Business news

Marketplace for Monday, June 29, 2015

6 hours ago

Airing on Monday, June 29, 2015: Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal is bringing the news to you from the Aspen Ideas Festival. First: Kai talks to David Leonhardt of the New York Times about the breaking news of the day and what it has to do with mobility. Next: Kai talks to Charles “Lil’ Buck” Riley, a dancer who specializes in a style of street dance called “jookin’” and Jose Ferriera, the CEO and founder of Knewton, a digital education company about how education can change your life.

Puerto Rico faces debt deadline

16 hours ago
Sabri Ben-Achour

Puerto Rico is staring down a deadline on July 1st when some of its $72.3 billion in public debt will come due. There’s the $630 million payment on general obligation bonds, and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority owes money on its $9 billion debt.  

Afghanistan increases opium production

17 hours ago
Nova Safo

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime says in a new report that global opium production has reached record levels not seen since the 1930s, mainly due to increased cultivation in Afghanistan.

Thomas Pietschmann, co-author of the U.N. report, says it is meant as a warning that the world is sitting on vast amounts of opium, not all of which has reached drug users.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, June 29, 2015

17 hours ago

Airing on Monday, June 29, 2015: First up, we'll talk with Alex White, CEO and cofounder of Nextbigsound, on how music streaming services are changing people’s listening habit. Plus, as video-cams get better and cheaper, we'll explore how they are spreading into a lot of workplaces unrelated to policing. We'll also talk about mini-drones by air, land, and sea. Listen to learn more.

Jeff Tyler

As the number of people living on the streets has risen and homeless encampments have spread across Southern California, the Los Angeles City Council has worked to speed the process by which officials can collect homeless people’s possessions from sidewalks and parks.

The council approved a measure on Tuesday that would reduce the warning time the homeless are given when confiscating certain items from 72 hours to 24. 

Claw machines: The most enjoyable way to get scammed

Jun 26, 2015
Kai Ryssdal, Mukta Mohan and Hayley Hershman

Phil Edwards has loved playing the claw machine since he was a child. It was this love that led him to look into how these machines actually work and what makes them so tricky. He wasn’t sure at first what he’d find. 

“I thought that maybe these stuffed animals were packed really tightly, or that the claw simply didn’t work at all," he says. "But it turns out it’s a lot more insidious than that.”

The financials of same-sex marriage

Jun 26, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry could bring some big financial changes.  

First, let’s talk taxes and the marriage penalty.  

How Hollywood mega-hits spread the joy

Jun 26, 2015
Adrienne Hill

It's going to be another big weekend at the box office: "Ted 2," "Jurassic World" and "Inside Out" are each expected to pull in another $50 million or more.

It’s easy to understand how the monster success of "Jurassic World" is good for Universal. And how Pixar and its parent Disney must be feeling right now about "Inside Out."  


It turns out, a blockbuster can also inspire joy in the theater next door. 

Don Clark

Welcome to the golden age of audio. The world has (re)discovered podcasting. And for us, the real lesson of the post-Serial boomlet isn't that podcasts are great — they've been great for a while! — but that people actually care what reporters do before the story gets written or recorded. Which is to say, we always knew you cared about the murder mystery, but we didn't know that you cared about how we try to report it.

Weekly Wrap: GDP and Greece

Jun 26, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

 Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post and Fusion's' Felix Salmon join Kai to talk about the week's business and economic news. The big topics this week: GDP, consumer spending, Greece's financial situation and the country's relationship with the eurozone. 

Opportunity in America: Then and now

Jun 26, 2015
Alberta Cross

When you think of postwar America, you might think about unending opportunity and limitless optimism. Were things really as rosy as they seemed back then? And what about now? Is America still an economic promised land?

David Lazarus took these questions to Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School who's studied the periods at length.

Marketplace Weekend Staff

With the job market finally improving, job opportunities are growing. What's the best way to approach the market now? What if you want to improve your current gig? To answer those questions David Lazarus spoke to Hallie Crawford, a career coach based in Atlanta.

Click the media player above to hear more.

What will happen to state-run insurance exchanges?

Jun 26, 2015
Adam Allington

The Supreme Court upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, enabling health insurance subsidies to all qualifying Americans.

The ruling firmly establishes the legality of Obamacare, but quite a few states had already moved forward in creating their own insurance exchanges.

The states that set up their own exchanges — mostly Democratic ones — were really trying to get out ahead and help support Obamacare, says Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

PODCAST: Who's to blame for the situation in Greece?

Jun 26, 2015
David Brancaccio

The Chinese stock market falls, but this time, official media are silent there. The key index in Shanghai fell about 8 percent today. More on that. Plus, all this week we've been speaking with ordinary Greeks to find out the impact of the crisis on their lives. Today, we talk to Nick Voglis, owner of a small gourmet sandwich bar in Athens. The sandwiches are delicious, but his fellow Greeks may find his opinions unpalatable: he blames Greece for the crisis. And John Kerry off to Vienna for concluding Iran talks we look at what economic levers the U.S.


Airing on Friday, June 26, 2015: First up, we'll talk about how health care marketplaces may adapt after the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act. Next, we'll talk about Nissan buying the naming rights to the Tennessee Titan’s stadium. So what's in a stadium name? Turns out, millions of dollars. We also talk to Ariella Cohen of Next City about her outfit’s assertion that Rust Belt cities like Pittsburgh and Cleveland should focus on their manufacturing roots when it comes to startup funding and innovation. 


What's in a stadium name? Millions.

Jun 26, 2015
Annie Baxter

There's been a flurry of stadium naming rights deals in the past week. Nissan announced on Thursday its name will crown the Tennessee Titans' football stadium. Last week, U.S. Bank said a new Minnesota Vikings stadium will bear its name.

Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. The U.S. Bank deal reportedly will cost $10 million a year over a 20-year term.

Corporations spend millions of dollars a year for stadium naming rights for NFL teams, even poor performers. The Tennessee Titans lost 10 games in a row last season.

The tool kit for negotiating with Iran

Jun 26, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Vienna for more nuclear negotiations with Iran. The deadline for a deal is June 30. 

Kerry has lots of tools at his disposal as he works with U.S. allies to convince Iran to curb its nuclear program. The sharpest tool is sanctions, which have taken a huge bite out of Iran’s oil exports. Iran still exports some oil to a handful of countries, but oil payments can’t go through Western banks. 

Sandwich-maker finds Greek debt hard to stomach

Jun 26, 2015
Sam Beard

When Greek-born, U.S.-educated Nick Voglis came back to Athens and opened his food business in 1996, he had big plans to launch a new product on the Greek market: the gourmet sandwich.

“Back then, most of the sandwiches on sale in this country were very unhealthy and unappetizing,” he says. "No vegetables or salads inside — just cream cheese, bacon or hot dogs.” 

Marketplace Tech for Friday, June 26, 2015

Jun 26, 2015

Airing on Friday, June 26, 2015: First up, Dan Slater, author of "Love in the Time of Algorithms," comments on’s IPO. Plus, we'll talk to Marketplace's Dan Gorenstein about using healthcare data to look at the whole patient. And how well have you kept up with the week in tech? It's time for Silicon Tally! This week, host Ben Johnson takes on actor and podcaster Jeff Cannata. 

Federal plan to rate colleges fizzles

Jun 25, 2015
Amy Scott

After a long wait and an earful from critics, the Obama Administration has scaled back its plans to rate colleges on measures like how much money students earn after they graduate, and how much debt those students take on. Instead, education officials plan to put out a website later this summer, and let consumers compare colleges on their own.

You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief on college campuses.

Marketplace for Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jun 25, 2015

Airing on Thursday, June 25, 2015:  The Department of Education is bailing on its giant college ratings system, but plans to launch a website this summer that will let users compare colleges against a series of yet unnamed criteria, which may include employment and earnings data and graduation rates. How useful will the site be for students?

Ex-convicts struggle to find work in Baltimore

Jun 25, 2015
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

In 1994, Baltimore won a federal contest aimed at alleviating poverty. Six cities received federal funds totaling $100 million and a slew of tax breaks for businesses and employers. Baltimore invested the money in job creation and job training for unemployed and underemployed people in the poorest neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods were called Empowerment Zones.

With Obamacare upheld, health care firms exhale

Jun 25, 2015
D Gorenstein

Thursday's 6-3 Supreme Court vote upholding a major tenet of the Affordable Care Act means health insurers and health care providers are breathing a sigh of relief — this is the outcome they wanted — but that doesn’t mean they can rest. They're still in the process of figuring out how to thrive in this still-new health care environment.

There's an appetizer for that

Jun 25, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

You are what you eat, and so is your smartphone ... or something.

CNBC reported on a new study from NPD group that breaks out the types of food bought by iPhone and Android users.

Apple fans are far more likely to order soup than Android users, who make up a large share of roast beef sandwich orders. 

Chicken strips? They're about equal. Check out the rest of the data here.

Funny or Die trying

Jun 25, 2015
Kai Ryssdal, Tommy Andres, Mukta Mohan and Hayley Hershman

It’s been almost eight years since Funny or Die's first viral video, “The Landlord,” took the Internet by storm. Over these years, they’ve dealt with a recession and a $600,000 movie flop, all while handling an enormous viewer following.

Marketplace Weekend Staff

What's the best financial opportunity you've ever come across?

We want to know. Tell us your stories of great deals and fantastic job offers — opportunities that changed your life, or ones you missed. 

Write to us! Reach out on Marketplace's Facebook page, send us an email or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND.

A new podcast: Corner Office from Marketplace

Jun 25, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Imagine this.  You get Jack Dorsey – yeah, that Jack Dorsey, the guy from Twitter and Square – in front of a microphone for half an hour, but you can only fit five or six minutes on the radio. Or Dick Glover, who runs Funny or Die — same deal. Marketplace is only half an hour on the radio, and there’s lots of stuff to get in there. 

I’m pretty sure that’s why podcasts were invented — so we could take all the great content we couldn’t fit on the air, and share it with you.

Kai Ryssdal

Funny or Die CEO Dick Glover and President of Production Mike Farah sit down with Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal in the production company's Hollywood offices to talk about the changing landscape of media and how its name is also the key to its survival. 

PODCAST: What your graduation date does for your career

Jun 25, 2015
David Brancaccio

Will warm weather loosen some change from our pockets? Seems like it may be the case — The government is reporting the biggest monthly spending for personal spending in six years. More on that. Plus, we’d like to believe our career success is all because of brains and hard work. But economic research tells us that a fair amount of it comes down to accidents of birth and timing. And new cases of bird flu appear to be on the wane, after costing U.S. poultry farmers more than 48 million birds. But even as outbreaks subside, experts are still unsure why the virus wreaked such havoc.


Airing on Thursday, June 25, 2015: First up, a briefing you might want to hear from someone who has been watching the Greek debt negotiations very closely. Nicholas Spiro, managing director of Spiro Sovereign Risk, a consultancy that focuses on the risks countries face based on their debt, joins us with more. Plus, the federal health insurance law could be thrown into turmoil by the U.S. Supreme Court, meaning states could find themselves facing pressure to extend Obamacare in some way. And as we find out, that creates a business opportunity for some.