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.
Hundreds of flights were grounded in Chicago this morning after a fire at an air traffic control facility. O’Hare is the second busiest airport nation and home to hubs for both American and United airlines. How often do these types of shutdowns happen and what are the economic ripple effects across the country? And, social media upstart Ello made a lot of noise online this week by positioning itself as the anti-Facebook, promising no ads, no data mining, and to stop treating people as "a product that's bought and sold." Apparently, those are words many wanted to hear, as the site was welcoming 4,000 new users per hour midweek. But the question remains, how do you make any money if you aren't selling advertising and scraping user data?
The mobile refineries the U.S. is bombing are so small they could almost fit in a pickup truck. We look at this microrefinery world and ask what the pros and cons are to blowing up ISIS’s oil-refining stuff. Richard Branson has told 170 employees at Virgin's head offices to take as much vacation time as they'd like. We look at the behavioral angle — what are the forces at work when a boss tells his employees he trusts them implicitly with time off — and do people tend to take more or less leave? The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce today its approval of drones for Hollywood filmmaking. A number of video-productions firms have applied for permits for the camera-equipped drones. How will the FAA's decision affect the current provider of ariel shots in the industry — the more costly helicopters and airplanes?
Walmart is branching out into the banking industry. It's partnering with the prepaid credit card provider Green Dot to offer checking accounts to anyone over 18 who passes an ID check. Walmart says the low cost service will not require a minimum balance and will not charge fees for overdrafts or bounced checks. So what's in it for Walmart? Also, the U.S. launched at least 47 Tomahawk missiles targeting militant strongholds in Syria Monday night. These are the same missiles the Pentagon had wanted to phase out the purpose of over the next several years. What are the costs of these missiles? And how long will they be maintained during this campaign?
Washington wants to put the brakes on U.S. companies that skirt taxes by merging with foreign companies. In the money world, we call that inversion. But will Jack Lew’s newly announced policies really make a difference? Plus, the National Institutes of Health announced today that it will give $10.1 million in grants to more than 80 scientists to work on gender balanced clinical trials. At present, most researchers work exclusively with male lab animals. They say that the hormonal cycles of female animals could skew study results. How will this $10.1 million help reverse gender bias in science research? We investigate.
Just a week after the launch of Apple's iPhone 6, Blackberry is hoping to ride the smartphone wave with the introduction of its newest device, the Passport. Blackberry sales have been less than stellar in recent years, but it's banking that this new phone, designed in a partnership with Porsche, will pull the Canadian-based company out of the financial doldrums by appealing to a niche smartphone market. Plus, it’s the start of the fall season and the once unbeatable television network FOX has taken a few hits of late since the audience decline of American Idol. Could the much anticipated show Gotham, which premieres tonight, help improve Fox’s ratings woes? We report.
As Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, debuts on the New York Stock Exchange we look at its ambitious founder Jack Ma and consider his significance. Plus, entrepreneur Jesse Herzog has designed a new kind of work suit and it’s a one piece suit with a twist. He calls it the suitsie. The concept might make you laugh (or not), but its creation begs the question: when did workplace dress codes, especially for office workers start to change? We investigate. Also, if your workplace has had you book travel plans on a website, chances are you used programming from the software company, Concur. Well, the Seattle-area based company is being gobbled up by another software giant, SAP. The cost of the deal for the German-based company? Over $8 billion. The acquisition is also expected to increase SAP's number of users for its cloud-based technology from 38 to 50 million users.