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.
President Obama has asked Congress for $500 million to "train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition.” So, what do you get for $500 million? And how do you ensure your spending is not equipping the wrong people? Plus, the Chinese company, Alibaba, is having trouble helping potential investors understand just what it is the company does. The vast majority of its business is done overseas in a different language. So, what does it do? Also, today’s the last day to comment on a proposal that would make the revenue of stores, both super and corner, from food stamps public. We explain why it’s an issue and what the public has to say.
Tesla’s huge bet on a giant battery factory is a bet on the present while the future races on. Tesla is counting on fab efficiency to cut prices on an established type of battery, while research on new types makes it hard to even envision what other devices they’ll make possible in the near future. Plus, Goucher College in Baltimore switches its admissions policy to allow students to skip high school transcripts and submit a two-minute video instead. With liberal arts schools struggling to fill classes, will a play at “creativity” over grades boost the school's attendance? Also, ABC has just announced the lineup for its 19th season of "Dancing With the Stars," which includes 18-year-old YouTube sensation Bethany Mota. The Disney-owned network hopes to lure Mota’s 7 million-plus online followers back to prime-time TV, but will the strategy work?
The European Central Bank today made a surprise decision to cut interest rates and promote stimulus. Though some say this move comes too late in the day to be much help to European economies, others welcome the cut as a bold move. We look at the ramifications of the decision in Europe and for the U.S. Plus, the days of wild gains in productivity feel like so long ago. There was a huge dip in the first quarter, and revised figures out today show there’s only been slow growth in the last year. We put it into context. Also, facing off against Thursday Night Football… Shonda Rhimes!!! ABC has stacked its prime-time lineup with three dramas by the woman who has changed the look of prime time with her diverse casts. What do Rhimes’ dramas bring, and how’s ABC’s “It’s Shonda Night” strategy likely to work?
Under Armour, the sports clothing for people who look good with or without it, is aggressively moving to broaden its market. Just today it picked up model Gisele Bündchen as an endorsee. So what’s Under Armour’s corporate je ne sais quoi? We investigate. Plus, the security breach that exposed celebrities photos that had been stored in iCloud creates a major PR problem for Apple, whose image is on the hook regardless of the particulars of the breach. We look at how the company will handle it, and how a hack of the cloud – taking personal information like photos – is very different than a hack at a retailer – taking a person’s credit card number. Also, Fashion Week in New York starts tomorrow. Apparently fashion designers are having trouble standing out from the crowd with all the noise and fluff surrounding the week. We take a look at how a designer differentiates him or herself?
Dollar General has upped its bid for Family Dollar, but that doesn’t mean Family Dollar will say yes. Observers are now expecting Dollar General to turn this from a friendly bid into a hostile takeover. We explain what going hostile really means. Plus, the former House Majority Leader is joining the banking industry, providing “strategic counsel” to an investment bank’s corporate and institutional clients. But what does he brings to the job? And after, we look at the delightfully snarky website that brought you – indirectly, because you almost certainly don’t visit 4Chan – the nude photos of actresses and celebrity models.
Made in America is a very important consideration for many Americans. There's a perception that things made here are better quality and that buying them will help keep jobs in the country. It is a very powerful label, but if you want to put it on your product, you better mean it. Marketplace's Adriene Hill reports. And, Lizzie O'Leary talks to Earl Swift about his book, “Auto Biography,” about cars and the American dream. Plus, with it being Labor Day we thought it'd be a good time to check in on how much most American workers are getting paid for their labor these days. The answer? Not a whole lot more than they were three decades ago, relatively speaking. That's according to a new study of census data from the Economic Policy Institute.