Business news

How airlines are getting you to spend more

Apr 14, 2016
Andy Uhler

Delta Airlines announced earnings today. It's the first of the big three to do so. And things at Delta are fine. Not great, just fine. The airline reported lower than expected revenue but big earnings numbers. 

Delta saved more than $700 million on fuel over last year, but it also paid its employees more. To save money, it’s talking about reducing the number of scheduled flights. Michael Boyd, president of Boyd Group International, said he doesn't see where those schedule cuts are going to come from.

Using data to predict child abuse

Apr 14, 2016
Lauren Silverman

Doctors at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth are used to treating cases of abuse. Dyann Daley, a pediatric anesthesiologist at Cook Children’s, remembers a tiny toddler who had been kicked by his father in the stomach. “We didn’t know exactly what the injury was when he came into the operating room," she said. "But he had come into the hospital awake.”

Alibaba's humble beginnings

Apr 14, 2016
Janet Nguyen

We hope your Wednesday ended on as high of a note as Kobe's. And for today, here are some need-to-know numbers to send you off on another high note.

D Gorenstein

The federal government has invested more than $30 billion in electronic medical records. The idea is that these records will let doctors and hospitals improve patient care – and potentially lower costs – by tracking all the treatment a person receives.

The government may want its money back.

Desperation in the streets of Puerto Rico

Apr 14, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about possible sanctions against Theranos; the U.S. government's frustration with inaccurate electronic medical records; and how residents in Carolina, Puerto Rico are dealing with the territory's debt crisis.

Tax preparers prey on low-income filers, study finds

Apr 14, 2016
Mark Garrison

A new study says tax preparation companies are taking advantage of low- and moderate-income people who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. The popular program shaves the tax bills of nearly 28 million Americans, but Progressive Policy Institute researchers say an alarming amount of the refund money winds up in the hands of tax preparers.

Ford gets hip to attract tech workers

Apr 14, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Ford has announced ambitious plans to renovate its historic headquarters and R&D hub in Dearborn, Michigan, near Detroit. The company hasn’t revealed a price tag, but it’s estimated to be in the billions of dollars over the next decade.

Beverly Cleary celebrates her centennial birthday

Apr 12, 2016

(Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons)

On this Tuesday, we celebrate a children's author legend. Here are your need-to-know numbers.

Beverly Cleary's legacy

Apr 12, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about tomorrow's anticipated earnings reports from the banks; racism in the bond market; and Beverly Cleary's legacy as she turns 100. 

D Gorenstein

The U.S. Justice Department has announced Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay more than $5 billion for its role in the home mortgage crisis.

It’s the fifth, and perhaps final, U.S. bank to settle up with the government.

Part of the penalty is earmarked for underwater homeowners, distressed borrowers and communities hit hard by the mortgage meltdown.

Kids' publishing phenomenon Beverly Cleary turns 100

Apr 12, 2016
Allison Frost

Beverly Cleary turns 100 years old today. The award-winning author created the iconic characters Ramona Quimby, her sister Beezus, Henry Huggins, and of course, Ralph S. Mouse. More than half a century after her first book was published, sales are still strong, with more than 90 million books sold and counting. 

The numbers tell a story of their own: three generations of readers, in 14 languages and 20 countries. Her first book, "Henry Huggins," was published in 1950. Her last book, "Ramona’s World," was published in 1999. That’s almost a book a year, every year, for 50 years.

Amy Scott

The bond market may seem like an unlikely place to find racism at work. But a new report suggests that discrimination may play a role in higher borrowing costs for historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.

The Dispatch, Ep 10: Beware the vapor-gadgets

Apr 8, 2016
Molly Wood

This week in tech news, a whole bunch of new tech that doesn't deliver, doesn't get delivered, and disappears without warning.

The hidden costs of music rights

Apr 8, 2016
Adrienne Hill

When you think about what makes a TV show or movie really expensive, you probably think big stars, crazy special effects and exotic locations. And they do add up. But there’s another cost that most audiences probably aren’t even aware of: music. 

Marketplace’s Adriene Hill discusses the money behind the sound. 

Click the above audio player for the full report.

David Brancaccio

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is trying to improve living conditions for the American people. 

The U.S. Department of Labor released new rules this week to encourage financial advisers, especially stock brokers working on commission, to put the client's interest first when it comes to retirement money. And when it comes to the job market, Perez wants companies to put their employees' interests first. 

Where to store your millions in art, tax-free

Apr 8, 2016
JaeRan Kim

One of the more intriguing stories to come out of the Panama Papers leak was of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who used a shell company to hide hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of art. That had us wondering, how does art get hidden? 

Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Foreign ministers from the G7 countries will meet in Japan on Sunday and Monday. They’re expected to discuss a proposal to combat terrorism that would require countries to share airline passenger data.

The idea is simple. It's an agreement among the G7 countries – the U.S., Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada — in which they'll have to exchange data that includes itineraries and personal information in an effort to track suspected terrorists.

Robots are taking over Taco Bell

Apr 7, 2016
Molly Wood

The robots are taking our jobs at Taco Bell.

The company has teamed up with Slack, the messaging app, to write a software program that lets you order food from Taco Bell.

By chatting with the TacoBot. TacoBot!

It's an artificial intelligence program that takes orders and answers questions about the menu ...

Such as, "what IS a quesalupa?"

And then you order and go pick it up and it's almost like you talked to a real person! But it was a bot! A TacoBot!

Marketplace for Thursday, April 7, 2016

Apr 7, 2016

Goodwill adds a new online shopping feature; why the Ugg boot refused to die; and as healthcare costs increase, more doctors are talking to their patients about money

D Gorenstein

More and more of us are paying bigger chunks of our health care costs. So what role should our doctor play as we navigate this new economic reality?

According to a new report in Health Affairs, doctors are rolling up their white sleeves and getting into the nitty-gritty more than they used to.

The question, of course, is whether those conversations are effective.

Cracking down on shell companies: a years-long debate

Apr 7, 2016
Tracey Samuelson

The fallout from the Panama Papers — those millions of documents leaked from the law firm Mossack Fonseca — has been fast and far reaching, touching politicians, actors, and other high-profile individuals from around the world.

It has also focused attention on the years-long debate over whether and how to crack down on shell companies in the U.S.

How Ugg survived fad status

Apr 7, 2016
Molly Wood

Why do Ugg boots have so much staying power? Legend holds the Ugg’s style dates back to the crude sheepskin boots Australian surfers started wearing decades ago. Then celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Pamela Anderson took the boxy boot to global fame. But flash-forward to today and everyone from Rihanna to Kendall Jenner are still sporting a pair.

Marisa Meltzer wrote all about Uggs and their undying popularity for The Guardian.

Janet Nguyen

On this lazy Thursday, we've discovered that the machines really are taking over. Here are some need-to-know numbers to cap off your day. 

Molly Wood

Although most Americans have not heard of the Bechtel Corporation, the company is responsible for several notable infrastructure projects across the United States including the Colorado River's Hoover Dam and Boston's Big Dig.

In her new book "The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World", author Sally Denton profiles five generations of men within the Bechtel family that turned the organization into one of the largest privately-held companies in the U.S.

How the economic machine works (according to Ray Dalio)

Apr 7, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about interest rate hikes; chat with the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio, about cause-and-effect relationships in economics; and a new "no-click" app from Domino's. 

Mitchell Hartman

The U.S. International Trade Commission will investigate the role of China and other big metal producers around the world in driving overproduction, which has contributed to dramatic price declines for aluminum on global markets.

Weak prices and intense foreign competition have in turn led to a wave of smelter shutdowns and layoffs in the U.S. aluminum industry.

US cities facing issues over pension packages

Apr 7, 2016
Andy Uhler

A task force aimed at preventing Philadelphia from going bankrupt has urged the city’s mayor to figure out how to deal with its almost $6 billion pension deficit. Philadelphia hasn't been or isn't the only region in the country dealing with this issue, though. 

Detroit was the poster child of cities running out of money. In 2013, the city filed for bankruptcy after accumulating $18 billion of debt. The pension program was said to account for a sixth of that total.

Nova Safo

Domino's Pizza has a new app out called Zero Click. As the name suggests, the app lets you order a pizza without a single click.

The Zero Click app, available on Android devices and iPhones, requires customers to do nothing more than start the app to order a pizza. The system is almost completely automated.

When first downloaded, the app prompts the user to input their information and save their favorite pizza. From then on, every time you open up the app, it'll automatically place an order for that favorite pizza after a 10-second grace period.

WBFO News File Photo / WBFO News

Upstate New York airports will compete for a share of $200 million in state funding.

Panama Papers: Iceland prime minister resigns

Apr 5, 2016
Marketplace staff

From our partners at the BBC:

The prime minister of Iceland has resigned - the first major casualty of the Panama Papers leaks which have shed an embarrassing spotlight on the world of offshore finance.

The leaks, from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, showed PM Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company, Wintris, with his wife.