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.

Recent Episodes

01-16-14 Marketplace - Chuck E. Cheese, billionaire

Kids' pizza palace Chuck E. Cheese sold for almost $1 billion today. We dig into the rather curious story of the buck-toothed mouse, the business empire extraordinaire, and the equally unusual leader behind it. Then, we look at how tech companies and the individuals who run them want President Obama to restrict the NSA’s data collection and spying. Finally, news out today suggests that traditional retail is in trouble -- Best Buy produced some horrendous earnings results, and JC Penney appears on the verge of collapse. The closure of these kind of stores would doubtless cause us some pain: Many people would be laid off. But otherwise, how much do these kinds of stores really matter to the economy? 

It sounds cold-blooded, but with shopping habits changing fast, the demise of the brick and mortar store may not matter much to the economy in the long run.

01-15-14 Marketplace - Balance sheets

Bank earnings look good, and big banks’ shares are doing well in the markets today. But for some years now, a significant contributor to earnings is simply the release of loss reserves set aside during the Bad Days. When accounting affects earnings so greatly, what’s the value of these earnings reports? Next, the conservative Koch brothers have been spending money for fall campaigns already. They're targeting vulnerable Congressional Democrats who supported the ACA. But most campaigns say a dollar spent this early is a dollar spent unwisely. And finally,Viacom’s new My Nickelodeon Jr. takes personalized TV to the younger set – well, to their parents. Parents can program the TV their kids will watch  – sounds a bit like Netflix.

01-14-14 Marketplace - Neutral = evil?

So much for neutrality. A federal court said today the FCC can't force broadband companies to treat all content equally. That means giants like Verizon and AT&T — as well as cable companies — can pick favorites on the web, by slowing traffic from some sites and boosting the speed of others. Also, as American Idol opens its new season, it's easy to forget how influential the show was when it began more than a decade ago. Just as "The Sopranos" changed cable, American Idol shook up the networks. And finally, the Seattle Seahawks are limiting playoff tickets to credit card holders in the region – which rules out 49ers fans with California address. Does engineering a bigger home-field advantage work?