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.
Janet Yellen gave a big speech today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, about the uncertainty of the economy. Should we be worried? We catch up with Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post and John Carney from the Wall Street Journal to discuss the week that was. Plus, California could join the group of states that let community colleges offer four-year degrees in certain subjects like dental hygiene. But do you really need a four-year degree, and what’s the cost? We investigate. Also, the Emmys are on Monday this year, as opposed to Sunday. Why? Because they don’t want to have to compete with Sunday Night Football, of course. It’s just one example of the huge battle being waged over live TV broadcast space. Speaking of athletics, Foot Locker, the athletic shoe store, reported sky-high profits this year thanks to its partnership with Nike. Shoes with the swoosh account for two-thirds of Foot Locker’s sales. But what happens if wingtips become the new workplace fashion? Could Foot Locker be too dependent on Nike?
Philadelphia plans to stop offering subsidies for school bus service for high school students who live within two miles of their school. We look at the impact of cutting out school buses on families and districts and whether those effects differ between urban and suburban areas. Plus, SoundCloud is going to start putting ads into its content stream. What happens to a company when, in order to find a business model, they have to undermine the very thing that created their customer base in the first place. Also, Dollar Store X rejects Dollar Store Z’s bid for it, preferring Dollar Store’s Y bid, saying it fears the X+Z combo couldn't pass antitrust muster. Could there really be an antitrust issue with “dollar stores”? We investigate.
A new study tries to define superfoods. Hint: it's more than just kale.
Central bankers meet in Jackson Hole this week to discuss, among other things, Central Banks. We look at how the role of the Central Bank has changed and how the job of central banker has changed since the Recession. Plus, former Obama campaign operative David Plouffe has joined Uber as a vice president and strategist. Is Plouffe’s move just about the big money of a hightech startup? Or is there an affinity between tech and the Democratic Party that he and other Dems are trying to harness? Also, did you know that the NFL doesn't pay musicians for performing at the Super Bowl? Well, turns out now the NFL wants major artists such as Coldplay, Rihanna, and Katy Perry, the three finalists for next year's show, to pay them to perform at the halftime show. Will artists play ball? We look at the economics of halftime shows.
Lots of police departments in the U.S. have tear gas, which they throw at disorderly civilians. But where does that tear gas come from? And how big a business is it for the companies that produce it? Plus, there’s word this week that Chinese hackers stole records of 4.5 million patients from computers at Community Health systems, one of the largest hospital networks in the Southeast. Healthcare records contain social security numbers, birth dates, addresses - a goldmine of information for identity thieves. Which is likely to make them a big fat target for future hacks. Will they be ready? Many experts say no.
There's a dollar store bidding war going on out there. We report on the extent of the competition in the market, and how the stores involved differentiate themselves. Plus, the Fed is paying close attention to the number of part time workers, as it looks like the number of part-time workers has increased after reaching a five-year low. We look at why this has happened, and ask if it’s something we should be worried about. Also, every year the federal government sets the amount its employees may spend per day when they travel. The per diems for fiscal 2015? $83 for lodging and $46 for meals and other expenses. The standard is also followed by federal contractors and some private businesses. What impact do these standards have on hotels and other businesses that depend on these travelers?