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.
Department store chain, JC Penney has announced that Marvin Ellison will take over as President and CEO. Execs hope that Ellison, who will be the third CEO in less than four years, can improve its flagging fortunes. Plus: The Pentagon issues a report on its plans for dealing with energy and climate change. This isn't about polar bears or politics - the Pentagon is the big spender in alternative energy as a matter of national security. Finally: Another Frenchman has won the Nobel Prize. Jean Tirole has studied regulation and large corporations, and determined that you cannot take a one size fits all approach to regulating industry.
Saudi Arabia is keeping its pumps going despite a glut of oil and falling prices. In the meantime, some U.S. companies could start shutting down rigs if prices fall much more. Plus: the market’s up; the market’s down. You can - and people have - blamed everything from Germany’s slowdown to problems in the Middle East to the weather.
Activist Investor Carl Icahn is going after Apple again, asking the company to buy more shares and more quickly. We ask the question: What does Icahn actually want? Next: A company called GT Advanced is in bankruptcy court Thursday, reeling from the casualties of its relationship with Apple. It had hoped to make glass for the iPhone 6, but Apple went with Corning instead. Finally: Lego announces it won’t renew a long-standing partnership with Shell, after Greenpeace used the toys in an animated video attacking Arctic oil development. Greenpeace, they say, in effect mugged Lego to make its point about the Arctic.
The IMF had stern words for the state of Europe’s banks and the policy tools it’s used — and still using — to ease the continent out of recession. The U.S., whose approach was initially scorned by Europe, is pulling out ahead. Is that good for the global economy? For the US? Plus, unemployment is low, and job openings are now at a 13-year high. But it takes 25 days to fill a vacancy — so what's the disconnect between what the labour market is offering and what workers are looking for? Finally, Western Pennsylvania is ground zero for the battle between industry and citizens over fracking, the oil-and-gas procedure. And now it’s a battleground for the word “fracking,” as oil drillers try to reclaim fracking as a positive term.
Timothy Geithner, former head of the New York Fed is in court today, testifying about the AIG bailout. This is a big deal because the evidence he gives could change the popular narrative about how the crisis was handled and why. Plus, in an attempt to protect the rapidly growing ed-tech business and get out in front of new laws or regulations, several big-name ed-tech companies are signing a “voluntary” privacy promise, vowing not to sell student data or use it for marketing purposes. Thing is...lots of big names (Google, Apple, Pearson) aren’t there. And it’s a pretty thin promise. Finally, David Lynch is bringing back “Twin Peaks” after 25 years… 25 years during which the short-lived TV series became a cult classic among new generations of DVD viewers.
Silicon Valley stalwart Hewlett-Packard is going to divide itself two publicly traded companies. One will focus business technology, including software and services, while the other will sell PCs and printers. HP isn’t the first company (tech or otherwise) to change it’s business model of late. Plus: Reading behind the news that the JP Morgan hack was the tip of a very large iceberg, it turns out that the regulations governing disclosure of hacks to the public are full of holes. They vary from state to state, and in some cases, depending on what information has been compromised, may not require disclosure at all. Finally, as part of its latest deal with the NBA, ESPN will offer online streaming of regular season games live, even for people who aren’t cable or satellite TV subscribers. It’s a major shift in approach. We run down the questions remaining.