Every weekday on Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal hosts a lively and unexpected exploration of the day’s business and economic news from Wall Street to your wallet.
The European Union imposed sanctions on Russia over its activities in Ukraine. The Russians hit back with a raft of bans on European produce on alleged health and safety grounds. With the Russian export market cut off, many European nations are faced with a produce glut and are having to work out how to offload all their unwanted apples, dairy products or meat. Plus, the U.S. has begun providing weapons to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq to help in their battle against ISIS militants. Administration officials would only confirm that guns and other ”light” weapons have been shipped to Kurdish Peshmerga forces. But this wouldn't be the first time arms have been sent to non-state actors. Think Afghanistan. And most recently, Syria. So who provides the arms, who pays for them and how do they get to their intended recipients? Also, Apple is reportedly talking to hospitals about a "health kit" where all your information goes into the cloud. Every big tech company seems to be interested in this space. We explain why.
Kinder Morgan, the alleged largest pipeline company in North America, is folding three of its separately-traded subsidiaries into its parent company. The merger will help Kinder Morgan expand its network of pipelines and position it to acquire other pipeline companies. Plus, you might think BuzzFeed is just a vapid company that produces listicle clickbait. But a venture capital company has valued it just shy of a billion dollars and touted its value as a tech company. Which goes to show that there’s still a lot we don’t know about BuzzFeed. Also, Amazon is under fire for not accepting pre-orders of forthcoming Disney DVD and Blu-ray titles including "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Maleficent." It echoes an earlier dispute between the online retailer and publisher Hachette over Hachette’s pricing policies. But in pressuring suppliers over pricing, is Amazon not doing what many other big retailers do?
People with lots of unpaid medical bills could be getting a break on their credit scores. Fair Isaac Corp. says it is changing its FICO calculations to lessen the impact of medical debt that is already in collection. Median scores could rise by as much as 25 percent. We look into why they treat medical debt differently. Plus, the London-based system for setting the price of silver is getting scrapped next week for a new electronic-based method. How will this affect the price-setting mechanism for gold, the Gold Fix?
Following on Bank of America's $16 billion settlement with federal regulators, Mark looks at this broader question, “After five years and dozens of settlements, where are we?" We look at what reassurances homeowners, investors, and governments now have. Plus, Russia is banning food imports from the West as retaliation against sanctions. How will this effect U.S. agriculture, which was already hit last year by a ban on beef imports because of an additive used here. Finally, we chat with the studio behind "Sharknado" and many, many other great bad movies.
Rebuilding Gaza after Israel’s attacks will cost billions. But that’s simply to restore Gaza to a prison refugee camp. What would it take to create a true Gaza economy? Plus, we look at the calculus a consumer facing company like Walgreens makes when it’s considering an inversion, particularly when it factors in the effects of adverse public pressure.
The media company Gannet, which owns the newspaper USA TODAY, announced plans to separate its broadcast and digital division from its publishing division. The company added that this move will give the new separate companies ‘increased opportunities to grow organically’. Why has Gannett made this move now and will it pay off? We investigate. Plus, President Obama announced that U.S. corporations have pledged $14 billion worth of investments in African countries. We look at the kinds of projects U.S. companies are pursuing in Africa and where they are happening. Also, the DOJ is investigating GMs auto loan business amid speculation of fraudulent. The auto loan business isn’t so big that a loan freeze will create a systemic problem for the financial system, but if the government clamps down, people will suffer.