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.
Two hours of Senate testimony, countless pages of written documents. Peel away the caution, the Fed-speak, and the dense economic language, and what can we now say about The (economic) world according to Janet Yellen?Plus, #AskJPM's attempt at social media community engagement on Twitter was shut down not long after it was launched. What are the pitfalls businesses should watch out for as they try to engage their communities? Finally, you’ve got a business that’s never earned a dollar and someone offers you $3 billion for it. And you say no. For Snapchat, started by two college students a couple years ago, was it not enough money?
Stack ranking is the office equivalent of grading on a curve. Jack Welch, at GE, brought stack ranking to the fore. And Microsoft used to use it -- but has now killed it; even as Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s glamorous CEO, is ramping it up. Plus, new guidelines on the use of statins to lower cholesterol hold the promise to dramatically increase the number of Americans who take those drugs. Most of them are available as generics. Finally, a group of Occupy Wall Street activists has started to buy securitized personal debt on the cheap – and then forgive the debtors — not only to lift the burden from individuals, but to raise awareness about the debt collection industry and how to resist credit.
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.