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.
Housing is lagging: construction spending is down, as are pending home sales. Blame the L's: labor, lumber, land and loans. Oh, and lousy weather.
The U.N. climate group has moved forward, not just warning of climate change -- because it’s here. What are the economic barriers to investing in what they call "adaptation? Plus: Michael Jackson's estate has done a big turnaround. Before his death it was a mess; now it's making millions, and there's even a new Jackson record. And finally: GM boss Mary Barra testifies before Congress later this week about the problems with Chevy Cobalts, linked to deaths. We look at the costs and budgeting behind a recall.
About 10 million students have earned bachelor’s degrees since 2008. In 2012, almost half of recent college graduates were considered underemployed, working in jobs that typically do not require a bachelor’s degree. A look at a generation of college graduates who had the bad luck of beginning careers during the Great Recession and its aftermath. Meanwhile, almost half of the customers in Detroit are behind on their water bills. Now the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is starting to cut them off. But lots of businesses are in the red, too, as is the school system, and the city itself, which is in bankruptcy. Together, those players owe more than $50 million. And, CBS Outdoor is one of the largest advertising companies with billboards seen practically everywhere. We look at how the company continues to do so well.
Say you’re in the food or beverage business and you want to get a lot of attention – or, even, come up with a new product that people might like. Mashing up seemingly unrelated foods and/or flavors is one strategy, like the one now at the center of Taco Bell’s breakfast push. Yes, we mean the waffle taco. And, Brookstone prepares to file for bankruptcy and be bought by Spencer (Gifts). We take a look at what did in the purveyor of massage chairs and eye-shades, and what Spencer looks like going forward. Meanwhile, the deadline for the Affordable Care Act enrollment is approaching and government officials are worried about the Latino population and their low numbers signing up.
Mark Zuckerberg has been out shopping again: Facebook paid $2 billion for Oculus, a small virtual reality headset company. Random purchase or strategic move? And with its acquisition of WhatsApp and other companies earlier this year, is Facebook being a venture capitalist, or is there a long-term, coherent plan to future-proof itself with a stake in these areas of technology? Meanwhile, movie ticket sales are down but movie ticket receipts are up, thanks to inflation over the years and the higher prices for 3-D. We look at the business model of movie theaters and how ticket revenue fits in with the revenue from popcorn and candy bars. And, this is how the end arrives: The cessation of the slow drip-drip-drip of saline solution, because there is no saline solution. No jolting-back-to-life injection of nitroglycerin, because there is none. Why common everyday medical supplies can suddenly be hard to find.
In a document released Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service says bitcoin is not legal tender. You can't use it to pay your taxes. But the IRS says virtual currencies like bitcoin will be taxed like property as opposed to currency. Plus, the Obama administration is planning legislation to overhaul the National Security Agency's collection and storage of phone records – which could now be kept with the phone companies. But as the burden then shifts to the telecom companies, what extra costs might they incur? And we continue our special collaboration with the New York Times on "Work in America." Today we look at the gig economy.