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.
Today eBay announced that it’s going to split with PayPal and make both entities separate companies. Will PayPal users actually notice? In other tech-companies-talking news, Netflix has forged a deal with the Weinstein Company, to stream a sequel to the hit movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” next year on the same day the movie is released in selected theaters. This disrupts the current movie distribution system which mandates a delay between a movie’s release in theaters and its being made available in other forms – DVD, Pay TV and Video on Demand platforms. And finally, it's the anniversary of the launch of HealthCare.gov. We check in.
Three days of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have nearly shut down the city. They’ve also made financial traders around the world nervous. Prices dropped on Asian and European exchanges today and U.S. stocks also opened lower. Why what happens in Hong Kong matters to U.S. and global markets. Meanwhile, Facebook has launched its rebuilt advertising platform. Atlas, as it’s called, will let marketers use the knowledge and information the company has of its users to target them on mobile apps and websites. Why has it taken so long for Facebook to launch this, and what impact will it have on the company’s competitors and users?
Hundreds of flights were grounded in Chicago this morning after a fire at an air traffic control facility. O’Hare is the second busiest airport nation and home to hubs for both American and United airlines. How often do these types of shutdowns happen and what are the economic ripple effects across the country? And, social media upstart Ello made a lot of noise online this week by positioning itself as the anti-Facebook, promising no ads, no data mining, and to stop treating people as "a product that's bought and sold." Apparently, those are words many wanted to hear, as the site was welcoming 4,000 new users per hour midweek. But the question remains, how do you make any money if you aren't selling advertising and scraping user data?
The mobile refineries the U.S. is bombing are so small they could almost fit in a pickup truck. We look at this microrefinery world and ask what the pros and cons are to blowing up ISIS’s oil-refining stuff. Richard Branson has told 170 employees at Virgin's head offices to take as much vacation time as they'd like. We look at the behavioral angle — what are the forces at work when a boss tells his employees he trusts them implicitly with time off — and do people tend to take more or less leave? The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce today its approval of drones for Hollywood filmmaking. A number of video-productions firms have applied for permits for the camera-equipped drones. How will the FAA's decision affect the current provider of ariel shots in the industry — the more costly helicopters and airplanes?
Walmart is branching out into the banking industry. It's partnering with the prepaid credit card provider Green Dot to offer checking accounts to anyone over 18 who passes an ID check. Walmart says the low cost service will not require a minimum balance and will not charge fees for overdrafts or bounced checks. So what's in it for Walmart? Also, the U.S. launched at least 47 Tomahawk missiles targeting militant strongholds in Syria Monday night. These are the same missiles the Pentagon had wanted to phase out the purpose of over the next several years. What are the costs of these missiles? And how long will they be maintained during this campaign?
Washington wants to put the brakes on U.S. companies that skirt taxes by merging with foreign companies. In the money world, we call that inversion. But will Jack Lew’s newly announced policies really make a difference? Plus, the National Institutes of Health announced today that it will give $10.1 million in grants to more than 80 scientists to work on gender balanced clinical trials. At present, most researchers work exclusively with male lab animals. They say that the hormonal cycles of female animals could skew study results. How will this $10.1 million help reverse gender bias in science research? We investigate.