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 Thursday, January 15, 2015: Big banks are reporting lower revenue, in part because of less trading. Are lower profits for banks, especially from trading, necessarily bad for the economy? Plus, the Swiss franc soared today after Switzerland decided to abandon the cap on the currency value against the euro. We look at what was behind the decision and what difference it will make. Finally, President Obama proposes seven days a year of paid sick leave, arguing that providing more sick leave makes businesses more competitive and workers more productive. We examine the economics of the sick day.
Airing on Wednesday, January 14, 2015: Falling gas prices are putting more money in people’s pockets, but retail sales were down in December, even after excluding cheap gas. Where is the money going, and how reliable are retail sales as an indicator for our changing economy? Plus, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon says banks are under assault, a reference to dealing with multiple regulators and the bank’s multibillion-dollar legal costs. We take a look at Dimon's claim.
Airing on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015: Aetna is raising wages for its lowest-paid workers to a minimum $16 an hour. Those affected are mainly customer-service and billing people. Aetna says it needs to attract the best people it can, and retain them, as health insurance becomes more of an individual-customer business. Plus, a new survey shows U.S. companies are increasingly using penalties to encourage their workers to join wellness programs. Why is this part of the affordable act so popular with employers?
Airing on Monday, January 12, 2015: McDonald's new ad focuses on franchises around the country that have used their signs to support the community. But the new strategy is getting a mixed response. Plus, President Obama calls for new rules for companies hit by data breaches. We investigate the best practices for companies that experience breaches, and measure how the proposal stacks up. Finally, in light of this week's Detroit auto show, we take a look at the auto show industry.
In theory, a growing economy and tighter labor market mean increasing competition among employers, which should push wages up. That's still not happening. Plus. Time Warner Cable and AOL merged 15 years ago, and almost immediately fell behind the times, partly due to the culture clash that occurred when old and new media became one. Also: President Obama proposes making two years of community college free. What would that accomplish?
Airing on Thursday, January 8, 2015: Obama pushes a plan to lower some mortgage premiums by $900 a year. What does that mean for the housing market? Plus, we look at the evolution of the 40-hour workweek in light of a Republican push to define "full-time employment" for the purpose of health insurance eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Finally, cheaper versions of biologics – drugs made out of living cells – could hit the market soon. We run the numbers.