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 Tuesday, April 21, 2015: Gazprom of Russia could face formal antitrust charges in the European Union. Several published reports say confirmation could come as early as tomorrow. Gazprom is a major supplier of natural gas to Western Europe and charges could further curdle already soured relations between the EU and Russia following the crisis in Ukraine. Plus step by step, we're getting closer to the driverless car. Technology to prevent front-end crashes is now available on some new cars, which include certain models by Mercedes, Volvo and Cadillac. Subaru's version is called EyeSight, and the automaker offers it on five of this year's models. We explore how this sort of thing works. Then, we'll talk about the man who spotted what he believed was persistent fraud by his employer, and chose to report it to the SEC. The man's name is Tony Menendez, and his employer was Halliburton. We have more on his decision to do what he considered to be the right thing, which has plunged his life into legal purgatory for almost a decade.
Airing on Monday, April 20, 2015: The stimulus in China today takes this form—banks will need to have less money in reserve when they lend. This will have the effect of letting banks lend perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars worth of new loans. More on that. Next, the NBA plans a basketball clinic in Cuba later this month. The league isn't looking for Cubans who can play professional basketball—it's looking for fans. Plus, years ago, under another name, the shop at 2900 West 87th Street, on Chicago's South Side, was a convenience store, which happened to sell lottery tickets. Then, Mr. Chan Park took over and turned it into Lucky Mart- a kind of Lottery Tickets 'R' Us. Park sold more than $5 million worth of tickets last year.
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.