Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
The National Retail Federation calculates that only 133 million people shopped in stores and online over the four day Thanksgiving holiday; that's down more than 5 percent from last year. Some retail analysts say the proliferation of special shopping days is causing the events to lose their significance and their power to bring in buyers. More on that. And delegates from around the world are meeting in Peru's capital, Lima, for two weeks of UN negotiations on climate change. The goal? Big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, to be finalized in Paris next year. Plus, among the definitions of gentrification: when new people move into a working class neighborhood, often with more money at their disposal. This can transform a place for the better … and for the worse. This week, Marketplace's Wealth & Poverty team is exploring some of the economic forces behind gentrification. We take a look at this long-term project that will continue from this year into next.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting Thursday, and with oil prices at a four-year low the group is at a crossroads. Scott Tong tells us about OPEC's tough choice: cut production and sacrifice market share to raise prices, or stay the course and let prices keep falling. Plus, from northern Michigan’s largest food pantry in Traverse City, we look at how they are handling the demand on their help this holiday season. Finally, they call it the shopping season for a reason. American consumers are expected to spend a third of their annual retail expenditures between now and the end of the year. We take a look at what day is best to buy.
Coal fired power plants put out toxins like Mercury, a pollutant linked to problems with fetal development and other ill effects. Now, there's word that the U.S. Supreme Court is taking on a case challenging clean air rules put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency. The issue raises broader questions about regulating power plants, as the Obama administration plans to issue further rules. Plus, activists angry at the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson are encouraging a nationwide Black Friday boycott. As lower-income, non-white Americans are the ones who primarily lineup for those deals a successful boycott could have a significant economic impact. More on that. And at a time when the threat of Ebola has scared Americans, many were not sparing a thought for the 'flu. Influenza can kill adults as well as children, puts thousands of adults in the hospital, and sickens one out of ten of us every year. Yet, we can't get it together for a flu shot. We look at some reasons why.
First up on today's show: corruption, international soccer, and corporate sponsorship. Several published reports today say the Japanese entertainment and electronics giant Sony is drop its sponsorship of World Cup soccer. More on that. And the latest U.S. housing numbers come out Tuesday. In recent months, luxury homes have been particularly doing well. This is due in part to overseas investors. Is this international speculation good for the housing market? Plus, a moment of reflection about America's innovation economy. We know that in technology hubs like Silicon Valley, it's cool to fail. That's the mark of a seasoned, risk taking entrepreneur, having tried, failed and tried again. It may also be cool to draw a mediocre salary. That's the argument of one of America's leading technology venture capitalist, who says he looks for low salaries at the top of start ups when he's thinking about investing. Peter Thiel was also a co-founder of Paypal and the first outside investor in Facebook. We spoke with him at his offices in San Francisco.
Monday is the deadline for a deal in Iran’s nuclear talks. It’s a case where oil sanctions have been seen as successful in bringing Iran to the table, but unwinding those sanctions could prove tricky, because of all the parties involved. And when that does happen, Iran’s oil exports could add to the worldwide glut of oil. Plus, at a time that Russia calculates it's losing $40 billion a year because of Western sanctions stemming from the situation in Ukraine, the falling global price of crude oil is not helping. Russia is a huge energy producer and some Russian officials can't shake the idea that the low prices are a plot designed to hurt Russia. More on that. And when you think of "Turkey," you might think of the country in West Asia and Southeast Europe. This time of year, Turkey could mean a "large, gallinaceous bird." Or Turkey: a flop, a dud. Marketplace regular and Fortune Magazine senior editor at large Alan Sloan uses the last definition on this Thanksgiving Week, as he looks at the business turkeys of 2014.