Business/Economy

Business and economic news

Did NAFTA cost or create jobs? Both

Mar 22, 2017
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Sabri Ben-Achour

This story is from our special series that explores NAFTA’s role in our economy from the perspective of workers, business owners and trade negotiators. What exactly is NAFTA? And what happens if it changes?  Join us to discuss how one of the most hotly contested issues in our society shapes the way we live.

What did the North American Free Trade Agreement do?

More trouble for iconic retailer Sears

Mar 22, 2017

In a financial filing on Tuesday, Sears said "substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern." The announcement hit the company's shares hard. Sears reported a loss of more than $2 billion in 2016. What does this disclosure mean for the retailer and is there any hope of a turnaround? 

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More than 40 percent of American workers now spend at least part of their week working remotely, according to Gallup. But one company that was a pioneer of so-called telework is having second thoughts. Many remote workers at IBM were recently given a choice: come work at an office in one of six cities — Atlanta, Raleigh, Austin, Boston, San Francisco and New York — or leave. If this sounds familiar, big tech companies like Yahoo and Hewlett Packard have made similar moves.

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The final game of the World Baseball Classic is tonight, down the road at Dodger Stadium. The United States made the finals for the first time, and it's playing against a team that’s close to home: Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican government bought ads to promote tourism during the game. The island could use a boost and a distraction from its major financial woes. For Puerto Ricans on the island and here on the mainland, a championship baseball game offers some rare positive news.

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Key stock indicators are down again this morning. The possible cause this time? Washington politics. Susan Schmidt from Westwood Holdings Group explains why uncertainty over the House GOP's health care bill could be affecting the stock market's movement. We'll also look at why there may be a decline in existing home sales for February, and then explore the rise of virtual reality exhibits at museums. 

 

What it's like to live and work in H-1B visa limbo

Mar 22, 2017
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Sally Herships

This is the part in a story where normally we’d introduce you to a character to help draw you in and set the scene. But almost all the foreign workers on H-1B visas that I talked to — and I spoke to more than 10 people — won't let me tell you their names. They’re too scared.

I received a lot of emails like these:

 

 

And this:

Fill in the chart: Before and after NAFTA

Mar 22, 2017
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Raghu Manavalan and Arjuna Soriano

This story is from our special series that explores NAFTA’s role in our economy from the perspective of workers, business owners and trade negotiators. What exactly is NAFTA? And what happens if it changes?  Join us to discuss how one of the most hotly contested issues in our society shapes the way we live.

 

Existing home sales numbers for February are out today. January sales increased 3.3 percent to a 10-year high, but economists anticipate a dip for February, although that’s still up from last year. One factor: an improving job market. 

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Wastewater: our most overlooked water source?

Mar 22, 2017

March 22 is World Water Day, and this year’s theme is wastewater. The United Nations is hoping to shed light on the value of all the water we literally flush down the toilet. Other countries use wastewater, but the idea hasn’t taken hold in the U.S.

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03/22/17: Why wastewater is actually a commodity

Mar 22, 2017
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Marketplace

Stock index futures are down again this morning. What could be giving investors pause? Economist Jeffrey Cleveland from Payden and Rygel stopped by to explain the economic data that shows how optimistic Americans are really feeling. Next, we'll explore the tough market for reused water, and then report on the difficulties foreign men and women have in trying to obtain H-1B visas. 

03/22/17: Shattering stereotypes about programmers

Mar 22, 2017
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Marketplace

Ads on YouTube have been running next to videos with content that could be defined as hate speech. After receiving complaints from advertisers, the site is now changing its policies. We'll take a look at the new settings YouTube will provide companies with to avoid the issue in the future. Afterwards, we'll chat with Joel Spolsky, the CEO of Stack Overflow, about why some developers feel underpaid and the skills required to succeed in the profession.

 

 

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Annie Baxter

This story is from our special series that explores NAFTA’s role in our economy from the perspective of workers, business owners and trade negotiators. What exactly is NAFTA? And what happens if it changes?  Join us to discuss how one of the most hotly contested issues in our society shapes the way we live.

The latest travel ban targets electronic devices

Mar 21, 2017
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Reema Khrais

There’s news today of another travel-related ban from the Trump administration, but this one impacts what happens when you get on the plane. Passengers coming to the U.S. on direct flights from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa will not be able to carry anything larger than a smartphone on the plane.

Administration officials cite security for the new travel restrictions, but they didn’t point to any specific threat. Some of the people who will be most impacted are business travelers, and it’s also not good news for airlines in the region.

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Kai Ryssdal

We use a lot of words to talk about problems in the economy: inflation, CPI, GDP, the jobless rate. But LIBOR? That stands for the London Interbank Offered Rate, and it's one of the most important numbers in the world. In fact, it's an interest rate that trillions of dollars depend upon each day. During the height of the financial crisis, one London banker decided he could make a lot of money if he just fudged that number. And he did, until he was caught.

9: Everything or nothing is a crisis

Mar 21, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood

The FBI director testified on Capitol Hill, confirmation hearings begin for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and more changes to the health care bill. And that was just Monday. We take a look at what happens when everything, or maybe nothing, is a crisis. Spoiler alert: It all depends on your point of view. 

Alyssa Mastromonaco talks to us about what it was like in the White House under President Barack Obama and her new book, "Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?" Also, she answers our Make Me Smart question, and you do, too. 

 

 

On Thursday night, the House is expected to vote on a bill to repeal Obamacare. The only hurdle is Republicans themselves. House leaders are desperate to get enough conservatives on board to get the bill to the Senate, so last night they made some changes to it. One sweetener: letting states add work requirements to Medicaid eligibility rules.

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03/21/17: GOP tweaks health care bill

Mar 21, 2017

The House GOP is out with some revisions for its Obamacare replacement, with the aim of drawing more support for the bill. We'll look at what some of these proposed changes are, which include more tax credits. Next, we'll explore Emory University's decision to call itself a "safe harbor" instead of a "sanctuary campus" over concerns that it could be defunded. And finally, we'll talk about the other competition happening amid March Madness: the shoe companies vying to be number one on the market.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is blasting the effects of proposed Trump Administration budget cuts on county spending and programs, from helping kids with lead poisoning to checking summer water quality at beaches. He calls the cuts "cold-hearted callousness" because of their effect on the average citizen.

Google Maps

Niagara Falls city government wants to make it a little easier for arriving tourists to get to some prime tourist attractions.

House Republicans look for more support with revised health care bill

Mar 21, 2017
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D Gorenstein and Marketplace staff

Top House Republicans have released a slate of revisions for their Obamacare replacement that they hope will draw more support. The American Health Care Act has been sharply criticized by members of both parties; an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office estimated that nearly 24 million people would lose their coverage under the plan.

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada

Two Ontario cabinet ministers are heading to New York Tuesday to urge legislators to exempt Canada from a Buy American policy it plans to introduce.

Nike makes a full-court press

Mar 21, 2017

March Madness is upon us and college basketball teams aren’t the only ones competing. The games are also a battleground for shoe and apparel brands like Nike, Adidas and Under Armour. Nike still rules when it comes to sponsorships, but the competition is gaining.

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Museums embrace virtual reality

Mar 21, 2017
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Adrienne Hill

Between the megamouth shark, the bison diorama, and gangs of excited school kids, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has added a virtual reality exhibit called theBlu.

For an extra $10, on top of the $12 general admission fee, visitors can strap on a headset and explore the virtual ocean. A blue whale swims overhead. A school of silvery fish darts by. Visitors use virtual flashlights to explore the abyss.

Want to know when it’s a good time to go to the hospital? Seems it’s when the doctors are being watched. Every few years the accrediting agency known as the Joint Commission conducts random hospital inspections. A new study out in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine finds that mortality rates drop when the inspectors show up for their surprise visit.

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Tasnim Shamma

The word "sanctuary" is being used these days to describe cities and organizations that show support for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and one place where that word has become a sticky topic is at Emory University in Atlanta.

That’s because any private school in Georgia that adopts “sanctuary policies” could lose state funding. So Emory's president Claire Sterk is opting to call the university a “safe harbor” instead.

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Marketplace

African citizens who were trying to attend an economic development conference in California were recently denied U.S. visas. We'll look at the possible reason behind the denial and its consequences. Next, we'll explore a new study that says the percentage of people dying at a hospital drops when inspectors show up, and then discuss the rise of virtual reality exhibits at museums. 

03/21/17: Warfare through tech

Mar 21, 2017
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Marketplace

FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers sat in front of the House Select Intelligence Committee this week for a hearing on Russia's interference in last year's presidential election. Patrick Tucker, tech editor for Defense One, joins us to talk about the role of technology in the hacking scandal. Afterwards, we'll look at how the Nintendo Switch console is performing on the market and what its release says about the larger video game business.

 

 

Hello, goodbye: When execs make a quick exit

Mar 20, 2017
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Jana Kasperkevic

On Sunday, Uber confirmed that its president Jeff Jones resigned just six months after taking the job. Jones said he decided to leave because his values no longer aligned with those of Uber.

Britain announces date for Brexit negotiations

Mar 20, 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May will start Brexit negotiations Wednesday, March 29. She will formally notify the 27 remaining European Union leaders that Britain intends to pull out of the bloc. Two years of talks are scheduled, and it could well turn out to be two years of hard bargaining.

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