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.
With the Dow at 18,000, GDP at 5 percent, and consumer spending and sentiment up, is the stock market a good reflection of the economy? Plus, Nicaragua, one of the poorest nations in the Americas, broke ground on a cross-country canal that it hopes will compete with its rival in Panama. Discussed for centuries, the canal is expected to be built in five years – by a Chinese company. As the project begins, there are concerns about an increasing commercial Chinese footprint in Central America.
Airing on Monday December 22, 2014: Why don’t the OPEC countries cut production and thereby boost prices for the oil they sell? Also, pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts chooses a new hepatitis C drug from AbbVie pharmaceuticals as the exclusive option for its patients. We look at how pricing works for hepatitis C drugs and ask if this deal might usher in more overall price competition among drug companies.
Airing on Friday December 19, 2014: The U.S. has promised a "proportional" response to North Korea over the "state sponsored" Sony hack. What might that look like? Plus, after a couple years in the making, the framework for a government college ratings system is out. We look at how hard it is to create a bang-for-your-buck ratings system for American colleges and universities.
Airing on Thursday Dec. 18, 2014: Thawing relations between the U.S. and Cuba will open up Cuba to American business. Is this a great business opportunity or just a mirage? Plus, the price of oil is incorporated into many consumer products, including tires. Petroleum is a major component in tires, but don’t expect the price of those wheels to drop any time soon. Finally, we look at what the price of a barrel of oil really means.
Airing on Wednesday Dec. 17, 2014: Our take on the latest updates from the Sony hacks. Plus, law school enrollment is way down. We look at how that's related to the cost-cutting going on in the practice of law.
Airing on Tuesday Dec. 16, 2014: AMC theaters are offering a subscription deal. For $100 a month, you can see as many movies as you like. We look at how businesses are using auto-pay subscription models. Plus, Russia's central bank raised interest rates overnight by 17 percent in an unsuccessful attempt to stem the continuing decline of the ruble. With the failure of this latest effort to shore up its currency, Russia’s economic turmoil is affecting global markets as investors lose confidence.