Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
Aired on Wednesday, December 17, 2014: First up on today's show, since the beginning of this month, Russia's currency the Ruble lost 25 percent of its value against the dollar, triggering the worst financial crisis in that country in 15 years. Today, intervention by Russia's central bank seems to have slowed the decline. More on that. And McDonald's restaurants in Japan will start rationing french fries today. Large and medium sized orders will be taken off the menu, so customers will have to stick to small. Fine, but the reasons why are interesting: an on-going labor dispute at ports along America's West Coast. Plus, last Friday was, in general, a particularly lousy day for the stock market. But as Marketplace regular Alan Sloan says, enough already with the Dow.
Airing on Tuesday Dec. 16, 2014: In the wee hours of the morning, Moscow Time, Russia's central bank hiked a key interest rate to 17 percent, a dramatic effort to stop the decline of Russia's currency, the Ruble. More on that. And for people needing medical coverage starting January 1st using those newish federal health care exchanges, the deadline for signing up has just come and gone. But small businesses can sign up anytime, using special exchanges set up for companies with fewer than 50 full time workers. We head to a toy store to find out how one of these things work.
First up, we look at forecasts for the price of oil moving forward. Plus, we look at global, economic and social issues for women in the age of big data. Again this year, the richest Americans will lead the way in holiday spending. Back in the recession, luxury retail took a HUGE hit. But now it's back with a vengeance--buoyed by rising stock prices and incomes at the top.
Airing on Friday Dec. 12, 2014: University of Michigan consumer sentiment index is released Friday morning: we look at the forecast, what has influenced consumer confidence this year and what it means for retail sales. And in Japan's elections this weekend, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is widely expected to be returned to office. Why is Japan sticking with Abe? Plus, Ann Marie Gardner, founder of Modern Farmer Magazine recently announced she's stepping down. The publication, what you might call farming's first fashion magazine, launched a couple of years ago and made a big splash, printing over a 100K copies each issue. But print is expensive and reports of problems between editorial and the magazine's backers abounded. Which got us wondering - who launches a print magazine today?
Airing Thursday Dec. 11, 2014: Congressional leaders seem confident they can reach a deal keep the government funded before Thursday's midnight deadline. But there's growing opposition to one element in particular of their proposed trillion-dollar spending bill. And Disney is getting into the educational app business. It's rolling out a series of math apps for preschoolers. Mickey, Minnie and other Disney characters will do the teaching. But smaller app developers may be the ones getting the real lesson in what happens when a marketing behemoth joins the class. Plus, our coverage about economic renewal in Congo continues this morning with a look at gold mining. A lot of that happens in the shadow economy with gold smuggled out or controlled by armed groups there. The Congolese government is trying to bring order to the industry by putting operations into the hands of multinationals in return for desperately needed tax revenue.
First up, we'll parse through the trillion dollar budget bill Congress has agreed to. Plus, UAW workers in American car factories are about to get year-end bonuses under the last year of the labor contract that changed everything about how auto workers get paid. And a staggering $700m is wasted each year when perfectly fine but unused drugs are destroyed. And that’s only the tally at long-term care facilities. We profile how one company is trying to divert that waste back to patients who struggle to pay for their medications.