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.
Apple is in talks to buy Beats, known for its trendy- and expensive- Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. IF it goes through, this would be Apple's biggest acquisition at a reported $3.2 billion. But Beats doesn't just make headphones. We look at Beats the company, its produts and services, and what it could offer Apple if te deal goes through. Plus, the breakdown of merger plans between Publicis and Omnicom is a reminder of how difficult it can be to execute a merger of equals that has the goal of a 50-50 arrangement. We investigate.
FedEx says it will charge by the size of a package into account when figuring out shipping costs. Bulky but lightweight items will get more expensive to send. We look at all the ripple effects a change like this can make, everything from how consumers might modify their buying habits to how big shippers like Amazon might consider more efficient packaging. Plus, Janet Yellen feels pretty good about most of the economy, except for housing. Activity in this sector has been disappointing, she said, and many economists agree. We report on what it would mean if the housing market can’t find its mojo. Then, we follow up on listener questions about her story on people who spend time in the “1 percent.”
Alibaba filed its IPO yesterday. But it hasn’t chosen an exchange yet, and the competition between the hot favorites, NYSE and the NASDAQ, will likely be intense.We report on how much money an exchange makes from a big listing like Alibaba. Plus, Stanford University is the first major university to divest itself of carbon-producing fossil-fuel investments – but only coal. Can coal producers be isolated when coal still generates nearly 40 percent of U.S. electricity and is integral to many other industries? Then, Coca-Cola has quickly abandoned an ad campaign whose tagline was “You’re on Diet Coke,” after people on social media took some shots at it.
TV weathermen are the most common contact most Americans have with meteorology and climate, but the consensus on climate change is significantly lower than among them than climate scientists. What is it about the TV meterologist industry? Plus, Bayer has acquired Merck’s over-the-counter consumer pharmaceutical business, and is focusing on developing new drugs. We look at the difference between these two businesses: OTC and Rx, and the advantages of being on one, rather than the other (or even both). Finally, former PayPal Executive Rakesh Agrawal sent a Twitter message to a friend that criticized a colleague. It went out to 11,000 people. He then sent a series of Tweets threatening to share embarrassing content from the communications of corporate colleagues who didn’t support him. Now, Twitter is trying to bring the situation under control.
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?