Business news

Organic seafood? Not so fast.

Sep 30, 2015
Luke Quinton

Ben Shannahan runs The Fish Depot in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland, one of the world’s ancient fishing meccas.

Shannahan offers a wide variety of fish and seafood at his shop, but if you ask him how many of his customers ask for certified organic seafood, he has a simple answer. “None,” he said. “Not one person in 10 years.”

Google announced two new Nexus phones (among other things) Tuesday, but despite some impressive specs and a nice looking version of Android, the company is (mostly) clinging to a pricing model that buyers in the U.S. just don’t seem to want.  

If you want Google's Project Fi, the experimental (and still invite-only) WiFi-based wireless service Google started offering in April, you can apparently finance a Nexus phone for 24 months. That alone is notable, as it suggests that phone pricing has irrevocably changed. 

Group of colleges creates its own admissions app

Sep 29, 2015
Sally Herships

Applying to college is like the high school version of doing your taxes. But it is also stressful for the schools themselves. Like recently, when there were major tech problems with the common application. 

Jeff Alderson is a principal analyst with, a research and advisory firm focused on higher education. He said the glitches were especially problematic for elite institutions.

Marketplace for Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sep 29, 2015

A coalition of colleges aims to reinvent the college application process; former Labor Secretary Robert Reich tries to "save" capitalism; and indicators suggest more young people are entering the market for first homes. 

Business Insider wins a $343 million investment

Sep 29, 2015
Nova Safo

The German media giant Axel Springer said Tuesday it has paid $343 million to acquire almost all of the U.S. news site Business Insider.

The Berlin-based company, which already operates multiple newspapers and websites in Europe, said the acquisition expands its digital audience to almost 200 million users. Business Insider (which syndicates Marketplace content) is now valued at $390 million — up from $100 million last year. The site has a monthly unique audience of 76 million, according to Axel Springer.

Ralph Lauren steps down as CEO of company

Sep 29, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Ralph Lifshitz — better known, perhaps, as Ralph Lauren — announced Tuesday that he's going to step down as CEO of his eponymous company.

He's been doing that job for 48 years.

I've only been doing this one for 10, and I'll tell you what: more power to him. 

PODCAST: Healthcare on Capitol Hill

Sep 29, 2015
David Brancaccio

On today's show, we'll talk about Aetna and Anthem's appearance on Capitol Hill  today; more on news that Cargill will wind down its hedge fund arm; and how some VW customers feel in light of the recent emissions scandal.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sep 29, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, September 29, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about Tesla’s Model X; an artist whose work confronts surveillance in tech; and the photo technology known as HiRISE that allowed scientists to determine there is briny water on Mars. 

Airing on September 29, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about why global stock markets have been in such a snit; why schools are preparing for a shutdown no matter what; and a comedian talks about the art of dropping the mic.

Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. Dropping the mic is harder.

Sep 29, 2015
David Brancaccio and Katie Long

As part of our series called Pro Tool: Tools of the Professional, we're looking for must-have devices in possession of anyone in the workforce, be they a hair dresserwriter, or 

Insurance CEOs again called before lawmakers

Sep 29, 2015
D Gorenstein

Top health insurance executives are making the rounds these days in Washington.

Last week, CEOs from Aetna and Anthem – who are each looking to complete mega-mergers – testified before the Senate, and the two return again Tuesday for a hearing in the House.

Lawmakers have pressed the executives to detail how consumers will benefit from these potential deals.

Being a competitive coding jock has its perks

Sep 28, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Mukta Mohan

When one thinks of sports, a bunch of guys sitting around typing on a computer is probably not what comes to mind. But apparently, competitive coding is a thing, and being a coding jock has its perks. Participants receive all-expenses-paid trips to compete, job offers and even cash prizes. Ashlee Vance wrote about the sport of coding for Bloomberg Business. 

Marketplace for Monday, September 28, 2015

Sep 28, 2015

Shell's out, but Arctic oil is staying in the ground; 70,000 medical codes for your doctor to consider; and why Fred Savage took "The Grinder" job.

Donald Trump unveils tax plan

Sep 28, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Here's some tax policy news on the way out, Donald Trump style. 

The Republican front-runner released his tax plan Monday.

The broad outlines are pretty well known: making cuts in the top tax rates for personal and corporate filers, getting rid of the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax, and having hedge funds pay more in taxes — assuming this thing ever happens.

How Congress solved one problem but created another

Sep 28, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Congress used to do a little dance each year called the "doc fix." Every year, doctors treating Medicare patients faced a big pay cut. Every year, Congress passed a short-term fix. And mixed in with the fix was funding for other Medicare expenses, such as physical therapy or ambulance rides.

But there’s no fix this year, because Congress passed a permanent solution, locking in yearly raises.

Obama and Putin clash over trade at the United Nations

Sep 28, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

More than three dozen heads of state took their turns at the United Nation’s podium Monday, from China’s Xi Jinping to Cuba’s Raul Castro. But among the stars of the show were Barack Obama and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. It was Obama’s second speech at the U.N. in two days, but the first for Putin in roughly a decade.

Shell pulls out of Arctic. For how long?

Sep 28, 2015
Scott Tong

It may be the most expensive oil well ever. Royal Dutch Shell invested $7 billion into an oil drilling exploration in the Alaskan Arctic. Monday, though, the company announced it did not find enough oil and gas to go forward, and “for the foreseeable future” Arctic oil and gas will stay in the ground.

Shell’s is not the only Arctic failure this year. Drilling in the Russian Arctic is also on hold, as well as in the waters above Norway.

Fred Savage on-screen again for 'The Grinder'

Sep 28, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

Child actor Fred Savage eventually turned to directing and producing. Now, he's back in front of the camera in the Fox comedy "The Grinder" with Rob Lowe, which premieres Tuesday at 8:30. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Savage about acting, directing and producing. 

On which job he prefers:

Ted Hawley's Facebook page

Buffalo Beer Week is underway, but most local residents wouldn't have needed a special event to spot the growing popularity of  craft beers that are produced by local breweries. What some beer lovers might not know is that the trend is helping to generate business in non-brewing arenas.

PODCAST: A big split for Alcoa

Sep 28, 2015
David Brancaccio

On today's show, we'll talk about Alcoa splitting into two companies; how copyright laws may have factored into VW's emissions scandal; India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meetings with tech giants; and how financial assistance for poor families in Georgia is threatened by an accounting sleight-of-hand.

A story of dirty emissions … and copyright law

Sep 28, 2015
Mitchell Hartman

Squirreled away in something called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 is fine print that makes it risky to dig around under the hood of a new car and find out what makes it tick, explains Kit Walsh of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“The modern automobile is controlled by about 100 different computers running software created by the automakers or third parties that they contract with,” Walsh said. "And they typically will lock down that software so that you can’t even look at it, let alone modify it as a user."

Marketplace Tech for Monday, September 28, 2015

Sep 28, 2015

Airing on Monday, September 28, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about lobbying in Silicon Valley; how the VW emission scandal could have been avoided; and we'll talk with Kevin McCoy, artist and founder of the app Monegraph.

Michell Eloy

On a walk through the cavernous Atlanta Community Food Bank, Danah Craft points out what she said is a vital food item: a jar of peanut butter.

For a family relying on food banks, peanut butter is an important source of protein. “This is the kind of food that helps families put a balanced meal on the table,” Craft said.

Craft heads the Georgia Food Bank Association. The group helps distribute millions of pounds of food to the state’s eight regional food banks, but it can’t always rely on what’s donated to meet the needs of Georgia’s poor.

Amtrak cracking down on baggage policy

Sep 28, 2015
Sally Herships

Passengers on Amtrak trains may have gotten a scare recently. An announcement reminding riders that beginning October 1, Amtrak will begin cracking down on a long unenforced policy – a $20 charge for every piece of excess baggage. But, calm down, there’s nothing to get derailed about. And before we get to trains let’s talk planes. What you can take on them without paying extra — practically nothing.

The UN's 17 goals for the next 15 years

Sep 25, 2015
Lizzie O'Leary and Raghu Manavalan

The United Nations mets in New York this week, and one portion on its agenda was approving 17 new Sustainable Development Goals that primarily targeted the world's developing countries. As The Guardian reports:

The pope has a lot to say about the global economy

Sep 25, 2015
Adrienne Hill, Tracey Samuelson and Mukta Mohan

Pope Francis is wrapping up his visit to the United States. Today he addressed the United Nations in New York and had a lot to say about the global economy. He talked about how things work and how things should work instead. Marketplace's Tracey Samuelson was at the U.N. for the speech.

Buyers are scarce for once-coveted taxi medallion

Sep 25, 2015
Sam Harnett

Harbir Batth has been driving a taxi in San Francisco for more than 20 years, but he doesn’t want to do it anymore. His son is in college, and he has a young daughter to support. He said there are too many Ubers, Lyfts and other ride sharing services for him to make a decent living.

“There's not enough money coming at home, and I don't see any future — income getting better,” Batth said. 

Marketplace for Friday, September 25, 2015

Sep 25, 2015

John Boehner's changing relationship with the GOP and Wall Street; China's cap-and-trade program; and taxi medallions.

Weekly Wrap: Volkswagen, interest rates and cybertheft

Sep 25, 2015
Adrienne Hill

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy and Nela Richardson from Red Fin. The big topics this week: the Volkswagen emissions scandal; the possibility of an interest rate hike by the end of this year; and an agreement between the U.S. and China on cybertheft.