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.
Natural gas is one of the most important components of the Ukraine equation -- Europe is a big consumer, and Russia has a significant surplus. We ask what role natural gas plays in this conflict, and how it has affected the behavior of countries on both sides. Plus: Radio Shack’s latest survival strategy is to close 25 percent of its stores. In its 90-year history, Radio Shack has attached itself to – and let slip from its grasp – nearly every new consumer technology, from that new invention the radio, to hi-fi, home computers and wireless. Finally: Dish Network has cut a deal with Disney, allowing it to stream content from ABC shows and channels. The deal is the first of its kind. But in exchange, Dish has agreed to limit the use of controversial ad-skipping technology on its digital video recorders, for which it was being sued not just by ABC but other major networks as well.
As tensions rise in Ukraine, the Russian economy is feeling the effects. The Russian currency, the ruble, has fallen to an all-time low against the dollar and the Euro. Plus: Apple and car manufacturers now let drivers use their iPhones to make calls, play music, get directions with a touch or a voice command. Apple's "CarPlay" technology comes this week to Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz cars. Android is also going after the car. We navigate the tech war in your car dashboard. Finally, new sulfur emission rules coming from the EPA throw a spotlight on cost-benefit analysis: weighing immediate costs of wringing more sulfur out of emissions, against long-term health and economic benefits from less smog.
So, you went ahead and bought some bit coin. Now a large exchange is filing for bankruptcy because of a theft. How do you, how can you, protect your investment? Plus: After word that Quiznos is close to filing for bankruptcy, we take stock of what it takes to open a fast-food franchise. They may seem mostly the same, but the start-up and licensing costs vary widely.
When Freddie Mac hands the Treasury a $10.4 billion dividend next month, taxpayers will have received almost $82 billion back for the $71.3 billion in support the mortgage giant received during the financial crisis. We look at whether the arguments for getting rid of Freddie and sibling company Fannie Mae– made back in the financial crisis – still hold. Next, the federal highway tax hasn’t been increased since 1993... and the Highway Transportation Fund is running out of money.
Corporations are urging the governor of Arizona to veto legislation that would allow businesspeople to refuse service to gays. The corporations say this could harm their ability to do business in the state. We look at how corporations could be affected, and how a state could be affected if it bucks corporations. Also: Credit Suisse is the subject of a Senate hearing today. The IRS says bankers at CS helped US citizens hide bank accounts, and thus dodge We report on how these tax dodgers got their dollars out of the US, and what will happen to them, now that they’ve been busted. Finally, Target says the security breach that hit its stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas cost the company $61 million. But the net loss is only $17 million, thanks to cyber insurance policies Target had to hedge its risk about this kind of threat.
Connecticut is acting like an entrepreneur. It got its health exchange up and running effectively, and now it’s trying to sell its exchange-in-a-box to other states. Plus: Beijing correspondant Rob Scmithz explains how Weibo fits into the broader Chinese Internet-scape. Finally: Customers in the Northeast and Midwest are about to get big natural gas bills, and not only because they used a lot of gas during the freezing month of January.