Business news

Rob Schmitz

The streets of Pianma are lined with sawmills. They’re also lined with logs as big as cars: Teak, Rosewood, and Golden Camphor — all of them felled illegally across the border in Burma from old growth forests and brought to the Chinese side to be cut down into furniture.

“These trees were several hundred years old," said Li Xiaomei, showing off a two-story stack of logs outside the mill she owns with her husband, Li Jianli.

Inside a huge air pollution scrubbing unit

11 hours ago
Reid R. Frazier

What does it take to keep 100,000 tons of pollution out of the air? At one coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, the answer is: lots and lots of air filters.

Sulfur in coal is a big cause of pollution. To take sulfur out of the coal it burns, the Homer City Generating Station — an hour east of Pittsburgh — is putting in thousands of air filters.

Kai Ryssdal

Whole Foods just became more Whole Food-ish.

The company's in the middle of rolling out a new store brand.

It's called Friends of 365.

Smaller, just as natural organic healthy, you know the drill.

Here's the twist, though: Bloomberg reported today, and the company confirms, that the new stores will also host smaller pop-up shops.

Record stores, perhaps. Vinyl, of course. Or, tattoo parlors.

Marketplace for Thursday, February 11, 2016

16 hours ago

Examining the two presidential candidates and their relationships with Wall Street; what Federal Reserve Chair Yellen told congress about the nation's financial conditions; and what does it take to keep 100,000 tons of pollution out of the air?

Those catalogs in your mailbox are here to stay

Feb 11, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about when market participants feel entitled to low interest rates; what the Supreme Court's stay on new federal rules for carbon emissions means for the coal mining industry; and why companies keep sending you so many catalogs.

Relatively speaking, this is a big deal

Feb 11, 2016

It doesn't take an Einstein to know that big things happened today — here are some need-to-know numbers as you head into the evening.

WBFO News file photo

Its manufacturing center, still under construction, represents one of the most significant investments under New York State's "Buffalo Billion." But renewable energy company SolarCity's stock value plummeted more than 29 percent Wednesday, and has lost nearly half its value since the start of 2016.

Blocking U.S. emissions rule won't save coal industry

Feb 11, 2016

Not even the Supreme Court's temporary stay of the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan limiting carbon emissions could produce a pop for shares of Peabody Energy, the big coal company, which is trading 97 percent below its 52-week high. The outlook for the coal industry isn't much brighter.

The Supreme Court's decision means utilities won't have to cut back on burning coal from Peabody or any other company any time soon. Luke Popovich is with the American Mining Association, a plaintiff in a lawsuit to stop the Clean Power Plan. He said the industry is now hopeful.

Who pays when a Pope visits?

Feb 11, 2016
Nova Safo

Pope Francis is scheduled to begin a five-day visit to Mexico on Friday. The pontiff plans to criss-cross the country, going from the southernmost state of Chiapas all the way up to Ciudad Juarez on the border with Texas.

Who picks up the tab for the trip?

As it turns out, the Pope's trips are heavily subsidized, starting with the first plane ride.

Marketplace Tech for Thursday, February 11, 2016

Feb 11, 2016

Airing on Thursday, February 11, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about Twitter earnings; and we'll take a look at modern encryption.


Airing on Thursday, February 11, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about Fed chair Janet Yellen's appearance on Capitol Hill yesterday; who pays for a visit from the Pope; and we'll talk with famed climber Conrad Anker about a new documentary about national parks.

The big payoff behind all those catalogs in the mail

Feb 11, 2016
Kevin Ferguson

When you move, there’s a lot to think about. Should you hire movers? Rent a U-Haul? But there’s one thing you can be sure will arrive at your new address: catalogs. There are about 11 billion catalogs mailed out in the United States every year. But when will the junk mail stop?

Consumer spending: It's not just for consumers

Feb 10, 2016
Nova Safo

We hear it pretty often, that consumer spending makes up almost 70 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

In 2015, consumer spending added up to $12.3 trillion. And while that may make the consumer sound like the most formidable engine of economic growth, it turns out that huge total is not all money we spend going crazy at the mall.

Marketplace for Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Feb 10, 2016

Discussing the climate change implications of today's Supreme Court ruling; a look at consumer spending and the GPD; and how does Donald Trump pay the bills?

Tony Wagner

British luxury brand Burberry sued J.C. Penney for trademark infringement Tuesday, saying the department store sold "inferior" items with its iconic plaid pattern.

Donald Trump and the self-funding debate

Feb 10, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Donald Trump won big time in New Hampshire last night, and something the presidential candidate touted in his victory speech was that his campaign was self-funded. 

But according to New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore, this claim isn't entirely true. 

Your boss may know you want to quit before you do

Feb 10, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

It’s Bonus Season! The time of year in many industries, from Silicon Valley to Wall Street to big law firms and beyond, where bonuses rain down upon employees who greet them with a mix of cheers, tears, resentment, and ... soul-relieving cries of freedom. 

Freedom, because now that they have their bonuses, they can get the hell out. 

It’s a problem for companies, not knowing who or how many employees are going to give them the old two-weeks two seconds after that bonus check drops.

What the Supreme Court's halt on coal regulation means

Feb 10, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Scott Tong

The U.S. Supreme Court halted the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation on coal — part of the Clean Power Plan — in a 5-2 decision Tuesday. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Scott Tong, Marketplace’s sustainability correspondent, about what the halt on coal regulations means for energy in the long run. 

A solid week end for Bernie

Feb 10, 2016

You made it through Wednesday, which is a "yuge" accomplishment. Here are some need-to-know numbers for the end of your day.

Playing games with shareholder ownership

Feb 10, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Fed chair Janet Yellen's first appearance on Capitol Hill since the Fed raised interest rates; a setback for President Obama's attempts to cut greenhouse gases; and Allan Sloan of the Washington Post joins us to talk about the Johnson Controls merger with Tyco, and how playing games with shareholder ownership can have beneficial tax results.

Flight myths, booking tips, and how to spend your points

Feb 10, 2016
David Brancaccio

According to legend, Tuesday mornings are the best time to buy plane tickets. In reality, it's not so simple to game the system. But there are ways to become a savvier consumer.

Mark Orlowski travels a lot for his real job running the nonprofit Sustainable Endowments Institute. So much so that he's acquired a set of tools and tricks for flying comfortably and cheaply. 


Airing on Wednesday, February 10, 2016: We'll talk about stocks in Deutsche Bank recovering; Fed Chair Janet Yellen's first appearance on Capitol Hill since raising interest rates; and debunking the myths of airline points.

'Greedy,' 'heartless' ... but also, 'on-time'

Feb 10, 2016
Nova Safo

"Greedy," "unpleasant" and "heartless." Those are among the top adjectives used by respondents to a new Harris Poll survey to describe what they think of their cable companies.

It's no secret that cable companies are among the most despised among customers. But the companies appear to be listening, if judging from recent reversals in their fortunes. Charter, Comcast and Time Warner all reported pay TV subscriber gains in the last quarter of 2015.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Feb 10, 2016

Airing on Wednesday, February 10, 2016: On today's show, we'll we'll talk about Tesla's earnings report; Slack's diversity report; and Android creator Andy Rubin’s new venture, Playground.

Fashion Week is adapting to a changing economy

Feb 9, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

The twice-yearly ritual known as New York Fashion Week starts Thursday, but it's entirely possible it's not going to be the same kind of ritual much longer. Designers and fashion houses are having to change how they work as the economy changes around them. Elizabeth Holmes is a senior style reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

On Burberry releasing their clothes at the same time of the fashion show:

How can we tell if a recession is upon us?

Feb 9, 2016

It's safe to assume that the "R" word will come up in Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony in front of Congress tomorrow. That "R" word is recession.

New York Times senior economics correspondent Neil Irwin said the possibility of a recession is slight. But how can we tell if a recession is upon us? 

What's Janet Yellen thinking?

Feb 9, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

We have a little game we like to play, well, Kai likes to play, called: What is Janet Yellen thinking — in five words?

We will find out when she testifies before the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow, but for now, here’s what several economists had to say:

“Did I make a mistake” in raising rates? — Gad Levanon, managing director of macroeconomic and labor market research at the Conference Board. (His answer, which he also thinks is Yellen’s answer, fyi, is “I don’t think so.”)

Is OPEC still doing its job?

Feb 9, 2016
Scott Tong

Crude oil traded in the U.S. fell nearly six percent today, to less than $28 a barrel.  One reason: The International Energy Agency reported the world’s oversupply may be about to get even worse. The IEA reports production from Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),  increased, as supply growth outpaced demand growth. One question now is whether OPEC is still doing its historic job.

Mars Inc. is so over artificial coloring

Feb 9, 2016
Andy Uhler

Mars, Inc., the candy company behind treats such as M&Ms, Skittles and Snickers, plans to phase out all of the artificial coloring in its “human food products” (the company also makes pet food). Natural coloring is something Mars already does in much of Europe, but not here in the U.S. The company's statement said it was responding to consumer demands - people want healthier choices, even in their candy. 

A university confronts bias in faculty hiring

Feb 9, 2016
Amy Scott

Tyson King-Meadows loves a good sports metaphor. He’s chair of the Africana Studies department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. On a recent afternoon he used Michael Jordan and the 1984 NBA draft to make a point.

“What number was Michael Jordan drafted?” he asked the room. “Just guess.”

Jordan was picked third.

“Do we know who number one and number two were?” King-Meadows said. “That’s the point. He was passed over. He went third. He will go down as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.”