Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
Airing on Friday, April 17, 2015: With support from the Obama Administration, lawmakers in Congress have introduced a bill to streamline approval of a sweeping trade treaty. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is advertised as liberalizing trade with the US and Canada, Mexico and Chile on this side of the ocean and Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Singapore on the other. Trans-Pacific negotiations have been proceeding in secret. Next, the promise of America has always been the chance to move up, regardless of where you come from. While statistics show that too often the circumstances of parents dictate the later circumstances of their children, the goal of economic mobility remains an crucial one. And one of the things that stands out as really helpful for mobility is called "social capital."
Airing on Thursday, April 16, 2015: The finance minister of debt-burdened Greece is in Washington today for a round of meetings that includes some face time with President Obama. Yanis Varoufakis has new trouble today, after a downgrade for his country's debt. More on that. Biking to work is cool and doesn't burn fossil fuel unless you ate fossil fuel for breakfast. But we should remember that many people have to bike if they can't afford the car, the insurance, the parking. A new program in Savannah, Georgia is helping people in the second group get the bikes they need.
Airing on Wednesday, April 15, 2015: The news today that the Chinese economy grew at its slowest rate in six year. The numbers are for January to March, and annualized it's down to a 7 percent growth rate. Magnificent by U.S. standards but lackluster by China's standards which has to keep creating jobs for people pulled into the economy from the hinterlands. Next, with the patents and trademarks people celebrating the 225th anniversary of the Patents Act this month. we reach out to Michelle Lee, the newly confirmed director at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, about the so-called patent trolls. This is kind of patent holder who is less interested in using a patent and more interested in holding up other people for licensing money even if they haven't actually infringed.
Airing on Tuesday, April 14, 2015: There's news today of merger talks between two telecommunications equipment makers, Nokia of Finland and Alcatel Lucent of France. And there are a few strands of American DNA in there. Lucent is descendant of the old AT&T, bell labs, the people who invented the laser. Plus, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo report earnings today. The news from General Electric last week implied that the bloom has come off the rose for finance: it’s no longer the sexy, risky, vast-amounts-of-money-making machine that it used to be, and many firms that aren't banks want to get out of it. But what about companies that have finance as their core business? Finally, we speak to our own producer Josh Woo about what his Wheel of Fortune win means for him this tax season.
Airing on Monday, April 13, 2015: Etsy, the online site for handmade and vintage goods, is taking a new approach to its initial public offering. According to sources close to the deal, the retail platform plans to target small investors and keep big investors to a minimum. Reportedly, this is part of the Brooklyn-based website’s effort to stay true to its “socially responsible business practices." Is this a risky tactic? Next, the feds have issued a critical, but short-of-scathing report that, despite investing billions, not enough patient data is being shared. We look at whether this new report puts any serious pressure on vendors to step up and make it easier (and cheaper) to share the data. Plus, we talk to art critic Blake Gopnik about the idea of selling art in museums to make money.
Airing on Thursday, April 10, 2015: Stocks in Asia are climbing a mountain of optimism. More on that. Plus, the Summit of the Americas takes place this weekend and is being called ‘historic’ because, for the first time, the presidents of Cuba and the U.S. will both attend. We look at a broader question though – what can the U.S. do, especially in economic terms, to retain influence in a fast-changing region? And Spring has yet to full take hold in many parts of the country and talking more about the dismal science wouldn't help. So, Marketplace's senior economics contributor Chris Farrell looked into a part of his beat that we hope is uplifting: the economics of festivals.