Business news

Annie Baxter

A new report from the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization, Feeding America, points to a persistent problem of food insecurity: the socio-economic condition where people have limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

The report said food insecurity rates across counties remained high at 14.7 percent in 2014, the most recent year its data captured.


On today's show, we'll talk about the inability for many Americans to access adequate food; look at Facebook's plan for a new class of shares; and interview Antoine van Agtmael about his new book, "The Smartest Places on Earth." 

Amy Scott

This week marks a year since the city of Baltimore erupted in violence and looting following the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died in police custody. The uprising brought national attention to stark inequality in the city. More than half the adults in the mostly black neighborhood where Gray grew up are unemployed. For a lot of people in impoverished neighborhoods, a history with the justice system can be a barrier to finding work. One program is trying to turn that around.

Now you can take celebrity online courses

Apr 26, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

An online learning startup called MasterClass raised a big round of funding — $15 million. It uses not academic celebrities, but the real US Weekly kind to teach its courses: from best-selling author James Patterson on writing, to Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey on acting.

Learning singing from Christina Aguilera or acting from Spacey is pretty tempting. You pay $90 for a five-hour course. Richard Garrett, chief research officer at Eduventures, said a company like MasterClass isn't a rival to online higher education, but they share some challenges.

Saudi Arabia is pushing for the biggest ever IPO

Apr 26, 2016
JaeRan Kim

Saudi Arabia has begun releasing information on its ambitious plans to reform its economy away from oil dependence. Part of the plan includes offering up shares of state-owned oil company Aramco in what could be the largest-ever initial public offering. 

Though less than 5 percent of the company would be sold, such an offering would be expected to bring at least $100 billion. 

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Apr 26, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about online campaign fundraising with BuzzFeed's Evan McMorris-Santoro; America's industrial technology landscape; and Twitter earnings. 


On today's show, we'll talk about why Saudi Arabia plans to weaken its dependence on oil, and the fall of Mitsubishi's stock amid an emissions scandal.

Teaching personal finance at high schools

Apr 25, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Obama's push for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal; the benefits of providing tuition reimbursement to your employees; and a Minnesota personal finance competition for high school students.  

Employers who help pay for tuition reap the rewards

Apr 25, 2016
Mark Garrison

A new study says company-provided tuition assistance creates a big return for those companies, not just the employees upgrading their education.

In an analysis of the tuition reimbursement program at the health insurance company Cigna, a Lumina Foundation study said the insurer realized a 129 percent return on its investment in tuition reimbursement, in the form of personnel cost savings.

“We are definitely more likely to retain people if they’ve participated in the program,” said Karen Kocher, Cigna’s chief learning officer.

If I say it's artisanal... maybe it is

Apr 25, 2016
Annie Baxter

Over the past few years, the word “artisan” has appeared on a growing number of mass-produced items — McDonald's "artisan grilled chicken sandwich" being but one example.

There are no rules dictating proper use of the term. For some people, it has become so overused as to lose its meaning.

A couple years ago, the research firm Canadean surveyed consumers about what they think “artisan” means. The greatest share, nearly a quarter, said they didn’t know. Others associated it with authenticity and features like a unique taste, high-quality ingredients or being “handmade.” 

The Fed still planning interest rate hikes — but when?

Apr 25, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the state of the economy, and to decide whether and when to raise interest rates again.

After pushing the federal funds rate to near zero (0 to 0.25 percent) in 2008 to try to blunt the impact of the Great Recession and stimulate the economy toward recovery, the Fed has now raised rates once, in December 2015, by 0.25 basis points. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has signaled that more rate hikes are in the cards, but has not indicated precisely when that will happen.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, April 25, 2016

Apr 25, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the success of Apple's apps; chat with the CEO of SecureWorks, the first tech IPO of the year; and look at Prince's protected legacy in the digital space.

On today's show, we'll talk about the number of people filing for unemployment benefits; China's new guidelines for it peer-to-peer and crowdfunding sector; and mutual funds.

China cracks down on Internet finance sector

Apr 21, 2016
Rob Schmitz

The People's Bank of China has announced strict new guidelines for the country's ballooning peer-to-peer (P2P) and crowdfunding sector, a popular but unregulated part of China's economy. One reason? Climbing property prices.

Despite an overall slower growth economy in China, we’ve been seeing property prices in China’s wealthiest cities climb to new heights. One of the reasons for this is that more and more Chinese home buyers are using these online lending platforms to obtain mortgage down payments on new homes.

For families, even a small amount in savings goes a long way

Apr 21, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

A new report from the Urban Institute connects the dots between the financial health of cities and their residents. Turns out even a small nest egg can help families weather a financial emergency so they don’t have to turn to the government for help.

The report says almost a quarter of American families have no savings outside of retirement plans. It’s a real problem, according to Caroline Ratcliffe, one of the report’s co-authors and a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.

Shakespeare brand still strong after 400 years

Apr 21, 2016
Sam Beard

This weekend, the Brits are marking a key cultural anniversary. It has been 400 years since the death of that ultimate literary icon – William Shakespeare. A feast of plays, sonnet readings and other events are planned throughout the rest of year, but this isn’t just about culture. There’s money to be made. The Bard is big business.

Marketplace Tech for Thursday, April 21, 2016

Apr 21, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Alphabet vs. the European Union; Intel's 12,000-worker layoff; and the death of the Xbox 360. 


On today's show, we'll talk about the latest development in the Volkswagen emissions scandal; how a small amount of savings can help families weather a financial crisis; and the strength of the Shakespeare brand 400 years after his death.

(This post was last updated at 6:15 p.m. EDT.)

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced on Wednesday that the countenance of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman will grace a new $20 bill.

The decision caps a public campaign asking for a woman to be placed on American paper currency and months of deliberation by the Treasury to replace either Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill or Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

Metro Buses to roll on new Walmart property

Apr 19, 2016

When Walmart opens its new store in the Town of Cheektowaga Wednesday, they'll welcome many customers who rely on public transportation to get there. An agreement to allow Metro Bus access was announced on Tuesday.

Investing your way to U.S. citizenship

Apr 18, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the price of crude oil; why Netflix is looking for growth abroad; and the controversial EB-5 visa which grants citizenship to those who are rich enough to invest over half a million dollars in the United States. 

Mark Garrison

Big, high-profile real estate developments in America are scooping up funding from an unusual and controversial source: foreign investors angling to become Americans. The EB-5 visa program offers a path to citizenship to those rich enough to invest at least half a million dollars here. But there’s a growing debate about the program, with fierce defenders and critics who cut across traditional partisan lines.

Netflix counts on an international audience

Apr 18, 2016
Adrienne Hill

Netflix announces quarterly earnings on Monday. And, as always, subscriber numbers will be key.

The streaming service has more than 75 million members globally, with a majority in the U.S. 

But there's not a whole lot of room to grow here. So Netflix is counting on the international market. In early January, Netflix stormed into more than 130 countries, giving it a presence nearly everywhere — except for China, North Korea, and a couple other countries. 

Kim Adams

Arguments start Monday in a major immigration case before the Supreme Court. It’s about the “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans” program, which would allow people who’ve been in the U.S. more than five years and have children who are in the country legally regularize their immigration status.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, April 18, 2016

Apr 18, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Netflix's dive into the international market; virtual reality at the Tribeca Film Festival; and the miscommunication that can arise with emojis. 


On today's show, we'll talk about the latest development in immigration reform; the recent earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan; and criticism over U.K.'s foreign aid spending. 

NBA jerseys are getting ads

Apr 15, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Just days after the NBA's regular season went out in a double-blaze of Steph Curry/Kobe Bryant glory, NBA owners voted Friday to allow ads on players jerseys starting in two years.

Weekly Wrap: China has a lot of stuff

Apr 15, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy and Linette Lopez from Business Insider. The big topics this week: the big banks' living wills, consumer spending and Brazil's "hot mess."

Nova Safo

The Obama administration has announced an ambitious plan to spur more competition in the economy, beginning with the set-top box.

In an executive order, President Obama said he gave federal agencies 60 days to identify sectors in the economy where the government can help stimulate competition.

The opening salvo came from the Commerce Department, which filed comments with the FCC in support of its proposed plan to open up competition in cable set-top boxes.