What is inflation and how is it measured?

5 hours ago

What is inflation?

Inflation is when the cost of goods and services goes up.

Say I am shopping and I see that something costs more, is that inflation?

(U.S. Edition) The Trump administration is getting ready to announce how it will punish China for the way it handles the trade secrets of U.S. firms. On today's show, we'll take a look at how China may retaliate. Afterwards, with Friday night the deadline for Congress to pass a spending bill, we'll talk about the major Gateway infrastructure project included in the bill, which is critical to the northeast. Plus: We'll discuss whether more large tech companies will start going public after Dropbox's IPO today.

Rising prices and falling affordability in housing

7 hours ago

The housing market is kicking off for spring on an upward trajectory. Existing home sales rebounded in February after a slump earlier in winter, rising 3 percent on a monthly basis and 1.1 percent year to year, to an annual rate of 5.54 million UNITS?.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The White House is set to unveil sanctions against China today after finding it encourages theft or transfer of intellectual property. But China’s threatening to fight back … so is a trade war just over the horizon? Then, how’s this for irony: A French company is poised to win a contract to make Britain’s passports in a post-Brexit world. We’ll hear from the U.K. company that’s set to lose out on the production. Afterward, a trip to a business with a unique take on how to tackle the problem of throw-away plastics. 

Sen. Kennedy to Facebook: "Don't send your lawyers"

8 hours ago

Two U.S. senators are asking the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee to get Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress. They want Zuckerberg to explain how Facebook handles personal information and how it let the political data firm Cambridge Analytica harvest detailed information on 50 million Facebook users without their permission. The last time Facebook was asked to appear before Congress, Zuckerberg and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg sent their legal team instead. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Republican Sen.

Two U.S. senators are asking the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee to get Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress. They want Zuckerberg to explain how Facebook handles our personal information and how it let the political data firm Cambridge Analytica harvest detailed information on 50 million Facebook users without their permission. The last time Facebook was asked to appear before Congress, Zuckerberg and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg sent their legal team instead. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Republican Sen.

Updated Thursday at 1 p.m. ET

The House has voted Thursday to pass a roughly $1.3 trillion spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 30 of this year, giving the Senate just over 24 hours to pass the bill and avert a second government shutdown this year.

03/21/2018: America, meet your new Fed Chair

23 hours ago

The new guy on the monetary policy block had his first press conference today. His first rate hike, too. Jay Powell's been in the big chair at the Federal Reserve six or seven weeks by now. Job No. 1 today was to not upset the economic apple cart. He didn't, and the economic news helped. That's where we'll start today. Then: Facebook. First we'll get an update from Marketplace Tech's Molly Wood about the latest turn in the site's data privacy controversy, and then we'll look at what the rest of us can do about it. Delete our accounts? Not so fast.

Fed raises key rate and foresees 2 more hikes this year

23 hours ago

The Federal Reserve is raising its benchmark interest rate to reflect a solid U.S. economy and signaling that it’s sticking with a gradual approach to rate hikes for 2018 under its new chairman, Jerome Powell.

The Fed said it expects to increase rates twice more this year. At the same time, it increased its estimate for rate hikes in 2019 from two to three, reflecting an expectation of faster growth and lower unemployment.

On Wednesday, the man believed to be responsible for a rash of fatal parcel bombs in Austin, Texas, detonated a device inside a car he was using to flee police as a SWAT team approached the vehicle. The suspect died in the explosion. The suspect, now identified by multiple media outlets as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, evaded federal and local authorities for weeks as he allegedly planted packages rigged with explosives throughout various locations in Austin, killing two and injuring multiple others.

03/21/2018: Going green can be expensive

Mar 21, 2018

(Markets Edition) President Trump wants to use a multi-million media campaign to help combat the opioid epidemic. But do public health campaigns actually work? We'll look at some previous advertising efforts to steer people away from drugs. Afterwards, we'll discuss how Pittsburgh's plan to green up the city may leave low-income residents behind.

It's not easy being green when you're poor

Mar 21, 2018

Last year when President Donald Trump bowed out of the Paris climate accord, he famously said he was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris. But Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto wasn't having any of that. He created an all-encompassing plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, ramping up plans to plant more trees and  bulk up on solar energy.

(U.S. Edition) Facebook has launched an internal investigation into what it sees as the misuse of its data by the U.K.-based firm Cambridge Analytica, which the Federal Trade Commission is also looking into. And this isn't the social media giant's first run in with the FTC. On today's show, we'll look at their complicated past. Afterwards, we'll explore how "opportunity zones" are trying to draw private investment by providing tax incentives, and then talk about the advantages of buying electric cars in Norway.

Norway’s government said more than half the new cars sold there last year were either all-electric or hybrid models. That’s compared to about three percent in the U.S.

Norway aims to phase out gas and diesel cars altogether. One way the country has made so much progress in its transition to electric cars is by offering big perks and privileges for electric vehicle owners. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge Analytica academic who created the Facebook app that harvested data from millions of users, told the BBC this morning he’s been made out to be a scapegoat. You’ll hear from him why he believes the accuracy of his data has been “extremely exaggerated” and why he doesn’t think it could have swayed the 2016 presidential election. 

It’s an ongoing problem: how to transform persistently poor parts of the country? Well a program coming out of the new tax law hopes to solve that problem. Today is the initial deadline for states to nominate “opportunity zones,” which will try to draw private investment to these areas. But the program may just make the wealthy wealthier and not uplift poor communities economically.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

The man police had identified as their top suspect in a string of deadly bombings in the Austin, Texas, area made a cellphone recording describing seven bombs he said he had constructed. Investigators discovered the message after the suspect killed himself early Wednesday by triggering an explosion in his car as officers approached the vehicle to make an arrest, police said Wednesday.

Officials identified him as 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, from Pflugerville, Texas, outside Austin.

President Donald Trump's import duties on steel and aluminum take effect Friday. The Europeans have already drawn up their list of retaliatory items. There's serious talk at the White House of extra tariffs on Chinese products and counterthreats to take the United States to the World Trade Organization. It handles commercial disputes among its 164-member nations.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Facebook could use some friends

Mar 20, 2018

Facebook’s leaders are being called on to explain themselves before officials here and in Europe. The Federal Trade Commission is examining whether Cambridge Analytica, the company that improperly siphoned the data of millions of Facebook users to create political profiles, violated a consent agreement. Now, the fact your information is for sale on the internet isn't exactly new, so why is this particular incident really touching a nerve?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

54: Protecting speech, protecting students

Mar 20, 2018

Kai and Molly are getting smart about last week's nationwide walkout organized by high school students pushing for stricter gun control. First Amendment expert and lawyer Ken White (also a Twitter personality) lays out the law and history of free speech in schools. We hear from high school students, look back at the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines and examine how social media platforms have changed the equation.

In the first part of our conversation with Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner yesterday, we talked about how Bear Stearns was saved, at first, by the Fed and JPMorgan. That was 10 years ago this month. Today we'll pick up with another bank that wasn't so lucky: Lehman Brothers.

All the stores you shopped at as a teen are going bankrupt

Mar 20, 2018

It seems that not even 100 million pierced ears were enough to keep Claire’s out of debt. The jewelry chain filed for bankruptcy earlier this week on March 19. But don’t despair just yet — the company is not shutting down all of its stores. According to the New York Times, Claire’s plans to close fewer than 200 stores over the next four years, going from 1,570 stores in 2017 to 1,400 stores in 2022.

Putin wins, surprising no one, but voter turnout rose

Mar 20, 2018

The result came, of course, as no surprise.

Russian President Vladimir Putin overwhelmed his opponents in his country’s elections, taking in just more than three-quarters of the vote to extend his power through 2024.  His closest challenger, Communist millionaire Pavel Grudinin, came in a distant second with 11 percent of cast ballots.  A ultra-nationalist came in third. Pro-Western candidates barely cleared the 1 percent mark. 

Tamara Kruglova, a pensioner who voted in central Moscow, argued support for the Russian leader was simply the natural order of things.

(Markets Edition) Cambridge Analytica's decision to harvest the info of millions of Facebook users has jittered the markets, but investors may be worried about more than the story at hand. Max Wolffe, chief economist at the Phoenix Group, joined us to explain why. Afterwards, we'll look at what the interest rate forecast for the year looks like prior to the Fed's meeting today, and then discuss the latest updates with the Takata airbag recall. 

In December 2017, for the first time ever in winter, a tanker sailed without an icebreaker through the Northern Sea Route, a shipping lane that runs along the Arctic coast of Russia.

Two things made this possible: dramatically thinning ice in the Arctic and a shipbuilding company in South Korea that constructed a new type of tanker capable of moving both forward and in reverse and can break through ice up to 2 meters thick.

A U.S. Senate subcommittee on commerce is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on the status of  the long-running Takata airbag recall. The government’s traffic safety agency says it’s the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history. Where does the recall stand?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

Two students were injured when another student opened fire at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County, Md., according to the local sheriff. The shooter, identified by the sheriff as 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins, was confirmed dead after being taken to a hospital.

03/20/2018: The potential costs of a drug coupon

Mar 20, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The U.K.-based data firm Cambridge Analytica continues to be embroiled in scandal. We'll look at how investors are reacting to reports that it used Facebook data to manipulate voters on behalf of the Trump campaign, and then talk about the release of a video showing Cambridge's CEO claiming his company was able to entrap foreign politicians. Plus: A look at why some states are pushing back against pharmaceutical coupons for branded drugs. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... British regulators are turning up the heat on Facebook, demanding answers from CEO Mark Zuckerberg and access to databases and servers of data firm Cambridge Analytica, which is accused of using personal information from 50 million of the social media giant’s users in the run up to the 2016 U.S. election. Afterwards, there’s a problem with plastics washing up on beaches in the Philippines.

Does psychographic marketing really work?

Mar 20, 2018

With enough data, could a company predict what you want? That’s the idea behind psychographic advertising: A company builds a profile of each customer and uses it to manipulate their emotions through marketing. This type of advertising is at the heart of a scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, which used Facebook to get this type of personal data. But how far can this type of advertising go? Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Alexandra Samuel of the Harvard Business Review about what psychographic marketing really is and what its limits are.