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.
50% of Americans are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” they will contract Ebola, a study says. How is corporate America reacting? Plus, as the midterm elections approach, tech giant Google has spent $1.43 million on political donations this year, surpassing spending by Goldman Sachs, a bank well-known for its political links. We explore why Google is spending the money and where it’s going. Finally, Ron Klain is the new Ebola Czar. We explain the ultimate purpose of the job and why it’s better to be a Czar than a real government official.
The market continued its downward trajectory Thursday with an overabundance of choices as to why: blame Ebola, blame earnings or even blame Netflix. Some economists believe this is only the beginning as the current volatility affects investors, business and consumers. Next: Our health care system is built around specialty care. As Ebola patients are sent across the country for treatment, hospitals look at what it takes to specialize in treating the disease given the need for expert training. Finally: Amazon announced Thursday plans to hire 80,000 seasonal workers for the company's distribution centers, a 14 percent increase from last year. Some holiday hires move up to full-time jobs, but what happens to those who don't?
Texas Health Presbyterian is a community hospital up against Ebola, and the CDC now says every hospital in the U.S. should be prepared for an Ebola patient. With 5,000 community hospitals in the nation, plenty of training, time and resources are needed to fight the virus. Next: Retail sales dropped down this month, but still did better than expected. With consumer behavior changing during the last decade, do the metrics used to judge and predict consumer spending work anymore? Plus: The NBA is experimenting this Sunday with the pre-season game between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Game time will be four minutes shorter than usual, but could less mean more?
Three big banks reported earnings Tuesday: JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. The results show how “the American bank” has changed since the financial crisis. Next: Projections for an increase in oil demand are at the lowest level since 2009 - according to the International Energy Agency - a reflection of how the global economy is struggling to grow five years since the depths of the financial crisis. Plus: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he and his wife Priscilla Chan will donate $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help fight Ebola. A look at why private money is flowing into the fight, and how different it is from support for natural disaster.
Department store chain, JC Penney has announced that Marvin Ellison will take over as President and CEO. Execs hope that Ellison, who will be the third CEO in less than four years, can improve its flagging fortunes. Plus: The Pentagon issues a report on its plans for dealing with energy and climate change. This isn't about polar bears or politics - the Pentagon is the big spender in alternative energy as a matter of national security. Finally: Another Frenchman has won the Nobel Prize. Jean Tirole has studied regulation and large corporations, and determined that you cannot take a one size fits all approach to regulating industry.
Saudi Arabia is keeping its pumps going despite a glut of oil and falling prices. In the meantime, some U.S. companies could start shutting down rigs if prices fall much more. Plus: the market’s up; the market’s down. You can - and people have - blamed everything from Germany’s slowdown to problems in the Middle East to the weather.