Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
In a couple weeks, voters in Scotland will vote on whether they want independence from the United Kingdom. In the waning days of a big referendum, the propaganda battle intensifies on both sides. In an open letter published today, about 130 businesses argue that it would be better for Scotland's economy to stay not go. And there's new data that millennials are just as likely to use credit and debit cards or smart phone payment apps as they are cash when buying stuff in person (think cappucino, think a bottle of advil). Plus, during a health emergency, depending on where you live, the ambulance that arrives could come from local government, a hospital, a private ambulance company, maybe even a volunteer service. And unlike when the police arrive or most fire trucks, you or your insurance will likely get a bill for that ride. We take a closer look into the often misunderstood business of ambulances.
The durable goods number today came with a mixed message. They were up big, but only because Airline companies bought lots of planes. Take that number out, and things don’t look so rosy. Plus, according to data from the credit agency TransUnion, the national credit card delinquency rate has declined to its lowest level in the last seven years, to 1.16 percent. Banks are known to make revenue from credit card debt and late payments, but how much do they depend on them? Is this latest trend affecting their business – and is the improvement in the payment delinquency rate a blip? Also, CNN is offering buyouts to older employees with several years on board. But what’s the personal calculation when you get an offer in your late 50’s, several years away from retirement, with a comfortable salary. Is it a boon or a jump off a cliff?
First up, more on news that the World Health Organization has increased by six fold the amount of money it needs from world governments to fight the Ebola virus in Africa. Plus, nine years ago this morning, a big storm was creeping west across the Gulf, after smashing through Florida. Its name: Katrina. Since then, we've not had a gargantuan hurricane (if you define Sandy as a superstorm, not a hurricane, and you regard Irene in 2011 as awful but not gargantuan). So where does this leaves the insurance industry? Elsewhere, volcanic rumblings in Iceland have raised fears of a major threat to air travel across Europe. Four years ago an Icelandic eruption grounded thousands of flights, costing several billion dollars. But there are reasons to believe history isn't about to repeat itself.
What's called a "Black Swan event" is when something hard to predict rears up and creates extreme havoc. Now, the man who runs an international umbrella organization for financial markets is quoted warning about future cyber attacks. Plus, there's word now of a possible merger between Burger King of Florida and Tim Horton's of Ontario, Canada. Reuters is reporting the deal, if it happens, would be move Burger King's tax headquarters out of the US using a controversial but legal tax maneuver known as an "inversion." These inversions allow corporations to escape high U.S. corporate taxes. But they also saddle shareholders with higher tax bills.
All eyes are on Jackson Hole, Whyoming, where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak Friday morning. We get an international perspective.
Plus, a new report from Zillow finds that renting isn't much better than buying when it comes to affordability. We look at why rents are so high and why some markets are more – or less – expensive.
Then, it's rare to see an ad for a political candidate or a committee in major newspapers. Campaigns tend to spend most of their money on TV time and web advertisements. But print ads are still an effective way to reach African-American voters, and as a result, they continue to be important sources of revenue for African-American newspapers.
Finally, New York City's public advocate Thursday pushed for police to wear video cameras in high-crime areas. This in the wake of Ferguson, Missouri and the death in of a man in New York after police used an apparent choke hold. Cops and cameras is a complicated matter, including safeguarding the video data and the cost of managing it.
The ACLU sues a school district in Massachusetts for letting only low-income kids take home their school laptops and other electronics. How common is this practice, and could this suit be the tip of the iPad iceberg? Plus, the Ebola epidemic is hurting the economies of African countries in two ways. One, they’re almost entirely dependent on outside aid to fight the epidemic. And two, as businesses shut down to protect workers, their economies shrink almost immediately.