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.
Airing on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015: In case you haven't heard, Boston's been getting pounded with snow every few days, for weeks. Boston's mass transit system, the oldest in America, broke down under the stress. Trains and buses are running late, if at all. How are employers handling an ongoing situation where employees are late for work on a daily basis? We investigate. Plus, the EPA is asking car makers to follow stricter rules in measuring their vehicles' gas mileage to insure at least some uniformity, if not produce estimates that drivers might find more accurate. Also, in her testimony before the Senate today, Fed Chair Janet Yellen swatted away the “Audit the Fed” calls. But when Senator Rand Paul and others say “Audit the Fed,” what they really mean is something more political than monetary. We explain.
Airing on Monday, Feb.23, 2015: The president wants to stop unscrupulous brokers from flogging investments to consumers that kick back fees to the brokerage. These kinds of dodgy investments cost consumers one percent a year, on average. That may not sound like much, but one percent a year is worth a lot to a saver, thanks to the miracle of a magical thing called compound interest. We explain. Plus, this week’s political hot potato is funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which is set to expire on Friday. But no matter what happens with DHS spending, there’s a much bigger problem at the sprawling agency: low morale. It consistently ranks worst for morale among large government agencies. This and more.
Airing on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015: Okay, we’re gonna take the rumors seriously and ask, “If Apple is getting into the car business, what does that look like?” Plus, the Baker Hughes Rigs Counts are out today. They’re considered an important indicator of the health of the energy and drilling industries. But some question whether they’re as indicative or relevant as they once were. We investigate. Also, we dive into the belly of the nationwide food supplier, Sysco. They are the biggest distributor of foods in the country and are looking to expand, joining yet another company. But the Federal Trade Commission is not having it and filed a lawsuit to stop the merger. We take a look at the surprising reach of Sysco.
Airing on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015: Walmart announced a mass raise today to some 500,000 employees. By April, these workers will make $9 an hour and by next year this time, it will go up to $10. We speak to two workers to find out what difference this will make in their lives. These higher wages also mean rising costs. So how will Walmart shareholders react to this new paradigm in their operating trajectory? This and more!
Airing on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015: A year ago, the teen-fad social-media company Snapchat was valued at $10 billion. Its latest investors value it at $19 billion. We look at what’s happened in that time. Is the doubling in valuation due to the discovery of a business model, potential, or momentum among investors? We explore. Plus, we report on a Texas College that is revamping itself as a place where students work their way through four years. This is not just a few hours in the library, rather a significant job at the school— work that will reduce their tuition. Also, the Producer Price Index has released its industrial production and housing starts numbers for January. They’re okay... They're not great. And in aggregate they paint a picture of a still-struggling economy.
Airing on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015: Word is that the labor dispute is close to a resolution, so what happens now? We’ll look at how we unwind this beast, including what happens to all the perishable stuff. Plus, a recent ruling by a Texas judge stayed President Obama’s executive action to prevent millions of undocumented immigrants from facing deportation. We look at the ruling’s economic impact. Then, hard drives have been compromised by agencies — possibly governmental — that have embedded malware in the systems. How will these hard drive manufacturers respond to this story? And how will the computer manufacturers that buy these hard drives respond? How can you assure security and reassure consumers? We investigate.