National/International

This guy will make anything, as long as he can make it in America

May 31, 2018

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal took a trip to Columbus, Georgia to do an informal survey of American manufacturing by looking at three slices of how we make things in this country today.

We’ve told you about a a textile company that’s had to reinvent itself as the trade economy changed around it.

Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen is facing legal peril, including an FBI raid of his home and office — and involvement in a civil lawsuit with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

But in the past, it was Cohen who sought to put legal pressure on others to solve problems for his boss.

For the first time, audio recordings of Cohen's legal threats, from a 2015 Daily Beast interview, are being published.

The threat of a trade war has been looming over this country since President Donald Trump announced steel and aluminum tariffs almost three months ago. But one set of tariffs, and a bunch of exclusions and carve-outs to it, does not a trade war make. But now those exceptions are expiring, countries are retaliating and things are getting real. Today, we'll break down what's happening, talk to businesspeople trying to figure out their place in all this and answer your questions about all things trade.

(Markets Edition) The Fed is changing up a measure known as "The Volcker Rule," which was put in place after the financial crisis to curb risky behavior from banks. We'll discuss whether this will start enabling dangerous behavior. Afterwards, we'll chat with the Economist's New York bureau chief, Patrick Foulis about why corporate America is so fond of President Donald Trump. (05/31/2018)

Your tariff questions, answered

May 31, 2018

This post was updated on May 31 at 5:49 p.m. EST. 

In a move that threatens to incite a major trade war with allies, the Trump administration says it's slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says there will be a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

America's relationship with Europe is in "disarray"

May 31, 2018

The Trump administration plans to impose a 25 percent penalty on steel from Europe, Mexico and Canada and a 10 percent penalty on aluminum from those regions. Experts caution that you can expect some form of retaliation in response to the tariffs; a few months ago the European Union released a 10-page list of U.S.

Here come the U.S. tariffs on European metal

May 31, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The White House is on track to impose a 25 percent penalty on steel from Europe, and a 10 percent penalty on aluminum from the region. We'll talk to Ian Bremmer, founder of the political risk consultancy Eurasia Group — about whether this means a trade war, and then we'll look at the American-made products the European Union will make tougher to sell. Afterwards, we'll discuss Arkansas' plans to impose work requirements on those in its Medicaid program.

(Global Edition) Nearly 10 years after the financial crisis, regulators in the U.S. are simplifying a trading rule that many foreign banking institutions have seen as unfair. But will this move expose the global financial system to the same kinds of risks that sparked the 2008 meltdown? Then, Brazil is starting to emerge from a two-week-long truck driver strike, but the economic costs are growing. We’ll take you to São Paulo and explain why. Afterwards, from payment systems to taxi services, Africa’s first billion-dollar startup is changing the way consumers on the continent shop.

Bitcoin’s wildly fluctuating price may not be the result of free market forces. The Department of Justice has reportedly opened an investigation into whether traders are manipulating the price of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Peter Tchir, a market strategist at the investment bank Academy Securities about digital currency price manipulation his article on the topic for Forbes.

Are traders messing with the price of bitcoin? And why should you care?

May 31, 2018

Bitcoin’s wildly fluctuating price may not be the result of free market forces. The Department of Justice has reportedly opened an investigation into whether traders are manipulating the price of bitcoin and other digital currencies. And that's caused some market watchers to say that’s been clear all along. Peter Tchir, a market strategist at the investment bank Academy Securities, is one of those people.

How to make restaurant kitchens a better place for women

May 30, 2018

The James Beard Awards, sometimes referred to as the Oscars for chefs, restaurants, and cookbook writers, took place earlier this month in Chicago. It was a notable year for the awards because the winners included more women and people of color than ever before, something the restaurant industry celebrated months after a series of high-profile chefs were alleged to have abused staff, especially female staff, in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Maybe you've never heard of the international food conglomerate JAB. But you probably consume some of its products, like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Panera Bread and Peet’s Coffee. JAB is a Luxembourg-based holding company run by a secretive German billionaire family. And it's making quite an impression on the food and beverage business lately. Back in January, the company agreed to pay $26 billion for Dr. Pepper and Snapple. It just added to its lineup by grabbing the British sandwich chain Pret A Manger for $2 billion. 

A whopping $66 billion deal in the agribusiness space just won the approval of antitrust regulators in Washington, D.C. That clears the way for German behemoth Bayer to acquire St. Louis-based Monsanto. Monsanto has for years ridden the success of the herbicide Roundup and seeds that are tolerant of the chemical. But now Monsanto— and Bayer — are betting on a next-generation product.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Caught in the crosshairs of global trade policy

May 30, 2018

Over 12.5 million people in the United States work in the manufacturing sector. That's nearly 12 percent of U.S. GDP. So what we make and how make it matters. We're starting off with the second part in our series about manufacturing in America. Today, we're at a foundry that's seen business improve under President Donald Trump, but its owners are wary of steel tariffs. Then: What do Snapple, Dr. Pepper, Peet's Coffee, Keurig and Panera Bread have in common? They're all owned by one company that's on a buying spree.

Starbucks closed more than 8,000 stores on Tuesday to give workers anti-bias training. The nationwide closing follows the recent arrests of two African-American men who asked to use the restroom in a Philadelphia Starbucks last month.

As part of that training, Starbucks commissioned "Story of Access," a short video from filmmaker Stanley Nelson. It highlights the bloody, civil rights battle for equal rights to lunch counters, restaurants and other public accommodations. Here it is:

The James Beard Foundation CEO has a plan to get more women running restaurants

May 30, 2018

Foodies will know the James Beard Foundation as a nonprofit that supports the culinary arts through scholarships, chef programs, and the James Beard Awards, sometimes referred to as the Oscars for chefs, restaurants, and cookbook authors. This year's awards were a first for Clare Reichenbach, the organization's new CEO. They were also notable for including more women and people of color than ever before. It was considered a bright spot after months of #MeToo allegations against some high profile chefs.

One family-run business caught in the crosshairs of global trade policy

May 30, 2018

Over 12.5 million people in the United States work in the manufacturing sector. That's nearly 12 percent of U.S. GDP. So what we make and how make it matters. Manufacturing has changed a lot over the past several decades, so Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal went to Columbus, Georgia, to get an understanding of what manufacturing in America looks like today.

What the Fortune 500 says about America's interests

May 30, 2018

(Markets Edition) With the official jobs report for May coming out this Friday, we'll look at how we might do with an early hint from the payroll processing company ADP. They've just released numbers for private-sector employment, showing that the economy added 178,000 jobs. Afterwards, we'll look at what the latest Fortune 500 list — which ranks America's biggest companies —says about what we value and how that's changed over the years. Plus: We explore how farmers are spending millions to stop feral pigs from causing damage. (05/30/2018)

Updated at 10:19 a.m. ET

President Trump resumed his attacks against Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday following reports that he had asked Sessions to un-recuse himself from the Russia investigation — and after more erosion of Trump's claim that the FBI spied on his campaign.

Trump used his Twitter account to echo the comments of House oversight committee chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who has been using TV appearances to try to offer some nuanced support to Trump.

Amazon shareholders to vote on Rooney Rule

May 30, 2018

Amazon shareholders will vote today on adopting the Rooney Rule. Amazon’s board initially opposed the proposal, which requires interviewing minority candidates, including women, but has since reversed. The Rooney Rule originated in 2003 when the NFL began requiring teams to interview at least one minority candidate for top jobs. Other industries have adopted the rule and variations.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The Volcker rule, explained

May 30, 2018

Today, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to take a step toward revising the Volcker rule. That’s the regulation, hated by the big banks, that limits risky trading practices. The Fed is one of five federal agencies that needs to weigh in on any changes.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) Remember when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would be set aside? Well, now the White House is pressing ahead and adding new pressure on China. We'll bring you up to date on what the Trump administration is doing now. Afterwards, we'll look at the Fed's decision to weaken the Volcker Rule, a piece of legislation that limits some trading practices, and then talk about some of the rules companies have adopted to increase workplace diversity. (05/30/2018)

Is trust in Italy evaporating?

May 30, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The future of Italy’s political leadership remains in limbo and investors are worried about what it means for the country’s continued participation in the eurozone’s common currency. The nation’s borrowing costs have soared in recent days amid the turmoil. So, is trust in Italy evaporating? Then, the global economy is expected to grow by nearly 4 percent this year and next, with unemployment in the developed world falling to the lowest level in four decades. We talk to the OECD, which released the forecasts, about what’s driving that growth.

Diverse startups could get traction from chip giant Intel

May 30, 2018

Intel Capital is the venture capital arm of the chip giant Intel. It's invested over $12 billion since it was started in 1991. Lately, it's focused on big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and diversity. In 2015, it announced the $125 million Intel Capital Diversity Fund, which is to be invested in female and minority startup founders. Two and a half years later, after they'd invested all that money, the Diversity Fund became the Diversity Initiative with a broader definition of diversity.

Intel Capital is the venture capital arm of the chip giant Intel. It's invested over $12 billion since it was started in 1991. Lately, it's focused on big data, artificial intelligence, robotics and diversity. In 2015, it announced the $125 million Intel Capital Diversity Fund, which is to be invested in female and minority startup founders. Two and a half years later, after they'd invested all that money, the Diversity Fund became the Diversity Initiative with a broader definition of diversity.

Fed Board of Governors to consider changes to Volcker rule

May 29, 2018

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday is expected to take up a proposal to relax the Volcker rule. That’s the measure passed in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Big banks say the Volcker rule, which is designed to protect depositor money from risky investments, is too expensive and constraining.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Honk if you can’t keep track of the Trump administration’s China policy. In the last few days, members of Congress have slammed the president for being soft on Beijing and pledging to bail out the Chinese electronics firm ZTE. Well this morning, the White House went back to Bad Cop and announced it’s pushing ahead on tariffs and punishing China for playing unfair with intellectual property. That is, taking, and sometimes stealing, American technology. Which to many is at the heart of the US-China relationship long term – innovation, ideas, and playing fair.

Italy gridlock shakes up global markets

May 29, 2018

Stocks in the U.S. and Europe sank following political turmoil in Italy, which stoked fears of instability in the euro bloc.

Investors dumped Italian government bonds Tuesday, driving borrowing costs sharply higher for that country, and shifted money into U.S. bonds. A steep drop in U.S. bond yields, which drives interest rates lower on loans, weighed heavily on banks. JPMorgan Chase fell 4.3 percent.

Technology companies also fell. Safe-play stocks like utilities rose.

File photo

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have dropped a major bribery charge against two former top executives of developer LP Ciminelli in a corruption case tied to Buffalo Billion funding.


... unless you're driving. Then honk maybe? At any rate, you're not alone. The White House is back to being the Bad Cop, pushing ahead on tariffs and punishing China for playing unfair with intellectual property. We'll bring you the latest on that and the changes coming to the Volker Rule, starting with what it is. Plus: One of the three last denim factories in the United States is shutting down. We'll visit and look at what it means about manufacturing in this country.

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