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.
Is inflation dead? Seems fair to say it’s at least comatose. The latest numbers show little movement in consumer prices and that’s unlikely to change soon. Plus, companies like Comcast and Netflix are raking it in. So what are they doing with all that money? We investigate. Also, Boeing and Delta are in a massive fight right now over this esoteric thing called the Ex-Im bank and how much money ends up in Boeing’s hands. We explain what’s at the core of the fight and how it’s playing out in these two companies that once had a pretty symbiotic relationship.
European leaders are angry with Russia and say President Vladimir Putin should do more to rein in the Russian separatists in Ukraine suspected of being involved in bringing down flight MH17. We examine what sanctions it would take to persuade Russia to change course. Plus, TSA security fees on airline tickets are about to go up. We explain the math behind your ticket. Also, Whirlpool is threatening to leave the EnergyStar program, unless Congress grants immunity from class-action lawsuits. How healthy, and vulnerable, is this label now?
Ukraine told airlines to avoid parts of its airspace. MH17 did that, but was shot down anyway. We look at what happens when countries recommend the closure of flight lanes and how airlines handle the decision and where to fly. Also, It’s almost certain that the missile which downed MH-17 was a 70s-era Buk, or SA-11, a relic of the Cold War era that was Soviet-made, then sold off around the world via the international arms market, following the collapse of the USSR. We follow the long tail of the cold war weapons that point to the sky. And after, Twitter looks to expand the count on its user base beyond monthly users by changing its metrics to reflect tweets that are seen by people who are not logged in. Why? More users more money
Microsoft is laying off 14 percent of its staff, 18,000 employees. We look at how you manage a layoff process this big over that kind of time, and what effect it has on productivity and morale. Also, Amazon is preparing to launch an e-book subscription service, according to a page on its website. The service, called “Kindle Unlimited” would apparently give subscribers access to 600,000 books at a monthly cost of $10. The monthly-subscription model works well with movies but how well will it work in the book world? We investigate? Also, housing starts were down in June, and way down in the South. But as with all monthly data reports, the question is, what does this mean?
Apple and IBM have reached an agreement to produce software applications exclusively for iPads and iPhones. But will the biggest impact be on the companies that are not part of the deal? Also, Rupert Murdoch’s reported offer of $80 billion has been turned down by Time Warner. We explain what’s behind the offer. And after, we revisit the California drought, which is expected cost California agriculture a couple billion dollars this year. But it’s far from a disaster. Here and in drought areas like the Ogallala Aquifer, farmers’ unregulated access to underground reservoirs is tapping out a resource that can’t be replaced.
Congress appears headed toward a temporary spending bill to keep the Highway Trust Fund from going broke next month. Lawmakers have been unable to agree on a long-term funding mechanism for repairing and upgrading the national infrastructure. Plus: AbbVie has at last managed to snare Irish pharma company Shire. The merger isn’t about new markets or cool technology - it’s about cutting taxes, using a so-called corporate inversion. We explain what an inversion is, and explore the pros and cons of this strategy. Finally, what to do with a comic-book character who sprang to life as a perpetual teen-ager 73 years ago? Project him into the future. Make him a zombie. Tomorrow, kill Archie.