Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
First up, Chinese authorities have launched an anti-trust investigation into a handful of luxury car brands accused of jacking up prices on cars and car parts in China. Companies like BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes and Audi are madly slashing prices to try and appease regulators. More on the cars, which are said to be as much as four times more expensive in China than they are elsewhere in the world. Plus, when you think of summer camp, maybe you think of time for swimming, or crafts. But if you're a student at Steam Summer Camp in Brooklyn, it's time to learn about gentrification. The campers are studying their community and the housing issues they see and live with.
Not too long ago, Chiquita, the big banana company, made an offer to buy Irish produce giant Fyffes for about half a billion dollars. Now, Chiquita itself is in the sites of potential buyers: two Brazilian companies have made an offer to buy the company. Plus, the FBI is investigating possible civil rights violations after a police officer in suburban St. Louis fatally shot an unarmed teenager this past weekend. 18 year old Michael Brown's death lead to protests and unrest in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting occurred. Cases like these hit communities hard -- We take a look at the financial and emotional costs. And going to the movies is kind of an expensive proposition these days. First there's the ticket -- that's around 15 bucks -- and then there are the concessions, which always seem to come with their own brand of sticker shock. Pricey popcorn, though, has long been the main way movie theaters make money. But now many theaters are going a step further to lure audiences.
Turkey's prime minister was elected president of the country last night.The presidency will tack another five years onto Erdogan's 12 years in power, as Prime Minister. Erdogan has been a politically controversial figure in Turkey, sometimes compared to Vladimir Putin for some of his authoritarian political stances. A closer look at this victory and what it means for Turkey's economy. Plus, with tech companies hoping "wearables" will become a part of consumers' everyday lives, they first have to convince people to buy smart watches, fitness trackers and, yes, Google Glass. That's got Apple, Intel and others looking for new partners in the fashion industry. And with problems with drought growing around the country -- parts of Texas and California have had record-breaking shortages the last few years -- Dayton, Ohio is trying to use water to lure businesses.
Malaysia Airlines has lost two airliners this year with 537 people gone. The company's been burning through its cash and now the Malaysian government is stepping in ahead of some kind of restructuring. Plus, the broadcast TV network with the most viewers these days is CBS, which revealed better than expected profits after the market closed yesterday. CBS has the NCIS franchise, Big Bang Theory and all of the Showtime cable channels. We're now most-of-the-way through corporate-earnings season for the second quarter now, with Bloomberg News calculating that profits at S&P 500 companies will be up around 9-and-a-half percent. More on what this growth means. Also, the Obama Administration is forcing states to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants. The rules, which came out in June, leave some states with tougher assignments than others. For instance, Kentucky's targets for cutting emissions seem comparatively lenient. But Kentucky relies almost exclusively on coal to make electricity, and that presents a special challenge.
First up, Moscow is retaliating against the new round of economic sanctions imposed by Europe and the U.S. for Russia's role in Ukraine and its response to the downing of the Malaysian jetliner. President Putin says agricultural and food imports will be targeted. Also, one-third of the counties analyzed in a new report have surpassed their historical averages for income-to-price affordability percentages since 2000 - making them less affordable now than they have been on average over the last 14 years. Why are homes so unaffordable now? And will that change? Also, we take a closer look at a Fortune Magazine from 1948, which includes a photo essay about a hotel under construction in Cincinnati that might have been America's first boutique or hipster hotel; a mid-century triumph of art meets business, it said. Why an article in this 66 year-old Fortune magazine entitled "Business and Ethics" is both quaint and prescient.
First up, more on the news that Walgreens has abandoned the idea of moving its tax headquarters from the US to Switzerland. This would have been a huge example of what are called "inversions": controversial, but presently legal, maneuvers to lower US tax bills. Walgreens is, however, going ahead with a $10 billion dollar deal to buy full control of the pharmacy chain Boot's, which has a real headquarters in Britain but a tax headquarters in Switzerland. Plus, marketers know where we've been and what we're buying. The NSA -- and Google -- may be reading our email. But what about our kids, and the data gathered by their schools, the states, and the educational tech companies clamoring to get into the digital classroom? Some parents are unnerved. Politicians are reacting.