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.
President Obama asks the Labor department to toughen up rules on overtime pay, especially for jobs like store managers and supervisors. We look at why wages haven’t really increased in the last 20 years, and what tools employers use to keep wages where they are. Also: Starbucks has now, in effect, put a tip jar in your smartphone by adding a tipping feature to its app. So many people and businesses are now soliciting tips that know when to tip is more confusing than ever. And we continue to learn new things about the business of fracking. The latest: fracking in North Dakota produces 27 tons a day of radioactive dirty socks – cloth devices used to filter fracking liquids coming out of the ground. And North Dakota doesn’t want them.
We figure out what comprises the stolen passport business, from point of theft to point of sale, by looking at the players, the costs and the business of dealing in stolen passport papers. Also: Senate Banking Committee leaders came out with plans to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bipartisan plan calls for a private reinsurer to step in, and be on the hook for at least 10 percent of any losses on mortgate debt. And since it’s TV pilot season, we look at the practice of the "pilot pre-nup" -- agreements between stars and studios. They do one episode, and if it’s not picked up, the developer and the star are paid off.
United Fruit has come a long way. The fruit distributor now known as Chiquita Brands is merging with Fyffe’s of Dublin. We look at the banana biz and the fruit biz – both companies are into other fruits, too. Plus: We examine what is wrong with Ukraine’s economy and what it needs to do to repair it and get out from under Russian economic dominance. How much aid does it need. Finally: After a string of deaths, Sigma Alpha Epsilon eliminates all together. This is a survival move by SAE. We look at the frat as an economic entity—because Frats are big business, and have all the trappings, from lobbyists.
We look at how the natural gas boom in this country could be used a weapon in geopolitics -- by undercutting Vladimir Putin and Russia's dominance of Europe's fuel. And, though there are so many wonderful uses for them, bananas are doomed. At least according to one writer with Quartz. Meanwhile, we're following up on the news of yet another delay in the Affordable Care Act. People enrolled in plans that don't meet the law's stricter coverage standards can keep them for another two years. That potentially buys Democrats some political cover in the coming mid-term elections. The question, though, is who picks up the tab?
No, it's not like everybody's opening up their fallout shelters. But c'mon, there has been a certain Cold War quality to the past week. This time, though, it's international trade and not tactical nukes that's the real weapon. So today, a Marketplace special: "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Global Economy." We get the perspective on the ground in Ukraine, and give a breakdown of exactly which parts of Ukraine's economy have the most impact in the world. And in this global economy, we look at what the idea of a global superpower really means.
A new SAT is being revealed today. We look at the substantive difference -- and how they'll play into the market, where the SAT is losing ground to the ACT. Next: The new head of Obama’s Economic Council has an unorthodox background – he’s not an economist, for a start. So what does this say about the any new direction and expectations for the job? And finally, after a honeymoon period of through-the-roof ratings, HBO’s Game Of Thrones is losing out in the ratings. So they're turning to rappers.