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.
Airing on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015: A strong dollar is causing some companies to lose money because it makes their overseas products more expensive, leading to falling demand. This impacts stock prices, which is a problem for all of us because America is now a shareholder economy. Plus, the Commerce Department reports core durable goods sales were down 0.6 percent in December, a bit more than had been expected. We unpack that number. Finally, snow days were once for playing outside or cocooning inside. Not anymore. Many of us can now work from home, keeping productivity fairly stable and the overall negative economic impact of a storm relatively low.
Airing on Monday, January 26, 2015: Dish goes over the top with Sling, and enters the growing universe of alternatives to traditional cable. We take a look at the competitive landscape on the other side of the equation. Plus, we check in on the health of the bitcoin market. With today's introduction of a new bitcoin exchange, will we see a reduction in the currency's volatility?
Airing on Friday, January 23, 2015: UPS' investment in late-order Christmas deliveries illustrates the risk when a company tries to keep up with changing customer expectations. The company estimates it lost $200 million on the venture. Plus, cloud-based storage company Box goes public after a yearlong delay, and we look at how the IPO market works. Finally, the parent company of SkyMall, the over-the-top catalog in seatback pockets everywhere, has filed for bankruptcy.
Airing on Thursday, January 22, 2015: Google is reportedly making deals with T-Mobile and Sprint to sell wireless plans directly to customers. We examine how this might work and how much disruption it might cause in the industry. Plus, a broken pipeline in North Dakota that's spilled millions of gallons of wastewater underscores a big cost of the fracking boom – the huge amounts of wastewater from wells that must be disposed of.
Airing on Wednesday, January 21, 2015: The idea of middle-class economics was front and center in the president’s State of the Union address. Sure, it serves as a political framework, but how does it work as an economic one? Plus, as part of a settlement with the SEC, ratings agency S&P has been banned from rating certain bond deals for one year, creating an opportunity for competitors. Finally, reporter Stan Alcorn defines Davos Man as, "the suit-wearing, power-wielding Ubermensch that is the incarnation of the global financial elite." We look at the evolution of both the term and the man.
Airing on Tuesday, January 20, 2015: The U.S. is still struggling, as the president will note in this evening's State of the Union speech, but at least the economy is still growing. Most of the rest of the world is slowing. Plus, as the world market continues to be flush with low-priced oil, traders are looking for ways to profit from the slump. One strategy: Storing oil in rented tankers until prices go back up.