(Markets Edition) President Trump has criticized the China and the European for allegedly "manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower." Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, joined us to discuss how true these claims are. Afterwards, we'll chat with labor economist Giovanni Peri about what America's changing immigration policies could mean for wages, employment growth, and the overall economy.

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest point since 1969, according to data released by the Labor Department Thursday. These numbers are another sign of a tight labor market. And they’ve got retailers thinking about the holiday season.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The wealth of the world's billionaires has increased steadily by 13 percent per year since 2010, according to a report released by Oxfam in January. This rate is six times faster than that of regular workers.

(U.S. Edition) General Electric has reported second-quarter earnings, revealing that it beat expectations. But over the past year, its stock has been down 50 percent. We'll take a look at how a company that used to be the most valuable in the world is trying to turn itself around. Afterwards, we'll discuss how a gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany is causing controversy, and then we'll turn back the clock to examine whether the job market is as good as it was at the end of the Clinton administration.

What U.S. immigration policy has to do with wages and labor shortages

7 hours ago

A report from the U.S. Department of Labor on job opportunities and labor turnover, or JOLTS, showed there were more reported job opportunities than unemployed people in May. This suggests that the economy is dealing with a labor shortage, but that raises the question of where these workers will come from when current U.S. immigration policy is reducing the amount of immigrant labor.

Indian workers win "the right to sit"

8 hours ago

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … North Korea’s economy suffered its biggest contraction in two decades as international sanctions imposed over the country’s nuclear programs began to bite. But can the economic pressure on Pyongyang force change to its nuclear policy? Then, feeling tired at work? Spare a thought for a group of women in India who have just won the right to sit down on the job. We'll explain how the case began. And, what do you do if you're a luxury clothing brand with excess stock at the end of the season? Apparently you burn it.

This week, representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook all spoke at a congressional hearing about how they present news and opinions on their platforms. The next day, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg told the Recode podcast that Facebook shouldn't overregulate speech on the site, even if it means not banning Holocaust deniers. So how much should these companies be responsible for what is said online?

Comcast looks to Sky for international expansion

17 hours ago

Comcast said today it was giving up its bid to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment assets. Instead, Comcast said it will “focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” the U.K.-based broadcaster. Last week, Comcast upped its offer to $34 billion. Sky has until Aug. 22 to accept. So what does Sky have that Comcast wants?

A dreaded ending to the tariff exemption process

21 hours ago

 Todd Adams is vice president of Stainless Imports Inc., a small family-owned stainless steel manufacturer based in Florida. We had Adams on the show in early May. His company had applied for an exemption from tariffs on a specific product; the company had "combed the earth" to find a mill that could produce it and found one in China.

Today, surrounded by executives from some of the country's best-known companies, President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker, aimed at developing a stronger workforce. The strategy is heavy on pledges, committees and advisory boards. But who’s going to foot the bill?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

What does summer sound like?

Jul 19, 2018

"Domestic car company" is kind of a misnomer these days. Auto manufacturers get parts from all over the world, and companies like Ford and General Motors stand to both benefit and be hurt by tariffs, making the politics much murkier. We'll talk about it, plus we'll hear from one business owner who applied for exclusions from steel tariffs and was denied. Plus, we'll talk about urban heat islands and how we crown the Song of the Summer. 

In the early days of American democracy, you could always count on Benjamin Franklin for a good political joke to put things into perspective. In the early days of Egypt's democracy, you've got Bassem Youssef. He's been called the "Egyptian Jon Stewart." The former heart surgeon, shot to fame during Egypt's revolution in 2011 after he posted videos on YouTube lampooning political figures. And those videos paved the way for a TV show with millions of viewers. But over the weekend Bassem Youssef saw what happens when he thinks he's funny, but the Egyptian government does not.

Why the auto industry (mostly) opposes proposed tariffs

Jul 19, 2018

The Trump administration imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum first. It then added tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese exports, which it may increase to $250 billion in the coming months. Since May, it’s also been considering whether to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imports of cars and auto parts.

The American brand might be on the decline

Jul 19, 2018

(Markets Edition) President Trump has threatened "tremendous retribution" against the European Union over trade, possibly targeting imported cars, trucks and auto parts. We'll look at how groups representing automakers feel about these potential penalties, and what they mean for car prices. Afterwards, we'll chat with Diane Swonk, chief economist for the firm Grant Thornton, about what she expects the country's second-quarter GDP results to look like, and then we'll talk with political risk consultant Ian Bremmer about how America is doing as a brand.

Summer brought to you by: Song of the summer

Jul 19, 2018

In the spring of 2017, DJ Khaled released “I’m the One.”

It was everywhere.

The song featured Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne. In the music video, they’re at a mansion hanging by the pool. Bieber is in a bathing suit and women are dancing around in bikinis. The champagne is flowing. The grill is fired up.

Charlie Foster, promotions executive at Epic Records, which distributes DJ Khaled’s music, remembers when he first heard this song.

Tesla is synonymous with Elon Musk. Is that a problem?

Jul 19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk apologized this week not only to the cave diver involved in the recent rescue in Thailand, who Musk insulted, but also to the people who work for Musk. After months of erratic behavior swinging Tesla’s stock price, investors are worried about the visionary founder’s temperament.

(U.S. Edition) The Senate is voting today on Trump's pick to head the IRS (Charles Rettig), which comes during a week when the agency is getting blowback for a new policy. We'll discuss the rule, which says that certain types of nonprofits will no longer have to disclose their big donors. Afterwards, we'll look at how Tesla investors are getting worried about CEO Elon Musk's temperament, and then we'll talk to MIT economics professor David Autor about current trade tensions.

How the American brand is faring on the global stage

Jul 19, 2018

The U.S. has a certain brand image globally. That brand will be different to each person, but the way that brand appears is important for businesses abroad. 

The world's most controversial energy project

Jul 19, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Brussels is warning European businesses to do more to prepare for a "no deal" Brexit. With 253 days left until the U.K. leaves the European Union and no end in sight to British infighting, should businesses keep calm and carry on? Afterwards, we'll discuss how Cuba is preparing to change its constitution in a shake-up that will include recognition of private land ownership for the first time in more than 40 years. Then, it’s been branded the world's most controversial energy project.

Is Watson enough to carry IBM?

Jul 19, 2018

IBM reported earnings Wednesday. Most revenue came from cloud services, security and data analytics. Less impressive was its Cognitive Solutions department, which includes artificial intelligence, mostly under the brand of the "Jeopardy"-winning supercomputer Watson. Brandon Purcell, an analyst with Forrester, said IBM is selling artificial intelligence as a service through what’s called an API — application programming interface — which lets companies license the power of Watson and build their own tools on top of it, like digital assistants or in-house analysis tools.

The White House has announced Steven Dillingham as its nominee for the next director of the U.S. Census Bureau. If confirmed by the Senate, Dillingham will oversee an upcoming national head count that has already sparked a legal fight over a new citizenship question and cybersecurity concerns as the first U.S. census to be conducted mainly online.

Is Kathy Kraninger qualified to run the CFPB?

Jul 18, 2018

The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on Kathleen Kraninger, President Donald Trump's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The nomination is controversial because Kraninger has no consumer finance experience. Her work has been at the Office of Management and Budget, helping oversee homeland security. And her tenure there raises other questions.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

You know the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? About a decade ago, the Obama administration tried applying that to the fight against climate change. Federal agencies were required to assess the future damages of carbon emissions as part of cost-benefit calculations — the kind they need to do before passing new regulations.

President Donald Trump has mostly rolled back the requirement, but researchers are even now working on a better way to calculate what’s known as the social cost of carbon.

The European Commission on Wednesday fined Google $5 billion over charges that prepackaging apps on its Android operating system for phones and other devices had stifled competition. Google denies the claim and plans to appeal, but the fine may have larger implications for the tech industry beyond Google. The move is the latest example of the European Union taking action to rein in a sector that has been largely free of regulations in the U.S. and elsewhere, analysts tell Marketplace.

Data out today from the Department of Commerce gives us our latest indication that the housing market may be slowing. Housing starts, a statistic that charts when construction begins on the foundation of a new building intended primarily for residential use, declined in June from the month before. Residential building permits also dropped last month.

As Europe goes, so goes the internet

Jul 18, 2018

Antitrust regulators in the European Union are charging Google a $5 billion fine for using its Android software to push out competition and making phone companies pre-install its apps. We'll talk about what that means for the company and the ways overseas regulations reach consumers in the United States. Then, we'll talk about Kathleen Kraninger, who President Donald Trump has nominated to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, despite her lack of consumer finance experience. Plus: Storm chasing as tourism.

Got a cold or the flu? Think twice about antibiotics

Jul 18, 2018

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has found urgent care centers are prescribing antibiotics to nearly half of patients with colds or the flu. Generally antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections like pneumonia. Antibiotics do not work to treat viral infections, like the flu and colds.

When antibiotics can become a problem

Jul 18, 2018

(Markets Edition) The construction of new homes in the U.S. plunged in June, according to data out today. We'll chat with Susan Schmidt, senior vice president at Westwood Holdings Group, about how much of a cause for concern this is. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new study that finds urgent care centers are prescribing antiobiotics to nearly half of patients with colds or the flu, which could actually end up harming patients.

The California Lottery is breaking sales records. This year, revenues will soar to an estimated $6.9 billion. The recent boom has been fueled by a wave of gigantic jackpots. Newer games like Powerball and a $30 scratch ticket offer huge prizes, and California's lottery players have responded by gambling more and more. Surging revenue should be good news for the state's schools, the lottery's only beneficiary.

The order you were born can have an impact on how successful you are in life, according to Sandra Black, an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

In her research, Black has found that first-born children tend to do better than their younger siblings when it comes to education and earnings. After the first-born, there's a declining pattern by birth order, with the second-born doing "a little bit worse than the first-born" and so on, she says.