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, we have the money angle on Scotland's decision to remain united with the kingdom. And continuing our series on the weird, delightful and destructive ways that prices have changed during that quarter century, we take a look at the current best-selling car in America: The Honda Accord. Adjusting for inflation, surely, it must have gotten more expensive. Think again.
Survey results out this morning suggest many Americans who signed up for health insurance under what's labeled the Affordable Care Act do actually find their coverage affordable. That's particularly true for people with very low incomes who are paying less than $125 a month for a policy--on par with what many pay to get health coverage through their jobs. But for people earning over $30,000 a year, the premiums often seem expensive. And two weeks ago, Marketplace China Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz reported a story about how the professional-style social-network LinkedIn censors content from its members in China on its site throughout the world. Our correspondent figured this out when some of his own linkedin content was removed. Today, LinkedIn has announced it is now changing this censorship policy. Plus, New York City has gotten attention for its new city-funded pre-schools that just opened this month. But around the country the typical pattern is a private daycare run by people working out of their homes. These tend to hit the news when something awful happens, but many daycare workers are also supplying much-need social capital.
First up, more on reports that China's central bank is injecting the yuan equivalent of $81 billion dollars into its stumbling economy. The People's Bank of China has not confirmed this but markets are moving on the reports. Plus, we're just learning from the U.S. Census Bureau that the federal poverty rate has fallen, albeit slightly, for the first time since 2006. Last year, 14.5 percent of Americans were officially "poor," down from 15 percent the year before. But a new report out today says far more families are financially insecure. And schools this fall are using data drawn from students in ornate ways. The idea is to personalize education, to figure out which teaching techniques are working and to make school services more efficient. As just one part of our series we're calling "The Quantified Student," Marketplace's Adriene Hill went in search of the data driven...cafeteria.
First up, the California Public Employee's Retirement System, better known as Calpers, is the country's largest public pension fund with an enormous $300 billion in assets. So when Calpers acts, investors take notice. Now, Calpers has said it's going to completely shed hedge funds from its portfolio of investments. Plus, it seems like student loan debt will never go away. Well, a new report from the Government Accountability office says, that can actually be the case. We investigate. Also, on Thursday the people of Scotland vote in a crucial referendum. They will decide whether they want to separate from the rest of the UK. Pro-independence campaigners claim that if they do, they’ll each be at least $1600 a year better off. But this rosy scenario is partly based on North Sea oil, whose ownership is up for debate.
First up, more on U.S. and European sanctions against Russia for its role in Ukraine that are making it tough for Russia companies to borrow money. Today, Russia's finance minister said Russia will set up an emergency fund to help ease the cash crunch, size as yet unknown. Plus, Federal Reserve officials are meeting this week. On the agenda is the big monetary question of the year: when does the U.S. get to the point that too many jobs have been created? In other words, when do policymakers have to raise interest rates? And kids are back in school and whether they or their parents know it not, they're being mined...for their data. Increasingly, schools are introducing software to keep track of how kids learn and what they're doing. Marketplace's Adriene Hill is kicking off a series today we're calling "The Quantified Student."
Later today we'll know more about ways the US and Europe will apply new sanctions against Russia for supporting separatists in and around Ukraine. Financial, energy, and defense are expected to get targeted. And Russian officials are working on some interesting sanctions of their own. And as part of Marketplace's 25th birthday, we look at the surprising, sometimes delightful, and sometimes destructive ways that prices have changed during the last quarter century. Saul Zabar, of the famed Upper West Side establishment "Zabar's," couldn't remember what he was charging for smoked salmon 25 years ago. But, a magazine from 1989 lists a Zabar's sale price: $15.95 a pound, Scotch salmon, pre-sliced. But as we'll be reminding ourselves during this series, ya gotta adjust for inflation. $15.95 is more than 30 dollars a pound in today's money. Today, routinely, with no special sale, Saul charges under 24 dollars a pound. In real terms, that's a 22 percent decline in 25 years. Now we shouldn't forget that farming salmon can have environmental costs. And there are two parts to the price equation, not just supply but also demand. We take a closer look at the raw material that goes into smoked salmon.