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.
Amazon is wrestling with the cost of its Prime program. The membership club brings in lots of loyal customers, but also costs it lost of money. Plus, more than 70 business groups have formed a coalition to confront the Obama administration’s energy regulation process at every step. They want to protect their interests as the EPA regulates coal-plant emissions and then, they expect, moves on to other fossil fuels. Finally: Who has not returned to home ownership? If housing is a key economic driver Rents are high, and with wages flat, equity growth is a way to make money. How does the trend affect the economy,
The American economy grew 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, despite a government shutdown and despite a disappointing holiday shopping season. Businesses are buying equipment, but what are consumers spending our money on? Hint: It’s not household goods, and it's not cars. It's not Exxon, either: The company just announced its fourth quarter earnings dropped 16 percent, on lower production and weaker refining margins. Finally, a bona fide high: Facebook stock is up substantially today, thanks to some positive sales news and profit projections. The company looks a lot different to investors than it did a year ago.
Emerging markets are in a tizzy, in large part because investors are reacting to the Federal Reserve’s decision to taper its stimulus program. Plus, the President stumbled over the name of a new, government backed retirement savings account during the State of the Union Address -- but he’ll get another shot to get the name right when he touts the “My-R-A” today in Pittsburgh. We explain how it might work, and why it’s needed in the first place. Finally, two TV stations in Los Angeles want to undertake an experiment: Share their airwaves so they can sell back, for wireless use, the part they don’t use. It’s a step in an FCC plan to take back spectrum used by TV broadcasters who mostly rely on cable now, to use for other essential purposes.
Why did President Obama choose $10.10 as the new minimum wage for federal contractors? And, wait, which federal workers are paid minimum wage? We look at the federal government in the context of the low-wage movement, outsourcing custodial, kitchen and other work to contractors who pay low wages. Plus, the Chicago Tribune will no longer drop Sunday advertising supplements on 5 million doorsteps. Turns out, they're haven't been generating much revenue for years. Finally, we revisit the question: "What can the NSA learn from Angry Birds?" Spoiler: More than we knew.
Tomorrow, the President will announce that several major corporations have signed a pledge not to discriminate against the unemployed in hiring decisions. There are practical and psychological reasons that may work against the long- term unemployed: So what are the counter-arguments for hiring them? Plus, on news of New York teachers coming out against the Common Core, we take a look at the controversial curriculum standards, and what happens next. Finally, lots of tech startups aspire to get bought out by a larger company. If you dream of a bid by Google, what must you offer? Hint: A genius-founder never hurts.
Emerging markets are in turmoil today, but none more so than Argentina. The country’s currency dropped 11 percent against the dollar yesterday, and the country’s economic situation is now so dire that some experts are predicting 30 percent inflation this year alone. Plus, as the Obama considers how to regulate the new legal marijuana business, they are encouraging them to put their money into banks. We ask: If marijuana money isn't in banks now, where is it? And finally, the FDA is getting ready to overhaul nutrition labels for the first time in 20 years. How does what’s on that little box of numbers drive what food companies make -- and what we eat?