Plus: Three more stories from our “How We Retail” series and a look at the Southern California students turning to Mexico for affordable education.

Dec 18, 2019
Who’s getting that $28 billion farm bailout?

We’re headed back to Iowa today, continuing our look at how the trade war, not to mention climate change, are altering the $100 billion agriculture business in this country. Plus: Boeing will halt production on the 737 Max, and Uber is giving California drivers a bit more rider info.

Dec 17, 2019
Just 11 more shopping days til Christmas

Holiday shopping season isn’t down to the wire quite yet, but it’s getting close. Today we’re gonna look at a couple ways shopping is changing: We call a mall manager to hear how the season’s going so far, then we hear from a retiree who went back to work for the app, Shipt. Plus, a quick update on Brexit, Europe’s crowded airports and the long view on inflation.

Dec 14, 2019
Welcome to Tariff Land

The dramatic cut of corn and soybean exports to China as a result of the current trade war was a big blow to American farmers, leaving them scattering to find different markets to make up the losses. But that’s easier said than done. The Trump administration has handed out billions in aid, but not every region or crop has gotten the same benefits. Today, we’re doing the numbers on who’s getting that aid, and spend some time with three Iowa farmers to see how they’re coping. Plus, a look at how globalization is affecting inflation, and how technology is helping gift-givers comparison shop this holiday.

Dec 13, 2019
Too many Americans are getting debt for Christmas

Several recent surveys found that a significant number of Americans don’t just feel the pressure to buy more, they also end up overspending during the holidays. Today, we do the numbers on who’s going into debt this season and why, along with some tips to avoid spending more than you can afford. Plus: What you need to know from the last Fed meeting of the year and the big tech regulation that’s a sticking point in the USMCA.

Dec 11, 2019
We have a deal, folks

House Democrats have reached an agreement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement more than two years after the Trump administration started the process of renegotiating NAFTA. We’ll tell you everything you need to know. Plus: robotic produce pickers, the fight over irrigation water and a conversation with the first woman to run an American record company.

Dec 10, 2019
Remembering Paul Volcker

Former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, who helped shape American economic policy for decades, died this morning. Today, we look over his impact on the economy, and recall the time he raised interest rates to 21.5%. Plus: A new innovation that could make recycling more efficient, how to make kids’ entertainment more diverse, and the “smoker’s track” at work.

Dec 10, 2019
Let’s do the numbers on Uber’s safety report

Uber reported today that of about 1.3 billion rides in the U.S. last year, there were 3,045 sexual assaults, nine murders and 58 people killed in car crashes. Today, we’re looking at those numbers in the context of Uber’s market share: some 70% of app-based ride services in the U.S. Plus: How Amazon changed Baltimore, takeaways from the latest jobs report and how inflatable holiday decorations took over American lawns.

Dec 07, 2019
UPS and FedEx caught in the holiday hustle and bustle

We’re a week into the official holiday shopping season and, thanks to a late Thanksgiving, some shipping companies are already racing to the finish line. Plus: The end of the WTO as we know it, Sen. Rand Paul’s creative proposal for student loan debt and will 5G live up to the hype?

Dec 05, 2019
Where the money from food stamps is actually going

The Trump administration is tightening work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or sometimes “food stamps.” The White House says low unemployment should make finding work easy, and the move will save $5.5 billion over the next five years. Today, we follow the money to find out what impacts the move could have. Plus: Twitter’s junk bonds, e-books’ effect on libraries and the unexpected costs that come with treating rare cancers.

Dec 05, 2019
Who gets to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange?

We’re partial to “Stormy Weather” and “We’re In the Money,” but there’s one iconic sound that means it’s time to do the numbers: the bell that opens and closes the trading day on Wall Street. Today we take a look at that tradition, who gets to ring the bell and how they do it. Plus: Why batteries are getting cheaper and what the economy will look like in a year if the trade war continues.

Dec 04, 2019
Just about everything you own came on a truck

America is short more than 60,000 truckers, and that number is expected to double in the next decade. Today, we talk with a trucker who trains people for the road. Plus, the latest on currency and trade wars, how e-commerce has changed holiday hiring and another shortage Americans are grappling with: not enough access to childcare.

Dec 02, 2019
Gen Z hits the mall for Black Friday

Whether you spend the day after Thanksgiving hunting for deals or lounging on the couch, consumer spending is still one of the primary drivers of this economy. Today, we’re gonna look at the outlook for this holiday season. Plus: why more teens are headed to stores today, how one couple found perfect gift, and why you might find a pair of Crocs under the tree this year.

Nov 30, 2019
Walk, run, fly

Thanksgiving air travel is expected to break records this year, and that means a lot of sitting around at airports. But there might be alternatives this year: Some airports are building walking paths, yoga rooms and full gyms. But is that the best use of space? Also: How small businesses are negotiating tariffs, innovation in the flower industry and a “Decade of Fire” in the Bronx.

Nov 28, 2019
China can really hold a grudge

NBA games are still banned from China’s state-run CCTV more than a month an official tweeted support for protestors in Hong Kong. How long can China’s economic grudges last? For South Korea, it’s three years and counting. Today, we look at how those lock-outs affect companies. Plus: The Trump administration’s tech import blocks, the latest business investment numbers and how all that plastic gets in the ocean.

Nov 27, 2019
“The glass is much more than half full”

That was Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell talking about the economy this week. The job market is strong, holiday spending expectations are up, so why is consumer confidence down for the fourth straight month? Today, we unpack it all. Plus: Why eBay is selling StubHub, why young women bear the brunt of unpaid household labor, and why Mexican cartels are getting into the avocado business.

Nov 27, 2019
How the shopping season has changed

We’re barreling toward the official start of the holiday shopping season, even though most stores have had tinsel up since late October. Today, we’ll hear from a bunch of different retailers about how their businesses have changed. Plus: Why companies are splitting up the chairman and CEO, who’s actually paying tariffs and how cryptocurrency works.

Nov 25, 2019
Try finding a tasty tomato next week, we dare you

The United States produces about 2.7 billion pounds of tomatoes per year. When they’re in season, there’s nothing like biting into a fresh one. So why are so many tomatoes on grocery store shelves so bad? Plus: The latest on Huawei, English winemakers’ plan to repair their reputation and how accessibility impacts shopping.

Nov 22, 2019
How Chinese censorship changed “Top Gun” (and the rest of Hollywood)

The upcoming sequel to “Top Gun” may strike many moviegoers in the summer of 2020 as an aerial tribute to American military might, yet several sharp-eyed fans who have seen the trailer are asking if Paramount Pictures is doing the bidding of China. The studio changed Tom Cruise’s character’s signature jacket to remove the Taiwanese flag, and it’s just the latest example of Beijing’s censorship laws shaping entertainment in the States. Today, we trace many examples and talk about why they matter. Plus: A bunch of mergers and acquisitions news as PayPal buys Honey Science Corp. and Charles Schwab enters talks to buy its biggest rival, TD Ameritrade.

Nov 22, 2019
There are 6,000 employee-owned companies in the U.S. How do they work?

A Japanese conglomerate just bought craft beer giant New Belgium Brewing, bringing an end to one of the largest employee-owned companies in the United States. There are only about 6,000 others in the country, so today we take some time to talk about how employee ownership works and why companies do it. Plus: The NFL’s latest efforts to attract women and our reading of the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes.

Nov 20, 2019
The view of the trade war from the water

Like it or not, it’s already holiday shopping season. And while you might not be ready quite yet, the truth is all those potential gifts on store shelves got here months ago. Today, we’re taking a visit to the Port of Los Angeles, which handles about half of all the shipping container trade between the United States and China. You may have heard there’s a trade war on. We’ll talk with the workers at the port about how it’s going. Plus: Why Home Depot is struggling and a new kind of prosperity gospel.

Nov 20, 2019
The Mustang goes electric

Ford is taking a big swing with the Mustang Mach-E, a new electric SUV the company announced last night. We have the exclusive interview with CEO Jim Hackett about the car and his vision for the company after a tough year. Plus: The Trump administration backs off its fight against flavored vape products, and Amazon takes criticism for how it handles counterfeit goods.

Nov 19, 2019
Holiday hiring hustle and bustle

Holiday shopping season is upon us, and many retailers are rushing to hire seasonal workers. Today, we look at how companies decide how much extra help they need and what happens when they get it wrong. Plus, what you need to know about the Trump administration’s push for transparent hospital pricing, and as always, we do the Weekly Wrap.

Nov 15, 2019
A year after the Camp Fire, life is still on hold

Last November’s Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. Given the massive scale of what was lost, there are thousands of survivors who still need serious financial help to put their lives back together. But getting that help takes a long time and requires staying on top of paperwork and deadlines. The most important of those deadlines just passed, and some estimates indicate thousands of people with claims missed it. Plus: A conversation with the head of the Atlanta Fed and a sign that the real estate market could be getting less competitive.

Nov 15, 2019
Today’s *other* big Congressional testimony

While you were busy watching the impeachment hearings, Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell was testifying before Congress with a warning: While a Recession is less likely now than it was earlier in the year, current fiscal policy and national debt isn’t ready for a downturn. Today, we’ll catch you up. Plus: A conversation with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the rise of “Porch Pirates.” Yarr.

Nov 14, 2019
Are states ready for a recession?

The unemployment rate is at near-record lows, but if that changes, it will mostly fall to states to pay unemployment benefits. That’s what happened in the Great Recession, but many states had to borrow to make up the gap. Plus: What you need to know about Google and health care records, and why banking apps and startups are named things like “Dave” and “Alice.”

Nov 13, 2019
Rebuilding Paradise

The town of Paradise, California, is still trying to recover from the deadly and destructive Camp Fire that broke out in November 2018, killing 85 people and destroying more than 13,000 homes. In the days and weeks after the fire, residents were worried that big developers would swoop in, buy up the land at a discount and rebuild Paradise in a way that would alter the existing community. Today, we’ll look at how it’s going a year later. Plus: How algorithms determine what you can borrow, how the Army’s trying to recruit Zoomers, and remaking “Joy of Cooking” for a new generation.

Nov 11, 2019
Is Apple’s credit card all about the patriarchy?

Apple’s credit card is accused denying approval to women while giving it to their less credit-worthy male partners. Troubles in Hong Kong are making investors nervous. Plus, the opportunity the fall of the Berlin Wall gave a young girl from East Germany.

Nov 11, 2019
WeWork-ers are trying to organize without a union

Former WeWork head Adam Neumann walked away with a $1.7 billion payout when he was forced out of the company. Now, ahead of the planned layoffs of thousands of workers, WeWork employees are organizing to make demands of management. It’s not the only workplace trying to unlock the power of informal organizing. Plus: The lasting economic legacy of the Berlin Wall and … why is office paper that size, anyway?

Nov 09, 2019
The recession that wasn’t (yet)

The risk of a possible recession appears to have died down. So what happened? And are regular business owners and consumers feeling any better about the economy? We look into it. Then, what you need to know about Xerox’s offer to acquire HP and other cash and stock deals. Plus: AI isn’t quite here yet, but Black Friday is.

Nov 08, 2019
Working hard or hardly working?

Productivity was down 0.3% last quarter, which isn’t a seismic change, but it’s part of a downward trend. Americans are working hard, so why are they working in the slow lane? We look into it. Plus: how climate change is affecting the wine industry, why a country short on affordable housing also has millions of vacant homes, and what you aren’t learning in civics class.

Nov 06, 2019
Feeling the trade war on the farm

We’re taking the macro and micro angles on the trade war today. First, looking at the factors that caused the U.S. trade deficit to fall more than 4% to $52.5 billion. Then zooming in to look at how farmers in Montana are stinging from the hit on their income caused by trade war. Plus, conversations about carpooling, VCs and the future of banking.

Nov 06, 2019
‘Tis the season (for open enrollment)

Halloween’s over, so you know what that means … it’s open enrollment! And this year, the marketplace has more “skinny” health care plans. But one person’s cheap, streamlined coverage package is another person’s “crappy insurance.” Plus: Why the government is concerned about TikTok, Apple’s affordable housing play and making the “perfect” Thanksgiving dinner.

Nov 04, 2019
Deadspin’s death spiral

Once upon a time, Deadspin was a go-to website for sports, culture and news. Then a private equity company bought it. After being told to “stick to sports,” staff protested by quitting en masse. The disaster says a lot about what happens when private equity and digital media collide. Plus: The economy is contracting, and the NCAA moves forward on student athletes making money.

Nov 01, 2019
Segregation’s legacy lingers

Chrishelle Palay never expected to be living in Kashmere Gardens, a historically black neighborhood in Houston that’s still struggling with the legacy of segregation and neglect. Then her great-aunt died and left her house to the family. On today’s installment of “Adventures in Housing,” we hear from Palay about why she kept her aunt’s house. Plus: a look at how job wages are faring, and why the Fiat Chrysler-Peugeot merger is happening now.

Oct 31, 2019
What we buy — and why

Retail may be changing, but so are consumers. That’s why we’re launching “How We Shop,” a new series looking at how, what and why we buy. To kick it off, we follow a shopper who takes frugality to the next level. Plus: The streaming wars carry on, and the Fed cuts rates yet again.

Oct 30, 2019
Who’s setting expectations on Wall Street?

Every earnings season, when companies announce how well a quarter went for them, you’ll see a pretty common headline: whether or not a given company beat or missed Wall Street’s expectations. But what exactly are “expectations,” and who makes them? Plus: The NCAA opens up to athletes making money, and the decline of coal.

Oct 29, 2019
Who pays for California’s wildfires?

The governor of California declared a state of emergency yesterday after wildfire forced nearly 200,000 people to evacuate. Wildfire season across the entire western part of the country is becoming more intense and more expensive every year — the federal government spent more than $2.4 billion on fire suppression in 2017. Today, a look at who pays after these disasters. Plus: scammed on the ‘Gram and a Brexit update.

Oct 28, 2019
Shanghai’s mountain of trash

How does a city of 24 million do its recycling? Shanghai began requiring its households, companies and public institutions to sort recyclables out of the 33,000 tons of refuse they generate each day. On today’s show, we’ll look at how much progress they’re making. Plus: Why Americans are spending less on home improvement, and a conversation with the CEO of US Foods.

Oct 25, 2019
Literal and figurative headwinds

The word “headwinds” showed up in no less than 18 companies’ quarterly earnings reports released today. So let’s talk about what that word, and “tailwinds” really means for companies. Plus: why the Boeing 737 Max is weighing down Southwest, and why self-driving trucks are so hard to figure out.

Oct 24, 2019
Rural America is an internet desert

Many, many rural Americans lack access to affordable broadband internet access, and it’s a real drag on the economy. State and federal governments spend hundreds of millions every year to address the problem, but it’s not always clear where the money should go. Plus: What you need to know about SoftBank (it’s not a bank) and what it’s like to buy a house for your parents.

Oct 23, 2019
What those scam robocalls actually do

Have you received a Chinese-language robocall lately? Or a hundred of them? Federal authorities say these computer-generated scams, which began targeting American phone lines two years ago, are on the rise again. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to actually take one of these calls, we recorded a few and came away with some observations as to why the bad guys do it, how they succeed, and what happens to their victims. Plus: the trade war hits toys and why we do “The Numbers.”

Oct 22, 2019
What does a “Thanks …” email mean??

Whether because they want to or because they need to, more Americans are working past 65 and even 75 years old, which means we now have the most age-diverse workforce we’ve ever had. There are four, sometimes even five distinct generations working side by side. That dynamic can foster a lot of intergenerational miscommunication, starting with punctuation and emoji. Plus: Boeing’s latest woes and the difference between the minimum wage and a “living wage.”

Oct 21, 2019
Gas prices, explained

After a drone strike hit the Aramco oil facility in Saudi Arabia in September, the price for a barrel of oil surged by nearly 20%. You may have noticed a spike for gasoline, too. But what exactly determines the price for a gallon of gas? That’s our latest installment of “Kai Explains.” Plus: 5G and the business of Broadway.

Oct 18, 2019
The GM strike could be almost over

United Auto Workers presidents from around the country are meeting in Detroit today to vote on a deal that could end the monthlong General Motors strike. But even if that vote passes, rank-and-file workers need to approve it, too. We bring you the latest. Plus: Tariffs on European goods and changes to the Fair Housing Act.

Oct 17, 2019
Inside an Amazon fulfillment center

Amazon’s massive warehouses have a reputation for being hard places to work. Today we’re taking a tour, and it’s not an exclusive or an investigation — Amazon wants the public to come in. We tell you why and what we saw. Plus: New discretionary spending numbers, and what teachers are spending on their classrooms.

Oct 16, 2019
How much can one school provide?

For years, Oyler School has been trying to provide for students’ basic needs in one of Cincinnati’s poorest neighborhoods. Now, leaders are looking outside the school and trying to improve the local job market. Plus: The International Monetary Fund projects an economy without the U.S.-China trade war, and Walmart’s new direct-to-fridge delivery service.

Oct 15, 2019
How much can a school remake the neighborhood it’s in?

Cincinnati’s Oyler School serves one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Community leaders have used public and private money to add a food pantry, health clinics and more so students could focus on learning. Graduation rates have been steadily ticking up, but in recent years, the school’s been trying to help more homeless students find a place to stay. Administrators are realizing that transforming a school may not be enough to spark the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood. Plus: China’s latest import and export numbers, and why some key players are pulling out of Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts.

Oct 14, 2019
The nest is full

According to Census Bureau data, about 37% of Californians age 18 to 34 still live with a parent. In more expensive parts of the state, that number is much higher. Today, we look at the factors making living at home the new normal for some young adults. Plus: new consumer sentiment numbers and the first state law cracking down on forced arbitration.

Oct 11, 2019
What it’s like to be a foster parent during the opioid crisis

We talked a bit yesterday about West Virginia, which has the highest rate of children in foster care in the nation, thanks largely to the opioid crisis. Today, we’re continuing that story by looking at some of the challenges facing foster parents there. Plus: The impact California’s power outages are having on low-income households, and why negotiating a salary is so hard.

Oct 11, 2019
In West Virginia, the opioid crisis is straining the foster care system

As many American parents struggle with opioid addiction, the number of children put into foster care in the U.S. is steadily increasing. West Virginia has been hit particularly hard: 70% more children entered foster care there in six years, and most of them have a parent struggling with substance use. Today, we’ll take you inside a system that’s straining to care for them all. But first: The latest from the Fed, and the controversy in the NBA over Chinese protestors.

Oct 09, 2019
What’s your data worth?

If a service is free, the saying goes, then you’re the product. Most of us have come to accept that when you’re using social media or a free email client, you’re giving up some data in exchange. But what if you got paid for giving up some of that information? Today, we talk with a startup that’s working on it. Plus: Target is joining forces with a resurrected Toys R Us, and California is fighting wildfires by turning the lights off.

Oct 08, 2019
Remember pensions?

General Electric will freeze pensions for 20,000 workers and offer pension buyouts to another 100,000 former employees. Today, we trace the decline of the once-common benefit. But first: We check in on the state of the trade war and the autoworkers’ strike. Plus, a conversation with the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Oct 07, 2019
There’s no such thing as a free oyster

… usually they’re a dollar, but you get the idea. Today: the economics of happy hour, particularly discounted seafood. But first, let’s take apart that new jobs report.

Oct 04, 2019
What we talk about when we talk about jobs

We talk about the federal government’s jobs report every month. But determining how many Americans are unemployed, how many jobs the economy created and in which sectors is a tricky business. Ahead of tomorrow’s new numbers, we’ll dig into how it all works. Plus: A story from communist China, which turns 70 this week. And who pays to fix federal monuments?

Oct 03, 2019
Maybe it’s not a recession after all

Economists and market watchers have spent the past few months trying to figure out if we’re headed toward, or maybe already in, a recession. But there’s a growing chorus wondering if the U.S. economy is just headed toward a period of slow growth. Today, we dig into what that means. Plus: How Amazon handles counterfeit goods and how couples handle money.

Oct 02, 2019
October will have you seeing pink

Oct. 1 is the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that means you’ll be seeing pink all over: at NFL games, at charity walks and on virtually any consumer good you could buy. Today, we dig into the economics of awareness. Plus: What’s behind this disappointing year for IPOs and the national debt, explained.

Oct 02, 2019
The stock market is not the economy … so what is it?

It’s an interesting time in the American capital markets. Specifically, for stocks. The major indexes have been at or near record highs after trending up for more than a decade. But as we’ve said before, and we’ll surely say again: The stock market is not the economy. For today’s installment of “Kai Explains,” we’ll dig into what it is and isn’t. Plus: Why the Trump administration would want to curb American investment in Chinese firms, and how Amazon’s HQ2 could reshape Arlington, Virginia’s economy.

Sep 30, 2019
You should be watching the bond market

We say it over and over: Keep an eye on the bond market. But it can be hard to know what the “10-year T-note” even is, much less what it tells us about the economy. So in today’s installment of our new series “Kai Explains,” we’re going to dig into bonds. Plus: Saudi Arabia opens up to tourists, and a conversation with Rakim.

Sep 27, 2019
Inequality is at a 50-year high

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau says inequality is the highest it’s been since the measure began in the 1960s. Today, we dig into why. Plus: Health care spending is breaking records, too, and consumer confidence, explained.

Sep 26, 2019
How IPOs work

Home fitness company Peloton is expected to go public tomorrow. It’ll be the latest in a series of high-profile tech IPOs, some of which haven’t gone so smoothly. Today, we’ll look at how companies are valued, how that process has changed and why markets haven’t quiet caught up. Plus: What a no-deal Brexit would do to Europe and what’s next for embattled e-cigarette maker Juul.

Sep 25, 2019
What debt does to the economy

Americans owe $13.86 trillion in household debt. That’s slightly higher than the total amount right before the 2008 financial crisis, and it’s rising. Today, we’re gonna dig into debt a bit: Who owes whom, what it does to the economy and what we can do about it. Plus: What you need to know about new overtime rules, and, inspired by Greta Thunberg, what we talk about when we talk about “economic growth.”

Sep 24, 2019
The art of the organic tortilla

Some might think that the best part of a taco is what’s inside. But Rick Ortega and Omar Ahmed, founders of Kernel of Truth Organics, disagree. They’re champions of soft corn tortillas and pride themselves on being the only known tortilleria in Los Angeles using certified organic corn. Plus: Americans are saving more money, and farmers aren’t keen on being bailed out.

Sep 23, 2019
The GM strike marches on

General Motors workers have been striking since midnight on Sunday after contract negotiations broke down. The company’s use of temp workers is one of the main reasons for the strike. Temps make less money, don’t get benefits and can take very limited time off, unpaid. We hear from one GM worker who was a temp for four years before being hired full time. Plus: Why grad students might lose their ability to unionize, and what items will be exempt from tariffs.

Sep 20, 2019
How an oil company pivots to video games

Sometimes businesses make hard left turns. YouTube was a dating site. Shopify sold snowboard equipment. Then there’s Black Ridge: It recently got out of oil and gas and into the fast-growing world of competitive gaming. How’s a company go from fracking to “Fortnite”? Today, we look at the art of the pivot. Plus: Why central banks are predicting an economic slowdown and what Silicon Valley is (and isn’t) doing to combat climate change.

Sep 19, 2019
When regulations meet market forces

President Donald Trump plans to revoke California’s ability to set its own fuel efficiency standards. But what happens when many consumers want lower emissions? Plus: What you need to know about the rate cut and an update on the GM strike.

Sep 18, 2019
What is the DEAL with all these old episodes of “Seinfeld”?

As the war of streaming TV services heats up, tech and media giants like Comcast, WarnerMedia and Disney are racing to build their libraries. That means dropping hundreds of millions of dollars for the rights to old shows like “Seinfeld” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Plus: We’ll walk you through the Federal Reserve’s toolkit and take a look at the way oil prices affect the larger economy.

Sep 17, 2019
Juul needs research on vaping, but scientists aren’t sure

With new reports of people getting sick and politicians vowing to crack down on electronic cigarettes, the industry leader, Juul, is looking for new research on the health effects of its products. But the vaping giant has had difficulty finding scientists to take on that research, and the few who have accepted Juul’s overtures face blowback. Plus: Nearly 50,000 members of the United Auto Workers went on strike against General Motors today, and oil prices jumped following an attack on Saudi oil facilities.

Sep 16, 2019
Meet me at the mall, it’s goin’ down

Forever 21 is expected to close 100 stores as part of a bankruptcy filing. Big anchor stores like Sears have been struggling for a long time, so what’s left? The American mall looks pretty different these days. Plus: The federal deficit has passed $1 trillion for the first time since 2012, and the latest in our “Adventures in Housing” series.

Sep 13, 2019
Negative interest rates, explained

The European Central Bank cut interest rates to -0.5 percent. President Trump praised the decision, as he’s been pushing the Federal Reserve to do the same. Today, we compare the economic situation in the U.S. and abroad and explore how negative rates would work. Plus: California’s attempt to curb soaring rents and a new DIY clothing start-up.

Sep 12, 2019
Reclassifying employees won’t just affect Uber

A California bill that would reclassify many independent contract workers as employees is on track to becoming law. It would affect hundreds of thousands of people in the gig economy — not just those who deliver food and give rides, but also nail salon workers, truck drivers and more. Today, we talk with some of those independent contractors about how their lives would change and look at the broader economic implications. Plus: An update on the blocked offshore wind project.

Sep 11, 2019
Who makes money off your political donations?

There’s another Democratic presidential debate on Thursday, and hopefuls that reach the stage will have done so by meeting polling and donation requirements. It’s just one reason why candidates spend a lot of time and energy hitting you up for cash, and there are a lot of businesses facilitating that effort. Today, we follow the money. Plus: Why Moody’s says Ford is “junk,” and looking ahead to the holiday hiring season.

Sep 10, 2019
You shouldn’t make trades based on Trump’s tweets

… But those tweets do affect markets, and JPMorgan is launching a new index to track the impact of a presidential tweet. Plus: dispatches from the supposed “worst place to live in America,” and is bigger still better for American companies?

Sep 09, 2019
Embrace your inner child

A growing number of adults are willing to pay to do kid stuff: smashing their faces into cake, watching Saturday morning cartoons, doing scavenger hunts. Today, we dive into the big money of feeling little again. Plus, we recap the jobs report and examine the declining entrepreneurship rate.

Sep 06, 2019
How much do WeWork, really?

The unemployment rate has been historically low for months now. But even in a tight labor market, not everyone who needs a job has one. Today we’ll meet some job hunters and run through some of the fundamentals of this economy. Plus: Why the company behind WeWork is still going public after slashing its valuation.

Sep 05, 2019
A different kind of Brexit deal

As uncertainty looms about how Britain will leave the European Union, a trade deal with the United States would help make up for any loss of business with the EU and show the country isn’t cutting itself off completely. Today, we look at how a trans-Atlantic trade deal could happen and the sticking points that remain. But first: YouTube’s record fine to settle claims it violated children’s privacy, and the Trump administration’s plan to turn Fannie and Freddie private again.

Sep 04, 2019
What the trade war’s really doing

President Donald Trump says his tariffs on Chinese goods will create manufacturing jobs in the United States, but the opposite may actually be happening. We’ll look into it, and how businesses are affected by new tariffs. Plus: Taylor Swift’s staying power and why Uber can’t easily shake its toxic reputation.

Sep 03, 2019
Let’s do the numbers on Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas today and is expected to move towards the east coast of the U.S. over the next 48 hours. Today, we’ll look at which communities are most vulnerable. Plus: The start of (fantasy) football season, how grounding the Boeing 737 Max will affect holiday travel and is it time for a stunt Oscar?

Sep 02, 2019
Is Capitol Hill ready to regulate Silicon Valley?

Between the many hearings on Capitol Hill and antitrust investigations happening both in the U.S. and abroad, it would seem as though regulations are coming for the tech sector. But is the government ready to play referee in Silicon Valley? That was the question before a town hall Kai Ryssdal moderated recently. Plus: More tariffs starting Sunday and the rise of consumer debt with consumer spending.

Aug 30, 2019
The trade war comes for batteries, coats and human hair

President Donald Trump’s latest round of tariffs will affect $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, and are set to go into effect Sunday. Today, we look at some of the industries affected. Plus: 100-year bonds, algorithms and volatility.

Aug 29, 2019
Adventures in housing

We’re kicking off a new series today, “Adventures in Housing,” because that’s often what buying a home feels like. Today we follow a couple who decided to move into their own guest house. Plus: Why tech manufacturing is moving to Vietnam and a conversation with the president of the Dallas Fed.

Aug 28, 2019
Whom do corporations answer to?

Last week, a CEO group declared that corporations shouldn’t be accountable to just shareholders, but employees and customers as well. That statement is already having an impact: An Oklahoma court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 billion over claims it downplayed the risk of opioids. Today, we take a look at what this redefinition could mean going forward. Plus: Why Amazon is streaming the Fenty runway show, and what you’re really getting when you pay for fast internet.

Aug 27, 2019
Can Trump order companies to stop doing business with China?

“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!” President Donald Trump tweeted this weekend. Today, we do that. Plus: The robocalls are getting sneakier, and Puerto Rico is prepping for hurricane season.

Aug 26, 2019
What makes the dollar strong?

President Donald Trump and his advisers have been talking a lot lately about the strength of the U.S. dollar, saying it’s weighing on U.S. exports and hurting American manufacturers. Today, let’s take a step back and explore how we determine what makes the dollar “strong” anyway. Plus: Robocalls, the toy-to-movie pipeline and the latest tariff news.

Aug 23, 2019
Who says we need to have a recession?

The U.S. has averaged a recession every seven years since its founding. Australia, on the other hand, hasn’t experienced one in more than 25 years. So what gives? Today, we dig into the rules and chance governing the business cycle. Plus: What one city stands to lose when a GM plant shuts down, how negative interest rates work and President Trump’s relationship with new U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Aug 22, 2019
Can you talk the economy into recession?

A series of economic indicators are suggesting that businesses have pulled back their spending amid fear of a recession. But can talk of a recession make one happen? Plus: The latest Fed meeting minutes, virtual reality in the workplace and how an unexpected inheritance can complicate grief.

Aug 21, 2019
Teaching artificial intelligence the nuance of language

As AI algorithms improve, scientists are still facing some difficulties, including language translations. But first: There’s been a lot of talk about an economic downturn lately, and in the middle of it all is the American consumer. Turns out, consumer spending might just be what’s keeping the U.S. economy afloat. But can consumers save the economy from a recession? Then, the number of video streaming services is on the rise. We look into the growing monthly costs for consumers. Also, the latest drink of the summer: White Claw.

Aug 20, 2019
When the bottom line isn’t everything

The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group comprised of about 200 CEOs, today announced a change in its definition of a corporation’s purpose: Shareholder value should no longer be their main objective, and they should prioritize customers and employees. This might just lead to a delicate balancing act to keep shareholders, customers and employees happy. We break it all down and what it could mean for the future of the corporate world.  Also, we take a closer look at the challenges surrounding cashless restaurants. Then: an interview with Jennifer Silva, on her book which examines the economic realities in the heart of coal country.

Aug 19, 2019
Even back-to-school season has its influencers now

YouTubers have started monetizing one of the biggest consumer moments in a kid’s life: the first day back at school. But first: yield curve inversions, trade wars and recessions, oh my! Remember to take a deep breath while we break it all down. This week, Netflix reported its U.S. subscriber loss in almost eight years. What does that mean for the company’s future? Then, how oat milk entered the mainstream.

Aug 16, 2019
Dive into the ~inverted yield curve~

Markets panicked yesterday because the yield on 10-year government bonds dropped below that of 2-year bonds. Today, we’re gonna go deep on the different types of bonds, and why their differences matter. Plus: What high water in the Great Lakes is doing for the region’s economy, and why Pabst is getting in to the whiskey business.

Aug 15, 2019
What a city gave up to attract auto jobs

More than 30 years ago Hamtramck, Michigan, was desperate for a GM plant, so desperate that the government used eminent domain to tear down a neighborhood. Today, we look back at how that plant got built — and what happened when the work slowed down. Plus, we’ll do the numbers on today’s huge Dow drop, WeWork’s IPO and the yield curve inversion.

Aug 15, 2019
CBS and Viacom are back together

After more than a decade apart, CBS and Viacom announced Tuesday that they are reuniting. Today, we look at how the new company, ViacomCBS, fits into today’s rapidly consolidated media environment. Plus, Trump’s holiday-driven tariff delay and why Tumblr lost so much value.

Aug 13, 2019
Protests paralyzing Hong Kong could threaten the global economy

The protests in Hong Kong are now in their 10th week, grounding flights in one of the word’s busiest airports today. The tense situation is beginning to take a toll on the region’s economy — and it has potential to reach much further beyond that. Today, a crash course in what the region means for the global economy. Plus: Nike’s new subscription service for kids and pumpkin spice season? Already?

Aug 12, 2019
Penney is a penny

Former retail giant J.C. Penney is a now a “penny stock” and is at risk of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Today, we look at what happens when a company gets delisted. Plus: the future of gig economy workers in California and the unwritten rules of the middle class.

Aug 09, 2019
Where does returned merchandise go?

Online shopping has made returns easier than ever — but all that stuff can pile up, and it’s not always in the best shape. Today, we dive into the growing secondary market for your online returns. Plus: How the trade war is affecting food and the growing business of clothes rentals.

Aug 08, 2019
Back-to-school season, already?

As we enter the dog days of summer, several states are offering sales tax holidays. Officials say if you give people a temporary tax break, they’ll spend more at local retailers, and not just on school supplies. But do they really work? Today we dig into it. Plus: A conversation with Ben Folds about his career in music and why FedEx is dropping Amazon.

Aug 07, 2019
GM workers’ tough choice: relocate or get laid off

GM announced last fall it would shut down manufacturing at some of its plants. About 15% of its workforce would get laid off, and there were new jobs available for workers willing to relocate. We follow one family for whom following GM didn’t feel like much of a choice at all. Plus: Toni Morrison’s legacy, China’s new label as a currency manipulator and what it’s like to “curate” snacks at Google.

Aug 06, 2019
The trade war is now a currency war

Usually when the markets have a day like today, we like to say, “Take a deep breath, calm down.” Not today. We’re in uncharted territory now. We catch you up on everything you need to know about China’s escalating tariffs and the race to the bottom for currency. Plus: How businesses react to tragedy.

Aug 05, 2019
Americans are paying tariffs. Period.

President Trump says China is bearing the costs of tariffs his administration has imposed on Chinese goods. That’s … not how it works. Today, we look at the effects of the trade war on consumers. Plus: the ice cream sandwich turns 120 and what the pyramids of central Mexico tell us about ancient economies.

Aug 02, 2019
Two more states ban the salary question

Illinois and New Jersey just banned employers from asking for job applicants’ salary history. At least 18 states and as many cities have adopted similar bans. Today, we look at the effort to fix pay gaps in race and gender, and how businesses are responding. Plus: What low construction spending tells us about the economy and a conversation with REI’s CEO.

Aug 01, 2019
You survived the rate cut! Here’s what comes next.

Well, it happened. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis. It was a quarter point. Markets reacted. We’re still here. So what’s gonna happen next? Today, we look back to 2008, explore negative interest rates and get a former Fed economist to answer your questions. Plus: We dig into what “Medicare for All” really means.

Jul 31, 2019
What are the odds your data was stolen?

The security breach at Capital One Financial, revealed this week, compromised the personal data of more than 100 million people. The Equifax breach hit 147 million people. Target’s 2013 data breach? Some 40 million. And there have been others. Today, we spoke to a mathematics professor about the odds you’ve been affected. Plus, yes, we’re prepping for the big interest rate cut.

Jul 30, 2019
What a rate cut means (and doesn’t mean)

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates for the first time since 2008. Does that mean a recession’s on the horizon? Plus: the fight over who gets to sell cancer drugs and the uncomfortable feelings that can happen when your parents control your money.

Jul 29, 2019
Why the strength of the dollar matters

In presidential tweets to corporate earnings reports, the U.S. dollar has gotten a lot of chatter lately. Today, we take some time to explain why people are looking at the strength of the dollar and why that matters. Plus: Elvis in Vegas and the quest for carbon-neutral utilities.

Jul 26, 2019
What’s next for Puerto Rico?

The governor of Puerto Rico announced his resignation last night, but even as the protests against Ricardo Rosselló die down, serious economic challenges remain. Plus: How companies gain trust and the business of urban paleontology.

Jul 25, 2019
DOJ takes on Big Tech

The Department of Justice is launching an antitrust investigation into Big Tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. Today, we break down what that means for consumers and Silicon Valley. Plus: new players in local news and changes to the investor visa.

Jul 24, 2019
Deal or no deal

The White House and Congress have reached a bipartisan deal by raising the debt ceiling and increasing spending by nearly $50 billion for the upcoming year. Today, we look at whether either party really cares about the national debt — and whether it matters. Then: Boris Johnson will be the United Kingdom’s new prime minister, raising concerns over a no-deal Brexit.

Jul 23, 2019
Slack’s quest to replace email is getting more competitive

Workplace messaging platform Slack has gone public, and now boasts 10 million daily users. But is it any closer to replacing email? We talked with CEO Stewart Butterfield about how his company has evolved as big competitors like Microsoft and Cisco are ramping up their efforts. Plus: Marvel’s plan to follow “Endgame,” and why people choose #vanlife.

Jul 22, 2019
The moon landing was a giant leap for Silicon Valley

On July 20, 1969, the world watched as man set foot on the moon. But 50 years later, you can see the legacy of the Apollo missions in today’s tech. In fact, the mission to put a man on the moon was deeply tied to the birth of Silicon Valley. Today, we chart that path. Plus: “The Office” reruns as a cure for burnout and a conversation with the head of the Boston Fed.

Jul 19, 2019
Back to the budget brink

Lawmakers have just days to pass a budget deal before they leave for the August recess. Today we look at what’s in the deal, and what’s holding it up. Plus: How cities are dealing with the heat wave, and how Netflix lost American subscribers for the first time.

Jul 18, 2019
The cost of living (in Shanghai)

The Chinese government claims low inflation, but people in the financial hub of Shanghai complain that the cost of living is rising much faster. Last available figures put the average monthly wage in the city at 7,200 yuan or $1,047. Today, we look at what it’s like to live on that. Plus: the Fed and business leaders are puzzled by the economy, but consumers don’t seem to mind.

Jul 17, 2019
Big Tech’s big day on Capitol Hill

Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple were on the defensive in Washington today, as Congress held hearings touching on cryptocurrency, election interference, antitrust concerns and more. It was a lot to take in, so we’ll spend sometime at the top of the show getting you up to speed. Plus: Why Nestlé’s launching a premium Kit-Kat, and the numbers behind the new camping economy.

Jul 16, 2019
The machines know when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em

Professionals keep losing to Pluribus, an AI poker player that’s learned a new strategy for a bot: bluffing. Today, we look at what this kind of breakthrough could mean for artificial intelligence overall. Plus: the business of Prime Day and a new strategy to fight the affordable housing crisis.

Jul 15, 2019
I need a vacation from my vacation

More than half of American workers don’t use all their paid vacation days, and when they do, it’s with a fair amount of guilt. Plus: Alexander Acosta’s legacy at the labor department and a woman who found a career in counting cards.

Jul 12, 2019
What it really means when legislation “pays for itself”

You hear it all the time: White House officials, pundits and lawmakers will claim a piece of legislation will “pay for itself.” President Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow said just this week that big 2017 cuts were two-thirds of the way there. But what’s that really mean, anyway? We’ll take some time today to define some terms. Plus: How Europe’s heat wave is affecting its economy and why Amazon is investing.

Jul 11, 2019
What’s Jerome Powell thinking, in five words or less?

How about “Rate cut coming in July”? The Federal Reserve is sending strong, consistent signals that it’s gonna happen. Today, we’ll break down everything you need to know. Then: A new report shows most immigrants who entered the country legally are highly skilled and educated, ahead of President Donald Trump’s policy changes set to emphasize those attributes. Plus: A new combatant has entered the streaming war, and it brought “Friends.”

Jul 10, 2019
The data behind hiking the minimum wage

A proposal from House Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage received a mixed report from the Congressional Budget Office. Today, we look at how data and politics are shaping the debate. Plus: Ross Perot’s legacy and the big business of posting song lyrics online.

Jul 09, 2019
Why the Fed stays independent

It’s been widely agreed that politicians ought not dabble in monetary policy. But that’s a norm that’s becoming less normal. Arthur Laffer and other critics of the Federal Reserve are saying it should be controlled by the president and Congress. Today, we look at central banking’s independence in the United States and abroad. Plus: The race to make french fries stand up to delivery and making money off of carbon.

Jul 08, 2019
All eyes are on the U.S. women’s soccer team. But what’s next?

The World Cup brings together the best of the best in the realm of women’s soccer and for fans of the game, the U.S. national side has done nothing but impress and people are taking notice. Jerseys are flying off the shelves and the Women’s Professional Soccer League has signed a deal with ESPN. But what does all this mean for the team after the final whistle? Plus a look at the latest jobs report and why Cadillac car sales are up in China.

Jul 05, 2019
Let’s talk about money without making it weird

If discussing money is still a strange thing for you, maybe we can help. According to data from our eighth Marketplace Edison Research poll, younger people are talking about salary at work. We dive into local minimum wage increases and hear a teacher discuss her balance of work, pay and play. Plus, we examine whiskey and tariffs, couples and finances, and how a Portuguese island is creatively using electric cars.

Jul 04, 2019
Spoiler alert! Why movie trailers ruin all the fun

You’ve waited months for a glimpse of the latest movie blockbuster. The trailer comes out, you watch it … and it contains most of the major plot twists. Studios spend hundreds of thousands of dollars making the trailers in an attempt to get more people to the theater. But do they work? Plus: Ed Sheeran’s latest tour could be the highest-grossing concert series of all time. We find out why.


Jul 03, 2019
What really happens in after-hours trading

It’s a short week on Wall Street: Markets close early Wednesday and stay closed over the July 4 holiday. That includes after-hours trading. Today we dig into what goes on after the closing bell anyway. Plus, Christine Lagarde’s appointment as head of the European Central Bank and the local economics behind Nike’s flag shoe recall.

Jul 02, 2019
What’s behind that huge ER bill

It’s a no-win scenario: You rush to the emergency room, pay a co-pay, then get hit with a surprise bill — hospital was in network, but the doctor wasn’t. One study found that mismatch happens in as many as one in five ER visits, and it’s a source of bubbling rage over health care costs. Today, we look into how it happens. Plus: what you need to know about the trade truce with China and Taylor Swift’s fight over the rights to her music.

Jul 01, 2019
Wide open spaces

Open office plans give the workplace a hip, collaborative vibe. That’s why they’re popular. But the distractions that come with them have some people longing for the days of cubicles. Plus: what a weak dollar does to the economy and we meet one couple navigating an uncomfortable money situation.

Jun 28, 2019
LaCroix is struggling to keep up in a competitive seltzer market

National Beverage, the company that owns the sparkling water brand LaCroix, is reporting a second straight quarterly sales decline. It’s a common business problem: How do you stay dominant when your product is easy to copy? Plus: The latest on Boeing’s 737 Max and your crash course on Shenzhen, China, where the world’s top electric vehicle and iPhone assembly companies were born.

Jun 27, 2019
The ethics of doing business with migrant detention camps

Hundreds of employees at Wayfair walked out of work today. They were protesting the online retailer’s sale of $200,000 worth of mattresses to a migrant detention camp. Wayfair isn’t the only one, so today we dig into the ethical questions of doing that kind of business along the border. Plus: How companies work around tariffs and the fight over casinos in Pennsylvania.

Jun 26, 2019
From throwing beer bottles to rainbow beer bottles

Pride Month ends this week with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a key moment in LGBTQ people’s long struggle for acceptance. But with countless brands sporting rainbow logos and trotting out floats at pride events, some are wondering if that “acceptance” has crossed the line to something more exploitative. Plus, we examine “decision fatigue” this election season and the economics of streetwear.

Jun 25, 2019
Inside Huawei’s fight against U.S. sanctions

Huawei has been banned from most of the American market after the White House called the Chinese tech giant a cybersecurity threat. Now the company is fighting back, and we visited its headquarters in southern China to take a look. Plus: Toys R Us plots its comeback and the new push to put a value on Americans’ data.

Jun 24, 2019
You’ve been paying sales tax online for a year. What’s changed?

It’s been a year since the Supreme Court overturned a ban on states collecting sales taxes from most online shopping. Today, we check in on how state budgets are affected. Plus: The new Sears concept stores and the case for hiding “likes” on Instagram.

Jun 21, 2019
Would you return a lost wallet?

Be honest — someone might be watching. Researchers placed thousands of fake wallets around the world and found the return rate was higher the more money was inside. Today we look at the psychology of lost money. Plus: Why employers are projected to spend more on health care and the politics of crying at work.

Jun 20, 2019
Age is just a number, but at work, 65 is important

For a lot of people, turning 65 is a kind of love-hate experience. It’s legally seen as the start of old age, when you can collect Medicare and Social Security. Some people retire, some people feel like they can’t or don’t want to. So what’s so special about 65? Today, we talk to a few folks who are 65 (or 65 at heart) about the magic number. Plus: YouTube preps big changes to kids’ content and everything you need to know about the Fed.

Jun 19, 2019
Facebook wants to bring cryptocurrency to a billion people

Libra season? Already? Facebook announced a new cryptocurrency today, Libra, which will run on the blockchain and launch next year within the company’s products and its new wallet app. But participating in the global economy in this way comes with challenges Mark Zuckerberg’s company hasn’t faced before. Plus: Why food recalls are on the rise and “How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World.”

Jun 18, 2019
How’d WeWork get to a $47 billion valuation?

We Co., the proprietor of WeWork, is one of the most valuable startups in the country at $47 billion. Today we talk about how it got here and its path to profitability. Plus: The future of headphones could be augmented reality, and are we headed for an … Ital-exit?

Jun 17, 2019
Bonus: This Is Uncomfortable, episode 1

We’re excited to announce a new weekly podcast from Marketplace: “This Is Uncomfortable,” a show about life and how money messes with it. Every Thursday, host Reema Khrais will dig into the unanticipated ways money affects relationships, shapes identities and often defines what it means to be an adult. Listen to the first episode here and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Jun 15, 2019
Who decided salt and pepper go together?

Even if you don’t have any spices in your kitchen, you probably still have salt and pepper. Ditto for even the most basic restaurants. But how did those two condiments become standard issue? On today’s show, we get into the deep questions. Plus: how Americans feel about relocating for work and having the awkward “money talk” with your partner.

Jun 14, 2019
A different kind of climate crusader

Exxon Mobil’s annual shareholder’s meeting had a special guest recently: a senior figure from the Church of England. But why’s the church so interested in oil and gas? Plus: Tyson Foods gets in the fake chicken business and a look at Marketplace’s newest podcast, “This Is Uncomfortable.”

Jun 13, 2019
“The cloud” isn’t good for the atmosphere

We’re just starting to learn the real environmental toll of virtual activity like cryptocurrency, streaming movies and cloud computing. The data centers that store all that information use tons of power, which in turn dumps tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Today, we do the numbers. Plus: the latest on consumer prices and a conversation with “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”

Jun 12, 2019
We the (second-)best music!

DJ Khaled’s new album, “Father of Asahd” debuted at number two a couple of weeks ago. Khaled had bundled the album with an energy drink to boost sales, and it might have pushed him over the top, but Billboard didn’t count the bundles for its chart. Now the publication is examining the industry-wide practice of bundling altogether. Plus: how retailers are attracting hourly workers and an interview with Serious Eats founder Ed Levine.

Jun 11, 2019
How enforceable is the White House’s deal with Mexico?

In return for Mexico’s assistance in keeping immigrants from entering the U.S., the Trump administration has decided not to impose any new tariffs on Mexican goods. But how enforceable is that agreement? And what happens if it falls apart? Plus: Why every city’s ballpark is a little different, and what you need to know about Huawei.

Jun 10, 2019
Is a slow jobs month such a bad thing?