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 Monday, December 22, 2014: More on the news that International Monetary Fund policies meant some West African countries underfunded their healthcare systems, possibly hampering the fight against Ebola. Plus, since gas is cheaper, we look at whether support for higher gas taxes has increased in states where they’ve been proposed. And health insurance premiums have seen dramatic increases that outpace inflation, but one thing has stayed the same: We know as little about the quality that your money buys you today, as we did 25 years ago.
Airing on Friday Dec. 19, 2014: In the last two trading days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gone up a combined 709 points, 421 points just on Thursday. Sounds like a holiday rally. More on that. And Amazon is launching a one hour delivery service for Manhattan, with plans to expand to other cities. What are the economics of instant delivery and why has it been hard to pull off for e-commerce retailers so far? Plus, the king of shale oil – Harold Hamm – made a terrible, horrible bet on oil prices. His firm, Continental Resources, had hedged against falling oil prices. That is, they pre-negotiated selling prices of $90 and higher even as oil fell. Then, with crude around $80, Continental chose to sell their hedges aka Going Naked. It was a bold bet that oil would rebound quickly. So much for that.
Airing on Thursday Dec. 18, 2014: First up, more on thawing relations between the US and Cuba after the prisoner swap yesterday. The deal also puts the spotlight on the leader of the Catholic Church who was directly involved in pushing Havana and Washington closer. We take a closer look at Pope Frances' diplomatic efforts. Plus, Nike’s second quarter fiscal 2015 results are out. We look at the power of the shoe, emerging markets, bright spots and challenges ahead for the company. And here's a gross generalization: Americans are a bold people who made this country great by embracing risk. So what's with the millennials? When it comes to investing, there's some data suggesting that people that enter the workforce after the turn of the millenium, people in their 20s and 30s now, are somehow risk averse?
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.