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.
The venture capitalists who just gave $100 million to a sock company said that. And that's today's good news. Nearly everything else revolves around two men at the helm of their respective organizations who are losing popularity this week: Harvey Weinstein, whose business affiliates in Hollywood are fleeing from deals with his eponymous production company after years' worth of sexual assault allegations were reported, and Donald Trump. His tactics renegotiating NAFTA were described as an "existential threat" by the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, his big infrastructure plan is in limbo after he made comments trashing the public-private partnerships that had been expected to fund it, and data shows that the coal industry won't be coming back anytime soon despite his reversal of greenhouse gas emissions regulations. And we answer a listener's question: "Why are bottles of soda sold in liters but milk is sold in gallons?"
There’s a lot of policy reform underway at the White House this week. President Donald Trump is gearing up to sign an executive order to undermine Obamacare, and people are calling it a “synthetic repeal.” He’s also worked out a deal with Democratic senators on immigration, a deal that shifts policy based on family ties to one that prioritizes skilled workers. And the clock is ticking for Trump and the Republicans to overhaul taxes — there are only 32 legislative days left in 2017. Across the globe, we look at what’s happening diplomatically behind the scenes to put pressure on North Korea, how destruction in Puerto Rico looks like opportunity to some corporations and how European Union member states are breaking apart and coming together in the name of reform.
It's jobs day. The numbers weren't great, in part because of the hurricanes that hit Florida and the Gulf Coast, but also because of the way jobs numbers are crunched each month. We'll explain. Then: Amazon is testing a new service in its quest to (very nearly) take over this country's retail economy: shipping. Later, we'll bring you the latest on President Donald Trump and the Iran deal, and, as always, we'll wrap up the week in business news.
President Donald Trump gave his assessment of the American economy this morning on Twitter: "Stock Market hits an ALL-TIME high! Unemployment lowest in 16 years! Business and manufacturing enthusiasm at highest level in decades!" A couple things about that: Markets go down too, and unemployment was only at a 16-year low back in June. It's not clear what "business enthusiasm" metric he was using. But look: It's a long-established tradition for presidents to claim credit for the country's economic successes. Whether that credit's always deserved? That's less clear.
Also on this show: We'll bring you the latest on Republicans' tax plan and examine a play all about junk bonds. Plus: Our reporter hitched a ride yesterday on a planeload of union nurses, truck drivers and electricians headed from New York to Puerto Rico.
After a tragedy, like the one in Las Vegas Sunday, we're left with many questions. Here's just one: If you run a hotel, or a festival, or anyplace where a lot of people gather, what do you do now to keep them safe? Security at big events and heavy traffic areas is already tougher than it used to be, and hardening those soft targets doesn't come cheap. Then: One very basic way to think of what the White House and Republicans in Congress are trying to do with the tax code, is get rid of deductions to help pay lower tax rates. A big one is the corporate tax deduction, and businesses hold it dear. Plus, a conversation with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson about the election, Airbnb and how his company became the largest hotel chain in the world.
Two weeks after Hurricane Maria tore though Puerto Rico, and residents are struggling to get basic supplies and power. President Donald Trump made his first trip to survey the damage today and do a little back patting for the federal response. He also joked the disaster was throwing the federal budget "out of whack." The truth is the cost of aid is far from the only thing in D.C. with big budget implications. Take the GOP tax plan: White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is saying it has to add to the deficit to be effective. We'll start the show sorting through that claim. Then: Solar panels are cheaper than ever, but they're still out of reach for the people they could help most. Take Brunswick, Georgia: The poverty rate's 41 percent, and electric bills can top $250 in the summer. Can it benefit from the solar boom? Plus, the latest on Facebook's ad sales to Russian operatives.