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.
Banks needing cash temporarily pawn off treasuries to get it – usually just for a day or two. The system is under strain because the Fed has bought so many bonds and also because regulations require many financial institutions to hold bonds as collateral for deals. This is causing deals to fail at unprecedented rates. Plus, Archer Daniels Midland, a major US food processor has agreed to buy a company called Wild Flavors, which specializes in natural flavorings for food products. We pull back the curtain on the business of flavor, and along the way find out about what’s in, what’s out, and the tastes that are trending. Also, some foods are at recent highs, others are cheaper than they’ve been, but overall, the USDA reports, Americans spend far less on food than people in most countries – an average of 6.6 percent of income. Even poor Americans don’t spend appreciably more of their income. We look at what makes food in the U.S. so inexpensive.
Ready to watch some fireworks this Independence Day? Even if they're banned in your neighborhood, you'll probably still see and hear a few. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, most states have restrictions on large types of firework. So how come there are still so many things that go bang in the night? Youth Radio takes us into the black market of fireworks. And, July 4th is one of the top weekends for American beer brands. But as Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman reports shifting habits among beer drinkers may mean that won't be true for too much longer. Also, in the next installment of the series "I've always wondered", Golda Arthur looks into what it's like to be a day trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The latest jobs figures from the Department of Labor show the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent last month. That's the lowest since 2008, when the Great Recession kicked in. We explore how the jobs landscape has changed since then and what people are saying about having - or not having - a job. Plus, President Obama says immigration reform, if passed, could lead to $1.4 trillion in additional growth – we unpack, fact-check and explain this figure.
A wide-ranging interview about the economy with President Barack Obama.
Target is following other national chains in asking gun owners not to bring their guns shopping, including states where open-carry is legal. Target has been a target of both open-carry demonstrators in Texas, and anti-gun groups protesting people carrying rifles into Target stores, where 80 percent of the shoppers are women and children. We look at the cost to retailers following in Wyatt Earp’s footsteps. Plus, LAUSD is backing away from its iPad for every kid policy and is opening up its classrooms to several other devices made by Google, Microsoft, etc. With hundreds of millions of education-tech dollars being spent by school districts, what does LA’s move mean for the competition to own the classroom, here and elsewhere. Also, Apple bought Beats, then Amazon added music to its Prime service, and now Google is buying the music streaming site Songza, which selects songs for users based on their activities and the time of day. It's been a busy few weeks for music streaming— already a crowded space. Why does everyone want to be in the music business? Or is it less about being in the music business and more about being in the everything business? We investigate.
Several government agencies are making worried noises about the number of HELOCs that will come due in the next two years. These balloon payments that result from “end of the draw”, when a line of credit matures, could put a great deal of stress on the economy. We explain what end of the draw is, and why it could be a problem for the US. Also, Yahoo is saving the cult sitcom "Community", by announcing it will pay for the show's sixth season. We look at how "Community" fits in to Yahoo's plans to be a content provider and its ability to compete in this area.