Marketplace Morning Report
Start your day with an up-to-the-minute report on the world of business and finance with host David Brancaccio.
Two more casinos in Atlantic City is closing down. That makes three that have announced their closure in the last month. The gaming industry is suffering due to foreign competition, and Atlantic City is the most obvious casualty. Plus, insurers can no longer reject customers with expensive medical conditions thanks to the Affordable Care Act. But consumer advocates warn that companies are still using wiggle room to discourage the sickest — and costliest — patients from enrolling. What are those loopholes and can they be closed?
First up, more on the news that after two terrible disasters this year involving Malayasia Airlines, the government moved today to keep its national airline in business. But thousands of employees will lose their jobs. Plus, the difference between a bonus versus a raise: a raise lives on, abonus can be a one-off. A new survey suggests employers are using bonuses rather than traditional raises to compensate their workers. We ask whether this is an artifact of the recession or a trend that will persist. Also, a Chicago ad agency uses its ground-floor lobby as a gallery, with picture windows facing the street. This summer's exhibit now wrapping up: The company's interns, doing their jobs, working around a long, black table. Among the signs in the windows one that reads "feeding the interns is permitted and appreciated," which seems less than respectful. "But they're just interns," you say. They are also human beings, for Pete's sake.
First up, more on the news that the FBI is looking into a major attack by computer hackers directed against more than one major U.S. bank. Bloomberg News was first to report -- Sources then told the New York Times that it was JP Morgan and as many as four other financial firms were the target of a sophisticated attacks. Plus, in Detroit, the city's water department is back to shutting off supplies to residents who are behind on their water bills. Thousands of people -- many of them very poor -- have already had their water cut off or are at risk of having it shut off. A handful of fundraising campaigns have been launched to assist. We look into whether those efforts are helping. And the Federal Communications Commission is thinking about getting rid of what's known as the NFL television blackout rule. The rule says NFL games can't be broadcast locally unless they're sold out. The Congressional Black Caucus is opposed to the change and here's why: they say the elimination of the blackout rules will drive the NFL to air games on cable.
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.