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.
Target finally booted its CEO but any new CEO will face more problems than just the aftermath of a giant credit-card breach. What's a new CEO to do when the stylish discount store is losing sales to people who never go in a store? Plus, right when it seems that we need computer security more than ever, Symantec's executive announces in the Wall Street Journal that "antivirus is dead." Stacey Vanek Smith reports on the demise of antivirus as a computer security measure and what is taking its place. Also, new reports from the Center for American Progress and the National Education Association say U.S. teachers are nowhere near as radically diverse as their students. Almost half the students attending public schools are minorities, yet fewer than 1 in 5 of their teachers is nonwhite. What is causing this "diversity gap"? How important is it? And, what can be done to narrow it?
OK, so the top line on the jobs number looks pretty good, but it’s clear that for the most part, wages are stagnant. And wage growth is an important part of the economic growth equation. Sabri Ben-Achour reports on why wages are still flat, and what it will take to get them a-risin’. Plus, Spidey hits the big screen today, and, there is lots riding on the $250 million investment by Sony. We’re gonna get beyond the Hollywood-is-all-about-tentpoles angle and look at the degree to which movies have become companies unto themselves, and what’s at stake if they botch it. In Sony’s case, a hedge-fund predator at the door, for starters. Also, this week Georgia governor Nathan Deal signed a bill into law that allows drug testing of welfare applicants by state employees. The idea is to save the state money by revoking assistance to those who test positive. Georgia isn’t the first state to do this. How has it worked elsewhere?
Google has decided it can no longer just give away its Android operating system. Mission #1 is accomplished: Android phones dominate the smartphone market. But the Android’s money-making ability has escaped from Google. Google now wants to get back the benefit of owning Android by creating a premium operating system, in some ways a proprietary operating system, Android Silver. Also, the International Monetary Fund is giving Ukraine a 17 billion collar loan. How does the government decide how to allocate funds when parts of the country are no longer effectively under its control? Then, on the heels of a strike by truckers working out of ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, we look at the personal economics of being a trucker. They say they make minimum wage because they’re classified as independent contractors.
China is rejecting a World Bank report predicting it will pass America as the world’s biggest economy. The reason? The Chinese government believes having the #1 title could put it under pressure to make compromises it may not want to make on its currency, climate change and trade. Plus, the Fed, which has been operating with four governors instead of its usual seven, will be down to just three by the end of May if the increasingly cantankerous Senate doesn’t act on new nominations before then. We explain what it means for the Fed to be working without a full bench. Also, when buying a sports team requires a buyer with so much money it doesn’t matter to him, how do you actually figure out a price that reflects what the franchise is worth as a business as opposed to a status symbol?
Sterling’s made out to be a big deal, buying influence from the likes of the NAACP. In fact, he spreads a modest amount in charitable contributions among dozens of community groups, which in return for a $10,000 check every year are happy to attend his annual charity luncheon and bestow humanitarian awards on him. How central to local philanthropy are donors like Sterling and networks like his? Plus, Texas got a setback today when the Supreme Court ruled the EPA can order states like Texas to cut emissions in order to reduce air pollution in downwind states. But another milestone today was the holding company of Texas’s largest utility declaring bankruptcy. Nearly 10 years ago TSX was taken private in the biggest leveraged-buyout in U.S. history, renamed Energy Future, and loaded with debt, betting on natural gas prices to rise. Along came the financial crisis and fracking, and now Energy Future is the nation’s biggest bankruptcy, bigger than another Texas bust, Enron. Then, Yahoo is jumping into the original content pool with Amazon, Hulu and others by offering LiveNation concerts and a comedy series to viewers. Sabri Ben-Achour reports on what Yahoo’s latest content strategy is and what it might cost the company.
The NBA operates a bit like McDonalds – the owners of the teams are basically franchisees. And the franchisees run the NBA. So could the other owners oust Sterling because he threatens their bigger business model? Plus, high school graduation rates in the U.S. have hit a new high, 80 percent, after a nearly decade-long campaign to raise graduation rates. What was done to raise the rate, and how valuable is the degree that more teenagers are getting. Also, new U.S. sanctions target the head of the state-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft. We explain how U.S. and multi-national companies with U.S. ties, including BP, Exxon and Shell, are finding themselves affected by the move, and what options they have to protect themselves.