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.
China is rejecting a World Bank report predicting it will pass America as the world’s biggest economy. The reason? The Chinese government believes having the #1 title could put it under pressure to make compromises it may not want to make on its currency, climate change and trade. Plus, the Fed, which has been operating with four governors instead of its usual seven, will be down to just three by the end of May if the increasingly cantankerous Senate doesn’t act on new nominations before then. We explain what it means for the Fed to be working without a full bench. Also, when buying a sports team requires a buyer with so much money it doesn’t matter to him, how do you actually figure out a price that reflects what the franchise is worth as a business as opposed to a status symbol?
Sterling’s made out to be a big deal, buying influence from the likes of the NAACP. In fact, he spreads a modest amount in charitable contributions among dozens of community groups, which in return for a $10,000 check every year are happy to attend his annual charity luncheon and bestow humanitarian awards on him. How central to local philanthropy are donors like Sterling and networks like his? Plus, Texas got a setback today when the Supreme Court ruled the EPA can order states like Texas to cut emissions in order to reduce air pollution in downwind states. But another milestone today was the holding company of Texas’s largest utility declaring bankruptcy. Nearly 10 years ago TSX was taken private in the biggest leveraged-buyout in U.S. history, renamed Energy Future, and loaded with debt, betting on natural gas prices to rise. Along came the financial crisis and fracking, and now Energy Future is the nation’s biggest bankruptcy, bigger than another Texas bust, Enron. Then, Yahoo is jumping into the original content pool with Amazon, Hulu and others by offering LiveNation concerts and a comedy series to viewers. Sabri Ben-Achour reports on what Yahoo’s latest content strategy is and what it might cost the company.
The NBA operates a bit like McDonalds – the owners of the teams are basically franchisees. And the franchisees run the NBA. So could the other owners oust Sterling because he threatens their bigger business model? Plus, high school graduation rates in the U.S. have hit a new high, 80 percent, after a nearly decade-long campaign to raise graduation rates. What was done to raise the rate, and how valuable is the degree that more teenagers are getting. Also, new U.S. sanctions target the head of the state-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft. We explain how U.S. and multi-national companies with U.S. ties, including BP, Exxon and Shell, are finding themselves affected by the move, and what options they have to protect themselves.
It was reported that Alibaba would be adding new shares to an impending deal that would push its IPO to $20 billion making it the largest IPO- ever. Marketplace's Sabri Ben-Achour picks apart why Alibaba might be worth this much. Plus, there's growing criticism over the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. A recent ad has been called "patronizing" and Dove's "most bulls**t ad yet." Mitchell explains the controversy, and looks at whether Dove/Unilever expected - and will even benefit from - this outrage. Then, Oregon waives the White Flag and turns its exchange over to the Fed model, because fixing it would be just too expensive. Maryland is also a mess, so it’s taking the Connecticut model. And you thought Healthcare.gov was the problem. We look at the states which are running their own exchanges going into year two.
The FDA proposed new rules on e-cigarettes, extending its reach to a fast-growing industry which has so far had no oversight. Among the new regulations comes a ban on the sale of e-cigs to minors, but not on internet advertising. So what's next for the industry that's already lobbying hard to soften the most restrictive/ costly regulations. The FCC aill also be proposing new rules on Internet traffic that would allow broadband providers to charge companies a premium for access to their fastest lanes. Where are we in the process of addressing this problem and how will the money likely shift as a result of the proposals? Plus, as Northwestern University football players wait to vote for or against a union tomorrow, the pending vote and other factors are already forcing the NCAA and big-time football colleges to rethink the way they treat scholarship athletes whose performance brings them billions in revenue.
A new government report reveals that thousands of employees of the Internal Revenue Service got bonuses or time-off awards despite being disciplined for misconduct – including tax compliance problems. How could this happen and what are the criteria for determining awards for government employees? Should they be revised? Plus, Valeant’s acquisitions have had a particular focus: companies that produce “medical aesthetics” products that smooth and clear facial skin – Botox and similar paralyzers, Restylane and similar fillers, and lasers. This care is a fast-growing business, and Valeant now has one sales force to sell all these products. Also, the NYPD's newly created Twitter hashtag #MyNYPD has backfired spectacularly – as New Yorkers have used it to tweet about police brutality and misconduct. Why do organizations/ companies fail to tame Twitter in these instances? And when the public can so easily hijack your hashtag, who's managed to get it right?