Marketplace

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.

Recent Episodes

01-17-14 Marketplace - The cost of a nickel

The NSA announcement is sucking up a lot of the oxygen today – but what should we be more worried about, the government holding data – or the likes of Target? Next,  we look at the cost of the nickel, which the U.S. Mint says hovers around ten cents. Changing the formula could cost the zinc folks, the vending machine vendors, and other coin-operated industries. Finally, California has gotten through a number of dry years without much fuss, thanks to the Sierra snowpack. But last year’s rainfall was the lowest since 1877, it hasn’t rained at all yet this "rainy season," fire watch started in January, and the snowpack isn't there to melt. There's a drought emergency in this giant agricultural state.

01-16-14 Marketplace - Chuck E. Cheese, billionaire

Kids' pizza palace Chuck E. Cheese sold for almost $1 billion today. We dig into the rather curious story of the buck-toothed mouse, the business empire extraordinaire, and the equally unusual leader behind it. Then, we look at how tech companies and the individuals who run them want President Obama to restrict the NSA’s data collection and spying. Finally, news out today suggests that traditional retail is in trouble -- Best Buy produced some horrendous earnings results, and JC Penney appears on the verge of collapse. The closure of these kind of stores would doubtless cause us some pain: Many people would be laid off. But otherwise, how much do these kinds of stores really matter to the economy? 

It sounds cold-blooded, but with shopping habits changing fast, the demise of the brick and mortar store may not matter much to the economy in the long run.