Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
What will an Apple device you can wear look like? Will it have new Apple mobile payment systems, health care software, or home automation? These are some of the questions that are supposed to get answered today, now that the Cupertino, California company has drawn the attention of the world's media for its product launch event in a few hours. As the for the health of the company behind today's planned razzmatazz? We're joined by Adam Lashinsky, covers Silicon Valley for Fortune and is author of the book "Inside Apple," to discuss. Then to West Africa, where a rapper is part of a debate over economic policy. The latest hit by one of Africa's biggest rap artists, Sarkodie, criticizes the President of Ghana for mismanaging the economy. Ghana had become one of the continent's shining lights in recent years. But now the economy has soured with its currency down by about a third against the dollar this year. Ghana has reached out to the International Monetary Fund for help, as foreign investors are concerned about the economic crisis, which Sarkodie the rapper emphasizes is hitting poor people hard.
First up, more on news that the British pound is down 1.3 percent to both the U.S. dollar and the Euro right now. That is a sharp drop for a currency that had been running very strong, and the reason has a lot to do with a referendum in Scotland next month. And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will hold a summit today on the future of Atlantic City. We take a look at what impact the closings of three of its big casinos will have on the city’s future, and how the downfall of the gambling mecca is a little bit of history repeating itself.
Immigrants in the U.S. who have lingering citizenship issues could lose the health benefits the gained under the Obamacare law. Today (FRIDAY) is the deadline for those who received letters from government to submit any citizenship documents, or risk losing the benefits they purchased by the end of the month. We look at that issue, and others facing immigrants and non-English speakers under the law. Plus, a lot of businesses are named Isis. And the sudden notoriety of ISIS is not welcome. We look at one tech company that’s changing its name and surveying other ISIS’s for how they’re handling the situation.
First up, the European Central Bank has a key decision on the way that could shape financial markets today. And 14.3 percent of American households were "food insecure" at some point last year -- not enough food for an active, healthy life. That's a slight improvement from 2012, but notably higher than pre-recession levels. One big reason: food prices are rising faster than inflation. Plus, the U.S. Supreme Court holds that corporations have free speech rights. That means companies are free to give money to political campaigns. But what do people who work in one of the richest of industries think about that?
For trading stocks and other securities, there are stock exchanges, which are highly regulated. There are also alternative trading systems called "dark pools," which are lightly regulated. There's news this morning that IEX, an upstart, alternative system has gotten some big new investors to help it try become a fully-fledge, regulated exchange. IEX is designed to mute the effects of high speed trading, advanced technology that some argue serves Wall Street middlemen and not investors. The CEO of IEX--Brad Katsuyama was cast as the protagonist in Michael Lewis' bestselling critique of high-speed trading, and he joins us today. Plus, H&R Block is expected to report its profits later today. Analysts are feeling good about the tax-prep giant's future and the industry as a whole. That industry can thank the health care reform law. In just a few months, millions of people may end up with tricky tax questions now that they've received federal subsidies to help cover the cost of health insurance. And there's word from the mayor's office in New York that nine of about 1100 sites for city-funded, privately-run pre-kindergarten will not open because of safety questions and other issues. There will be delays for 36 others. Still, beginning tomorrow, about 50,000 four year olds in New York City will start attending full-day pre-kindergarten. It'll be free for families, which is especially significant in a city where early education had been the most expensive in the country.
First up, a German court has imposed a temporary ban on the car-sharing service Uber. The company, which has been valued at $17 billion dollars, has been expanding; setting up shop in cities around the world. As that's happened, Uber's faced criticism, especially from taxi drivers. That's led to strikes in some markets, and legal action in others. Plus, just a few months after he lost his primary in Virginia's seventh congressional district, Eric Cantor, the former House Majority Leader has a new job. Cantor will become Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Moelis and Company, an investment bank. And all this week, Marketplace Tech is looking at how technology is changing how we read. Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson joins us to talk about it.