Business news


Airing on Tuesday, September 1, 2015: On today's show, global markets react as China's manufacturing contracts; why medical debt collectors are up in arms over a recent FCC ruling; and the tricks of the trade of luxury real estate brokers.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sep 1, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, September 1, 2015: On today's show, we'll have more on Apple's partnership with Cisco; Netflix's decision to let go of some big name movies; and potential U.S. sanctions against China for cyber spying/theft.

The recession changed how we shop

Sep 1, 2015
Mark Garrison

Susan Samtur’s bargain-hunting ability made her famous because of shopping trips like a recent one to Walgreens, where she sliced a $19.08 bill nearly in half at checkout by applying in-store savings and multiple coupons. To top it off, she had points on a loyalty card, which brought her out-of-pocket payment down to mere pennies.

“It cost us 68 cents. What do you think about that?” she beams.

Europe is still reeling from the migrant crisis

Aug 31, 2015
Nick Thorpe

 The BBC's Nick Thorpe speaks to migrants hoping to be granted asylum as they wait on the Hungarian-Serbian border.  


Click the media player above to hear the full story.

Big Fun Toys plays the niche card

Aug 31, 2015
Molly Wood, Mukta Mohan and Hayley Hershman

 Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun Toys in Cleveland, says business isn’t great, but he's doing his best. One of the biggest obstacles he faces is online shopping.

That trend has become not just a trend, it’s become a fact of the matter. I’ve watched people do what they call show-rooming, where they come in with an application on their smart phone. They take a photo of my product and they check prices instantaneously. So we’ve seen quite a move toward that, and as a brick-and-mortar, it’s very frustrating.”

Marketplace for Monday, August 31, 2015

Aug 31, 2015

Climate change in the state that oil built; Wes Craven's horror legacy; and competition in cable boxes. 

Wes Craven's legacy: Hollywood loves horror

Aug 31, 2015
Mark Garrison and Tony Wagner

Hollywood is remembering horror-movie mastermind Wes Craven, who died Sunday at age 76. The writer and director of 1984’s “Nightmare on Elm Street” helped define the teen slasher genre that he later mocked in the "Scream" films.

That first Freddy Krueger movie broke ground by offering a surreal twist on slasher films, all while establishing Craven as an innovator whose movies made big money on small budgets. With little need for pricey stars or locations, the horror genre’s cost-effectiveness has long made it appealing to Hollywood execs.

Why we don't buy cable TV set-top boxes

Aug 31, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Federal Communications Commission has released a report from an advisory committee on how to encourage competition in the market for set-top boxes. 

Right now, if you don’t want to rent a cable set-top box from your cable company, you don’t have a lot of options. And it’s kind of a pain. You still need to rent a card from your cable company to run the box. It’s almost like the days when you had to rent your phone from the phone company. 

Alaska's oil industry struggles amid climate change

Aug 31, 2015
Molly Wood and Scott Tong

President Barack Obama is visiting the state that oil built Monday. He'll spend three days in Alaska focusing on the effects of climate change. A lot of those effects are most pronounced in the arctic and come from burning oil and fossil fuels. However, reducing the use of oil is a hard sell in a state that's so dependent on drilling and transporting it. 

PODCAST: Friendly-ish skies

Aug 31, 2015
Noel King

On today's show, a look ahead to key economic data out this week; more on President's Obama visit to Alaska; and why the skies are more friendly for some travelers over others.

The skies feel very friendly for airlines

Aug 31, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

As an airline representative gives the boarding announcement for passengers who purchased tickets for seats with additional room, Alice Friedman stays seated in the gate area.

She opted not to purchase any of the extras the airlines offered on this flight, a quick hop from New York to Massachusetts. But she has paid for additional space on longer flights to Europe, for example.

Like many travelers, Friedman has heard about the airline industry’s improving bottom line, which can make its push to upsell passengers feel a bit uncomfortable.

Seneca Nation announces $40 million casino expansion

Aug 28, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Seneca Nation and Seneca Gaming Corporation on Friday announced a plan to expand the Buffalo Creek Casino, creating new gaming space and a new restaurant space on the upper level. When finished, an estimated 300 new jobs are expected to be created.

At Instagram, it's no longer hip to be square

Aug 28, 2015
Sally Herships

Until now, if you wanted to advertise on Instagram, you were kind of boxed in.

"You needed to receive prior approval from Instagram and have rather lofty budgets in order to be appearing on their platform," says Nate Carter, managing director with eEffective, an ad agency trading desk.

Marketplace for Friday, August 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015

Another step in the evolution of the 21st century employee; the big, bad business of refugee smuggling; and Instagram's outside-the-box strategy.

Refugee smuggling is a big, bad business

Aug 28, 2015
Scott Tong

Europe's refugee and migrant crisis appears to be getting worse by the day. In Austria, a truck found full of decomposed bodies is now believed to have held 71 people, including 12 women and children. The police say they were likely refugees from Syria. And an estimated 150 people drowned off the coast of Libya when a boat enroute to Italy sank.

Weekly Wrap: The stock market, oil and Janet Yellen

Aug 28, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Nela Richardson from Redfin and the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy. The big topics this week: stock market fluctuations, possible peril in China's economy, a 20-percent jump in oil prices and what is Janet Yellen thinking? 

How fear plays a role in our finances

Aug 28, 2015
Lizzie O'Leary and Raghu Manavalan

What was your reaction when you first saw the stock market drop earlier this week? Something like this?

Despite all the advice about playing the long game when it comes to the stock market, the first reaction a lot of us have when we see all that red is fear. David Zald is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, and it's his job to figure out what fear is and why it makes us do what we do.

One photographer, 35 years of campaign history

Aug 28, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Mukta Mohan

Jim Cole has photographed every New Hampshire primary since 1980. He's snapped photos of everyone from George H.W. Bush sticking his head out of an airplane to the Lobsterman who ran for president in 2000. He's back at it this time around for the Associated Press.

On how to get a good shot:

Jack Lew is a fan of both Hamilton and "Hamilton."

Aug 28, 2015
Carrie Barber and Tony Wagner


PODCAST: Mixed stock market indicators

Aug 28, 2015
David Brancaccio

First: The stock market has been in flux this week, but the overall U.S. economy seems to be doing well. Are the markets actually a solid marker of an economy's health? We take a look at the relationship between the two. Next: World trade has declined, raising the question of whether we've reached peak globalization. Plus: Economist George Chouliarakis has been named Greece's interim finance minister. 


A New Orleans Business Banks On New Connections

Aug 28, 2015
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

At McMillan's First Steps preschool, there's a big mural painted on the cafeteria wall. A smiling boy is held in the air by a doctor, a pastor and a police officer.

Plus, a guy in a Home Depot uniform.

In another city that might seem weird, but not in a city that is rebuilding. Linda McMillan, who owns First Steps, says the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina destroyed her campus.

Airing on Friday, August 28, 2015: The hallmark of Wall Street activity this week has been volatility. And that’s what most investment managers say we can expect more of going forward. Why is that? What does that mean for us ordinary Americans? We explore. Plus, a conversation with the president of Cadillac on the company’s decision to move its global headquarters to New York City, and how it plans to keep up with the rate of change in the luxury market landscape.


You can't escape the campaign ad

Aug 28, 2015
Kim Adams

The Democratic National Committee met in Minneapolis this week. Among the items on the agenda was a strategy to transform the party’s voter databases into something they can use to target online ads. Republicans are doing something similar, all in an effort to catch voters who spend more time than ever online.

For political campaigns, television ads and robocalls just aren’t enough anymore.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, August 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015

Airing on Friday, August 28, 2015: On today's show, a North Dakota law that allows police to use drones to deploy non-lethal weapons. Plus, on this week’s edition of Silicon Tally, Ben tries to stump Ian Bogost, professor of media studies and interactive computing at Georgia Tech, on the latest numbers in tech news. 

Gigi Douban

This week in the markets is brought to you by the letter V. That's V for VIX, V for violent swings in the market...

V ... for Volatility.

Now, you may be hoping we'll get a break from volatility after this turbulent week. Well, traders say, fuhgeddaboutit: the way things are in our new economic reality, we're likely to be hearing a lot more of the V word in coming weeks.

After all, they say, volatility is a normal part of any market. So It's hard to predict. But John Sweeney, executive vice president of retirement and investing strategies at Fidelity, has a theory.

HarborCenter Marriott opens for business

Aug 27, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The final major component in downtown Buffalo's highly-touted mixed-use facility is completed and welcoming its first guests.

Living in a wildfire zone

Aug 27, 2015
Andy Uhler

Hundreds of wildfires are burning in the West. The drought that's dried out the region got the fire season started early, and so far, this is shaping up as one of the worst years ever in the Pacific Northwest.

China's Wanda buys Ironman race series

Aug 27, 2015
Kim Adams

The Ironman triathlon competition has just been swallowed up by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.

Marketplace for Thursday, August 27, 2015

Aug 27, 2015

The fundamentals of America's economy in three numbers; China's Ironman; and living in the fire zone.

Digital assistants: If they only had a brain

Aug 27, 2015
Amy Scott

If you’ve ever used Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana or another so-called “virtual assistant” on your smart phone, chances are there has been some cursing involved. That frustration has created a big opportunity for whomever can make a better one. Now Facebook is stepping into the fray on a small scale at first. For a few hundred users in the Bay Area, Facebook’s Messenger app will now come with a feature called M.