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.
The mobile refineries the U.S. is bombing are so small they could almost fit in a pickup truck. We look at this microrefinery world and ask what the pros and cons are to blowing up ISIS’s oil-refining stuff. Richard Branson has told 170 employees at Virgin's head offices to take as much vacation time as they'd like. We look at the behavioral angle — what are the forces at work when a boss tells his employees he trusts them implicitly with time off — and do people tend to take more or less leave? The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce today its approval of drones for Hollywood filmmaking. A number of video-productions firms have applied for permits for the camera-equipped drones. How will the FAA's decision affect the current provider of ariel shots in the industry — the more costly helicopters and airplanes?
Walmart is branching out into the banking industry. It's partnering with the prepaid credit card provider Green Dot to offer checking accounts to anyone over 18 who passes an ID check. Walmart says the low cost service will not require a minimum balance and will not charge fees for overdrafts or bounced checks. So what's in it for Walmart? Also, the U.S. launched at least 47 Tomahawk missiles targeting militant strongholds in Syria Monday night. These are the same missiles the Pentagon had wanted to phase out the purpose of over the next several years. What are the costs of these missiles? And how long will they be maintained during this campaign?
Washington wants to put the brakes on U.S. companies that skirt taxes by merging with foreign companies. In the money world, we call that inversion. But will Jack Lew’s newly announced policies really make a difference? Plus, the National Institutes of Health announced today that it will give $10.1 million in grants to more than 80 scientists to work on gender balanced clinical trials. At present, most researchers work exclusively with male lab animals. They say that the hormonal cycles of female animals could skew study results. How will this $10.1 million help reverse gender bias in science research? We investigate.
Just a week after the launch of Apple's iPhone 6, Blackberry is hoping to ride the smartphone wave with the introduction of its newest device, the Passport. Blackberry sales have been less than stellar in recent years, but it's banking that this new phone, designed in a partnership with Porsche, will pull the Canadian-based company out of the financial doldrums by appealing to a niche smartphone market. Plus, it’s the start of the fall season and the once unbeatable television network FOX has taken a few hits of late since the audience decline of American Idol. Could the much anticipated show Gotham, which premieres tonight, help improve Fox’s ratings woes? We report.
As Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, debuts on the New York Stock Exchange we look at its ambitious founder Jack Ma and consider his significance. Plus, entrepreneur Jesse Herzog has designed a new kind of work suit and it’s a one piece suit with a twist. He calls it the suitsie. The concept might make you laugh (or not), but its creation begs the question: when did workplace dress codes, especially for office workers start to change? We investigate. Also, if your workplace has had you book travel plans on a website, chances are you used programming from the software company, Concur. Well, the Seattle-area based company is being gobbled up by another software giant, SAP. The cost of the deal for the German-based company? Over $8 billion. The acquisition is also expected to increase SAP's number of users for its cloud-based technology from 38 to 50 million users.
Nearly half of all households in major cities don’t have enough money saved to cover essential expenses in an emergency, according to a new study from Corporation for Enterprise Developments. We look at how much people are benefiting from the recovering economy when a job loss or major medical bill can derail their financial lives. Plus, the commercial space race is getting an added boost. Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space venture, has announced a partnership with another space company to develop a new rocket engine. One that could potentially replace the Russian engines the US relies on – and gain an advantage over his rival, Elon Musk. Also, tomorrow the White House will unveil its campaign effort to curb sexual assaults on college campuses. It's called "it's On Us" and it focuses on the men's role in preventing sexual violence. Schools have been responding with training programs, tighter security etc. But there is a cost to getting these programs off the ground.