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, April 2, 2015: Evidence is mounting that the U.S. economy may not be as robust as many investors and central bankers have touted it to be. This at a time when we've seen softening data on personal spending, manufacturing, job growth and auto sales. It's a situation that's heightened concerns that Friday's all-important jobs report could also be a disappointment. Plus, FICO has created a new credit score specifically for consumers with weak — or no — creditworthiness. We explain how the new metric will work, how it is different, and who will benefit most from it. And Missouri doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, but the governor there has allowed those couples to file state taxes as married couples. Other states that don't allow same-sex marriage have issued other workarounds. But in Alabama, there's a standoff between federal and state courts, with the state courts refusing to recognize same-sex marriage, leaving accountants at tax time flustered.
Airing on Wednesday, April 1, 2015: Web hosting company GoDaddy is going public today. Shares in the company are expected to start trading this morning, after pricing its initial public offering overnight. More on that. Plus, Seattle is front and center in the minimum wage debate in the nation and today as the first phase of the city’s minimum wage plan goes into effect with a $11 an hour rate for all minimum wage workers. This will increase to $15 for all workers over the next few years but at least one iconic local restaurant chain, Ivars, is jumping ahead to the final phase straight away. We explore. And we mentioned earlier this week that there's so much oil being pumped right now that we may be running out of space to put it all. And that situation might get worse if Iran is allowed to start pumping its oil into the market. That's doing a couple of things: it's making oil prices fall, and it's increasing the price of storage. And that could create an opportunity for oil traders. Marketplace's Paddy Hirsch joins us to explain.
Airing on Tuesday, March 31, 2015: The Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index for the month of January comes out today. Given the recent uptick in pending sales and overall tightening of inventory, a bump seems likely. But will it be a healthy bump if it’s due in part to a limited number of new and existing homes on the market? And the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, have been in Switzerland since Sunday trying to get some sort of deal done that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb, in exchange for easing sanctions that are crippling its economy. Secretary of State John Kerry put the odds of reaching a deal at fifty/fifty - and oil markets are taking note with crude prices down almost 2 percent today. More on that. Plus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will intervene anywhere to protect ethnic Russians from persecution. Just like in Ukraine. Which begs the question: What about Latvia? We report rom the Latvian capital, Riga.
Airing on Monday, March 30, 2015: There's a report this morning that retailer GNC has agreed to start new testing of its herbal dietary supplements. More on that.U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be in China on Monday meeting with Chinese officials. Currency and economic reform are on the agenda, but many also expect discussion of the planned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The U.S. is suspicious of the Chinese-led "alternative to the World Bank" but a number of U.S. allies are rushing to join. We investigate. Plus, after putting it off during the Great Recession, cities are starting to spend money to repair roads, bridges and other pieces of their crumbling infrastructure. In Atlanta, voters recently approved a quarter of a billion dollar infrastructure bond package.
Airing on Friday, March 27, 2015: Prices are not budging in Japan at a time that policymakers really wanted to see prices rise some. There's news today inflation in Japan is zero. Sinking oil is one reason, but consumers are still tentative about buying things. That's despite extensive efforts by the Japanese goverment to stimulate things, a set of policies called "Abenomics". More on that. Plus, 3G Capital plans to put into place “zero based budgeting” at Kraft. We explain what this means and how it works. And for people who have too much to do, don't want to think much about food or are tired of microwaving plastic from the freezer, there is something called Soylent. It's a powder that turns into a bland, beige shake. Soylent is produced by a start up company that's been attracting some serious venture capital from big Silicon Valley names. We talk about, and taste, the product.
Airing on Thursday, March 26, 2015: With the Saudi-led coalition bombing targets in Yemen to stop advances by Houthi rebels, the price of oil right now is up 4 percent. That's a dramatic spike, given that Yemen accounts for a tiny percentage of the world's oil. More on that. Plus, did you know that nearsightedness causes people to make bad decisions about money? I'm talking about a kind of myopia that can't be fixed by the optometrist. It's the human tendency to see the future as hazy and the present sharply in focus. Behavioral economists have a fancy name for it: "hyperbolic discounting". Joseph Kable, a neuroscientist in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, joins us to talk about it.