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Small businesses would have easier access to capital under a bill being pushed by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

The highs and lows of streaming music

Aug 18, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios

Dr. Dre released his new album, "Compton," exclusively on Apple Music. This is a big deal considering he hasn’t released a new album in nearly two decades.

Gerrick Kennedy from the Los Angeles Times says that this was a calculated move on Dr. Dre’s part.

“I think by releasing it the way that they did was they said ‘Hey we still want you to really pay for this album. Even if you’re streaming it, you’re paying for Apple Music,’” he says. 

Campaign Jobs: Making politicians prettier

Aug 18, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Robert Garrova

Kriss Blevens works quickly. She can have a man camera-ready in 45 seconds and a woman prepped in about three minutes.

“I’ve got it down to a science, and I can work that swiftly if needed,” Blevens says.

But for Blevens, getting political candidates made up for the limelight requires more than just assembly line efficiency. She remembers an encounter with Hillary Clinton during the 2007 debate cycle that highlighted her creative touch.

Marketplace for Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aug 18, 2015

Wal-Mart's $3 billion "shrinkage" problem; the EPA wants to curb methane leaks; and a proposed power line across the historic James River is making waves. 



Wal-Mart's bottom line hurt by "shrinkage"

Aug 18, 2015
D Gorenstein

Wal-Mart’s a huge company. It’s always been big on efficiency.  But the behemoth announced Tuesday it’s also plagued with problems of petty theft.

“It just shows you can always be more efficient. And it’s something the company is very focused on,” says company spokesperson Brian Nick.

Wal-Mart has already taken steps to crack down on its five-finger discount problem. Nick says at some stores it’s added a new position — what the company calls an "asset protection customer specialist."

Methane leaks are pollution — and waste

Aug 18, 2015
Annie Baxter

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules Tuesday that represent the agency's first crack at regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Methane is the main component of natural gas, which is produced for its own sake and as a byproduct of oil production. Though methane makes up a small share of greenhouse gas emissions, it's much more powerful than carbon dioxide when it comes to trapping heat in the atmosphere.

7 Reasons NBCUniversal Wants a Share of BuzzFeed

Aug 18, 2015
Adrienne Hill

Big media companies seem to be learning a key lesson when it comes to grabbing those elusive new media Millennials: it never hurts to flash a little cash.

Case in point: the Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, which threw $200 million into Vox Media last week, and another $200 million at BuzzFeed today.

Here are a few reasons why Comcast might want a piece of the company — and a few more why it might not work:

1. Millennials. Duh.

Scott Tong

The electric utility Dominion proposes to build a transmission power line over a stretch of the James River near historic Jamestown in southeastern Virginia.

Here is one:What would it look like? How intrusive? Not surprisingly, it depends whom you ask.

PODCAST: Elysian Fields

Aug 18, 2015
David Brancaccio

More on the plummet that happened towards the end of China's trading day; the FDA considers viagra for women; and a check-in on businesses in New Orleans ten years after the flood.

The connection between the market and FDA

Aug 18, 2015
D Gorenstein

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to rule Tuesday on what’s come to be called Viagra for women, a drug that purports to enhance a woman’s sexual desire.  

The FDA has twice previously rejected the application on grounds that it carries modest benefits and potentially significant side effects, like lowering blood pressure and fainting. Risk is heightened when using other medications including birth control. But an advisory committee has endorsed the pill, which, yes, is pink.

Don't mess with my pepperoni roll

Aug 18, 2015
Roxy Todd

Customers line up at the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, West Virginia, for pepperoni rolls. They're just a stick of pepperoni baked in a hoagie-sized roll. But West Virginians have strong feelings about them.

"Every time you'd drive by here, you could smell them, and that smell would just bring you right into the parking lot," says Larry Carr, who grew up in Fairmont. He says the most important thing about the Country Club Bakery is that it uses thick pieces of pepperoni in its rolls.


Airing on Tuesday, August 18, 2015: On today's show, the EPA’s new proposals for the oil and gas industry; the rise of the dollar store; and West Virginia’s famous pepperoni roll.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aug 18, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, August 18, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about the financial relationship between the NSA and companies like AT&T; Republican presidential hopefuls in Silicon Valley; and how the TV show Mr. Robot has wooed the hard-to-please hacking community.

New Orleans' mayor: Storm's crux was levee failure

Aug 17, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

In just a few years, the city of New Orleans will celebrate its 300th birthday. As the celebration approaches, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu wants New Orleanians to strive not just for a rebuild, but for progress.

“I want them to think about building the city for the future and not just getting back to where we were before Katrina hit,” Landrieu says.  

Kim Adams

Jim Brinson is a CPA in San Diego, and he's a fan of the "I've Always Wondered" series. He submitted this question:

“With all of the current sitting congressmen and senators announcing their run for president, I've always wondered how they get away with campaigning. I would have to think that the campaigning gets in the way of their real job. How do they get so much time off? Do they still get paid full salary?”

Is Amazon Alone?

Aug 17, 2015
Mark Garrison

Amazon is on the defensive after a story in the New York Times questioned its workplace culture and described appalling stories of employees being treated harshly while recovering from health and family issues. CEO Jeff Bezos says there will be zero tolerance for actions like those described in the story, which include a woman who had miscarried twins being sent on a business trip the day after surgery and a cancer patient given a poor performance evaluation after returning from treatment.

Marketplace for Monday, June 17, 2015

Aug 17, 2015

Tech's 'depleted' workers; New Orleans' mayor on preventing infrastructure failure; and how do campaigning senators keep their day jobs?

Technology that may help potholes get fixed faster

Aug 17, 2015
Irina Zhorov

Christoph Mertz spends his days looking at cracks in the street.

“Once you’re involved in something like this, you see every crack in the road, every pothole, you say, ‘Ohhh, this is interesting,’” he says as he weaves around sizeable potholes on the narrow streets behind Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. A small camera mounted on his windshield, much like a GPS device, shoots video of the pavement unspooling in front of him as he drives. He says he relishes finding really deteriorated streets because “it’s a really good example for my data.”   

Amazon's company culture: innovative or punishing?

Aug 17, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

In her piece in the New York Times, Jodi Kantor (with help from David Streitfeld) looked at the innovative and harsh working conditions that employees face at Amazon.

“So many of us know Amazon as consumers but not that many of us knew about the fascinating workplace that Jeff Bezos has created inside the corporate Seattle offices,” she says.

Amazon has a reputation for having hard-working employees.

courtesy BNIA website

While Mattie's restaurant has long been a fixture on Fillmore Avenue for breakfast and lunch, it is also enjoying success at its location at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Racial pay gap exists even among the highly educated

Aug 17, 2015
Amy Scott

College-bound students are often told that higher education bolsters their earning potential in the professional world, a fact that remains well-proven. What is not so true, according to a new study published Monday, is how much an advanced degree protects against larger financial shock, such as a recession.

PODCAST: Amazonians

Aug 17, 2015

On today's show, an update on the markets; a look at skyrocketing live music revenue; and more on the brutal work culture accounts at Amazon.

Concert industry headed for a record year

Aug 17, 2015
Mark Garrison

With the concert industry earning $1.43 billion through the first half of this year, according to Pollstar, performers old and new are cashing in. The live music business is rocketing toward a record year, lifted by boomer bait such as the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac, as well as data-driven pricing tactics and a growing festival business.

The top of the list leans heavily on the back catalog. Of the year’s top-five grossing acts in North America, the youngest is Kenny Chesney, who got started more than two decades ago.

Auto sales buoyant as consumers get loans

Aug 17, 2015
Andy Uhler

A lot of Americans are in debt. You might be among them. And the borrowing is for just about everything – school, a home, even a car. New loans for cars and light trucks have surpassed $1 trillion dollars for the first time, according to a recent report from the New York Fed. And access to cheap credit is changing the way Americans think about their automobiles.

The anatomy of equipment: simple hacks with Money Mark

Aug 17, 2015
Bruce Johnson and James Perla

As part of a series about music technology called "Noise Makers," we're talking to musicians about their favorite noise-making device. For this week's installment Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson had a conversation with Money Mark about simple hacks and making music from unexpected sources. 

A show that sets the market for classic cars

Aug 17, 2015
Audrey Dilling

About 20 late-'60s Ford Mustangs are hauling around a tight turn at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, near Monterey, California.

Most of these cars are being driven by their owners, but some owners hire professional racers.

“It would be unfair to say that everybody here is really rich, because there are a lot of people who have owned their cars a really long time,” says Automobile Magazine writer Jamie Kitman. "But there's also plenty of super-duper millionaires.”

Behind Amazon's newest venture: music

Aug 14, 2015
Lizzie O'Leary and Jenny Ament

Last month Amazon launched a new experiment that's part album and part playlist. It's called Amazon Acoustics, and it's group of songs performed by 32 different artists.

Some are covers of songs you've heard before, and some are original. The songs are available to stream for Amazon Prime customers along with other people who want to purchase them online. What the playlist represents though is something that companies are spending more time and money on lately: exclusive content.

Marketplace for Friday, August 14, 2015

Aug 14, 2015

Who said August is a slow month for business news? We've got China, Google and Apple TV to tell you about.

PODCAST: Infrastructure in Cuba

Aug 14, 2015
David Brancaccio

On the docket for today: a crazy week for Chinese currency; infrastructure overhaul for Cuba; and the Marketplace Wealth & Poverty team revisits a neighborhood in the midst of gentrification.

Cuba needs infrastructure revolution

Aug 14, 2015
Nova Safo

As Cuba opens up to the world, what will it do about its crumbling infrastructure?

John Kerry visits Cuba on Friday to raise the American flag and officially reopen the U.S. embassy. It's the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state since the 1940s.

An influx of trade and tourism is expected into Cuba. That is putting added urgency to the need to improve the country's aging infrastructure, such as building tens of thousands of new hotel rooms, improving Internet connectivity, telecommunications and power plants.