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 Thursday, January 22, 2015: The financial event of the day: the European Central Bank could trigger a stimulus program. But how and how much? Plus, after the White House this week circulated some big changes to the tax code the President is now seeking, we talked to an expert on a trust fund part of it. A number of listeners wrote us saying words to the effect of "hello...what about inheritance tax?" Good point. How might controversial inheritance tax play out if the President's trust fund plans were to somehow gather steam? And in the land of the dollar store, today is a big day. Family Dollar shareholders are expected to vote on a $8.5 billion merger with Dollar Tree. And they might accept it.
Airing on Wednesday, January 21, 2015: President Barack Obama hits the road this morning to continue pushing for the priorities he outlined during last night's State of the Union address. As we find out, when it comes for paying for what the President is proposing, the devil is in the details. Plus, some of the policy outlines of what the Obama Administration hopes to accomplish trickled out in White House memos ahead of the speech. One such policy would put most American workers--even many part-timers--into retirement plans by default. More on that. And last year, a record 112 million people tuned in to the Superbowl, with the next one in about a week and a half. This year's half-time show is Lenny Kravitz with Katy Perry ... which many will not see because they might click over to YouTube at the half.
Airing on Tuesday, January 20, 2015: First up, more on those tax hikes at the top and tax help at the bottom that the President is set to unveil tonight. And China today said its economy is grew by just 7.4 percent for 2014, down from 7.7 percent the year earlier. Growth has been this low there since 1990. While it's true that China's been suffering from rising debt levels and a grim housing market, the news isn't necessarily viewed as grim. Plus, you hear about the average national gasoline price, but it’s often different from the station down the block. Gas prices differ from region to region for many reasons, from transportation costs to refinery capacities to local requirements for blends.
Airing on Monday, January 19, 2015: First up on today's show, stock prices tumble in China after authorities try stop investors from getting too crazy with their trading. This after Chinese regulators ordered brokerages to stop letting investors borrow money to buy stocks for three months. More on that. Plus, Radio Shack, which continues its slow death, says it would have liked to close more stores, but the costs were too high. Target and Wet Seal are also shuttering lots of stores. We look at the high cost of closing. And fracking for oil and gas has made sand a $10 billion dollar industry, consuming about a hundred-billion pounds every year; much of it from a few midwestern states. Wisconsin has more sand mines than any other state, with more than 60 active mines and permits issued for many more. The industry has grown faster than regulators can to keep up.
Airing on Friday, January 16, 2015: Players in financial markets and some homeowners in Europe feel like they just got mugged by Switzerland. More on that. Plus, there's news the oil services company Schlumberger will cut 9000 jobs. But to bring this right down to an even more intimate level, let's turn to the town of Lorain, Ohio, west of Cleveland. Once economically distressed, jobs poured in at the U.S. steel plant in Lorain, to make pipes for domestic shale oil production. Now that crude oil is trading at less than half the price it was in June, there's word that more than 600 workers (nearly everyone) at the plant will lose their jobs.
Airing on Thursday, January 15, 2015: Until today, Switzerland had a policy that it would never let the Euro fall below a specific floor. A Euro would be worth 1.2 swiss franc, at the very least. But as the Euro's value kept drooping with all the uncertainty of a Greek General Election on the way, it was costing Swiss banking authorities a fortune to keep that floor in place. Today, without warning, Switzerland let go of the euro, and the franc shot up. More on that. Plus, some real estate experts are now suggesting the America's terrible foreclosure crisis may be over, by one key measure. RealtyTrac is out with its 2014 report on mortgage-delinquencies, foreclosure auctions, and bank repos-and the rate at which Americans are losing their homes because they can't pay the mortgage is now back to pre-recession levels. Plus, a friendly reminder that explaining the gyrations of the stock market can be like staring at clouds long enough to see shapes of animals or faces.