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, the Supreme Court hears arguments in a case about the rights pregnant workers have when it comes to being offered light-duty assignments. We look at the potential ripple effects for businesses. And the European economy is in the doldrums, its sails slack, the boat listing. The European Central Bank meets tomorrow and market players are anticipating word about a new stimulus, large scale purchasing of bonds, to bring down interest rates and prompt lending. More on that. Plus, today is the 30th anniversary of the world's worst industrial disaster. On the morning of December 3rd 1984, lethal gas leaked from a fertilizer plant in Bhopal, India killing thousands in their sleep. The plant, then-owned by Union Carbide of the U.S., is now part of Dow Chemical. We look at what to do about the children of victims; the lack of clean up and accountability even now, 30 years later; and the increasing attention of at least some institutional investors.
First up on today's show, we're talking about Russia, where there's news of recession. Plus, in the coming hours, we'll hear from the car and truck companies about their sales last month. Many expect the holidays to come early for automakers, with the economy up and gas prices down. And yesterday, the gods (small "g") proclaimed we were supposed to buy things on the internet for Cyber Monday. Today, Giving Tuesday, for charity. Picking up this theme, let's turn to a leading light of online social media who argues that in the near future, companies will spend most of their advertising money on ... philanthropy. We talk with Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter and now CEO of Jelly.
The National Retail Federation calculates that only 133 million people shopped in stores and online over the four day Thanksgiving holiday; that's down more than 5 percent from last year. Some retail analysts say the proliferation of special shopping days is causing the events to lose their significance and their power to bring in buyers. More on that. And delegates from around the world are meeting in Peru's capital, Lima, for two weeks of UN negotiations on climate change. The goal? Big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, to be finalized in Paris next year. Plus, among the definitions of gentrification: when new people move into a working class neighborhood, often with more money at their disposal. This can transform a place for the better … and for the worse. This week, Marketplace's Wealth & Poverty team is exploring some of the economic forces behind gentrification. We take a look at this long-term project that will continue from this year into next.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting Thursday, and with oil prices at a four-year low the group is at a crossroads. Scott Tong tells us about OPEC's tough choice: cut production and sacrifice market share to raise prices, or stay the course and let prices keep falling. Plus, from northern Michigan’s largest food pantry in Traverse City, we look at how they are handling the demand on their help this holiday season. Finally, they call it the shopping season for a reason. American consumers are expected to spend a third of their annual retail expenditures between now and the end of the year. We take a look at what day is best to buy.
Coal fired power plants put out toxins like Mercury, a pollutant linked to problems with fetal development and other ill effects. Now, there's word that the U.S. Supreme Court is taking on a case challenging clean air rules put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency. The issue raises broader questions about regulating power plants, as the Obama administration plans to issue further rules. Plus, activists angry at the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson are encouraging a nationwide Black Friday boycott. As lower-income, non-white Americans are the ones who primarily lineup for those deals a successful boycott could have a significant economic impact. More on that. And at a time when the threat of Ebola has scared Americans, many were not sparing a thought for the 'flu. Influenza can kill adults as well as children, puts thousands of adults in the hospital, and sickens one out of ten of us every year. Yet, we can't get it together for a flu shot. We look at some reasons why.