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, 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.
The World Bank is pulling together 200 million dollars to bolster the overburdened health care systems and quarantine efforts in West Africa as troops and medical personnell work to contain the outbreak of deadly Ebola. Plus, Missouri voters are headed to the ballot booth today to decide whether to increase sales tax. Money raised would be used to fund roads and bridges. More on why your state might be next. And Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore and other cities across the country have their share of vacant or abandoned buildings and are struggling to figure out what to do with them. Fix them up or tear them down, is typically the binary choice. But now there's a third option: paint 'em and wait.
Leaders from across Africa are in Washington for the next few days to talk about trade, economic development, and combating poverty. Trade between the US and Africa is down, as demand for one of the region's prime export commodities, crude oil, is lower in the US. The summit also comes at a time that China has been working to be sub-Saharan Africa's best friend. Plus, how are things the Monday after the worst week for the stock market in about two years? Also, flight delays and cancellations cost airlines billions of dollars a year and since our time is also worth something, it costs passengers enormous amounts as well. But what if better weather data -- info gathered by planes themselves -- could mitigate delays?
It's a total collapse for a global trade deal said to be worth a trillion dollars. The World Trade Organisation had hoped the agreement would add 21 million jobs around the globe, by easing customs rules. But India's refusal to sign means the deal's off, now that the deadline has passed. Plus, the housing crash sent many construction workers fleeing to other industries. Now that housing is recovering, builders are struggling with a shortage of skilled workers. That’s delaying housing starts and driving up home prices. And, Mark Garrison talks to Pro Publica Senior Editor Tracy Weber about their recent reporting on a company called USA Discounters that offers easy credit to military service members. The catch? If a service member falls behind, the company aggressively goes after them, by suing them in courts near its Virginia headquarters, making it incredibly difficult for service members to show up in their own defense.
John Kerry is going to India, but India isn’t coming to Kerry. The country’s leaders have refused to sign a WTO deal, insisting on a compromise over grain stockpiles. The WTO deal reportedly could mean a trillion dollars in stimulus and 21 million new jobs. If it went through, what would that stimulus look like? Plus, more fallout from the housing crisis, this time for Bank of America. It's tacking on another billion dollars to its growing bill for passing off garbage mortgages as smart investments. Also, commentators have a habit of blaming whole generations for various economic troubles. Millennials are in the crosshairs a lot lately, accused of everything from shackling the housing market to setting the stage for the next global crisis with their student loan debt. Baby Boomers are getting abuse, too. Some market watchers worry that as they sell their stocks to pay for retirement, the whole market will sag.