Marketplace All-in-One

By Marketplace

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: Business

Open in Apple Podcasts


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 996
Reviews: 4


 Sep 2, 2020

Magnificent Steve
 Nov 24, 2019

Paul
 Apr 27, 2019
Marketplace is an excellent source of information about the national and global economy, and why you should care. Well produced and timely, but it does not require an economics degree top understand.

A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 27, 2018

Description

Marketplace® is the leading business news program in the nation. We bring you clear explorations of how economic news affects you, through stories, conversations, newsworthy numbers and more. The Marketplace All-in-One podcast provides each episode of the public radio broadcast programs Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report®and Marketplace Tech® along with our podcasts Make Me Smart, Corner Office and The Uncertain Hour. Visit marketplace.org for more. From American Public Media. Twitter: @Marketplace

Episode Date
Thick thighs (and rats) save lives
00:18:30

You may have heard the expression “thick thighs save lives.” And we have a story today about a rat who’s kept people in Cambodia safe from landmines. What about a rat with thick thighs? It’d probably be unstoppable. We’ll get into all of it on this very silly episode of Economics on Tap, but first we have to talk about Florida reopening and how big banks are assessing the election. TGIF!

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our live happy hour on YouTube! We’re getting closer and closer to our $100,000 fundraising goal — and closer to Kai Ryssdal drinking a pumpkin beer. Don’t wait, give today at marketplace.org/givesmart!

Sep 26, 2020
How does a whole country go carbon neutral?
00:27:34

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
Wall Street’s guesses about the election and markets
00:09:52

President Trump’s recent unwillingness to comment on a peaceful transfer of power has constitutional experts worried … and also stock market strategists. Uncertainty tends to mean market volatility. Plus, how local businesses that depend on the economy of college sports are faring.

Sep 25, 2020
What banks are doing (and not doing) about dirty money
00:08:13

It’s one of the biggest stories of the week: leaked documents show that some of the biggest of banks kept doing business with high-level crooks, even though their own internal review systems had flagged suspicious transactions. We take a closer look. Plus, House Democrats are working on a new spending package for COVID-19 relief. And, why one of the most powerful officials in the Vatican abruptly resigned.

Sep 25, 2020
Harley-Davidson is leaving India
00:08:17

From the BBC World Service: The European Union is set to appeal Apple’s $15 billion tax bill ruling. Harley-Davidson has decided to end its manufacturing operations in India. The Olympics will go ahead but in a simplified form.

Sep 25, 2020
Facebook plays whack-a-mole with foreign election interference
00:06:32

Facebook said this week it’s taken down several networks of fake accounts to guard against meddling in the U.S. election, the latest crop tied to Russian intelligence services. The company says those accounts on Facebook and Instagram could have been used to leak hacked documents. It also removed several inauthentic Chinese accounts that in some cases shared material related to President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Amy Scott speaks with Sarah Frier, a reporter for Bloomberg, who’s been following developments.

Sep 25, 2020
Normal? Not normal? You’re asking the wrong question
00:19:26

President Donald Trump wouldn’t commit yesterday to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election next month. It’s giving us flashbacks to similar comments he made, and intimations about a “rigged” election back before he even took office. Back in 2016, plenty of outlets, us included, used to talk about how things were “not normal.” In 2020, Trump’s comments are just one of many signs that we’re way past that. We aren’t completely hollowed-out on this Thursday, though — we’ll also spend a little time talking about skin care … IN SPAAAACE!

As always, find slinks to everything we talked about today at makemesmart.org

Sep 25, 2020
“Why don’t you fix your teeth?”
00:26:44

One woman’s smile becomes a marker of poverty that feels impossible to escape.

Sep 24, 2020
Thousands of workers are literally stuck at sea
00:27:00

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
Nuclear energy’s 30-year low
00:08:39

The number of nuclear plants running everywhere on Earth is at the lowest point in three decades. Why? Plus, pleas for Congress to do more in terms of coronavirus relief, as 870,000 more people have signed up for unemployment benefits. And, a status update on auto industry reopenings in Mexico.

Sep 24, 2020
How much can Facebook’s Oversight Board really do before the election?
00:08:31

The board will be able to reverse decisions to remove content from Facebook and Instagram. But we’ll probably have to wait for any rulings. Plus, a ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in California within 15 years. And, you know hybrid cars. What about hybrid offices?

Sep 24, 2020
Why working from home can still mean going into an office
00:08:34

From the BBC World Service: The next Brexit deadline is looming and it’s making businesses jittery, again. The growth of suburban work-from-home spaces. Australia’s second-biggest bank is fined more than $900 million for breaches of money-laundering laws.

 

Sep 24, 2020
Can Oracle make it into the cloud computing big leagues?
00:08:33

Details of the proposed deal for Walmart and Oracle to take a stake in Chinese company TikTok are still unfolding. But what is clear is that part of what’s in it for Oracle would be a new customer for its cloud computing business. The company has just under 3% of the global cloud computing market, according to research firm Gartner. Compare that with Amazon Web Services, or AWS, at 45%. The next biggest provider is Microsoft, with an 18% share. Amy Scott speaks about cloud competition with Eric Norlin, a venture capitalist with SK Ventures. He says nabbing TikTok is part of a bigger strategy.

Sep 24, 2020
Everything is broken
00:21:15

That’s the short answer. We’ll have some longer answers, too, on this week’s installment of Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. We’re answering listener questions about campaign finance, data privacy and Europe’s ban on American travelers. But first, guest host Kimberly Adams reacts to what’s going on in Louisville, Kentucky, tonight after no police officers were charged for killing Breonna Taylor.

Sep 24, 2020
Florida is a battleground for voting rights too
00:27:34

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
A dollar amount on how much racism has cost the U.S.
00:08:06

A colossal number: $16 trillion. That’s the economic loss suffered over 20 years due to racism in the U.S., according to a new study by Citigroup. Plus, the strength of spenders in this economy. And, fixing how we pay for long-term health care.

Sep 23, 2020
Can machines predict who will win the House and Senate?
00:08:28

The Economist has two new forecasting models out Wednesday morning that will attempt to do just that. Plus, what’s caused Tesla’s stock to collapse. And, how Texas is trying to make it easier for some to avoid surprise medical bills.

Sep 23, 2020
Europe’s new plan for hosting refugees
00:07:12
From the BBC World Service: The European Union is set to detail new, mandatory measures on managing migration. Australia reveals encouraging manufacturing data. How the craft beer industry is faring during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sep 23, 2020
AI is reshaping the way we buy, sell and value homes
00:06:19

The housing market continues to defy gravity. Sales of existing homes rose more than 10% last month compared to a year ago, hitting their highest level since December 2006. It’s all about low interest rates and intense competition for available homes. And now, more than ever, people are relying on online platforms to search for — and even buy — houses. And that opens the door for artificial intelligence to play a bigger role, like using computer vision to create real estate listings based on photos. Amy Scott speaks with Christopher Geczy, a professor at Wharton who teaches about real estate and insurance technology.

Sep 23, 2020
Solving the wildfire paradox
00:24:00

We’ve talked a lot on the show recently about the wildfires raging in the western U.S. and darkening skies all over the country. We’ve talked about climate change and fire prevention, but we haven’t talked about another big factor: housing. Where and how we build our homes is one of the reasons wildfires have gotten bigger, more damaging and more deadly over time. Here to talk us through it is Kimiko Barrett. She’s a wildfire researcher at the nonprofit Headwaters Economics.

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about today on the episode page at makemesmart.org.

Sep 23, 2020
At least the government isn’t shutting down
00:28:04

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
Voting is already difficult enough for people who are homeless
00:09:49

The pandemic is making it that much harder. Plus, how much of recent stock market gains can be attributed to faith in a COVID-19 vaccine. Also, a preview of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s message on COVID-19 relief, and details on Tesla’s new battery for electric cars. And, political fundraising ticks up amid the Supreme Court battle.

Sep 22, 2020
Working for peanuts in this COVID economy
00:08:39

Peanut consumption in the U.S. is at an all-time high. Peanut prices have continued to climb. It’s keeping the industry busy. Plus, the Fed looks to update the rules that ensure lower-income Americans get access to loans. And, Trump revisits the issue of social media companies with state attorneys general.

Sep 22, 2020
How will Europe’s economies cope with new COVID restrictions?
00:07:26

From the BBC World Service: The economic fallout from new restrictions in the U.K. and Spain. The European Union’s top court upholds France’s right to block repeated short-term property rentals. Clothes designer Erdem Moralioglu describes his fully digital London Fashion Week show.

Sep 22, 2020
The pandemic is putting electronic medical records to the test
00:07:38

To slow the spread of coronavirus, testing is essential — and not just getting a test, but getting the results back as quickly as possible. A shortage of the equipment and chemicals needed to perform the tests is part of the problem, but the country also lacks a robust electronic medical record system, which would allow information to be shared seamlessly. We wondered: How much is that slowing everything down? Amy Scott speaks with Julia Adler-Milstein, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where her research focuses on electronic health records. She says part of the problem is all the different software providers — companies like Epic, CareCloud and Athenahealth — don’t play well together.

Sep 22, 2020
Making sense of the FinCEN files
00:24:00

BuzzFeed News published their findings over the weekend from huge cache of leaked “suspicious activity reports” from some of the world’s biggest banks. They show trillions of dollars worth of money laundering and other illegal activity over years. We’ll spend some of today’s show wading into it, but first, Marketplace’s Amy Scott is in the co-host chair, sharing some new data on how racism affects home appraisals. Plus, the comforts of a Costco hotdog and Earth, Wind & Fire.

As always, find slinks to everything we talked about on our episode page at makemesmart.org.

Sep 22, 2020
What we know (and what we don’t) about the TikTok deal
00:27:00

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
Congress is even further from passing a new COVID-19 relief package now
00:08:08

With congressional divisions deepening and Senate attention now on the Supreme Court, it’s unlikely that we see a new COVID-19 relief package before the election. Also, Nikola’s executive chairman resigns. And, a state-by-state look at unemployment rates.

Sep 21, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s economic legacy
00:08:15

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves a legacy of rulings that defined many crucial areas of American life, including economic issues. Plus, evidence of a sweeping dirty money scandal among global banks. And, the latest on TikTok.

Sep 21, 2020
Big banks caught up in dirty money scandal
00:07:08

From the BBC World Service: Leaked documents reveal that criminals allegedly used a number of global banks to move about $2 trillion of dirty money around the world. Indian farmers protest new legislation which could end minimum support prices for certain crops.

Sep 21, 2020
For-profit online schools are getting a second look from parents
00:11:10

It’s yet another Monday, and each week this fall we’re covering the challenges of remote school. As parents try to figure out the best digital options, enrollment in alternative online schools is skyrocketing. Some of these are for-profit schools that get public money from states or public school districts for each student that they enroll. They have been around for years. Jennifer King Rice is a professor of education at the University of Maryland who’s studied for-profit virtual schools. She tells Molly that just because they have experience in remote learning doesn’t means their outcomes are better.

Sep 21, 2020
Voting and economics have always been intertwined
00:18:46

Who can afford to vote? On the season premiere of “This Is Uncomfortable,” host Reema Khrais looks into the history of voting rights in this country, and their long relationship with socioeconomic status. She’s filling in for Kai on our weekly happy hour episode to talk about it. Plus: the latest controversy at the CDC and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

As always, you can find a slink to everything we talked about today at makemesmart.org.

Sep 19, 2020
Teens are on TikTok, businesses are on WeChat
00:27:56

… 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
A group of corporate CEOs is going the UN way, not the Trump way, on climate change
00:07:39

A trade group for corporate chiefs, Business Roundtable, met this week and announced support for a comprehensive plan to battle climate change. Plus, airlines press for $25 billion more in aid. And, in France, government rules on wearing masks outdoors.

Sep 18, 2020
Digital divide could keep Black and Hispanic people out of future jobs
00:07:57

A directive at Facebook coming from Mark Zuckerberg himself is set to curb political talk on the company’s internal messaging network. It’s a crackdown ahead of the election. Plus, current and future racial inequities caused by unequal access to technology and training.

Sep 18, 2020
Could England face a second lockdown?
00:08:41

From the BBC World Service: The U.K. government is considering a second lockdown in England after a spike in coronavirus cases. Also, the path to a vaccine, from the head of a pharmaceutical manufacturing organization in Europe. And, a sightseeing flight to nowhere in Australia.

Sep 18, 2020
How constant surveillance puts protesters at risk
00:11:24

As Black Lives Matter protests continue around the country, police are using facial recognition and all kinds of other technology to arrest protesters and organizers. While, in some cases, the people arrested did commit crimes, after-the-fact arrests can have a chilling effect on free speech and lead to cases of mistaken identity. They also show us just how much surveillance is part of our lives. Molly speaks with Simone Browne, author of “Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness.”

Sep 18, 2020
It’s not free speech, it’s market-manipulated speech
00:15:07

Facebook makes an interesting decision about speech on the company’s internal version of of the social media site that has us scratching our heads. Plus: the pandemic in Europe, small business closures and Martha Stewart’s Instagram.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about on the episode page at makemesmart.org.

Sep 18, 2020
Remember the trade war?
00:27:00

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
Who can afford to vote?
00:30:09

From restricted access mail-in ballots to poll taxes, voting rights have always been tied to power and money.

Sep 17, 2020
How do you advertise a COVID vaccine?
00:07:46

One explanation for an early sell-off Thursday on Wall Street is the recent gloomy assessment of the economy offered by the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Plus, what’s being called the biggest sofware IPO of all time. And, the trust issue and skepticism that come with a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Sep 17, 2020
Last call for passengers on Europe’s first “COVID-free” flight
00:06:57

From the BBC World Service: Italy is launching what it’s calling the first “COVID-free” flights in Europe, where passengers can only board once they’ve taken a coronavirus test at the airport. Also, India’s controversial decision to spend billions of dollars upgrading its Parliament building at the height of the pandemic. And, the British retailer fed up with video calls.

Sep 17, 2020
What the Fed can’t do
00:08:03

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell offered a dreary assessment of the economy after his policymaking team’s last interest rate meeting before the elections. The Fed plans to keep interest rates near zero through 2023. But it’s kind of limited beyond that. And, how homebuilders are trying to recruit more workers amid growing demand for new houses.

Sep 17, 2020
How the Gates Foundation’s values shape the world
00:07:43

The Gates Foundation is trying to eradicate polio and malaria globally. Bill Gates created a billion-dollar climate investment fund, funded multiple factories to find a vaccine for COVID-19 and is matchmaking companies around the world to get that vaccine distributed. Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, is in the position to do all this because he is one of the world’s richest people. And that’s a little weird. Molly Wood asks him how his philanthropy ends up doing so much of the work of government. He said some of it is mission creep.

Sep 17, 2020
When a controlled burn is better than the alternative
00:16:25

Last week we talked about the settled science of preventing forest fires. Today we hear from one listener, a lung doctor in smoky Seattle, who wants to know how to start that process. We’ll answer as best we can on this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. Later, we’ll take a look back in history to see what might drive the federal government to some kind of action.

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about on our episode page at makemesmart.org.

Sep 17, 2020
Wear a mask, people
00:27:27

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
Trump’s controversial pick for the Fed might not make it
00:07:27

Where did Americans spend their money in August? We have the latest data. Plus, A top Senate Republican says Federal Reserve Board nominee Judy Shelton does not have enough votes for confirmation. And, this notion of the “right” COVID-19 vaccine. What does it look like?

Sep 16, 2020
Boeing, FAA did not really understand the faulty 737 Max, Congress finds
00:07:44

A congressional report blasts both Boeing and the FAA for actions that led to two fatal crashes of the 737 Max jets. Plus, why people are voluntarily quitting their jobs in a pandemic. And, a new California law that will make it easier for the formerly incarcerated to become firefighters or EMTs.

Sep 16, 2020
Have we reached “peak oil”? BP’s CEO thinks maybe.
00:07:25

From the BBC World Service: BP CEO Bernard Looney explains his plans to shift the company’s focus away from oil and gas and toward shale, green energy and renewables. Also, the push for European battery production for electric vehicles. And, will consumers really trust fallen travel giant Thomas Cook under new owners?

Sep 16, 2020
America is lagging on climate change. Where is our innovative spirit?
00:13:16

This week alone in our changed climate: More than two dozen people have died in wildfires in Western states and more are missing. Forecasters predict life-threatening flooding from Hurricane Sally in the Gulf. And the foundations of two major Antarctic glaciers are crumbling, threatening dramatic sea level rise. Bill Gates is founder of the billion-dollar Breakthrough Energy Ventures investment fund. He tells Molly Wood that American innovation is still necessary if we’re going to meet U.N. goals of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Sep 16, 2020
Coronavirus is pushing women out of work
00:34:00

And by “we,” we mostly mean “women.” After six months of this pandemic, we have data showing women are working longer hours and taking on a disproportionate amount of the extra work at home. For those womens’ careers, sociology professor Caitlyn Collins says it can mean death by a thousand cuts. On today’s show, we’ll talk with Collins about women dropping out of the workforce, the ripple effects that could have years down the line and what we can do about it now.

Sep 16, 2020
The COVID-19 diet
00:26:31

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 clock of global progress seems to be spinning backward
00:07:56

What will the holiday shopping season look like? A new analysis suggests numbers could actually be up. Plus, why Apple might be waiting to unveil a new iPhone model. Also, another automaker settles over emissions cheating. And, Bill Gates on coronavirus vaccine development.

Sep 15, 2020
How to fight the pandemic, from someone who has done this before
00:07:52

The Federal Open Market Committee meets again this week. It’s not expected to change interest rates, so what can we expect? Plus, Dr. Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist, brings his experience of helping to eradicate smallpox to our current pandemic.

Sep 15, 2020
Bill Gates warns of vaccine worries for developing nations
00:06:53

From the BBC World Service: Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has warned that richer countries aren’t doing enough to make sure a potential coronavirus vaccine is available for developing nations. Also, Greg Kelly, the former Nissan executive and ally of former CEO Carlos Ghosn, pleads not guilty to financial misconduct charges in Tokyo court. And, fears that the U.K.’s furlough plan for workers could be ending too soon.

Sep 15, 2020
Gates: The U.S. isn’t helping get a COVID vaccine to the rest of the world
00:12:45

Discovering, manufacturing and distributing a vaccine will likely be the only way out of the pandemic, which has devastated the world’s economy. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been part of the effort to underwrite that work, including playing matchmaker between several pharma companies to manufacture billions of doses, even if they aren’t the eventual inventor. Molly Wood speaks with co-chair Bill Gates about his work on vaccine development.

Sep 15, 2020
“This Is Uncomfortable” is back this week!
00:02:06

Money messes up everything. This pandemic is widening the wealth gap, pushing thousands of people into debt, and shifting family and relationship dynamics. Why do so many of us let our careers define who we are? Who can afford to vote this November? Can business and friendship mix? Will you ever get over that one money fight with your partner? We’ll sit with this discomfort all season, and it all starts this Thursday, Sept. 17. Here’s a preview.

Sep 15, 2020
The Barry Bonds theory of climate change
00:16:52

The West Coast of the United States is burning, and chewable air is making its way into neighboring states. And yet President Donald Trump, staring the crisis in the face today in a visit to California, continued to question the science. “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch,” he said. You might have heard similar points from your loved ones talking about “global warming.” So today we’re going to propose a new way of talking about the climate crisis — it puts whatever climate you’re in on steroids. It’s not all doom and gloom through, because we get to hear Paul Rudd say face masks are “beast.”

As always, you can find a slink to everything we talked about on our episode page at makemesmart.org.

Sep 15, 2020
The tick-tock on TikTok
00:27:55

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
Nicki Minaj, Tracy Chapman and the future of music copyright law
00:07:43

TikTok wants to join forces with Oracle — but it’s not exactly a sale like the Trump administration ordered. Plus, speaking of executive orders, the president has signed one aimed at lowering drug prices for Medicare. And, Tracy Chapman is suing Nicki Minaj in a case that could upend the way artists borrow from each other.

Sep 14, 2020
TikTok twist: China warns of no sale of its U.S. business
00:07:38

From the BBC World Service: The status of TikTok’s U.S. operations is uncertain as China looks set to block any sale to a U.S. tech firm. But is a partnership happening instead? Also, another geopolitical tech row over the planned sale of the U.K. chip designer Arm to U.S. firm Nvidia. And, Yoshihide Suga is set to take over as Japan’s new prime minister.

Sep 14, 2020
The video game tech company that’s no longer just playing around
00:07:47

Nvidia, which makes microchips for video games, is buying Arm Holdings — a quietly ubiquitous tech company. We’ll get to why this is such a big deal for things like smartphones. Plus, TikTok, Oracle and President Donald Trump. And, the potential for global cooperation when it comes to distributing a future COVID-19 vaccine.

Sep 14, 2020
With all this new tech in remote schooling, what are the privacy implications?
00:10:13

If your kids are going to school online, then one thing you’re probably concerned about is the data that’s being collected about them, and how it’s being stored and used. Well, there are some rules — actually, lots of them. You’ve probably heard of COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and perhaps FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Those are both federal laws governing data collection and kids. And, in the last six years, states have passed dozens more student privacy laws. But the problem is not everyone knows about them. Molly talks about it with Amelia Vance of the nonprofit Future of Privacy Forum.

Sep 14, 2020
How do you prevent wildfires? The science is settled
00:15:45

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and a brutal wildfire season, 2020 is all about the stuff we definitely knew how to prevent and just … didn’t want to. Today we’re going to zoom in a bit on those fires, and clarify a few things about the president’s income tax deferral. We’re gonna need a drink.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about at makemesmart.org. Thanks to everyone who joined us live on YouTube! Subscribe so you don’t miss the next one.

Sep 12, 2020
Six months in, how are you doing?
00:27:55

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
How would the air cargo industry carry the load for a COVID-19 vaccine?
00:08:11

We look into what distribution for a COVID-19 vaccine would logistically mean for the air cargo industry. Then, we discuss how venture money is shifting to tech hubs in the middle of the country.

Sep 11, 2020
New York City stares down COVID recovery on the anniversary of 9/11
00:08:11

CItigroup announces that Jane Fraser will become its CEO in February. She’ll be the first woman in charge of a global megabank. We dive into New York City’s COVID recovery on the anniversary of 9/11. Also, even in a pandemic, smoking in casinos is still a thing – and a gamble in itself.

Sep 11, 2020
How destroying sacred caves took down a top mining boss in Australia
00:06:32

From the BBC World Service: The Rio Tinto CEO has resigned after shareholder pressure, when Aboriginal caves were destroyed to make way for an iron ore mine. Also, how do you plan the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine?

Sep 11, 2020
Don’t lose sight of the proposed WeChat ban
00:005:55

We’ve been covering President Donald Trump’s proposed ban on the Chinese-owned TikTok. But the president is also proposing to ban the Chinese app WeChat. The administration says the apps expose American user data to China’s government, a possible national security threat. With WeChat, there is real concern about surveillance and censorship. But the app is indispensable for communication between people outside China and those inside the country. And it is equally essential for American businesses who want to reach Chinese customers. Molly Wood speaks with Marketplace’s China correspondent Jennifer Pak, who says the ban would be like cutting off access to Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Venmo, Zoom and Google. All at once.

Sep 11, 2020
Maybe things are better across the pond?
00:16:00

The United States is changing its focus from doing very little about the pandemic to doing very little about election interference. So to avoid getting too hollowed out this Thursday, let’s shift our focus to something less maddening, like … uh … Brexit?

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about today on the episode page at makememsmart.org. And don’t forget to join us tomorrow on YouTube at 3:30 p.m. PDT/6:30 p.m. EDT for our live happy hour show! Subscribe so you don’t miss it.

Sep 11, 2020
Churn, baby, churn
00:28:20

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
Love in the time of coronavirus (rerun)
00:26:40

There are a lot of couples stuck at home right now. Some of them are out of work or dealing with canceled plans. Today, we’ll hear from two couples trying to figure out what their future will look like.

This is a rerun of one of our favorite stories from last season. We’re back with new episodes on September 17, and we’re still doing weekly newsletters. Subscribe at marketplace.org/comfort.

Sep 10, 2020
Trust issues can be a factor in the COVID vaccine process
00:09:42

We also talk about the widening wealth gap, as the group Oxfam reports how corporations are raking in profits during the pandemic. Diane Swonk discusses the markets with us.

Sep 10, 2020
COVID-19 adds more weight to Mexico’s collapsing economy
00:08:26

Senators will vote on a “skinny” economic relief plan. Also, indoor dining is about to return to New York. We also take a look at the ripple effect of Mexico’s struggling economy.

Sep 10, 2020
A limited appetite for Yum China’s ‘homecoming’ debut in Hong Kong
00:06:35

From the BBC World Service: The KFC and Taco Bell operator in China is already listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Indonesia puts plans for a new capital city on hold. Applications to study nursing surge in England.

Sep 10, 2020
Could a digital New Deal rewrite tech policy?
00:07:51

At this point, consumers, tech employees, even the CEOs of some big tech companies say there should be more regulation around online privacy, advertising and even disinformation. But what might that regulation look like? The German Marshall Fund think tank is pushing for an initiative called the Digital New Deal. It contains a bunch of policy proposals and would ideally create more transparency into how tech companies operate and question the incentives that push disinformation. Molly Wood discusses it with Karen Kornbluh, director of the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative at the German Marshall Fund.

Sep 10, 2020
Trump’s tax holiday is no holiday at all
00:17:00

President Donald Trump is allowing companies to defer payroll tax deductions through the end of the year. But those taxes come due Jan. 1, so who’s actually benefiting? We’ll try and puzzle that one out on this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. Plus, how secure are Zoom doctor’s appointments? Which economic numbers should we be watching besides jobs? And the most burning question of all: What’s Kai’s favorite fruit?

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today on our episode page at makemesmart.org

Sep 10, 2020
Change is in the air
00:26:52

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
Food insecurity goes global under the cloud of COVID-19
00:09:05

Susan Schmidt stops in to discuss some of the unanswered market questions as we take stock of the rest of the year. Then, we talk about representation and inclusion standard at the Oscars. Peleton is adjusting its price strategy ahead of the holidays. We then delve into how food insecurity has a worldwide grip.

Sep 09, 2020
Making a COVID-19 vaccine is tough enough. Figuring out who gets it first could be even tougher
00:07:24

JP Morgan Chase is investigating whether some employees and customers misused or “gamed” federal pandemic loans in the spring. Nancy Marshall-Genzer helps fill us in. Then we explore the challenges of not only making a COVID-19 vaccine, but also getting it out to people.

Sep 09, 2020
Can Broadway learn lessons from theater in South Korea?
00:07:42

From the BBC World Service: British performers have joined a musical with a socially distanced audience in Seoul. Shares fall after drug maker AstraZeneca pauses its COVID-19 vaccine trials. Pandemic lockdowns threaten starvation for over 120 million people.

Sep 09, 2020
Medical tech is the new gold rush for investors during the pandemic
00:04:35

More and more people are are seeing their doctors at a distance during the pandemic. And this long-awaited shift to telehealth has investors interested. There was already a boom in biotech investing before COVID-19 hit. But WGBH’s Aaron Schachter has more on the latest investor push to put money into all kinds of ways to modernize medicine.

Sep 09, 2020
Is it too late to stop QAnon?
00:37:47

QAnon is more than just a conspiracy theory. BuzzFeed News has taken to calling it a “collective delusion.” Others just call it a cult. Whatever you call it, QAnon is not based on fact, but it’s had much more staying power than, say, Pizzagate or garden-variety social media misinformation. There are thousands of Facebook groups, supporters at Trump rallies and even candidates for Congress who say they believe the theory that President Donald Trump is battling Satan-worshiping pedophiles at the highest levels of government. Today, we’ll talk with professor and author Jevin West about QAnon’s spread and how to fight it. Plus, we answer your questions about Q, like how to talk to a loved one who’s caught in its thrall.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today on our episode page at makemesmart.org.

Sep 09, 2020
Reed Hastings on his vision for Netflix
00:27:07

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
Black-owned businesses still face uphill financial battle during the pandemic
00:07:43

We talk tech stocks and the economy with Jeffrey Cleveland, chief economist at Payden & Regal. Congress has a few things on its plate as the Senate and House return from recess. Senior economics contributor Chris Farrell checks in to discuss the pandemic’s effect on Black-owned small businesses.

Sep 08, 2020
COVID-19 concerns hang over reopening child care centers
00:07:38

The president pledges to crack down on companies that create jobs in China. Also, child care centers are weighing the pros and cons of reopening. Then. as the “Star Trek” franchise turns 54, we examine if decades-long runs for shows can still be a thing in the streaming age.

Sep 08, 2020
Will the U.S. ban cotton from China over human rights concerns?
00:06:33

From the BBC World Service: Pressure is mounting on businesses to ensure materials sourced from factories in Xinjiang do not involve forced labor. Can Japan’s next leader tackle a significant decline in business spending? Beijing unveils its approach to global data-security standards.

 

Sep 08, 2020
During the pandemic, social media can be an information lifeline for rural communities
00:05:14

One of the reasons it’s so hard to quit Facebook is that it’s actually become essential for information, support and connection. That’s especially true in small, rural communities where local news is mostly happening on Facebook and people are turning to the platform as a resource for information about COVID-19. But KUNC’s Adam Rayes reports from Colorado that divisiveness is creeping into groups meant to keep people updated.

Sep 08, 2020
Sweating out the summer heat at home
00:27:18

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
Are you ready for some football economics?
00:07:35

OPEC is about to turn 60. Also, a look at the economics of empty NFL stadiums as the season nears its beginning. We then talk to the host of a home improvement show geared toward low-income households.

Sep 07, 2020
Erika Alexander talks about the good trouble of “Living Single”
00:07:00

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently have a deal on an emergency spending bill. We also talk to Erika Alexander, co-producer of the John Lewis documentary “Good Trouble” and the actress who played Maxine Shaw on “Living Single,” the ‘90s sitcom that had a generational impact on Black women.

Sep 07, 2020
India’s COVID-19 unlocking challenge with more than 90,000 new daily cases
00:06:29

From the BBC World Service: How can India balance re-starting mass transit with a rising case count? Britain has set an Oct. 15 deadline for a post-Brexit trade deal. Also, should we actually treat men and women differently at work?

 

 

Sep 07, 2020
Back-to-school season kicks off this week, but laptops are sold out
00:06:37
Sep 07, 2020
What the president said, and what it says about him
00:17:43

We’re trying to be careful to stay in our lane these days, but we haven’t been able to shake that Atlantic article about President Donald Trump calling soldiers who die in war “losers.” So beer in hand, we’re gonna talk about it. Plus: the (de)politicization of COVID-19 vaccines, teen hormones and dreams of traveling far, far away … TGIF.

Sep 04, 2020
What to make of a good (not great) jobs report
00:26:23

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 jobs picture improved again in August
00:08:06

But let’s take a look at where the gains came from. Also, a stock sell-off Thursday, headlined by tech companies. It was the biggest dip since June. And, a plan from the U.K. government to give companies cash for hiring young people who are unemployed.

Sep 04, 2020
Inside that sharp drop in U.S. tech stocks
00:07:54

The tech giants that have led market rallies since the pandemic lows of March had a rough Thursday. Let’s put that in perspective. Plus, state revenues are down, foreshadowing layoffs. And, why we’re seeing more demand for industrial real estate — the kind of place where you might put, say, an Amazon distribution warehouse.

Sep 04, 2020
Calls for European sanctions on Russia after fierce Putin critic poisoned
00:06:57

From the BBC World Service: More than 100 members of the European Parliament have signed a letter calling for economic sanctions against Russia, and for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe to be scrapped, after the poisoning of one of President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, Alexei Navalny. Also, curating some of the world’s most famous works in an online museum.

Sep 04, 2020
Turns out, the people who work at Facebook are fighting just as much as the rest of us
00:08:19

Facebook is feeling the pressure to deal with election disinformation. This week the FBI uncovered a new Russian propaganda campaign targeting the 2020 election. And Facebook announced it would block new political ads for a week before the election. So, how does it feel to work at Facebook right now? Molly speaks with Ryan Mac, a senior tech reporter at BuzzFeed. He says the company has an internal communications platform called Workplace, and it’s full of debate.

Sep 04, 2020
COVID is an earthquake — we’ll feel the aftershocks for decades
00:15:37

On today’s show, we’re looking at the long tail of COVID-19 and the effects it will have on health and health care long after we get a vaccine. Plus, we read your many, many emails about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You have strong thoughts.

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about today on our episode page at makemesmart.org.

Sep 04, 2020
The Adjustment Bureau
00:27:00

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
The giant federal deficit, approaching WWII levels
00:08:33

U.S. federal debt looks a lot like it did in 1946. Also, another 880,000 people signed up for jobless benefits. It’s a lot, but seems down from 1 million claims a week earlier. Yet that is a false comparison. And, KFC is caught between the Trump administration and Chinese tech companies.

Sep 03, 2020
How some people might get a coronavirus vaccine this fall
00:07:41

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control asks states to be prepared for initial doses of a coronavirus vaccine within a couple of months, just before election time. Plus, a run on aluminum is hitting the beverage industry hard. And, parents facing the uncertainty of fall balancing back to school with work.

Sep 03, 2020
How did KFC get caught in the U.S. crackdown on Chinese tech?
00:06:48

From the BBC World Service: KFC in China could become caught up in U.S. sanctions on transactions made using Chinese tech firms. U.S.-listed Yum Brands China could get caught up with President Trump’s planned sanctions on the social media app WeChat, which is widely used to pay for meals in the company’s restaurants across China. Also, France’s 100-billion-euro stimulus bill with a green focus. And, the U.K. plan aimed to get younger people back into work, where companies hire and the government pays.

Sep 03, 2020
A platform-by-platform prescription for treating the disinformation disease
00:11:39

From QAnon to Russian propaganda campaigns to COVID-19 myths, social media is unquestionably the vector for increasingly dangerous misinformation. With just weeks left until the U.S. election, we wondered: If the platforms all agreed overnight that disinformation is a threat to society and democracy, what would change? Molly speaks with Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard. First up: She said gaming Twitter should get a little harder.

Sep 03, 2020
You can’t win public office without being on Facebook
00:15:44

One of our listeners asked, and the answer is no. Not even if you’re Captain America. We’re talking about Mark Zuckerberg and the Avengers on this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. Of course, it wasn’t always this way. We’ll look at the role of cheap Facebook ads in elections and how Mark Zuckerberg sees it. Plus, the appliance shortage, the Phillips curve and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Sep 03, 2020
Long-term unemployment is looming
00:27:01

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
Can you decide whether to go on payroll tax holiday?
00:08:01

Many employers aren’t participating in the temporary payroll tax cut, but what choice do employees have in whether to keep more of the tax money that normally goes to Social Security? Plus, private payroll growth for August is short of expectations. And, normally buzzing during the summer, St. Tropez struggles with the pandemic.

Sep 02, 2020
Australia’s “wonder down under” economy falls into recession
00:07:05

From the BBC World Service: The pandemic has done what even the financial crisis couldn’t and pushed Australia’s “wonder down under” economy into recession for the first time in 30 years. And, could boredom actually help us get more creative at work?

Sep 02, 2020
A new federal directive to keep renters in their homes
00:08:00

The Trump administration Tuesday evening put out a directive to stop property owners from evicting some tenants amid the pandemic. We have the details. Plus, COVID-19 liability waivers for students returning to campus. And, all the time and money people are saving by not commuting to the office.

Sep 02, 2020
How autonomous carmakers can make their cars more accessible
00:06:33

Last month, we spoke with Haben Girma, a disability rights advocate, who told us self-driving cars could be an especially powerful tool. “Imagine the freedom, the independence,” she said. “I was talking to someone who works at one of these companies, and he said, ‘We’re a few years from releasing the car. Maybe 10 years from now we’ll think about disability access.’” So how are car companies approaching autonomy and accessibility, and couldn’t they include access for all from the ground up? Molly speaks with Mark Takahashi, who works for the auto research site Edmunds.

Sep 02, 2020
How we shop now
00:31:51

We could all be forgiven for indulging in a little retail therapy right now. In fact, retail sales in July were up 2.7% year over year as Americans flocked to home improvement stores and took up new hobbies while in lockdown. Today we’ll spend some time talking with Marketplace retail reporter Marielle Segarra about how spending habits have changed six months into the coronavirus pandemic and what shifts are yet to come.

Sep 02, 2020
Centering Black women to make this economy more equal
00:27:00

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
Lawsuit claims McDonald’s set up some Black franchise owners for failure
00:07:46

More than 50 Black former McDonald’s franchise owners allege discriminatory practices by the fast food company. Plus, temporary furloughs turning into permanent job losses. And, how evictions are hitting U.S. immigrants, despite new measures in different states to pause the practice.

Sep 01, 2020
Gloves are off between Facebook and the Australian government
00:07:02

From the BBC World Service: Facebook has threatened to stop users in Australia from sharing news content if the government there introduces a law forcing the social media platform to pay publishers for their articles. And, as the U.K. government’s furlough scheme for workers hit by the pandemic begins to wind down, there’s warnings it could lead to a tidal wave of job losses.

Sep 01, 2020
The best August for the S&P 500 since 1986
00:07:58

Over a million more people filed for unemployment in the most recent week, and consumer confidence is at a six-year low. And then there’s the soaring stock market. Plus, people living off their savings suffer in times of low interest rates, like right now. And, Delta and American Airlines follow United’s lead in canceling fees for changing domestic flight tickets.

Sep 01, 2020
Can social media help deprogram QAnon believers?
00:05:52

QAnon is gaining followers fast. Social media algorithms are putting QAnon posts in front of their users, QAnon is infiltrating GOP politics and, experts say, increasingly QAnon seems less like a fringe conspiracy theory and more like a cult. Molly speaks with Rachel Bernstein, an educator and therapist who is on the advisory board of the International Cultic Studies Association. She says most cult movements take hold in times of trouble.

Sep 01, 2020
We’re not working from home, we’re living at work
00:14:43

Today on the show, how COVID-19 upends parents’ ability to care for their children, and — surprise! — women are more likely to see it affect their careers than men. According to new research from the Census Bureau and Federal Reserve, 1 in 5 working-age adults said they were not working because they had COVID 19-related child care issues. Of that group, “women are nearly three times more likely than men” to not be working. Plus, the stock market continues to make sense to nobody but the rich. Homecoming masks make us smile, and Molly’s hankering for some chowda! Which is a whole lot better than frogs in a pot.

For a list of everything we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org

Aug 31, 2020
Cash back on streaming and wine?
00:26:56

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
Trump’s temporary payroll tax cut is set to begin tomorrow
00:07:52

The Trump administration’s temporary cut in payroll tax is set to begin on Sept. 1. But how many employers will participate? Plus, United Airlines is canceling fees on most domestic flight changes. And, France’s plan to get its citizens traveling again.

Aug 31, 2020
The grassroots organizations of the gig economy
00:08:07

You probably tend to think of ride-hailing services or food delivery when you think of the gig economy. But others want to do things differently. Plus, new export rules from the Chinese government and what that means for TikTok. And, is Zoom’s success sustainable?

Aug 31, 2020
New Chinese law complicates TikTok sale
00:07:19

From the BBC World Service: China’s foreign ministry says Beijing must sign off on any deal that involves the sale of TikTok’s U.S. arm. The first commercial flight from Israel to the UAE is taking place today. And, how the coronavirus is impacting India’s Silicon Valley.

Aug 31, 2020
Remote learning leaves schools with a problem: how to get everyone online
00:06:10

In the rush to get families online in time for distance learning, it’s Wi-Fi hot spots to the rescue. In the Ozarks, they’re parking school buses equipped with Wi-Fi routers for kids to use while sitting in the parking lot. Chicago is spending millions to give hot spots to individual families and also connect homes to broadband. But is this sustainable? And will there be any going back from Wi-Fi for all? Molly speaks with Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He says this expanded access could be here to stay.

Aug 31, 2020
Disinformation is real
00:19:28

There’s a “parallel media universe” on Facebook. And the biggest companies in the gig economy are pushing an alternative narrative of their own. It’s all kinda bananas … to put it lightly. But today is Friday, so we’re putting down the Twitter and raising a glass. Here’s to the National Basketball Association and its players’ union, who have set out plans to expand voting access and promote social justice.

Aug 29, 2020
Back-to-school stress on another level
00:26:11

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
The hunt for missing inflation
00:10:28

The Federal Reserve announces it will tolerate slightly higher levels of inflation. Plus, a failed cybersecurity attack on a Tesla factory. Also, the pandemic has complicated emergency response efforts for those evacuating to escape Hurricane Laura. And, pro athletes agitate for social change.

Aug 28, 2020
The RNC and DNC talked about two very different economies
00:08:15

At both conventions, the economy figured prominently. But what’s the reality of where it’s at and where it’s headed? Plus, blackouts in California point to another reality: The entire U.S. has an old electric grid in need of upgrades.

Aug 28, 2020
Japan’s prime minister resigns for health reasons
00:07:15

From the BBC World Service: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced his resignation, citing health reasons which he said could get in the way of decision-making. And, some unconventional ways to take the stress off during the pandemic.

Aug 28, 2020
Better diversity in venture capital investing might mean putting it in the contract
00:06:28

This week, a group of venture capital firms announced that they’re planning to make diversity a core part of their deals with startup founders. The 10 firms committed to including new standard language in the contracts, called term sheets, they make with startup founders. It’s a diversity rider that says that the company and lead investor will make “every attempt” to include a member of an underrepresented group as a co-investor. It’s not binding, but the idea is that it’ll create opportunity for underrepresented investors to participate in deals and attract founders who prioritize a commitment to equity. Molly Wood speaks with Alejandro Guerrero, who started the initiative and is a principal with the Los Angeles-based firm Act One Ventures.

Aug 28, 2020
The weirdest thing happening in American business right now
00:16:44

No, not Amazon’s new tone-policing wearable, though we’ll get to that. And no, not the Fed turning up the heat on inflation — but we’ll cover that, too. The weirdest thing happening at this very weird time is that Walmart is teaming up with Microsoft to buy TikTok. On today’s show, we’ll talk about why a retail giant would want to own a video app. We’ll also talk a little bit about poop. It’s a weird day.

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about today at makemesmart.org.

Aug 28, 2020
Athletes have so much more than symbolic power
00:27:00

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
Another million people filed for unemployment
00:07:49

Weekly initial jobless claims have been below 1 million just once in the past five months. That, combined with a drop in consumer confidence, spells trouble for this economic recovery. Plus, how many people are also losing health insurance when they lose their jobs? And, the latest on Hurricane Laura, and how the pandemic compounds the problems for those affected.

Aug 27, 2020
Where are the unemployed turning to for health insurance?
00:07:58

Today we get an update on how many people filed for unemployment last week. These folks are losing their incomes, and likely their health insurance, too. Plus, TikTok’s CEO is leaving. And, what it’s like doing business between the U.S. and China right now.

Aug 27, 2020
TikTok boss quits after 3 months
00:07:04

From the BBC World Service: TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has quit just months after taking the job, ahead of an impending U.S. ban. The EU’s trade commissioner, Phil Hogan, has also resigned, after the Irish government accused him of breaching COVID-19 guidelines. And, Trump’s promise to bring 1 million jobs back from China.

Aug 27, 2020
How to get clean air indoors when it’s barely safe to breathe outside
00:06:03

Good ventilation and airflow can help reduce the spread of viruses in shared indoor spaces. But during big wildfires, like the ones in California that are sending smoke across the United States right now, or in areas with high levels of everyday air pollution, bringing in air from the outside isn’t a good option. Experts say the unhealthy air from fires in California can actually make people more susceptible to COVID-19 because their lungs and immune systems get overtaxed. So better filtration gets a lot more important. Molly speaks with Jeffrey Siegel, a professor of engineering at the University of Toronto who specializes in indoor air quality. He says whether it’s a standalone device or smart building technology, there are options.

Aug 27, 2020
Where are those new unemployment checks?
00:17:13

It’s been more than a week since President Donald Trump took executive action to extend unemployment benefits. One of our listeners wants to know: Has anyone actually received a check yet? The answer is … complicated. But we’ll do what we can. Plus, questions about COVID-19 testing, the Dow and Trump’s proposal to eliminate payroll taxes on today’s Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. But first, there are some bigger stories we need to talk about.

Aug 27, 2020
Life on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic
00:27:00

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
Why investors have nowhere to go but the stock market
00:09:50

The Fed is expected to let inflation get higher than get higher than normal in the future. Which means it wouldn’t raise interest rates. What does that mean for investors? Plus, Teva Pharmaceuticals is accused of raising the costs of widely used drugs. Also, how much progress the U.S. and China have made on their trade deal. And, how Trump’s plan to put off payroll taxes could contribute to the depletion Social Security benefits.

Aug 26, 2020
Doctors strike in South Korea
00:07:06

From the BBC World Service: Tens of thousands of trainee doctors in South Korea have gone on strike, despite the resurgence of the coronavirus. And, new research shows London businesses are reluctant to send workers back to the office in the future.

Aug 26, 2020
The Fed is rethinking inflation
00:08:07

On Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell is expected to announce a change in how the Fed handles inflation. Plus, why business travel by airplane may never be the same. And, thinking more about flood risk when considering buying a home.

Aug 26, 2020
Rethinking indoor air to stop the spread of COVID-19
00:05:50

As we learn more about how COVID-19 spreads, it’s clear that air flow is a big deal, and that’s why masks are effective at slowing infection. That’s a problem for offices and commercial buildings and some homes, because over the last couple of decades buildings have less ventilation. Instead, they recirculate air to save energy by not letting that cooled or heated air escape. But these buildings also end up recirculating viruses, especially if heating and cooling systems aren’t paired with really good filters that remove viral particles from the air. Molly speaks with Jeffrey Siegel, a professor of engineering at the University of Toronto who specializes in indoor air quality.

Aug 26, 2020
The stock market is not the economy, exhibit 3,443.62
00:32:59

The S&P 500 closed at another record high today at 3,443.62. The NASDAQ hit a record high, too. The Dow is well on its way. But the pandemic keeps taking lives, new unemployment claims rose again, and consumer confidence has taken a dive. If you listen to our show, you know we’re fond of saying, “The stock market is not the economy.” Because it isn’t. So what is going on? To find out, we called up New York Times markets reporter Matt Phillips. After the interview, we’ll debate the fracas at Syracuse University and the pros and cons of an astroid hitting our planet. Plus, a bunch of listeners wrote in to tell us what the pandemic isn’t screwing up for them; we’ll share some of their answers.

Aug 26, 2020
Let’s take Americans’ temperature
00:27:13

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 U.S.-China trade deal is alive and well, officials say
00:07:59

U.S. and China trade officials spoke by phone Monday night, and their phase one trade deal appears stable at the moment. Plus, furloughs are set to hit Delta Airlines pilots this fall. And, research suggests that differences in the way men and women network could play a role in gender gaps.

Aug 25, 2020
The Republican Party’s vision of the economy
00:08:09

Republicans have portrayed the 2020 election as a choice between two different economies. Plus, without commutes, workers are actually logging more hours now, surveys show. And, CEOs of the largest U.S. companies are cautiously optimistic, according to new data.

Aug 25, 2020
Dissident Thai academic responds to Facebook block
00:07:07

From the BBC World Service: Facebook has blocked access in Thailand to a million-member group critical of the monarchy, after the Thai government threatened legal action. And, desperate parents in India are turning to the barter system to get their children into school.

Aug 25, 2020
Secrets for starting a business
00:25:25
There are lots of great reasons to want to start a business: solving a problem, pursuing a passion, even making some money. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and even if you do everything right, it may not work out. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you failed — thinking through a business idea can build some really great skills! This week, we talk with a bunch of expert kids and grown-ups about turning an idea into a full-blown business. Plus, Jed bakes us some cookies! And just because the season is over doesn’t mean we don’t still want to hear from you! Keep sending us your questions about money at Marketplace.org/million!
Aug 25, 2020
What’s next in the Fortnite antitrust fight?
00:08:25

Epic, Apple and Google are in a feud over the game Fortnite. In mobile apps, whenever you buy a digital item, like an e-book, avatar skins or weapons, Google and Apple charge a 30% fee on that purchase. Recently, Epic started letting players buy in-app purchases on their credit cards so Apple and Google wouldn’t get the fee. Apple and Google both yanked Epic’s game Fortnite from the App Store and Google Play. Epic sued, saying these digital fees are antitrust violations. Molly Wood speaks with Nicole Carpenter, the deputy news editor at the gaming news site Polygon. She says this is about more than just Fortnite, especially on iOS.

Aug 25, 2020
Everything is so fragile right now
00:13:00

Today was the first day back to school for a bunch of kids, and Zoom crashed. California is burning again. Police shot another Black man on camera. And a man in China was reinfected with COVID-19. The bad news keeps coming back to haunt us. Even pumpkin spice.

For a list of everything we talked about today, head to the episode page at makemesmart.org.

 

Aug 25, 2020
The stock market is surging, benefiting very few
00:27:13

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
The chances we see a double-dip recession
00:07:54

We may still be in a recession well into 2021. That’s what economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics say. Plus, what are retailers going to do with all of the clothes they haven’t been able to sell? And, what will it take to get oil producers to stop burning off natural gas and start selling it?

Aug 24, 2020
National political conventions? Or are they more like infomercials now?
00:08:07

The Republican National Convention starts today, and it’ll probably look a lot like the Democratic National Convention in terms of presentation. Virtual events have their pros and cons in the COVID-19 economy. Plus, Rio Tinto cuts executive bonuses after the destruction of Australian indigenous sacred sites. And, Microsoft joins the Big Tech battle over app stores and video games.

Aug 24, 2020
New listings surge on “China’s Nasdaq”
00:07:01

From the BBC World Service: Shares of 18 companies debut on the Chinese ChiNext stock exchange, as the rivalry between the U.S. and China heats up. Mining giant Rio Tinto slashes executive bonuses after the outcry over destroyed Australian indigenous sacred sites. And, whether any U.S. companies would actually want to take over TikTok’s operations in the country.

Aug 24, 2020
Online political conventions could be a model for future conferences
00:05:12

The Republican National Convention starts Monday night. It’s expected to be part-virtual and part-in person. The Democratic National Convention last week was pretty much entirely virtual. It included a number of pre-produced speeches, some live elements and some long pauses and awkward transitions — but it was generally considered a success. And since these days all kinds of conferences and conventions are going virtual — events that are big moneymakers for organizers and cities — Molly wondered, was the DNC a model for tech conferences in the future? Molly speaks with Maggie Reardon, a senior reporter for CNET. She said the Democrats pulled off a pretty good show.

Aug 24, 2020
Here’s the mail, it never fails …
00:17:30

… at least, according to Louis DeJoy. The postmaster general testified before Congress today, promising — with more than a little prodding — that election mail would be delivered “fully and on time.” Between this week’s Democratic National Convention and next week’s Republican National Convention, everything feels politicized. And what’s this now about Facebook getting ready for a contested election? Thank goodness it’s happy hour.

By the way, we taped this episode just before news broke that Mei Xiang, the National Zoo’s panda, has given birth. That will all make more sense when you listen. For slinks to that story and everything else we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.

Aug 22, 2020
We’re in a SNAP boom
00:27:50

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
Joe Biden and the business vote
00:08:20

How do Wall Street and the nation’s business leaders feel about Joe Biden’s proposals? Plus, data from Europe shows economic activity is looking worse in August than July. How does that inform investor thinking in the U.S.? And, data showing a connection between sexual misconduct at companies and lousy financial performance for those companies.

Aug 21, 2020
Making a universal basic income more equitable
00:08:22

Those $1,200 pandemic stimulus checks didn’t go out to higher-income people — but they didn’t go out to many lower-income people, too. Plus, business as usual for Uber and Lyft in California … for now. And, European economies have run into new trouble.

Aug 21, 2020
Eating out to help out Britain’s economy
00:08:02

From the BBC World Service: Around 35 million discounted meals have been claimed under a U.K. government scheme to boost eating out in August. But who will actually pay? A commercially viable gas reserve could reduce Turkey’s reliance on energy imports.

Aug 21, 2020
Facebook shutting down QAnon accounts is a little too late
00:08:47

Facebook this week removed thousands of groups, pages and accounts on Facebook and Instagram belonging to the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon. QAnon has maybe millions of followers who believe, among other things, that a satanist cabal of pedophiles is conspiring to bring down President Donald Trump. The group was identified as a possible domestic terrorism threat by the FBI in 2019, but a QAnon supporter recently won a Republican primary in Georgia, and Trump praised the group earlier this week. Molly speaks with Kevin Roose, who is following this for The New York Times.

Aug 21, 2020
This was always where things were going
00:15:32

Today we ask, with respect to … everything, “Why didn’t the right people see this coming?” Between the ride-share industry’s brinksmanship in California and the mess on college campuses as they attempt to reopen, we’re feeling a bit hollowed out. But that’s Thursday for you. Step away with us as we contemplate the passage of time….

As always, there are slinks to everything we talked about at makemesmart.org. Finally, don’t forget to join us Friday on our YouTube channel for our weekly happy hour episode! Subscribe so you won’t miss it.

Aug 21, 2020
The coronavirus recession is bad, but just how bad is it?
00:27:35

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
WeWork too much (rerun)
00:27:09

When WeWork acquired her company, she got executive training, fancy corporate retreats and a dope Patagonia jacket. It was almost enough to make her forget everything she lost. This week: Why we’re so obsessed with our jobs, even though they’ll never love us back.

This is a rerun of one of our favorite stories from last season. We’re back with new episodes on September 17 and we’re still doing weekly newsletters between now and then. Subscribe at marketplace.org/comfort.

Aug 20, 2020
Could California be without Uber and Lyft by tonight?
00:08:09

A battle over the contractor economy may erupt in California with Uber and Lyft potentially shutting down their services. Plus, Airbnb confidentially files to go public. And, how the labor movement in the U.S. might evolve to include more temporary and gig workers.

Aug 20, 2020
Where did all the bikes go?
00:08:00

There is a bike shortage, it’s global and it’s expected to go on for months. What does it say about supply chains, and what does it say about how we’re coping with the pandemic reality? Also, Indeed online job postings are down about 20% compared to this time last year. And, with a decrease in travel, hotels face mortgage delinquencies.

Aug 20, 2020
Is an airline struggling during COVID-19 even surprising?
00:07:09

From the BBC World Service: The Australian flag carrier Qantas reported an annual loss of more than $1 billion. Australia has banned international travel for most residents and citizens. As strikes continue in Belarus, what next for its economy?

Aug 20, 2020
Public-safety apps might keep you informed. But are they good for the public?
00:14:06

Since March, the number of people downloading the safety-awareness app Citizen has doubled. Citizen gathers local reports from emergency scanners — crimes, fires, weather hazards, protests — and lets users upload video of what’s happening. It also recently added COVID-19 contact tracing to the app. Citizen says it keeps people safe and informed. But, like with Nextdoor, Ring and other safety products and services, there are fears of unintended consequences, like paranoia, surveillance, endangering yourself to videotape an incident and the racism that can be inherent in crime reporting. Molly spoke with Andrew Frame, the founder and CEO of Citizen. She asked him how he responds to critics who say the app makes people more paranoid about their communities.

Aug 20, 2020
Those masks are doing double duty now
00:16:00

It’s wildfire season in California. That means face masks are not only an essential accessory in fighting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but now they’re also filtering out smoke and ash particles. That led one Bay Area listener to ask: How is the N95 supply chain doing these days? Are we … good? We’ll talk about it on this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. Plus, online privacy, shareholder voting and a few TV recommendations.

Aug 20, 2020
Black capitalism, then and now
00:27:42

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
The money problems that come with running a smooth election
00:09:03

What kind of funding is necessary to support voting by mail, and why didn’t Congress anticipate this need after what happened in the primaries? Plus, more big-box retailers see sharp quarterly growth. And, what Kamala Harris can learn from women in leadership roles around the world.

Aug 19, 2020
Why some stock portfolios seem to be immune to the coronavirus
00:08:15

Why are investors aggressively buying stocks right now? It’s in part because the returns on bonds are so low right now. Plus, the USPS and veterans. And, reimagining our world with sustainability, waste and the “circular economy” in mind.

Aug 19, 2020
What will top the EU’s agenda today — Brexit or Belarus?
00:07:11

From the BBC World Service: EU leaders meet to consider sanctions after a disputed election in Belarus. But what about post-Brexit trade talks? Australia orders 25 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Lessons in leadership for Kamala Harris.

Aug 19, 2020
Mimicking birds and insects is the future of drones
00:04:57

Drones are a huge industry used in agriculture, construction, real estate, filmmaking and military surveillance. Since the pandemic began, they’ve been used to deliver packages and medical supplies, and some companies have even promised that drones could detect COVID-19 symptoms from afar. But in some ways, drones are still in the early stages techwise. Some engineers believe the best way to improve the tech is to copy nature. Marketplace’s Stephen Beard has been talking to the boss of Animal Dynamics, a British tech firm specializing in biomechanics and working on drone design.

Aug 19, 2020
The climate is still changing
00:29:49

It’s not easy to keep your eye on the ball with an election, economic collapse and a pandemic hanging over your head, but here’s the thing: Climate change is as much of an existential threat as it ever was, and the Trump administration has continued cutting environmental regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here to talk about the effect of those rollbacks and how the pandemic plays into it all is Kendra Pierre-Louis. She was a reporter on The New York Times’ climate team and now works on Gimlet’s podcast “How to Save a Planet.” Later, we’ll hear from listeners and experts on voting concerns, the digital divide and what effect all those disposable face masks could have on the environment. Man, it’s a hot one.

For a full list of everything we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org

Aug 19, 2020
Back-to-school makes it hard for parents to go back to work
00:26:40

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
How the pandemic is creating an odd boom in real estate
00:07:47

Builders started work on a lot of new single-family homes last month. That’s good news. But there’s an inequality angle here to look at, too. Plus, what will the next 10 years of global economic development look like? Wharton’s Mauro Guillén has an idea, and he says it includes basic income, blockchain and more.

Aug 18, 2020
How the Fed is trying to keep Main Street afloat
00:08:08

The Fed has designated money to lend to small- and medium-sized businesses. But, at least at first, those loans did not fly off the shelves. Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, is working on this. And, how the post office plays a big part in the supply chains of small businesses.

Aug 18, 2020
Why is China investigating the price of Australian wine?
00:08:10

From the BBC World Service: China alleges Australian wine imports are crowding out its domestic wine industry. It’s the latest escalation in trade tensions between the two countries. The coronavirus causes chaos for college admissions in England.

Aug 18, 2020
Saving money is really hard to do
00:24:30
Jed’s treehouse needs repairs, but it’s gonna cost more than he has right now. Saving money can be tough — and even tougher to talk about! So this week on the show we’re gonna get the conversation started and learn a few ways to think about spending and saving our money. We’ll sit down with some experts, do some mythbusting around saving and hear from a young Dollar Scholar who’s got a unique way of keeping track of her savings. Plus, singer Natasha Bedingfield’s got a cheeky idea for a twist on the piggy bank. Don’t forget to send us your questions about money at Marketplace.org/million!
Aug 18, 2020
What sewage water can tell us about the spread of COVID-19
00:08:14

Testing for COVID-19 is still limited and way too slow to keep ahead of the pandemic. Now, dozens of cities and countries are turning to the sewers to try to figure out if COVID-19 is spreading in their communities. A Massachusetts-based startup called Biobot Analytics tests wastewater and raw sewage for the presence of the novel coronavirus. It started a free pilot project in June with hundreds of wastewater treatment facilities, and now some cities are starting to pay Biobot for regular monitoring. It’s a branch of research called wastewater epidemiology. Molly speaks with Dan Ackerman, who has been reporting on this for member station WGBH. He told her the science is new, but since cities are desperate to get a handle on the virus, it’s finding new converts.

Aug 18, 2020
Back to school … for about a day
00:16:00

Kai’s kids had their first miserable day of remote learning today. Molly’s kid was back last week, while she provided IT support. The situation at some colleges and universities is even worse, with students being sent home just days after arriving (and paying deposits for the semester). It’s all playing out just as Scott Galloway predicted on our show this summer. And it’s still only August. To lighten the mood: “The Golden Girls” and a whiz-bang way to get people to put masks on. Plus, a “state of democracy” update from Molly.

For slinks to everything we talked about today, plus that “Karenator” video, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.

 

Aug 18, 2020
What happened to the Postal Service?
00:27:00

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
The U.S. trade talks that never happened
00:07:48

U.S.-China trade talks were abruptly canceled this weekend. There’s speculation that this gives China more time to make good on their end of the bargain. Plus, don’t let the strong retail sales number fool you — in-store shopping is down. And, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to end poverty in her city.

Aug 17, 2020
A tip for families who might be owed more stimulus money
00:07:44

Many low-income parents never got the $500 per child promised to them that’s in addition to the $1,200 payments. Now the IRS is giving them another chance to collect. Plus, the pandemic is changing home designs. And, what a virtual DNC means for Milwaukee.

Aug 17, 2020
Would you consider a cruise vacation right now?
00:06:38

From the BBC World Service: The first Mediterranean cruise in almost five months sets sail from Italy. Japan’s economy posts its biggest contraction ever, though less severe than in the U.S. and countries across Europe. Do virtual conferences really work?

Aug 17, 2020
We’ve got bigger problems in November than foreign disinformation
00:08:17

The Democratic National Convention starts Monday, kicking the run-up to the November election into even higher gear. Representatives from big tech companies met with officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security last week to coordinate responses to malicious disinformation campaigns on their platforms. Kimberly Adams speaks with Alex Stamos, the former chief security officer at Facebook, who now directs the Stanford Internet Observatory. He said COVID-19 “pre-hacked” the election because so many states have had to change procedures on short notice.

Aug 17, 2020
Yeah, we’re still talking about the Postal Service
00:17:00

We’ll stop discussing absentee voting and the upcoming election when things  that threaten it stop happening. Today it’s the revelations that 46 states might not get their ballots in time and drop-off boxes are being scooped up in a couple of  cities. At least we have tequila and pandas.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today at makemesmart.org.

Aug 15, 2020
This is an important week for the pay gap
00:26:41

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
We might see new coronavirus aid, but after Labor Day
00:08:19

The Senate has left Washington until September after talks between Republicans and Democrats about another coronavirus relief package stalled. Plus, top U.S. and China officials are set to check in on where their trade deal stands. And, putting “inclusive prosperity” on the table for pandemic recovery.

Aug 14, 2020
A “battle royale” between titans: Fortnite takes Apple, Google to court
00:08:22

The maker of Fortnite is arguing that Apple and Google shouldn’t be able to force app makers to fork over a cut of revenues from in-app purchases. Plus, upheaval in the New York rental market. And, the state of play for the NBA and its success so far with the “bubble.”

Aug 14, 2020
How soon could the economies of Israel and UAE benefit from their peace deal?
00:07:28

From the BBC World Service: Normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates could see a swift economic boost from a pick-up in trade and travel between the two countries. Factory workers in Belarus strike in solidarity with arrested demonstrators.

Aug 14, 2020
Turning video game tech into accessible tools
00:08:24

This week, we’ve been looking at disability and technology: where innovation is happening and where there’s work left to do to improve accessibility. That includes video games. Kimberly Adams talks with Steven Spohn, chief operating officer at AbleGamers Charity. He helped develop an adapter that lets gamers use their wheelchair as a controller for consoles or computers.

Aug 14, 2020
Some threats to democracy are real
00:16:01

President Donald Trump spelled things out pretty clearly today when he told Fox News why he doesn’t want Congress to allocate funding to the U.S. Postal Service. Without the money, he said, universal mail-in ballots — aka absentee voting, aka kind of a necessary thing during a pandemic — may not be possible. Ahem. We’re not sure you were supposed to say that part out loud. Sorry, we couldn’t help but curse a little in this episode. Oh, great bald eagle, please, please rescue our democracy.

As always, find slinks to everything we talked about at makemesmart.org, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss our live happy hour tomorrow!

Aug 14, 2020
Grand opening, grand closing
00:27:30

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
Just under 1 million people signed up for unemployment last week. Somehow, that’s an improvement.
00:10:00

Last week, 963,000 more people signed up for unemployment benefits. Another improvement, but still high. Plus, how do we define price gouging? Also, how families are feeling about the upcoming school year. And, understanding the pay gap for Black women.

Aug 13, 2020
Employers are confused about Trump’s move to defer payroll taxes
00:08:26

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Treasury Department on behalf of businesses asking for some clarity on the temporary payroll tax cut. Plus, reimagining the economy with a focus on inequality, lobbying and regulation.

Aug 13, 2020
Sweetening the deal? British cookies benefit in the latest U.S. tariff moves
00:07:28

From the BBC World Service: The European Union and U.K. have welcomed the U.S. decision not to increase tariffs in an airplane subsidies row. Tariffs have also been lifted from sweets including British shortbread. Can Bolivia profit from the world’s largest lithium deposits?

Aug 13, 2020
Online learning tools aren’t as accessible for students with disabilities
00:05:44

Remote learning this year is an ongoing challenge from kindergarten all the way to college. Much of the technology that connects students and teachers isn’t optimized for people with disabilities. We speak with professors around the U.S. to learn more about the tech that makes online learning less accessible for students with disabilities.

Aug 13, 2020
College football’s canceled … sort of
00:18:19

Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams field listener questions on this Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. We’ll cover a range of topics from college sports to insider trading, a tax credit for low-income families and one particularly nostalgic movie. Kimberly drops some fencing knowledge, and we’ll explain (again!) what’s up with inflation. Stay to the end for a special promise from Kai.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today on the episode page at makemesmart.org

Aug 13, 2020
How problems at USPS could affect its workers
00:26:47

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
The big business of big college football … in the spring
00:08:20

Two of the biggest conferences in college football, the Big Ten and Pac-12, have called off fall seasons and might play in the spring. Plus, consumer prices went up last month more than expected. And, a plan to take tech jobs beyond Silicon Valley.

Aug 12, 2020
Inflation is not as dead as some have said
00:08:13

You’ve seen the prices of some foods adding to the strains of this pandemic. Today we’ll get a reading on the inflation we all live, the consumer price index. Plus, what kind of leader will Sen. Kamala Harris be in her role as candidate for vice president?

Aug 12, 2020
Lockdown has pushed the UK economy into its steepest recession ever
00:07:16

From the BBC World Service: Restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered shops and halted factory and construction activity in the U.K. This contributed to the first British recession in 11 years. Plus, a look at why, historically, more women have not been able to rise to the top of U.S. politics.

Aug 12, 2020
How the FCC regulates accessibility for new technologies
00:07:18

The Americans with Disabilities Act turned 30 this summer, but this year also marks a decade since the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act was signed. That law sets federal rules for things like streaming video, mobile browsers and teleconferencing software. Regulators at the Federal Communications Commission are in charge of making sure people follow that law, and they get help from the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee. Kimberly Adams speaks with Brian Scarpelli, co-chair of that group. He says tech has definitely outpaced the law.

Aug 12, 2020
Is our right to vote at risk?
00:34:16

Confidence in our elections system is sagging. This year’s primary season brought reports of long lines at polling places and uncounted absentee ballots. And just when it was looking like many of us would be voting by mail this fall (as the pandemic rages on), a shake-up in leadership at the U.S. Postal Service is generating more uncertainty. This week, we speak with R. Michael Alvarez of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project about protecting the “franchise” — that is, our individual right to vote — and what we can do now and on Election Day to make sure our voices are heard. Later in the show, we’ll hear about the 2021 cruise season and the fate of small businesses in the pandemic economy.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today on the episode page at makemesmart.org.

Aug 12, 2020
From vacant buildings to a community of Black women homeowners
00:27:49

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
It’s an unusual recession — are those hints of inflation?
00:08:36

U.S. wholesale prices shot up an unexpected 0.6% in July. So do we have to start worrying about inflation or not? Plus, a court in California has told Uber and Lyft that drivers are employees not independent contractors, temporarily at least. And, Saul Griffith outlines a plan to create jobs by taking carbon out of the U.S. economy.

Aug 11, 2020
New concern from small businesses about the pace of recovery
00:07:15

A new small business confidence report shows a dip in optimism. We hear from an owner on why that’s the case. Plus, the military is freeing up some radio spectrum for the development of 5G wireless networks. And, does tax planning slow down charitable giving?

Aug 11, 2020
Hong Kong media giant leaps 1,000% — who’s snapping up shares?
00:06:49

From the BBC World Service: Shares of Hong Kong media firm Next Digital, owner of Apple Daily, rocketed more than 1,000% over two days. U.S. will require Hong Kong goods carry a “Made in China” designation. Black-owned businesses in the U.K. see surge in demand.

Aug 11, 2020
Ads are there for a reason — to sell you stuff
00:23:15

Advertisers have lots of ways of persuading us to buy their stuff. Sometimes you might not even realize it’s happening … until you find yourself riding around town on an ice-cream-making scooter. (Don’t worry, we’ll explain.) This week on the show, we’ll learn how to spot an ad and identify the tricks they use to win you over. And we’ll learn how to defend against them — from our special guest, Captain Kimberly. Plus, this week’s Dollar Scholar shares great ways you can help out in your community. Don’t forget to send us your questions about money at Marketplace.org/million!

Aug 11, 2020
Innovating for disability, because you have to
00:10:40

This week we’re using the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act to talk about technology and accessibility. Kimberly Adams speaks with disability rights advocate Haben Girma, author of “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law.” Girma created a communications system for herself while she was at Harvard and says, “Disabled people constantly have to come up with our own solutions.”

Aug 11, 2020
Oh good, we’ve got … memoranda
00:14:51

More kids are testing positive for COVID-19, people are making rent payments on their credit cards and Disney’s got no more “Fox” to give (pardon our French). On this Monday show, Kai Ryssdal returns from vacation, “bringing gender diversity back to the show,” in the words of co-host Kimberly Adams. We’ll talk about the virus, the economy and a few headlines that brought a twinkle to our eye. Plus, is the health care system for animals actually working better than the health care system for humans right now?

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today on the episode page at makemesmart.org.

Aug 10, 2020
What would a payroll tax holiday look like?
00:27:24

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
Employers may not even bother cutting payroll taxes as President Trump has directed
00:08:04

President Trump wants to put cash in the pockets of working people with a temporary payroll tax cut. But it’s not that simple. Plus, can states comply with Trump’s directive to help pay people more in unemployment benefits? The EPA is set to rescind some regulations around methane emissions, reports say. And, the dollar’s downward drift during the pandemic — does it no longer rule the international economy?

Aug 10, 2020
A status update on pandemic aid
00:07:19

President Trump signed actions over the weekend aimed at restarting some pandemic relief. But will it actually reach people? Plus, the struggles for businesses at malls go beyond big department stores. And, Kat Cole, president and COO of Focus Brands, shares how she would reimagine our economy.

Aug 10, 2020
Economic malaise at the heart of controversial Belarus election
00:07:32

From the BBC World Service: Has the so-called “last dictator” in Europe got a plan for his country’s ailing economy? The U.S. health secretary’s visit to Taiwan further inflamed tensions with China. Lessons from the U.K. and Europe on tackling student debt.

Aug 10, 2020
The internet is everything. But is it accessible?
00:06:14

Recently, we spent some time digging into just how crucial internet access is during the pandemic. But even if you have access to the internet, many parts of it are still not accessible. The Americans with Disabilities Act turns 30 years old this summer. A lot of the tech that makes things convenient for some can be game-changing for people with disabilities, such as screen readers that help visually impaired people read websites or software that lets us type with our voice. But some products that claim to help, actually make things worse. Nicolas Steenhout, a web accessibility consultant and trainer, said that’s partly because companies don’t always do a good job of consulting people with disabilities at every stage of development. He talks with Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams about the best way to create tech for everyone.

Aug 10, 2020
The virus is the economy
00:20:00

Talks for a now-overdue coronavirus aid package collapsed going into the weekend, with President Trump weighing what he can do with executive orders. Meanwhile, the country has passed 200,000 “excess deaths.” We know we’ve had some bummer episodes this week, but we do bring this one back with a heartfelt appreciation of Phil Collins’ masterpiece, “In the Air Tonight.”

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the livestream! Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss the next one. You’ll find slinks to that and everything else we talked about on our episode page at makemesmart.org.

Aug 08, 2020
Jobs aren’t coming back for everyone
00:27:39

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
TikTok rages at further U.S. pressure
00:07:11

From the BBC World Service: TikTok has responded with fury to further pressure from the Trump administration against Chinese tech apps. And, we hear from the Greek islands, so reliant on tourism, which are offering travelers socially distanced vacations.

Aug 07, 2020
The recovery continues, but we’re losing some momentum
00:09:27

There were 1.8 million jobs added last month, 200,000 more than economists expected. The numbers aren’t quite as positive if you dig deeper. Plus, the Trump administration’s many messages to China on Thursday, including a plan to either audit Chinese companies on U.S. stock exchanges or delist them, and executive orders against TikTok and WeChat. And, Trump reinstates a tariff on Canadian aluminum, a month after a new trade deal between the two countries went into effect.

Aug 07, 2020
Tensions with China expand to the stock market
00:08:05

The Trump administration suggests Chinese companies trading shares in the U.S. must comply with audits or get off the exchanges. With jobless numbers coming out, a look at how long-term unemployment affects people’s ability to eventually return to the workforce. And, our special report “The Economy Reimagined” has just about arrived.

Aug 07, 2020
It’s official: TikTok’s days in the U.S. are numbered
00:08:36

Late Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order, banning the social media app TikTok in 45 days. TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and the administration says a Chinese company having access to Americans’ data is a national security threat. Trump also put a clock on WeChat, the popular Chinese texting app.  Kimberly Adams speaks with Shira Ovide, who covers technology at The New York Times, and she says this could have implications far beyond social media.

Aug 07, 2020
It’s OK to not be OK!
00:17:14

Whether you’ve lost someone, lost a job, gotten sick or are just feeling lonely, this pandemic is taking a toll on all of us. Today, we discuss two pieces in The New York Times about the physical and mental complications of the COVID-19 crisis. But it’s not all bad — we’ll also go deep into Amazon’s “A League of Their Own” series.

Aug 07, 2020
Unemployment is bad, but we don’t know just how bad
00:27:28

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
Life in the coronavirus heckhole
00:24:30

To get a new bike, this 11-year-old signs a contract to do the thing he hates most: math. How one family is using a tactic borrowed from the business world to settle arguments (and help them get through the pandemic).

Aug 06, 2020
The economy is sending us conflicting signs
00:10:23

First-time jobless claims were lower than expected, but the economy only added 167,000 jobs to private payrolls in July, per ADP. What’s it all mean? Plus, tomorrow is the self-imposed deadline for the Democrats in Congress and the White House to reach a deal on more pandemic relief. Also, how altered college sports schedules will affect small-town economies. And, the cost of supply chains suffering from trade disputes, COVID-19, natural disasters and more.

Aug 06, 2020
A U.S. border wall … against Chinese tech?
00:08:12

The Trump administration is taking more steps to try to build a technology wall against Chinese companies. Uber reports earnings on Thursday — what changes has it had to make during the pandemic? And, California considers new legislation on single-use plastic packaging and recycling.

Aug 06, 2020
Lebanon urgently needs international aid
00:07:05

From the BBC World Service: Lebanon’s economy minister, Raoul Nehme, said the country would have to rely at least partly on foreign aid to rebuild. And, one year since Kashmir lost its so-called special economic status, has the Indian government kept its promises about boosting business opportunity in the region?

Aug 06, 2020
A federal judge mourning her son calls for increased data privacy
00:07:58

In July, federal Judge Esther Salas was deliberately targeted in her home in New Jersey. A gunman shot and killed her son and gravely wounded her husband. This week, Salas released a statement, speaking about how personal information, like her home address, was available online, making it easy for her attacker to find her. The judge called for better laws to protect the personal information of federal judges and their families, but the internet can make it relatively easy for anyone to track down the address, phone number and other personal details of people online, which can translate into real-life risk. So, what is the law surrounding our personal information online? Kimberly Adams speaks with Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer who leads a victims’ rights firm in New York.

Aug 06, 2020
The data collection ‘arms race’
00:21:10

Microsoft is in talks to acquire TikTok — owned by Beijing-based ByteDance — amid much handwringing over the data the app collects. And while TikTok’s fate may ultimately be decided by the obscure Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, it seemed worth asking: Why is it so important to keep data collection domestic? There are certainly plenty of American apps collecting information on their users, too. We’ll talk about that and more on this week’s Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. Plus: contact tracing, supply shockwaves and alpacas.

Aug 06, 2020
America’s ‘caste system’
00:27:00

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
Blast in Beirut hits a country already deep in crisis
00:07:53

Beirut’s governor said the explosion, which has killed at least 100 people and wounded 4,000, caused between $3 billion and $5 billion worth of damage. In the U.S., private payrolls added far fewer jobs than expected in July. And, the U.S. and China are reportedly planning to check in on their trade deal soon.

Aug 05, 2020
Oh, right. The national budget. That old thing.
00:08:22

Congress has not come to an agreement on coronavirus relief aid. But they might also want to attend to another issue: the national budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Plus, President Trump signs the Great American Outdoors Act, putting billions of dollars toward improving the nation’s park system. And, the role of the pharmacy store is changing during the pandemic.

Aug 05, 2020
Can Lebanon cope with devastating loss of vital port?
00:07:16

From the BBC World Service: There are fears now for food security in Lebanon with the main port destroyed by a devastating explosion, in a country where almost 80% of consumer goods are imported. Also, did Sweden’s unique approach to COVID-19 help protect its economy better than the rest of Europe?

Aug 05, 2020
Using startups to improve media diversity
00:08:00

With popular attention focused, at least for now, on racial justice, a new initiative wants to put more people of color in newsroom leadership by helping them start their own media companies. Kimberly Adams speaks with Erika Alexander, co-founder and chief creative officer of Color Farm Media. Many will know her as the character Maxine Shaw from the ’90s sitcom “Living Single.” Color Farm Media is partnering with Google to run a boot camp for entrepreneurs who want to launch digital news startups.

Aug 05, 2020
An unequal country is a vulnerable country
00:40:42

A widening wealth gap isn’t good for democracy. Yet inequality has been on the rise for decades in the United States. So what does that tell us about the state of the republic? On today’s show, Atlantic staff writer George Packer walks us through some historical examples of when stark inequities led to revolution and reform — and boils down everything from the New Deal to collard greens.

Aug 05, 2020
The pandemic has been especially hard on Black-owned businesses
00:27:00

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
For the first time in months, global manufacturing expanded
00:09:37

According to two indices, manufacturing is not only up but growing. It’s another sign things are reopening. Plus, President Trump wants the U.S. government to get a cut of any American deal with TikTok. And, research on hits to the health care industry and how that affects the wider U.S. economy.

Aug 04, 2020
Coronavirus relief via executive order?
00:07:47

President Trump is proposing bringing back the eviction moratorium and enacting a payroll tax cut all by himself, through executive orders. Is it that simple, though? Tyson Foods has a new CEO as the meat industry continues to struggle. And, we hear from the unemployed people in this country who still have not gotten their payments.

Aug 04, 2020
Oil giant BP reports record $6.7 billion quarterly loss
00:07:02

From the BBC World Service: The oil giant BP has reported a record quarterly loss of $6.7 billion. Plus, $3,500 fines for people breaching COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne, Australia. And, Ghana offers Americans of African ancestry the opportunity to move.

Aug 04, 2020
Outsourcing election cybersecurity to volunteers
00:06:50

It’s Election Day in a half-dozen states, and another opportunity for election officials to sort out just how to run elections in a pandemic. As roughly 8,000 jurisdictions prepare for November, one concern is cybersecurity and if their systems can withstand any kind of hacking. Some of these folks don’t have the strongest security background, so they need training on setting up things like secure passwords and two-factor authentication. To help, the University of Chicago created a program called Election Cyber Surge to connect election officials with cybersecurity experts. Kimberly Adams speaks with Maya Worman, the executive director of the initiative.

Aug 04, 2020
The price of pizza
00:25:05
There’s a reason things cost what they do — sneakers, pizza, you name it. Businesses put a lot of thought into how much they charge, because they have to consider their behind-the-scenes costs. But you might put just as much thought into what you’re willing to pay — so in a way, you get the final word on whether the prices are right. This week on the show, we’ll talk about how we value the things we buy. Plus, two Dollar Scholars talk to each other about their saving and spending habits, and we’ll hear pastry chef Duff Goldman’s idea for a pizza rover. Don’t forget to send us your questions about money and your ideas for what businesses you wish existed at Marketplace.org/million!
Aug 04, 2020
Let’s get real about USPS
00:18:02

Kimberly Adams is co-hosting the show this week with Molly Wood. We kicked off our Monday episode with a little perspective on the U.S. Postal Service. Plus, we try and unpack what exactly has been going on with TikTok over the past few days. For smiles, we’ll have an update on your favorite uncles and some cute alpacas.

Aug 04, 2020
Unemployment benefits vary wildly in this country
00:27:00

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
With the dollar down, where are global investors turning instead?
00:09:42

People around the world are less interested in holding U.S. dollars during the pandemic. But that might not be as bad as it seems. Plus, U.S. action on Chinese companies may go beyond TikTok. Democrats and the White House can’t agree on how to extend additional unemployment aid. And, amid calls for more police accountability, body cameras are getting more attention.

Aug 03, 2020
Tick-tock for TikTok? The latest on U.S.-China tensions
00:08:15

Last week, President Trump threatened to ban TikTok. Now, Microsoft says it’s in talks to take over the app’s U.S. operations. Where do things stand? Plus, Disney earnings this week. And, social impact investing is alive and well.

Aug 03, 2020
ByteDance urges U.S. to allow Microsoft-TikTok deal
00:07:18

From the BBC World Service: U.S. tech giant Microsoft has confirmed that it is continuing talks to purchase the U.S. operations of Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok. Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, sees profits plunge amid protests in Hong Kong, adding to COVID-19 pressures. And, two years on from a deadly bridge collapse in Genoa, the Italian city has inaugurated its replacement on the key transport route.

Aug 03, 2020
A new hotline helps gamers with harassment and bullying
00:08:36

Video games have become a huge release for lots of people, especially the many who are entering their sixth month of some sort of coronavirus lockdown. Sales of video games are up 26% from a year ago. But online harassment has been a problem in gaming for years, and in June, dozens of women accused streamers — people who broadcast their gaming on Twitch or YouTube — of sexual harassment, abuse or assault. Now, a longtime video game activist is launching a hotline for people who play games or work in the games industry to get support. Molly speaks with Anita Sarkeesian, the executive director of the nonprofit media site Feminist Frequency.

Aug 03, 2020
It’s a ‘Succession’ day
00:15:43

James Murdoch, scion of News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch, resigned from the company’s board of directors today, citing “disagreements over certain editorial content.” We’ll spend a little time today talking about what that means for Murdoch’s older brother, Lachlan, and the family’s media empire. Plus, somehow “Make Me Smile” keeps getting sadder. TGIF.

As always, you’ll find slinks to everything we talked about on the episode page at makemesmart.org. You’ll also find a slink to subscribe to our YouTube channel, so you never miss a live taping.

Aug 01, 2020
What it means to plant your flag in a coronavirus vaccine
00:28:08

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
It turns out the pandemic also attacks the U.S. dollar
00:08:14

With just a few hours left of July, the dollar is set for its biggest monthly decline in a decade. Analysis finds that Black and Latino workers are having their state unemployment claims rejected at disproportionately higher rates, compared to white workers. And, the fight to save bananas from extinction.

Jul 31, 2020
Crushed by COVID-19, major European economies sink into recession
00:07:37

From the BBC World Service: The eurozone saw its largest contraction on record with declines of more than 10% each in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Life after lockdown for a restaurant group in Lithuania. Airlines worry travel restrictions are stifling passenger demand.

Jul 31, 2020
Amazon’s next frontier? Outer space.
00:08:31

Amazon has taken a big step to build out a network of satellites to beam high-speed internet service to underserved areas. Plus, there’s concern from some, namely Republican lawmakers, that expanded jobless benefits keep people from returning to work. A Yale study this week finds that’s not the case. And, fewer people are staying at hotels during the pandemic, and layoffs have followed.

Jul 31, 2020
Online learning requires internet access and a device — for teachers, too
00:06:30

There are new tools to help with online learning, but a recent report from Common Sense Media and Boston Consulting Group found that at least 15 million students in the United States lack either a device or internet access, and 9 million kids lack both. Those disparities are worse in rural communities and Black, Latinx and Native American households. Hundreds of thousands of K-12 teachers also lack hardware or internet access. Molly spoke with Elizabeth Gettelman Galicia, vice president for policy at Common Sense Media.

Jul 31, 2020
Happy National Blueberry Month, or something?
00:12:45

After failing to agree on and pass a new pandemic relief bill, the U.S. Senate appears to have officially recognized July 2020 as National Blueberry Month. That sounds a least a little productive … until you remember July ends Saturday, and so does the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit millions of Americans rely on. You know it was a tough day when even “Make Me Smile” makes us cry.

Jul 31, 2020
Let’s (sigh) do the numbers
00:28:44

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
The worst economic weakness we’ve seen
00:08:31

In the April-to-June pandemic quarter, GDP contracted at an annual rate of nearly 33%. And, at the regional level, economic activity declined far more in areas reliant on sectors like manufacturing and tourism. Plus, how Quebec is trying to help its local businesses stay afloat.

Jul 30, 2020
Any progress on Congress’ push for new economic relief bill?
00:08:34

Democrats and Republicans appear no closer to reaching a deal on a coronavirus relief bill. What does Fed Chair Jerome Powell think about that? Plus, strong second-quarter earnings expected for Amazon. And, what utility PG&E can expect from a deal with Tesla.

Jul 30, 2020
Germany posts biggest economic plunge in half-century as U.S. readies figures
00:07:33

From the BBC World Service: Germany saw a large drop-off in consumer spending and in its vital export sector. China’s Huawei takes Samsung’s crown as the world’s biggest smartphone seller. Kenya’s flower industry starts to blossom again.

Jul 30, 2020
Robots are getting personal during the pandemic
00:06:36

This week on “Marketplace Tech,” we’re reporting on the innovations that will help us transition to a post-pandemic future. One of those innovations has been waiting in the wings for a long time: robots. Robots can do jobs that are too dangerous for humans or just make life a little easier while offering companionship during quarantine. Molly Wood speaks with Ayanna Howard, a roboticist and professor at Georgia Tech. She says the pandemic has been a boost for robotics of all types.

Jul 30, 2020
Check your quarantine snack supplies
00:14:47

We’re tackling a deeply important question on this Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday: What’s everyone snacking on in quarantine? Let’s compare notes. Plus, we’ll answer some other listener questions about the coronavirus relief bill and how weirdly hard it is to unload your extra coins.

For a list of everything we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.

Jul 29, 2020
What you need to know from the Big Tech hearing
00:28:25

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
How did the titans of tech become so powerful?
00:08:23

CEOs of four of the world’s most powerful companies are testifying before Congress today. Investors consider more second-quarter earnings reports, including those for GM and Boeing. And, you’ll be able to watch Universal Pictures movies at home sooner after their releases thanks to a new deal with AMC.

Jul 29, 2020
COVID-19 health care exposes yet another racial divide
00:08:29

People of color are almost twice as likely as white people to be worried about how to pay for care if they get COVID-19, according to new research. Plus, just how bad the pandemic has been for big automakers. And, the former writers and editors of Deadspin return with a new company and business model.

Jul 29, 2020
Could hand sanitizer be the answer to French winemakers’ problems?
00:08:03

From the BBC World Service: The French government has launched a crisis distillation scheme to deal with an oversupply of wine. Turkey has new social media laws. Saudi Arabia expects major losses with fewer people at the Muslim hajj pilgrimage.

Jul 29, 2020
Magical fever-spotting cameras, you say? We have questions.
00:05:16

Some companies have spent tens of thousands of dollars on thermal cameras, which can, supposedly, spot someone with an elevated temperature from a distance. Do they work, or is this just a form of health security theater? Molly Wood speaks with Meghan McCarty Carino, who covers workplace culture for Marketplace.

Jul 29, 2020
Let’s get antisocial
00:40:06

The convergence of nationwide protests over police violence and a global pandemic have placed renewed scrutiny on the role of companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple in our democracy. On Wednesday, chief executives from those companies will face lawmakers — virtually — for a much-anticipated hearing on their power and influence in this election year. We had New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz on the show to talk about it. He covers tech and social media for the magazine, and he wrote the book “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.”

Jul 29, 2020
What’s holding up more coronavirus relief?
00:27:55

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
The next benchmark for the 2020 U.S. economy
00:09:42

This Thursday, we’re going to find out what happened to U.S. GDP in the second quarter. It’s going to be grim. Google is adding a new undersea cable network which it says will upgrade existing lines. The Trump administration moves forward with plans to regulate social media. And, Marketplace’s new podcast for all of those questions kids and their families have about money.

Jul 28, 2020
The White House and Congress negotiate, but the economy won’t wait
00:08:35

We now have two competing bills for COVID-19 relief after Senate Republicans released theirs Monday. How far is it from what House Democrats have proposed? Plus, the latest on President Trump’s picks for the Fed. And, a French solution for hand sanitizer shortages.

Jul 28, 2020
The duo behind Britain’s first magazine for Black girls
00:07:33

From the BBC World Service: One mom spotted a lack of diversity in magazines for young Black girls in the U.K. So she started her own. Malaysia’s former prime minister is convicted in 1MDB financial scandal. Google announces a new transatlantic data cable.

Jul 28, 2020
Negotiation is a super important skill
00:23:34
This week, we’re learning how to get what you want through negotiation. It’s about empowering kids — and hopefully avoiding big, nasty arguments — by employing new skills like active listening and compromise. We’ll use those skills to help our friend Ruby, who wants her parents to get her a new smartphone. Plus, we’ve got some great knock-knock jokes, and LeVar Burton tells us whom he wants to see on U.S. currency. Send us your questions about money along with your money designs to marketplace.org/million!
Jul 28, 2020
Viruses don’t discriminate, but health care often does
00:05:33

A recent study looked at how artificial intelligence is used to determine treatments and care. It found that many of the algorithms used in medicine use race as a variable, and that is a problem. Molly speaks with Leo Eisenstein, a physician at NYU and Bellevue hospitals, and one of the authors of the paper, as well as with Dorothy Roberts, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who wrote a book about race in science and medicine.

Jul 28, 2020
Let’s just call this year a wash
00:12:26

Tech was one of the first industries to send workers home in response to the pandemic. And it was one of the first to let its employees work from anywhere. So what should we make of the fact that Google has pushed the date it’s calling employees back to the office to July 2021? Molly returns from a weekend of “Chrismukkah in July” to a Dark Place indeed. Join us!

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about on the episode page at makemesmart.org.

Jul 28, 2020
A gold rush means nothing good for this economy
00:28:39

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
The White House takes on drug prices
00:08:31

Pharmaceutical industry executives are expected at the White House Tuesday. President Trump says he’ll sit down with them to talk drug prices. What will Fed Chair Jerome Powell have to say about the economy this week? And, in California, Latino communities continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic.

Jul 27, 2020
What to do about those $600? That’s still the question.
00:08:42

Republicans are expected to roll out their trillion-dollar coronavirus relief package today. The number of people in the U.S. relying on food stamps grew by 17% in just the first three months of the pandemic. And, how have plant-based meat companies fared during COVID-19?

Jul 27, 2020
Another record gold price. What’s up with investors?
00:07:55

From the BBC World Service: European travel shares plummet amid concerns of a slow economic recovery from the pandemic. What’s in the Philippines’ COVID-19 recovery plan? Restaurants struggle with an increase in “no-shows” after lockdown.

Jul 27, 2020
The tech behind the search for a COVID-19 vaccine
00:05:22

This week on “Marketplace Tech,” we’re reporting on the innovations that will help us transition to a post-pandemic future. A lot of hopes are pinned on a vaccine for COVID-19. And there are, in fact, a lot of efforts on that front. Some combine the old ways of making vaccines with new techniques. Molly Wood speaks with Safi Bahcall, a biotech investor and author.

Jul 27, 2020
Be nice to someone this weekend
00:18:44

We’re 135 days into the COVID-19 pandemic and the bottom could fall out of the economy in a few days. Everyone’s having a hard time in some way, so our main message for today’s happy hour episode is this: Be nice to someone, or a few someones, this weekend. Also on tap, the mask policy at McDonald’s, a somewhat-related thing about George H.W. Bush, baseball’s return and more on that AOC speech. TGIF!

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about today on the episode page at makemesmart.org. Thanks to everyone who joined us live on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss the next one.

Jul 25, 2020
Get ready for a wave of evictions
00:27:00

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 24, 2020
What a delay in coronavirus relief means for the economy
00:09:50

There’s a lot of disagreement within the Republican Party about what a COVID-19 relief bill should look like. Plus, the wait for many movie theater reopenings — and new Hollywood releases — continues. And, yes, it appears the U.S. is in a tech cold war with China.

Jul 24, 2020
How China’s national security law is trickling into everyday life
00:08:28

The law, which gives Beijing tighter control of Hong Kong, appears to be affecting financial companies, who are self-censoring. Plus, a bid from Airbus to settle to a 16-year dispute between the U.S. and EU over aircraft manufacturing. And, the financial blow to the education industry will be especially hard on HBCUs.

Jul 24, 2020
China’s demand to close a U.S. consulate sends markets skidding
00:07:28

From the BBC World Service: An escalation in tensions between the U.S. and China adds to gloom in global financial markets. Has Airbus done enough to end a subsidies dispute between Europe and the U.S.? The price of postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Jul 24, 2020
Social media takes baby steps in dealing with hate speech. Time to grow up?
00:06:21

Online hate speech has gone way up since the police killing of George Floyd in May. Hate speech in the form of inflammatory posts has increased by nearly 40% around the country. And while Facebook continues to advocate a relatively hands-off approach to speech, Twitter this week took down thousands of accounts related to the conspiracy group QAnon, saying it will take action on accounts that could “lead to offline harm.” Molly Wood speaks with Dipayan Ghosh, co-director of the Digital Platforms & Democracy Project at Harvard. He says this is all still moving way too slowly.

Jul 24, 2020
So you’re out of work. How’s 70% of your old salary sound?
00:15:04

That’s the pitch Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave CNBC today when outlining the Republican plan for coronavirus relief after the extra weekly $600 in unemployment benefits runs out at the end of the month. On today’s show, we’ll try to figure out why Congress left this to the last minute and whether the legislators’ latest proposal will work for the 34 million Americans now jobless. Plus: Kai gets hacked (maybe).

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about on our episode page at makemesmart.org. Finally, join us for our live happy hour episode Friday at 6:30 p.m. EDT, 3:30 p.m. PDT. Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss it.

Jul 24, 2020
When the U.S. sneezes…
00:27:56

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 23, 2020
Jobless claims are up again, for the first time since March
00:08:16

The resurgence in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations has sent the number of unemployment claims back up. It’s the first time the tally has risen since March. Plus, we have more information today on the Senate Republicans’ COVID-19 relief bill, including what might happen to extended unemployment benefits. And, an old oil tanker in Yemen could make the humanitarian crisis there worse.

Jul 23, 2020
There’s a week left to come up with another round of unemployment relief
00:08:19

The extra $600 a week for unemployment benefits is set to disappear July 31. And those payments have boosted the economy, research shows. Plus, President Trump denies reports that he tried to steer a big golf tournament to one of his resorts. And, Mattel earnings out today will give us a sense of how toy sales are doing.

Jul 23, 2020
Corporate giants urged to drop Chinese suppliers over labor abuse concerns
00:08:07

From the BBC World Service: Activists and campaign groups allege companies including Apple and Nike are benefiting from labor abuses in Xinjiang. Could China’s tech-heavy STAR Market rival the Nasdaq? Toymakers cash in on lockdown demand for board games.

Jul 23, 2020
What do Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have in common? One big congressional hearing.
00:08:34

Even in the context of all the things that are happening in the country right now, Monday is going to be a pretty big day. The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google will testify before the House Judiciary Committee as part of Congress’ antitrust investigation. It’s the first time all four have appeared together and the first time Jeff Bezos has shown up. But like congressional hearings that have come before, it’s probably going to be a mess. Molly Wood speaks with Cecilia Kang, who covers tech policy for the New York Times.

Jul 23, 2020
Why hasn’t Congress extended jobless benefits yet?
00:15:43

Congress is about to blow through its deadline to extend extra unemployment benefits for the tens of millions of Americans out of work due to the coronavirus. What gives? Great question. For Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday, we’ll attempt to answer. Plus, your questions about CEO pay caps, Mexican Coke and more.

As always, you’ll find slinks to everything we talked about on makemesmart.org. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick, anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 23, 2020
What happens when you take billions out of the economy overnight?
00:27:40

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey. 

Jul 22, 2020
What are second-quarter results from companies telling us so far?
00:10:25

Investors are primarily focused on earnings reports and vaccine prospects right now, but U.S.-China tensions loom in the background. Twitter removes conspiracy theory accounts, while Facebook takes action to address the social media platform’s racial biases. And, how oil-rich countries are faring during the pandemic.

Jul 22, 2020
U.S. accuses China of working with hackers to steal trade secrets, research
00:08:27

The U.S. closes a Chinese consulate and accuses Chinese hackers of trying to steal coronavirus research. How child-care costs are shaping up to be a 2020 campaign issue. And, San Diego’s Comic-Con goes virtual.

Jul 22, 2020
Why are stock markets reaching pre-pandemic highs?
00:08:17

From the BBC World Service: Markets are recovering even though data shows no signs of COVID-19 slowing in the U.S. A billion dollar lawsuit over a dam collapse in Brazil is being lodged in the U.K. Book publishing faces pandemic and diversity challenges.

Jul 22, 2020
It’s a lot harder to get out the vote during a pandemic
00:07:10

Political strategists and organizers are trying to find new ways to reach voters and potential voters while social distancing. Which is tough because research shows that in-person interactions are usually the most effective technique. Now, organizers are turning to the old idea of a turnout captain — a local volunteer who whips up voting interest — combined with targeted data and, sometimes, apps. And they’re finding that combination can really work. Molly speaks with Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams, who covers money and politics.

Jul 22, 2020
U.S.-China relations are bad, but are they ‘new Cold War’ bad?
00:44:10

As China returns to some sense of normalcy after the worst of the pandemic — and as the U.S. tries to slow down a new surge in coronavirus cases — relations between the two countries have reached a low point. On today’s show, Marketplace’s China correspondent, Jennifer Pak, tells us about the view from Shanghai, what state media are saying and what’s going on with a potential ban on the mega-popular app TikTok. Later, we’ll hear from a listener who’s wrestling with the child care crisis here at home and another who’s using lockdown to pick up (and stick with!) a new hobby.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today on our episode page at MakeMeSmart.org. And don’t forget to check out Marketplace’s brand-new kids’ podcast, “Million Bazillion,” on your favorite podcast app.

Jul 22, 2020
Pod save America?
00:27:35

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey. 

Jul 21, 2020
Senators vote today on a controversial choice for the Fed
00:08:18

Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller are nominees for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Shelton, however, has been in the past a proponent of the gold standard and favors reducing the Fed’s powers. Plus, European leaders reach a deal on an economic rescue package. And, a surge in French home sales as Parisians make their countryside moves permanent.

Jul 21, 2020
Where did money come from?
00:23:37

For our very first episode, we’re traveling back thousands of years to learn about all the ways people got what they needed from each other before money was invented: bartering with whatever they had, making pacts with close friends and eventually inventing coins and other forms of money! Plus we’ll ask some random kids not-so-random questions, and Kristen Bell designs her own money.

By the way, we want to keep answering your questions about money! Send your questions and your money designs to Marketplace.org/million.

Jul 21, 2020
The latest roadblocks in the way of a pandemic relief bill
00:08:20

What should the next round of COVID-19 aid from the federal government look like? New signs of fissures between lawmakers and the Trump administration. Plus, how are housing vacancies changing the rental markets in U.S. cities? And, a plan to distribute coronavirus vaccines more equally among countries.

Jul 21, 2020
European leaders leave marathon meeting with COVID-19 rescue plan in hand
00:07:23

From the BBC World Service: The European Union’s recovery fund will have more than $850 billion, the majority in grants, with some loans. Are Uber drivers self-employed or not? Contact tracers in South Africa are on the front line against COVID-19.

Jul 21, 2020
An Instagram account is exposing influencer inequality
00:08:12

Talking about how much you’re paid can make for an awkward conversation, but Adesuwa Ajayi is asking just that of social media influencers. Ajayi started the Influencer Pay Gap Instagram account to highlight the fact that Black influencers are routinely paid less than white influencers, even when they have similar numbers of followers or the same reach. Jack Stewart spoke with Ajayi, whose day job is managing influencers at the talent agency AGM.

Jul 21, 2020
This is the whole ballgame, folks
00:17:53

The vast majority of Americans support the United States Postal Service, but the president is not a fan, and apparently neither is the Trump-donor-turned-postmaster-general-appointee Louis DeJoy. Today, we’ll look at what a new postmaster general could mean for the institution, and the stakes as millions of people vote by mail this fall. Plus: The federal agents we talked about last week are planning to expand to Chicago. Happy Monday.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today on our episode page at MakeMeSmart.org. And don’t forget to check out our brand-new kids’ podcast, “Million Bazillion,” on your favorite podcast app.

Jul 21, 2020
What will out-of-work Americans do without that extra $600 per week?
00:29:00

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey. 

Jul 20, 2020
All eyes are on the next COVID-19 relief package
00:09:35

Congress begins to hammer out the next round of COVID-19 aid, including the fate of extended unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, some people still have not gotten their first COVID-19 relief checks. Thousands of essential workers are expected to walk off the job today in a “Strike for Black Lives.” And, what will we see in airlines’ second-quarter results this week?

Jul 20, 2020
What will the next COVID-19 relief package look like?
00:07:35

The fight on Capitol Hill continues over how to support the U.S. economy as the pandemic rages on. Tesla’s upcoming earnings report could make it eligible to join the S&P 500. And, emergency help for farmers during COVID-19.

Jul 20, 2020
Mars mission could be key in UAE’s post-oil economy
00:07:03

From the BBC World Service: The United Arab Emirates has launched its first Mars mission. Can Europe’s leaders reach a compromise on the balance of loans versus grants in their COVID-19 recovery fund? What worries of a second coronavirus wave could mean for European airlines.

Jul 20, 2020
The pandemic has been a chance to sell the cloud
00:06:46

As the coronavirus swept around the world, work and education moved to the cloud, with video meetings and online document sharing. Our leisure time relied on cloud servers to stream TV shows and movies. There are a few big companies that stand to benefit. Amazon, Microsoft and Alibaba are the big cloud providers. Google is a relative upstart, but it’s now rolling out new services for businesses as fast as it can. Jack Stewart speaks with Owen Rogers, a research director with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Jul 20, 2020
What’s happening to protesters in Portland?
00:17:33

On today’s happy hour episode, “This Is Uncomfortable” host Reema Khrais is on to talk about what’s happening in Portland, Oregon, this week. Federal law enforcement officers are taking protesters off the street, placing them under arrest for reasons unknown and driving away with them in unmarked vans. It sounds like a headline from a different place and a different time, but it’s happening in an American city right now. Later, we’ll lighten things up by talking about a socially distanced knighting and … ants.

As always, find slinks to everything we talked about at makemesmart.org. Thanks to everyone who joined us live! Subscribe on YouTube so you don’t miss the next one! Finally, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick, anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 18, 2020
The coronavirus vaccine economy
00:27:00

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey. 

Jul 17, 2020
One town shows what summer tourism looks like in the COVID-19 era
00:08:23

The rate on a 30-year-fixed mortgage is the lowest it’s been in decades. Why? British Airways is retiring its entire Boeing 747 jumbo jet fleet. Also, a town in Colorado illustrates the clash between summer tourism and a pandemic.

Jul 17, 2020
More companies are hiring people of color. Keeping them is another matter.
00:08:22

Mortgage rates are at a 50-year low. Netflix is flourishing during the pandemic, with millions of new subscribers and billions in revenue. We also discuss how diversity recruiting is on the rise, but holding on to that talent has proven elusive.

Jul 17, 2020
Can European leaders finally agree on a COVID-19 economic rescue package?
00:07:27

From the BBC World Service: For months, the 27 European Union countries have struggled to agree on whether pandemic relief to countries should be through grants or loans that have to be repaid. India resumes some flights to the U.S. and France.

Jul 17, 2020
The global economy relies on sharing data across borders. An EU decision could disrupt that.
00:06:40

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that the way thousands of companies share personal data between the U.S. and Europe. They use something called “Privacy Shield,” which isn’t an app. It’s a set of legal rules to moving information back and forth. But the court ruled that doesn’t do enough to protect European’s data from the U.S. government. I spoke with Adam Satariano, a European technology correspondent at The New York Times. He says it’s hard to tell exactly what happens next.

 

Jul 17, 2020
The Washington … Red Tails?
00:15:00

That’s just one name being kicked around for Washington, D.C.’s football team, and it’s our favorite so far. That’s our Make Me Smile today, but first we have to talk about this pandemic recovery plan that … doesn’t mention the pandemic.

As always, find slinks to everything we talked about at makemesmart.org, plus a slink to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where Kai Ryssdal and “This Is Uncomfortable” host Reema Khrais will stream our live happy hour episode tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. EDT / 3:30 p.m. PDT! Finally, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 17, 2020
Two weeks until the bottom falls out
00:27:31

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 16, 2020
Money makes me sick
00:23:42

Meet the professional auditor who can’t stand to look at his own bank account. Our team goes on an adventure to help a man who’s anxious about his spending get more comfortable checking his finances.

Jul 16, 2020
We bought more in June, and then July happened
00:10:37

Retail sales are up again, but the numbers are only a snapshot of a time before all of the new COVID-19 cases. U.S. manufacturing also surged in June, and automakers were the biggest winners. And, sports leagues have suspended play, but sports betting has carried on creatively.

Jul 16, 2020
China’s economy bounces back from the pandemic
00:08:11

China reports that its economy grew 3.2% in the second quarter from the same time last year. For June, economists expect retail sales numbers will be up again. We’ll find out this morning. And, Americans step up to help fight food insecurity during COVID-19.

Jul 16, 2020
Europe’s top court deals a blow to Facebook and other tech companies
00:07:11

From the BBC World Service: The European Court of Justice struck down an existing EU-U.S. data transfer mechanism over privacy concerns. China’s economy has avoided a recession. How can the venture capital world tackle its diversity problem?

Jul 16, 2020
Contracts between Big Tech and the military can fly under the radar
00:05:32

Google made a new push for more defense work this week, with an approach to cloud computing it thinks should appeal to government customers. Until now, Google has mostly sat those lucrative contracts out, in part because it’s faced pushback from some employees. Other tech companies have, too. But new reporting shows Big Tech is doing a lot more defense and law enforcement work than perhaps was realized. I spoke with Jack Poulson, a former senior research scientist at Google. He now runs the nonprofit Tech Inquiry and has reported on the thousands of subcontracts tech companies have with defense contractors.

Jul 16, 2020
Rent is due??? Again???
00:17:00

Just in time for Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday, one of our listeners is making us smart. We talked a bit last week about eviction moratoriums happening around the country. Today we have a lawyer listener who wrote in on the issue. Plus: the coin shortage, a world without cars and diversity in public media.

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about today on our episode page on our site. And by the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 16, 2020
America’s debt “time bomb”
00:26:42

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
Vaccine hopes and state shutdowns are competing forces in the markets
00:08:55

Inside the push-pull contrast between vaccine hopes and states shutting down parts of their economies again. Will demand for oil recover? What does OPEC think? And, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, Peacock, is launching widely after a limited rollout in April.

Jul 15, 2020
Why all of the NBA’s “bubble” spending is probably worth it
00:08:10

Before men’s pro basketball restarts on July 30, everyone is quarantining in a “bubble” at Disney World. What is that costing the NBA? Plus, an EU court rules on Apple’s taxes. And, the July 15 tax deadline for individuals and corporations alike is here.

Jul 15, 2020
Apple trumps the EU in a landmark court ruling
00:07:56

From the BBC World Service: The European Commission had demanded Apple pay nearly $15 billion in back taxes. It could still appeal this verdict. Could Seoul take over as Asia’s financial hub? India’s trash collectors are at risk from COVID-19 waste.

Jul 15, 2020
Shipt gig workers boycott new pay algorithm
00:08:00

If you were hoping to get shopping delivered via Shipt today, you may be out of luck. Shipt, which is owned by Target, pays gig economy workers to deliver goods from brick-and-mortar stores to consumers’ homes around the country. Those workers aren’t staff, so they don’t get a salary or hourly wage. They’re paid by the job. Shipt is now planning to expand its use of an algorithm to determine how much they get paid. It’ll take into account a lot of factors, like how busy a store is and how bad traffic is. But the calculation is opaque, and workers would like more transparency. They’re boycotting the app today. Jack Stewart speaks with Marketplace’s workplace culture reporter, Meghan McCarty Carino.

Jul 15, 2020
The state of Oklahoma
00:27:45

… after last week’s landmark ruling over Native land rights, that is. A huge swath of eastern Oklahoma has been a reservation since the Trail of Tears in the 1830s, and the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that status. Independent journalist Rebecca Nagle has been covering the case on her podcast “This Land,” and she joins us today to talk about the history of that land and what’s next for the 1.8 million people living there.

Jul 15, 2020
How clothing can be a ‘tool of resistance’
00:27:27

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 14, 2020
Grocery shopping is taking an extra bite out of our paychecks
00:08:54

A spike in consumer inflation for June is driven by increasing prices at the gas pump and in grocery stores. The optimism of those who run small businesses jumped in June, but will that endure? And, domestic workers are fighting for more protections in California.

Jul 14, 2020
More than 5 million have lost health insurance and found no alternative, study finds
00:08:02

Families USA, the health care advocacy group which put out this study, says there are about 5.4 million people who have fallen between the cracks in the system. School districts everywhere are weighing the safety and monetary costs and benefits of reopening. And, for people leaving prisons right now, reentry is especially hard with fewer jobs open and support systems strained.

Jul 14, 2020
The U.K. looks to U-turn on Huawei
00:07:11

From the BBC World Service: The British government is set to announce that Huawei technology is to be excluded from the country’s 5G networks. South Korea pledges $90 billion for its “Green New Deal.” Job applications go visual with video resumes.

Jul 14, 2020
Apps like Robinhood make investing easier. Maybe too easy.
00:06:47

Maybe you’re one of the more than 10 million people who’ve set up an account on Robinhood, the highest-profile example of apps that say they’re increasing access to the stock market by making trades free. Critics say they’re “gamifying” trading, with psychological nudges and push notifications that encourage frequent, and potentially risky, trades. There are few controls or limits for users who may be inexperienced. Jack Stewart speaks with Vicki Bogan, founder of Cornell University’s Institute for Behavioral and Household Finance.

Jul 14, 2020
Introducing Million Bazillion!
00:02:12

Marketplace’s first-ever kids podcast is out next week! In collaboration with “Brains On!,” “Million Bazillion” helps dollars make more sense. We’re tackling the big questions, like: Who invented money? How do you get your parents to agree to buy something you want? How do advertisers make you want what they’re selling — and how do you take your brain back? And why do things like pizza cost what they do? Host Jed Kim will help answer all these questions, with help from super-smart experts, kids and some famous friends. The first episode drops July 21! Here’s a trailer.

Jul 14, 2020
‘A Tapestry of Bonkers’
00:16:29

Sometimes you have to laugh so you don’t cry. That’s how guest host Kimberly Adams is feeling about two big news stories out of her hometown of St. Louis and her current town, Washington, D.C. Today on the show we’re talking about reopening and re-closing California, that couple that brandished guns at protesters and the football team that finally changed its racist name.

As always, you can find a list of everything we talked about today on our episode page at makemesmart.org. Finally, please help us out by taking a quick anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 14, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic’s global ripple effects
00:26:55

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 americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 13, 2020
It’s official: Washington’s NFL team is changing its name
00:07:15

People are looking beyond profits and losses in companies. That’s clear from a name change for the NFL’s team in Washington, D.C., as well as recent pressure on PepsiCo. Also, do companies believe, like analysts, that there will be a financial earnings recovery from the pandemic by 2021? We start to find out this week.

Jul 13, 2020
A thought experiment: What if online shopping went away?
00:07:17

A fiction writer’s surreal take on the COVID-19 economy imagines a world where delivery vans arrive and confiscate your things, instead of dropping packages off. Plus, banks start releasing second quarter results this week. And, China’s new sanctions on members of Congress.

Jul 13, 2020
New liquor ban adds pressure on South Africa’s wine exporters
00:06:36

From the BBC World Service: South Africa’s government has banned alcohol sales again as COVID-19 cases rise. The world’s biggest companies are set to borrow $1 trillion this year to bolster balance sheets. China will sanction U.S. lawmakers over Xinjiang measures.

Jul 13, 2020
Restaurants are dying, but their ghosts are delivering your food
00:06:35

In the before times, starting a restaurant was a big investment — location, tables, chairs, utensils, branding, marketing and hiring employees. Now, with predictions that 25% of small restaurants could close because of the pandemic, entrepreneurs are finding that all you really need is a kitchen, an online menu and a way to deliver food. Which is usually through a delivery app. Uber’s plan to buy Postmates for more than $2.5 billion is in part a bet on food delivery in at least the near pandemic future. Molly speaks with Anna Wiener, a contributing writer for the New Yorker covering Silicon Valley. She wrote about all this in a piece called “Our Ghost-Kitchen Future.”

Jul 13, 2020
“Open the schools, or else”
00:20:26

That’s apparently the mandate from the Trump administration. And, look, maybe going back to school is the best thing (perhaps more data would be useful). But we’re looking for more planning, less politicization. And stop comparing schools to Disney World. Also on tap for today’s happy hour episode: comets, TikTok and a farewell to Carl Reiner.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about on our episode page at makemesmart.org. You can also find a slink to our YouTube channel — subscribe so you never miss a Friday broadcast!

Jul 11, 2020
Welcome to the “low-touch” economy
00:26:45

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
What civil rights leaders want from Facebook
00:08:16

Wells Fargo is preparing to cut thousands of jobs, according to Bloomberg. What does this new round of layoffs across the economy mean? And, one civil rights leader who’s met with Facebook describes how the company needs to change.

Jul 10, 2020
Half of Oklahoma is a Native American reservation. There are economic consequences.
00:07:32

A Supreme Court decision Thursday affirmed that about half of the state of Oklahoma is Native American reservation land. Plus, Hong Kong is closing all schools again after a spike in COVID-19 cases. And, why Puerto Rico is giving up control of its power grid to a private utility.

Jul 10, 2020
Emirates president warns of thousands of job cuts
00:07:01

From the BBC World Service: Emirates airline warns it could make up to 9,000 job cuts because of COVID-19. Could the U.S. lose its appeal to international students? We hear from some affected by decisions to revoke visas for classes taken online this fall. And, how restrictions on the hajj pilgrimage are hurting businesses in Saudi Arabia.

Jul 10, 2020
What would it take to moderate a platform as big as Facebook?
00:05:44

Civil rights experts say Facebook doesn’t enforce its policies against hate speech consistently. Facebook has said it’s difficult, if not impossible, to actually moderate content on a platform as big as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp combined. Molly Wood speaks with Spandi Singh, a policy analyst at New America’s Open Technology Institute.

Jul 10, 2020
They’re banning TikTok, Ma
00:13:17

Things felt so quaint when we covered the video app TikTok on the show last year. Lil Nas X was topping the chart, and parent company ByteDance had just racked up a few million in Federal Trade Commission fines. Now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is floating a “ban” on Chinese social media apps, citing national security concerns, and that’s got Molly’s son and other teens on edge. We’ll talk about it, plus parking lots and roller coasters.

As always, you can find slinks to everything we talked about today on our episode page at makemesmart.org. You can also find a slink to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where Kai and Molly will be broadcasting live tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. Pacific for happy hour!

Jul 10, 2020
The struggle facing parents working from home
00:26:31

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
Don’t get too excited about that slight dip in weekly jobless claims
00:07:48

States that are seeing large spikes in COVID-19 cases are also seeing jumps in first-time unemployment claims. The Supreme Court rules on who can have access to President Trump’s tax records. And, should internet service be treated like a public utility?

Jul 09, 2020
Whiplash in the bar and restaurant industries
00:07:18

Many bar and restaurant employees went back to work