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.
Target is the latest low-price retailer to lower expectations because consumers aren’t spending freely. The problem appears to be lower-income consumers, worried about jobs, food and gas. Also on the show: Many would say that the unveiling of Obamacare has been one of the worst product launches in history. Now comes the do-over: New branding (Only refer to it as the ACA -- not Obamacare). And finally, United Airlines and Delta are tweaking their frequent flier mileage plans. American and US Airways will to, following their merger. The changes will devalue miles earned by frequent fliers, potentially alienating customers.
It’s shaping up to be a good holiday for people looking to get a deal on consumer electronics. Best Buy says it’s preparing deep discounts – even if they put profit margins at risk – to win the holiday season. Rivals are expected to follow. Next, the FCC is moving toward allowing phone companies to replace their century-old land lines with internet-based phone service. Finally, our series The New Math of Health Care continues with a look at what 'value' means in the context of health.
Most banks with legal exposure to the financial crisis are dealing with the lawsuits one-by-one. But today, J.P. Morgan Chase decided to deal with the whole issue in one go, and settle for $13 billion. We begin a special collaboration with the New York Times that we're calling The New Health Care Math. Plus, meatpackers and ranchers are fighting each other over new labeling rules that take effect Saturday, requiring packaged meat to state where the animal that contributed said meat was raised, slaughtered and processed. And finally, the Obama administration launches a $100 million race-to-the-top-style competition meant to overhaul career and tech education by pairing high schools with colleges and employers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 16,000 today. The record-high means something to the trading and investing community, but how important is that mark to the rest of us? Also, Walmart has signaled that the ACA requirement that most Americans either carry insurance or pay a penalty could hurt sales. Plus, a Senate committee is trying to understand Bitcoin today. Will the rest of us have to understand the idea of a virtual currency some day? Right now Bitcoin functions mainly among early Bitcoin adopters – who have pushed the currency’s value to a record level.
The latest revelations about government snooping have to do with money transfers – the CIA is building a database of transactions through firms like Western Union and MoneyGram. Also, health insurers have spent retooling their business plan in order to prosper under the ACA. What do those companies do now that the President has announced a change that upends their strategy? Finally, Google Books gets the legal go-ahead to continue scanning copyrighted works into its enormous database.
Two hours of Senate testimony, countless pages of written documents. Peel away the caution, the Fed-speak, and the dense economic language, and what can we now say about The (economic) world according to Janet Yellen?Plus, #AskJPM's attempt at social media community engagement on Twitter was shut down not long after it was launched. What are the pitfalls businesses should watch out for as they try to engage their communities? Finally, you’ve got a business that’s never earned a dollar and someone offers you $3 billion for it. And you say no. For Snapchat, started by two college students a couple years ago, was it not enough money?