Business news

"Blood & Oil" inspired by North Dakota's Bakken fields

23 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios

It may have taken him four years, but writer Rodes Fishburne knew the oil boom up in North Dakota would make for good television. And ABC agreed. "Blood & Oil," which he co-created, airs on Sunday nights.

On how he came up with the idea behind "Blood & Oil":

D Gorenstein

Remember that super moon last week? A strange confluence of events led to something freaky. It turns out, this is pretty much a super moon moment for Medicare.

“This year is wacky, and that’s the technical term,” joked Tricia Neuman, the director of Medicare policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The Transaction: The Bar Tab

Oct 9, 2015
Eliza Mills and Tommy Andres

Marketplace listener Patrick McConnell from Sterling, Virginia, recounts a visit to a dive bar that changed his life.

Andy Uhler

The Federal Railroad Administration announced Friday that a broken rail caused a train derailment in West Virginia in February that spilled more than 300,000 gallons of volatile oil, started a fire that burned for more than four days and forced more than a thousand people to leave their homes. The agency also said it will release new track standards to try to eliminate these derailments next week. 

There’s almost a quarter million miles of railroad track in the United States. To put that in perspective, the interstate highway system’s total length is less than 50,000 miles.

Blake Farmer

Volkswagen’s emissions control cheating scandal continues to snowball. In one U.S. city, the German automaker’s troubles are treated like local news. For now, Chattanooga, Tennessee, is vowing to stand by VW.

To Tennessee, Volkswagen is more than a relatively new employer. The company’s decision to build its only American plant in the state was treated like history in the making. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker was visibly emotional at the grand opening in 2011.

My Money Story: Eustace Conway, off the grid

Oct 9, 2015
Jenny Ament

Originally aired Friday, October 17, 2014

Eustace Conway is a Naturalist who lives in the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. He's been living in the forest there for nearly 40 years.

When Conway was 17 years old, he left the suburbs to live outdoors. He has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, and has crossed the United States on horseback from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Marketplace for Friday, October 9, 2015

Oct 9, 2015

How the Bakken oil fields inspired Hollywood; monetizing emotions; and Chattanooga, Tennessee, stands by VW. 

My money story: Storyteller Brian Finkelstein

Oct 9, 2015
Raghu Manavalan

Originally aired Friday, August 29, 2014

Every week, we have someone tell us their story about money. This week, Los Angeles-based storyteller Brian Finkelstein tells us about a time when the bubble bursts.

The first time I made a lot of money, I was in my twenties and I was broke. I was that broke in your twenties where you have sleep for dinner. You know that feeling where it’s like, “Oh, it’s 8 o'clock and I'm just gonna go to bed because I have no money."

Amy Speace

Originally aired Friday, March 27, 2015

I live in East Nashville, Tennessee, a bohemian neighborhood in Music City right across the Cumberland River from downtown that, for many years, has been home to one of the most diverse populations in this city. Bisected by Gallatin Pike, where an über-trendy coffee shop might sit in between a discount liquor store and a check-cashing shop, this area is peppered with quaint cottage homes that only a short time ago were affordable to the artist class.

Jenny Ament

Originally aired Friday, April 10, 2015

Javier Chavez was only eight years old when he began getting into trouble. By the time he was 11, he was involved in a gang in Los Angeles.

He's been arrested multiple times, on charges ranging from selling drugs to weapon possession.

Chavez's longest stint in prison was for four years. He's 33 now, and says he's getting a second chance at life.

What goes into the decision to create a spinoff?

Oct 9, 2015
Paddy Hirsch

This has been a big week for the spinoff. General Electric said it's going to spin several of its divisions, those involved in energy efficiency, renewable generation and storage, into a new company called Current.

PODCAST: Verdicts on the TPP

Oct 9, 2015
David Brancaccio

On today's show, we'll talk about market players' reactions to the Fed's minutes from the most recent meeting; the verdicts on the yet-unreleased terms of the TPP; and why even the recent scandals in the auto industry are unlikely to push regulators for stronger rules.

Airing on Friday, October 9, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about the latest in the Chrysler negotiations; Marketplace chief economics contributor Chris Farrell talks about what the U.S. can learn from Japan's efforts to correct its gender gap in the workforce; and how the Mets used math to get to the playoffs for the first time in several years.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, October 9, 2015

Oct 9, 2015

Airing on Friday, October 9, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about Dell entering the cloud computing arena; Verizon raising the cost of unlimited data; and we'll play Silicon Tally with David Plotz, CEO of Atlas Obscura.

The battle lines shape up on the TPP

Oct 9, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

The Trans-Pacific Partnership took a big step forward this week as negotiating teams from 12 countries totaling hundreds of delegates agreed to a deal. The terms they settled on are still being incorporated into the text, which hasn’t yet been publically released.

But that hasn’t stopped lawmakers, industry groups and, yes, candidates from giving their verdicts on the TPP in a flurry of statements, speeches and tweets.

Bill Gross unleashes on Pimco executives

Oct 8, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

This final note on the way out today, which comes with the caveat that anybody can sue anybody for anything.

There was a lawsuit filed here in California on Thursday that's, well, a piece of work.

Bill Gross, whom you might have heard referred to in the financial press as the Bond King, started — and for many years — ran the world's biggest bond fund at Pimco.

Sponsors give FIFA a red card

Oct 8, 2015
Sally Herships

Things are not looking good for FIFA. The entire top layer of the soccer organization has been temporarily kicked out, starting with Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA. He has been suspended for 90 days. (Our partners at the BBC talked to Blatter recently.) 

Marketplace for Friday, October 8, 2015

Oct 8, 2015

An in-depth look at race and debt; Sepp Blatter's red card; and uncertainty in Congress.

The color of debt

Oct 8, 2015
Paul Kiel and Ayelet Waldman


Tracey Samuelson's story (listen above) was co-produced with ProPublica. 

On a recent Saturday afternoon, the mayor of Jennings, a St. Louis suburb of about 15,000, settled in before a computer in the empty city council chambers. Yolonda Fountain Henderson, 50, was elected last spring as the city’s first black mayor.

The City Council chambers of Jennings, Missouri. In addition to the mayor, five of the eight sitting city council members have been sued over a debt. (Edwin Torres/ProPublica)

What congressional uncertainty means for the economy

Oct 8, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Kim Adams

The front-runner for the speaker of the House, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, has pulled out of the race, raising questions about stability in Congress. This comes ahead of a slew of important economic decisions by lawmakers. Marketplace's Kimberly Adams explains what the uncertainty in Congress means for the country's economic health.

Possible Dell and EMC merger on the horizon

Oct 8, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood

Dell, which has faced lagging sales and has gone private in recent years, is in talks to merge with cloud computing and data storage company EMC. Marketplace’s senior tech reporter Molly Wood explains what the massive move would mean for the two companies. 

On why this is a big deal:

Sepp gets his timeout

Oct 8, 2015
Marketplace staff

15 percent

That's the flat tax rate proposed by Dr. Ben Carson in his interview with Marketplace. When asked about balancing the budget, Carson also spoke of a balanced budget amendment, which would include a refusal to extend the budget for three to four years. You can hear the full interview here.

90 days

PODCAST: Readjusting predictions for September

Oct 8, 2015
David Brancaccio

On today's show, we'll talk about readjusting a jobs prediction made a week ago; VW offering an apology; the chances that oil prices will continue to increase; and we'll take a look at how businesses in Bastrop, Texas, recovered from the worst wildfire in the state's history.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The movement to make Erie County's bars close sooner took a step forward Wednesday when a county lawmaker introduced legislation asking the State Liquor Authority to change the current 4 a.m. closing time to 2 a.m. Bar owners are offering differing opinions about the proposed new closing time.

How small businesses are affected by wildfires

Oct 8, 2015
Andy Uhler

Peak fire season is just starting in Southern California as Santa Ana winds pick up. Four years ago, Central Texas went through the most devastating fire in the state’s history. 

Jarad Milton and his brother own close to 800 acres in a town called Smithville in Bastrop County. 

“You know, there have been cattle constantly on the place since we got the place, basically,” he said.

Airing on Thursday, October 8, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting; Alcoa's decision to split into two companies; and we'll talk a look at racial disparity of wage garnishments.

Marketplace Tech for Thursday, October 8, 2015

Oct 8, 2015

Airing on Thursday, October 8, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about Google's so-called Accelerated Mobile Pages; Pandora’s acquisition of live event ticketing company TicketFly; and Kim Dotcom’s extradition trial in New Zealand.


An old-school U.S. company lets its sexy side shine

Oct 8, 2015
Mark Garrison

Aluminum giant Alcoa reports earnings Thursday afternoon, highlighting a moment of challenge and change for the firm. Aluminum prices are in the dumps, along with other commodities. But Alcoa now does a lot more than just old-school mining and aluminum production. So the company is preparing to split into two publicly traded companies: one focused on its legacy aluminum business and the other on high-performance materials — not just aluminum — used in jets and next-generation cars.

Scott Tong

The international price of crude oil has rallied a few dollars this week to more than $50 a barrel. The question is whether that is a sign of momentum, of a rebound in price after a yearlong plunge.

This week brought evidence U.S. drillers and frackers are starting to cry "uncle." Low prices have them cutting production. The number of active drilling rigs is down, as are barrels of crude produced. It's arrived. Oil rigs are down and so are barrels produced.

A new consumer sentiment study shows New Yorkers are thinking twice before reaching for their wallets.