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 latest employment report continues the recent trend of a lot of job growth but not a lot of wage growth. What would happen if the U.S. swapped those two? Plus, former Trader Joe’s CEO John V. Shields recently passed away. Shields is the person largely credited with the store's success. We look at how he did it and what he brought to the iconic company. Finally, falling gas prices have been big news all week. But for American voters, the flip side of cheap gas – climate change – is a low urgency issue with high costs.
Facebook is going to take over the top of newsfeeds and try to raise money for fighting Ebola. We explore the potential value of Facebook as a fundraiser, and just how much an ad or promotion before so many eyes is worth. Plus, Microsoft is giving away a mobile version of Office 365 for free on Apple and Android devices. We look at why this is a strategic shift for Microsoft, and the acknowledgement that increasing users of MS products is a better way forward than charging those users for software.
Now that the elections are over, the one thing most people can agree on is that not much will change. This is great for Wall Street because stasis means certainty. And Wall Street loves certainty. Plus, Denton, Texas is special. It sits on top of a huge shale oil reserve. The oil industry went all in to defeat the proposal and it passed with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Turns out maybe people don’t like living in an oil field. Finally, emojis are about to get more racially diverse. We take a broad-brush look at the emoji industry, and the money behind creating and spreading the little pictograms.
If Saudi Arabia does drive oil prices down more, the first to feel it may be the drillers whose fracking operations are financed by borrowed money. What happens if the investors shy away? Plus, gas prices has dropped to their lowest price in four years. Some analysts say that consumers are spending their savings elsewhere. We examine these claims. Finally, Verizon and AT&T are using sophisticated technology to monitor which internet sites their mobile phone customers visit and target ads based on their interests. The markers have been dubbed “supercookies” by critics, who say they are so powerful that it’s difficult for users to turn them off.
Janet Yellen meets with President Obama today to discuss the economy. In her first year she’s offered actions and comments that suggest her ideas of how her version of the economy should look. Plus, the world’s third-largest ad agency, Publicis, looks set to buy a US based digital ad specialist Sapient. Will this deal help the advertising giant keep up with its digital competitors and stay relevant in a changing advertising industry? Finally, Taylor Swift has pulled her music from the streaming service Spotify. We look at the narrow business model that streaming services like Spotify have, how small the payments to artists are and how dependent Spotify and others are on their content.
The U.S., Europe and now Japan are pouring money into their economies to stimulate them. How can they pour in so much money without creating inflation? Plus, a new report shows that Americans pay substantially more for their internet service than people in other countries. And the quality is lower. We examine the details.