Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
Ever wonder how the price of silver is set? For more than a hundred years, silver prices have been set globally in something called a silver fix. But that's about to change. Plus, Samsung recently did a little home shopping The South Korean electronics giant snapped up a start-up called "Smart Things" for around $200 million. It's a U.S. company that specializes in smart-home controllers. But Samsung isn't the only one seeing profit potential in the so-called internet of things. Hackers see it, too. And they're worried that if companies specializing in smart devices don't take the time to install proper security, hackers with bad intentions will use the internet of things to invade entire households.
Some not so great economic news out of Europe: gross domestic product for the second quarter is out this morning for the Eurozone, and across the board, economic growth was flat. Germany, Europe's largest economy, contracted in the second quarter by .2 percent and France saw economic growth flatline. Speaking of GDP, here at Marketplace, we talk a lot about different economic indicators employment numbers, retail sales, consumer spending, etc. Here's one that caught our interest, though. Bankruptcies are down -- at their lowest level since 2008. That sounds like good news, right? Not so.
First up, Chinese authorities have launched an anti-trust investigation into a handful of luxury car brands accused of jacking up prices on cars and car parts in China. Companies like BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes and Audi are madly slashing prices to try and appease regulators. More on the cars, which are said to be as much as four times more expensive in China than they are elsewhere in the world. Plus, when you think of summer camp, maybe you think of time for swimming, or crafts. But if you're a student at Steam Summer Camp in Brooklyn, it's time to learn about gentrification. The campers are studying their community and the housing issues they see and live with.
Not too long ago, Chiquita, the big banana company, made an offer to buy Irish produce giant Fyffes for about half a billion dollars. Now, Chiquita itself is in the sites of potential buyers: two Brazilian companies have made an offer to buy the company. Plus, the FBI is investigating possible civil rights violations after a police officer in suburban St. Louis fatally shot an unarmed teenager this past weekend. 18 year old Michael Brown's death lead to protests and unrest in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting occurred. Cases like these hit communities hard -- We take a look at the financial and emotional costs. And going to the movies is kind of an expensive proposition these days. First there's the ticket -- that's around 15 bucks -- and then there are the concessions, which always seem to come with their own brand of sticker shock. Pricey popcorn, though, has long been the main way movie theaters make money. But now many theaters are going a step further to lure audiences.
Turkey's prime minister was elected president of the country last night.The presidency will tack another five years onto Erdogan's 12 years in power, as Prime Minister. Erdogan has been a politically controversial figure in Turkey, sometimes compared to Vladimir Putin for some of his authoritarian political stances. A closer look at this victory and what it means for Turkey's economy. Plus, with tech companies hoping "wearables" will become a part of consumers' everyday lives, they first have to convince people to buy smart watches, fitness trackers and, yes, Google Glass. That's got Apple, Intel and others looking for new partners in the fashion industry. And with problems with drought growing around the country -- parts of Texas and California have had record-breaking shortages the last few years -- Dayton, Ohio is trying to use water to lure businesses.
Malaysia Airlines has lost two airliners this year with 537 people gone. The company's been burning through its cash and now the Malaysian government is stepping in ahead of some kind of restructuring. Plus, the broadcast TV network with the most viewers these days is CBS, which revealed better than expected profits after the market closed yesterday. CBS has the NCIS franchise, Big Bang Theory and all of the Showtime cable channels. We're now most-of-the-way through corporate-earnings season for the second quarter now, with Bloomberg News calculating that profits at S&P 500 companies will be up around 9-and-a-half percent. More on what this growth means. Also, the Obama Administration is forcing states to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants. The rules, which came out in June, leave some states with tougher assignments than others. For instance, Kentucky's targets for cutting emissions seem comparatively lenient. But Kentucky relies almost exclusively on coal to make electricity, and that presents a special challenge.