Business news

Fraud in the Medicaid system

May 24, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about how homebuilders are starting to cater to high-income consumers; the failure of state and federal health officials to conduct criminal background checks on high-risk health providers; and a submarine project in Connecticut that could be potentially worth $100 billion.

Lane Wallace

In a big upset for federal prosecutors, an appeals court in New York  on Monday threw out an earlier decision against Bank of America and its mortgage lending unit Countrywide.

The Department of Justice had accused Bank of America and Countrywide of fraud, saying Countrywide misrepresented mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2007 and 2008.

New home sales lag overall market

May 24, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The U.S. Commerce Department reports new home sales for April on Tuesday. A small increase is expected from the 511,000 annual rate reported for March.

Housing been one of the bright spots in the economic recovery, with existing home sales strong, home prices rising, and mortgage rates historically low.

Casino workers now training to build submarines

May 24, 2016
Howard Jones

The Navy recently picked General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Connecticut to build 12 new submarines, in what could be a $100 billion project. It should secure the future of the yard for the next couple of decades, but in the meantime, hiring thousands of workers presents a few challenges in an economy where manufacturing was on the decline.

After hours at a technical high school in Groton, a small class of men and women gathered around instructor Robert Morelli to prepare for a hands-on measuring test.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016

On today's show, we'll check in to see how restructuring efforts at Hewlett Packard and IBM have affected each company; interview author Thomas Davenport about his new book "Only Humans Need Apply," which argues that the future of business success will require machine-human collaboration; and meet the man behind Google Doodle, Ryan Germick. 

A popular Niagara Falls, Ontario attraction reopened it's doors this weekend.

Delaware North is among three new members on the Board of Directors of the American Gaming Association. 

Three firms receive business ethics awards

May 12, 2016

Three local companies were honored Thursday at  the 10th annual Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Awards.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

KeyBank Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney says First Niagara's Larkinville complex will be Key's Northeast Regional Headquarters once the two banks merge. The new name of the downtown arena will be KeyBank Center, taking over First Niagara's sponsorship.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Where the Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital's tower once stood, work crews are now preparing to erect a senior apartment building. Officials with Canterbury Woods joined elected leaders to mark the formal commencement of  construction.

New York State

The CEOs have spoken - and they're not happy with New York State. They rated the state 49th out of 50 for the second year in a row, saying it's the second-worst state in which to do business.

SolarCity stock tumbles after weak first quarter

May 10, 2016

SolarCity stock fell sharply Monday as the company said things didn't go well in the first three months of the year.

The New York Times gets in the food delivery game

May 6, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

I'm pretty sure this is the marker for peak online food delivery services.

The New York Times is getting into the game. Yes, that New York Times. Actually, it's just the ingredients from recipes pulled from the NYT Cooking site.

Which is pretty good, truth be told. It's that whole, "we'll send you the ingredients, you cook" thing.

Me? I'm good with takeout.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A new restaurant is opening for business - and expanding - in the space where Dug's Dive once stood. Elected officials were on hand to celebrate what they see as just another step toward turning a long-idled waterfront space into Buffalo's next hotspot.

Mitchell Hartman

The U.S. Department of Labor reported the economy added 160,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April, and the unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent. The number of jobs created was disappointing and fell significantly below the consensus among business economists.

“Generally, the rate of jobs gains is starting to slow,” said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. Here are some of the key numbers from the report:

The Adventures of Mark Twain’s debt

May 6, 2016
John Holman

Great American author Mark Twain is best known for writing “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” At one point of his life, the 19th century writer was even the highest-paid author in America.

Yet, when it came to investing money, he wasn’t so great. He lost thousands, millions, in today's dollars on investments that never took off.

Annie Baxter

New rules issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration could have a big effect on the electronic cigarette industry, which will now have to submit products for a safety review if it wants to keep them on the market. The same holds for new products.

The rules would also impose restrictions on products like cigars and hookah tobacco.

JaeRan Kim

Scott Seltzer recently celebrated his first anniversary of owning a home in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Though he loves his home, he wishes he hadn't bought it. Seltzer was unaware at the time that his block falls within an area believed to be highly contaminated with lead. 

Marketplace Tech for Friday, May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016

KFC introduces finger lickin' good nail polish

May 5, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Finger lickin' good just took on a whole new meaning.

Kentucky Fried Chicken has introduced edible nail polish. It comes in Original Recipe and Hot and Spicy, just like the actual chicken. KFC apparently worked with McCormick, the spice company, on the formula — I hate to call it a recipe. Apparently what you do is you lick it once it's on your nails and it tastes just like chicken.

Sadly, it's available only in Hong Kong.

Dispatch, Ep 14: It's a meal delivery apocalypse

May 5, 2016
Molly Wood

Oh you need some food to come to your house? I think there's an app for that.

In fact, here is what's probably a partial list of the various food and meal delivery services operating in the San Francisco Bay Area.

JaeRan Kim

Amelia Vallejo's son Michael is 5 years old. He is developmentally delayed, mostly deaf, has vision problems and a host of other physical ailments his mother attributes to the high concentrations of lead that had been in her yard's soil.

“This Exide battery plant has ruined my family for the rest of their lives, with my son being disabled," Vallejo said, looking at the new sod recently installed in her yard by state employees. “I think it’s great, but the damage has been done.”

Proposed consumer class action rules don't cover everybody

May 5, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has unveiled a proposed new rule on binding arbitration, those clauses usually buried in the fine print of your credit card agreement that say you can’t sue your bank. You have to go to arbitration instead.  

The CFPB proposal would let consumers band together to sue in class action lawsuits. 

Austin votes on fingerprinting for rideshare drivers

May 5, 2016
Audrey McGlinchy

Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have battled local regulations in many cities, including San Antonio, New York City and Atlanta.

It’s now Austin’s turn. On Saturday, voters in the central Texas city will choose which rules they’d like the companies to work under. If the vote does not go in their favor, Uber and Lyft have threatened to leave the city.

The FDA swoops in with new e-cigarette regulations

May 5, 2016
Nova Safo and Levi Sharpe

The Food and Drug Administration came out with new rules today that extend its authority over tobacco regulations to all related products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and tobacco pipes.

The rules, which take effect in August, are retroactive. Products out in the market now will have to go back and get approval from the FDA. Companies will have a two-year grace period, with an additional year if needed.

Why fitness is more than a $3 trillion industry

May 5, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Health conscious consumers have a lot of new ways to work out these days. There’s CrossFit and SoulCycle, Cardio Barre and all kinds of boot camps.

But it turns out all these new ways to work out are also new ways for companies to make a whole lot of money. And it’s more than that; for many, fitness is becoming not a hobby, but a lifestyle.

Donna Tam

North Carolina violated the U.S. Civil Rights Act when it put restrictions on access to public bathrooms, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The DOJ sent a letter to the state’s governor Wednesday, detailing how North Carolina’s law limiting access for transgender people is actually, well, against the law. 

Donna Tam

The Federal Drug Administration released new e-cigarette regulations Thursday that may have a dire impact on the fledgling industry.