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.
By all accounts, about 50,000 people have made it through the federal exchanges. So, what does it mean? We keep hearing 500,000 as a magic number that the Obama administration was counting on. Next, typhoons beat on the Philippines regularly, destroying roads, bridges and buildings in an already poor country with bad roads, bridges and buildings, where the population has tripled in 50 years. Finally, Michelle Obama has a new pet project: Getting kids into college. What are the economics of the First Lady?
The extensive Filipino community here in the U.S. is rushing to the aid of its typhoon-struck homeland with a raft of fundraising initiatives. Amazon has signed a deal with the U.S. Postal Service for Sunday deliveries this holiday season. Good for Amazon: Great for the consumer! But is this a good deal for the post office? Finally, while it’s unclear how serious the issue of battery fires in Tesla cars is, the concern over them has taken shareholders on a fast ride in the last month.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3 percent in the Labor Department's latest jobs report. In the data, there was good news -- more jobs -- and bad news -- long-term unemployment. But beware: The report is a mess of bad data and false indicators and we shouldn’t rely on this months report. Also, new federal rules requiring health insurers to cover mental health and addiction could mean a flood of money to therapists, clinics and rehab centers. Plus, the airlines have been a little slow to get into the Big Data game. But it looks like they’re moving in that direction now. Welcome to being a totally captive audience at 30,000 feet. Finally, we talk to two of our regular guests about the week that was on Wall Street.
Twitter may be a household name -- but it's not used by everyone in every household. What happens when companies launch a product complex enough that they have to explain to potential users how to wade through it? Also, preliminary third-quarter data today suggest that retailers are stocking up on goods, but consumers aren’t buying them. And finally, the FDA says trans fats is officially bad, and that poses big challenge to makers of processed foods that depend on them for shelf-life, price and taste.
We often think of the stock market as the province of the machines. But in the Twitter IPO, the pivotal role is played by a human: the designated market maker, who will act as a conduit for all trading in Twitter shares. Marvel is diversifying its stable of superheroes with a new series featuring a teenage Muslim lead character. How much of a role do financial considerations play in creating a new superhero. Finally, Bart Chilton, known for quoting rock-and-roll lyrics in firebrand speeches, is leaving the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. His coming departure and other changes raise the specter that the regulator could soon be well short of its usual five commissioners.
Google launches its new video-conferencing advice and how-to service, called Google Helpouts. What calculation did Google make in deciding there’s money to be made connecting users to real people via video for advice? Also, the Department of Justice is talking with American Airlines and US Airways about possibly lifting their anti-trust action against the airlines’ merger if they make concessions on slots at airports. And finally, the case of one 300-pound NFL player bullying another raises the question of why so many workplaces of all kinds tolerate bullying and hazing in their work forces.