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, March 3, 2015: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address before a joint meeting of Congress this morning was about Iran and its nuclear program. But it was also about politics. And where politics go, money is sure to be close behind. We investigate. Plus, the dating app Tinder just came out with a premium model. If you want to swipe through more than 100 profiles you'll have to pay up — $10 a month for users under 28 and $19.99 for anyone older. How will this new pricing affect how consumers use the plus version of the popular app given its lack of endless, free swipes? This and more.
Airing on Monday, March 2, 2015: Google is going into the mobile business and will begin building out a network in the coming months. We look at why the tech giant has decided to venture into this sector, how it will work, and how it make money in this crowded marketplace? Plus, in a short amount of time Fiat-Chrysler is transforming the iconic but American-centric Jeep into an international brand. The Jeep renegade is now built in Brazil and Italy and will soon start production in China and India. The company expects to be rewarded with a huge increase in sales. We investigate.
Airing on Monday, March 2, 2015: For the second time in three months, China's central bank has cut some key interest rates. Chinese policy makers have been worried about slowdowns in growth, especially in the real estate and manufacturing sectors. More on that. Plus, Netflix’s original programming doesn't carry advertising — a big attraction for viewers. But its business model does include product placement within shows like “House of Cards.” And a Twin Cities housing advocacy group reports that even though Minnesota’s unemployment rate is now 3.7 percent, another measure of the economy is still rotten: "nearly 4,000 children and youth had been identified as homeless across several larger school districts, the highest number to date since data collection began for this report.”
Airing on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015: "It can’t be warming. There’s snow outside." Social media went bananas yesterday after a video surfaced of Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma pitching a snowball to an intern on the Senate floor. Inhofe is selling doubt, which is a powerful force in maintaining the status quo. And the status quo, you may not realize, is a powerful economic force. We explain. Plus, you may not know it, but different countries have different release days for new records. For instance, Britain releases records on Tuesday. Starting this summer, the industry will move to a universal release date of Friday. The move is intended to cut down on piracy by dropping all new music at the same time. But that has other cost consequences and not everyone in the industry is all TGIF about the new policy. Also, under the FCC’s new net neutrality rules, broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon have to treat all internet users the same. Can’t speed ‘em up, can’t slow ‘em down. So who is a at an advantage or disadvantage when an already huge user like Netflix unloads 13 hours of a popular show, as it just did with the new season of “House of Cards.” This and more.
Airing on Thursday Feb. 26, 2015: Oil prices are moving up and down every day as all kinds of traders try to predict where prices will land in the future. In the last two days we've seen how different kinds of contradictory data can move prices in what might seem odd directions. The U.S. reported its biggest oil glut in 30 years, yet the global Brent price shot up because of other indications that supplies may fall and demand may rise. The U.S. price, meanwhile, stayed pretty much where it was. We explore. Plus, Facebook wants to do more in suicide prevention and, after consulting with various mental health professionals, has come up with a new tactic. Soon, if you see a post on Facebook that suggests your friend may be suicidal you will be able to report it directly to the company. Facebook will then reach out to the poster offering support. Is there any risk to this corporate strategy and what are the privacy implications here? We investigate.
Airing on Wednesday Feb. 25, 2015: TJX, the parent of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, just announced it will boost its base pay to $9 an hour by this summer, and $10 an hour by 2016. In light of Wal-Mart’s recent minimum wage hike, is this the first sign of a tightening labor market in low-wage retail? We investigate. Plus, as Google proposes a new headquarters in Mountain View, the small city has mixed feelings about the economic growth within its borders. Mountain View’s not going to become a company town in the old sense, but it is going to have to change, build housing and grow because of Google — all things that Silicon Valley cities have resisted for decades.