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.
Citigroup is close to reaching a $7 billion settlement with the Department of Justice over allegations that it sold shoddy mortgages. The J.P. Morgan Chase settlement back in November was $13 billion, which raises the question: How does the Justice department come up with sich a number? Plus, Alcoa, a mega producer of aluminum, is trying to go the route that other founding U.S. corporations have gone by getting out of the commodity business it was built on and moving into more specialized products with less competition and higher profit margins. Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says employers are advertising more jobs. But that doesn’t mean they’re actually doing the hiring for those positions.
After a blaze of success that propelled it into going public, the Crumbs cupcake company is going out of business. We look at the object lessons that other one-product businesses might take from the Crumbs saga. Plus, a new report looks at grads who came out in the early days of the recession and concludes they’ve done just fine. They have, but only because they got in before things really hit the fan. We look behind the numbers. Also, seems Silicon Valley interns get paid a lot of money. Like, six grand a month, in some cases. What do they do to make that kind of cash, and why would any company want to pay an intern that much? We report.
Banks needing cash temporarily pawn off treasuries to get it – usually just for a day or two. The system is under strain because the Fed has bought so many bonds and also because regulations require many financial institutions to hold bonds as collateral for deals. This is causing deals to fail at unprecedented rates. Plus, Archer Daniels Midland, a major US food processor has agreed to buy a company called Wild Flavors, which specializes in natural flavorings for food products. We pull back the curtain on the business of flavor, and along the way find out about what’s in, what’s out, and the tastes that are trending. Also, some foods are at recent highs, others are cheaper than they’ve been, but overall, the USDA reports, Americans spend far less on food than people in most countries – an average of 6.6 percent of income. Even poor Americans don’t spend appreciably more of their income. We look at what makes food in the U.S. so inexpensive.
Ready to watch some fireworks this Independence Day? Even if they're banned in your neighborhood, you'll probably still see and hear a few. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, most states have restrictions on large types of firework. So how come there are still so many things that go bang in the night? Youth Radio takes us into the black market of fireworks. And, July 4th is one of the top weekends for American beer brands. But as Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports shifting habits among beer drinkers may mean that won't be true for too much longer. Also, in the next installment of the series "I've always wondered", Golda Arthur looks into what it's like to be a day trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The latest jobs figures from the Department of Labor show the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent last month. That's the lowest since 2008, when the Great Recession kicked in. We explore how the jobs landscape has changed since then and what people are saying about having - or not having - a job. Plus, President Obama says immigration reform, if passed, could lead to $1.4 trillion in additional growth – we unpack, fact-check and explain this figure.
A wide-ranging interview about the economy with President Barack Obama.