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.
Amid the conflict in Iraq, the international benchmark for oil prices has hit a recent high. We look at what is known as the “comfort zone” as well as how traders factor in a risk premium into their decisions. Plus, Starbucks is upping the ante for low-wage workers by offering partial or full online tuition as ASU. In doing so, the competition to work at Starbucks is going to increase—which may be precisely the point. Also, the Supreme Court today declined to hear Argentina's appeal over its bid to avoid paying $1.33 billion to hedge fund creditors. The claim stems from the country’s historic 2001 default. Argentina is now on the hook to pay up in full and warns this could lead once more to default on its sovereign debt. We examine the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision.
The extremist group that recently seized control of Mosul in Iraq is reported to have bagged $429 million from banks in the oil-trading city. ISIS also levies “taxes” on people in the areas it controls. We look at how ISIS functions as a financial entity, where it get its money, and what the group spends it on? Plus, Priceline is becoming even more of an all-services booking agent as it acquires Open Table. First innovators like Priceline undermined their competition - travel agents - and now their platforms are expanding to simply take their place. What other company has followed this model? In the case of Open Table, Priceline is getting not just a new business - restaurant reservations - but also Open Table’s customer base and platform. Also, a U.S. crackdown on online poker sites chased Full Tilt out of business. Now Full Tilt and associated poker sites may get back into the U.S. by being bought by a Canadian company.
Twitter canned its COO today and said it may not need one after all. Only 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies have one. So what’s the job of a COO? Plus, Amazon’s getting into music streaming now. It's gone down the video streaming route before too. Which raises the question, just what kind of company does it want to be? Also, the average size of a new single-family home in the U.S. continues its upward march… now eclipsing 2,300 square feet. Compare that to the average 40 years ago… just 1,500 square feet. We explain the economics behind the trend – there’s a much better margin in supersized homes.
Twitter and The Weather Channel are teaming up to bring you a new kind of commercial. They've created weather informed ads, which deliver ad content to the user based on the environment about him or her. What does this new kind of advertising mean for consumers? And are there privacy issues involved? Plus, the Professional Golfers' Association, seeing golfers leaving the game by the hundreds of thousands, tells golfers there’s a way to enjoy the game without spending all day on it. Just play half a round. The campaign launches with start of the U.S. Open on Thursday. After, we talk to art critic Blake Gopnik about a “new,” $50-million Rembrandt painting, previously assumed to be a worthless copy. Blake discusses the insanity of a panel of experts deciding what is and isn’t an original work. Also, we talk to Univision’s Leon Krauze, who is at the World Cup in Sao Paolo this week, about how labor and street protests are impacting the tournament. Krauze shares that he’s found that Brazilians are not happy with the World Cup being hosted in their country and feel the financial resources are better spent on education and other public services.
In an unexpected turn of events, House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R- VA) lost the Virginia Congressional Primary last night to Tea Party opponent David Brat. In an even weirder turn of events, Brat and his Democratic challenger, Jack Trammell, who will also be vying for the seat previously held by Cantor, are both professors at the Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Will having two candidates in one of the most high-profile congressional races mean a boost for Randolph Macon? We offer a mini profile of the school and it’s jump into the spotlight.
Iraq's war agains internal militants is hurting its oil production, but overall production is okay. OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, hopes Saudi Arabia will keep its pumps on 11 million barrels more a day to make up for Libya and Iran. Longer-term, OPEC is still looking at a worldwide glut that could force its members to cut back. Plus, nutritionists want WIC, the program for pregnant women and mothers with small children, to stop promoting white potatoes as a vegetable. There are, like, actual vegetables that deserve more notice. Potato growers aren't amused. Also, BP has just got permission to use drones for its oil operations in Alaska- this is the first government-approved use of a drone over land in the US. Drones equal business opportunites for private companies, and the pressure on the FAA to approve the commercial use of drones is mounting. We look at who else is lining up for FAA permission to do this, from filmmakers to pizza companies.