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.
Airing on Wednesday, January 21, 2015: The idea of middle-class economics was front and center in the president’s State of the Union address. Sure, it serves as a political framework, but how does it work as an economic one? Plus, as part of a settlement with the SEC, ratings agency S&P has been banned from rating certain bond deals for one year, creating an opportunity for competitors. Finally, reporter Stan Alcorn defines Davos Man as, "the suit-wearing, power-wielding Ubermensch that is the incarnation of the global financial elite." We look at the evolution of both the term and the man.
Airing on Tuesday, January 20, 2015: The U.S. is still struggling, as the president will note in this evening's State of the Union speech, but at least the economy is still growing. Most of the rest of the world is slowing. Plus, as the world market continues to be flush with low-priced oil, traders are looking for ways to profit from the slump. One strategy: Storing oil in rented tankers until prices go back up.
Airing on Monday, January 19, 2015: Well-funded lobbyists are rallying to end a $3 billion-a-year tax and refund the revenue to the medical device industry. Its potential repeal reflects how difficult it is to change the healthcare system. Plus, Obama has a plan to raise $300 million by raising taxes on the rich –and going after the banks. What would that entail, and how likely is it to happen? And, apparently, the rich keep getting richer. What will it take to reverse this trend?
Airing on Friday, January 16, 2015: There’s a huge currency trading market that companies use to even out the value of the world’s many currencies – and that traders large and small speculate in. When there’s a surprise like the Swiss franc move, it sends shock waves through the market. How businesses and governments are assessing the damage. Plus, for the first time in at least 50 years, the majority of children in public school are from low-income families. We look at the calculation and ask: How did public schools become warehouses for the poor?
Airing on Thursday, January 15, 2015: Big banks are reporting lower revenue, in part because of less trading. Are lower profits for banks, especially from trading, necessarily bad for the economy? Plus, the Swiss franc soared today after Switzerland decided to abandon the cap on the currency value against the euro. We look at what was behind the decision and what difference it will make. Finally, President Obama proposes seven days a year of paid sick leave, arguing that providing more sick leave makes businesses more competitive and workers more productive. We examine the economics of the sick day.
Airing on Wednesday, January 14, 2015: Falling gas prices are putting more money in people’s pockets, but retail sales were down in December, even after excluding cheap gas. Where is the money going, and how reliable are retail sales as an indicator for our changing economy? Plus, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon says banks are under assault, a reference to dealing with multiple regulators and the bank’s multibillion-dollar legal costs. We take a look at Dimon's claim.