Quick: Are rising interest rates good or bad? What about oil prices? Home prices? It's kind of a trick question. Those are all signs of an economy that's growing quite nicely — when wages are going up. That's where we're starting today. Then: If you're talking about wages, it's worth mentioning that some of the biggest companies in this country are sitting on mountains of cash: $102 billion at Google's parent company, more than double that at Apple. So what are companies doing with all that money? We'll explain. Plus: Back in the '60s, traffic in Los Angeles was so light you could get across town in 20 minutes. We know firsthand that's impossible now. So what happened? And what's that say about the economy?
We begin today with a number, a relatively simple number that brings with it meaning for everybody in this economy who has debt: 3 percent. That's the interest rate that the government's 10-year Treasury note is getting really close to, for the first time since January 2014. In isolation, it's not a huge deal, but in the context of the low-rate environment, it's really something. We'll start today by explaining all the hype. Then: What you need to know about French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Washington, and a follow-up to that hefty fine the government hit Wells Fargo with last week. Plus: Horror movies are back from the dead, making big money on small budgets.
Wells Fargo will pay the federal government a billion dollars to settle charges of misconduct in its car and home loans. That's a lot, but only a small percentage of the banks' recent profits. It's also the biggest bank fine imposed by the Trump administration and the first by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the direction of Mick Mulvaney. He's no fan of the agency he's now in charge of, and he's still Trump's budget guy, so we had him on today to talk about all of it. Then: We'll talk over the interview with our friends on the Weekly Wrap and take a look at where all that money's going. Plus: unpacking Trump's tweets about OPEC.
Sometimes you've got a plan for reporting out a story, then circumstances change your mind. That's what happened to Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O'Leary, who's in Puerto Rico this week. She was in the middle of reporting an update on how the island is recovering after last year's hurricanes, then the lights went out ... everywhere. We got Lizzie on the phone today to talk about how things are going. But first, the latest on the AT&T-Time Warner trial — and reminder of what's at stake. Plus: the business of a royal wedding.
American consumers can be a fickle bunch, and companies spend billions to make that fickleness break their way as best they can — especially in a crisis. Bloomberg calculated that Starbucks' upcoming shutdown for racial bias training is gonna cost $17 million in lost sales. But what do Starbucks customers think of last weekend's incident in Philadelphia, where two black men sat down without buying anything and left in handcuffs? That's where we're starting today. Then, another Trump tweet fact check: Are bilateral trade deals really better for the U.S. than big pacts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Plus: More on brand loyalty, and why disgruntled Facebook users are still relatively happy with its subsidiary, Instagram.
It was supposed to be Tax Day in America, but thanks to computer issues at the IRS, everyone gets another day to file. Taxes were still on the docket at the Supreme Court today though — the justices heard South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. At issue is whether the online retailer and others like it should collect sales tax. We'll follow the money. But first: Starbucks is closing down all 8,000 of its company-owned stores for one day next month to give its 175,000 workers racial bias training. The move comes after two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia when a manager called the police because they were sitting in the cafe without buying anything. We'll talk about it. Plus: President Donald Trump is meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week, and trade's on the table. Japan's one of several American allies and 2,200 companies looking for an exemption. We'll look at who else is on the list.