Use-it-or-lose-it season

Sep 18, 2018

China and the U.S. traded more tariffs since just yesterday, and many companies have said they’ll pass the cost onto consumers. So when can Americans expect a price hike? We'll talk about it, and interview a tile industry spokesman who supports the tariffs. Then: With the budget expiring at the end of the month, federal agencies are hurrying to spend their budgets before time runs out. Some are taking things down to the literal last minute. Plus, hard truths with rapper and author Dessa.

82: This is your brain on VR

Sep 18, 2018

Decades after it was first introduced, virtual reality finally feels like it’s on the precipice of enormous potential. And it’s not all entertainment — VR could change the way we go to work, communicate with loved ones or train ourselves to deal with difficult situations. But that got one of our listeners wondering: Who’s thinking about the drawbacks? We put that to Jeremy Bailenson. He’s the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. He’s a big proponent of VR and yes, he’s been pondering the scary stuff we haven’t even thought of.

When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, announced a hearing for next Monday to air a decades-old sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it didn't end the debate over how the Senate should handle the charges.

It intensified it.

Democrats are calling for a full FBI investigation of the allegation before a hearing, saying Monday is too soon.

(Markets Edition) With both the Trump administration and China announcing rounds of tariffs on each others’ goods, retail stores in the U.S. are keeping an even closer eye on what could happen next, especially if Trump follows through on a plan to essentially tax everything from China. We also talk to an economist for more. Also, we look to the toll that summer heat has had on farm workers, as they are 20 times more likely to die of heat-related illnesses.

Rapper Dessa on hard truths about life as a touring artist

Sep 18, 2018

Dessa is a rapper, singer, writer and member of the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree. She talked with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about making a living as a touring musician and her new book "My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science and Senseless Love." Dessa said she's had to hustle and sacrifice to make life work as an artist. "I have earned the dark circles this year," she said.

China on Tuesday announced a tariff hike on $60 billion of U.S. products in response to President Donald Trump's latest duty increase in a dispute over Beijing's technology policy. 

The announcement followed a warning by an American business group that a "downward spiral" in their conflict appeared certain following Trump's penalties on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Why we don't bury our power lines underground

Sep 18, 2018

Hurricane Florence has brought severe power outages to the Carolinas and Virginia, affecting hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. We saw the same in Florida and Puerto Rico during last year’s hurricane season. It's the result of downed power lines. One solution? Bury the power lines away from wind and trees instead. But that may be easier said — and cheaper — than done.

Click on the audio player above to hear more. 

Is Coca-Cola looking into cannabis-infused drinks?

Sep 18, 2018

(U.S. Edition) With the Trump Administration unleashing a new round of import penalties on Chinese goods, China has pledged to retaliate. We examine what the next moves could be for both countries. Also, are drinks with CBD — a non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana — on the way? There are reports that Coke could be looking into cannabis-infused drinks.

When you conjure an image of the stock market, it's likely the tumultuous floor on Wall Street with traders holding a phone to either ear, scrambling and yelling. But computer algorithms make most trades today, within fractions of a second, and you could say the real NYSE action is in Mahwah, New Jersey, where its data center sits. Marketplace Tech is exploring investment technology as part of the Divided Decade project on the financial crisis of 2008.

Marketplace Tech is spending all week looking at the risks technology can introduce to investing. Today, part one of a look at high-frequency trading. Critics of too much high-frequency trading say it makes markets vulnerable to manipulation, and the algorithms that fuel it can cause abrupt dips and rises in stock prices.

As a writer, you never really know where a story’s going to take you. Ruth Reichl writes a column for Town & Country magazine that’s about special delicious things. Recently, she set out to write about prosciutto and ended up in a place that moved her beyond what she’d imagined.

Canada's Aluminum Valley grapples with U.S. tariffs

Sep 17, 2018

Canada’s Aluminum Valley is a two-hour drive north of Quebec City, in the region of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean. Five aluminum smelters along a 50-mile stretch of the Saguenay River account for almost half of Canada’s aluminum production.

This has residents here following negotiations between Canada and the United States over a new North American Free Trade Agreement especially closely, with hopes an accord will clear the way to lifting tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum in place since June.

Time magazine may have time on its side now

Sep 17, 2018

Marc and Lynne Benioff will pay $190 million for the magazine. The founder of Salesforce and his wife join a growing list of tech billionaires investing their new money in legacy media properties.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Trump imposes tariffs on $200 billion more of Chinese goods

Sep 17, 2018

The Trump administration is imposing tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods starting next week, escalating a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies and raising prices on consumer goods ranging from handbags to bicycle tires.

The tariffs will start at 10 percent and rise to 25 percent starting Jan. 1.

President Donald Trump decided to begin taxing the imports — equal to nearly 40 percent of goods China sold the United States last year — after a public comment period. China has said it’s ready to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

What it takes to thrive in a constantly changing workplace

Sep 17, 2018

After spending 27 years with General Electric, Beth Comstock knows how to face change. The first woman to serve as vice chair at the company, she guided GE through some of the business world’s most difficult moments of change — breakthroughs, like the development of the internet and social media, and challenges, like the financial crisis and Sept. 11.

Tender Greens CEO weighs in on retail and food service

Sep 17, 2018

Tender Greens is a Los Angeles-based fast casual restaurant chain that you may not have heard of, but there's a good chance that the chain is hoping to come to a city near you. Operating in the competitive fast-casual sector of the restaurant industry, the chain wants to double its stores in the next several years, according to CEO Denyelle Bruno.

This post was updated on Sept. 17, 2018, at 4:25 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Tariffs, but make it fashion

Sep 17, 2018

The Trump administration will impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products next week as President Donald Trump first threatened in June. Hundreds of people have testified and submitted written comments about their impact, including Julia Hughes, president of the United States Fashion Industry Association. We'll chat with her, as well as Canadian aluminum producers stinging from the trade war. Plus: A conversation with Tender Greens CEO Denyelle Bruno.

The morning rush had slowed to a trickle at Los Angeles' main subway terminal, Union Station, but two police officers were still surveying the commuters on the escalator; first, with their eyes; then, through a laptop screen on top of a large black box on wheels.

“We wanted this to be obvious,”said Susan Walker, head of physical security for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, standing nearby.

(Markets Edition) The president on Monday morning tweeted about the “strong bargaining position” granted by tariffs, and that “cost increases have thus far been almost unnoticeable.” There are also more retaliatory threats from China. Then, we look at body-scanning technology, which will debut in Los Angeles in November. Could other cities follow suit? Also, we look at Monday night’s Emmys and how NBC is under pressure to boost ratings for the awards show.

The Emmys air tonight on NBC. Celebrities aplenty, lots of red carpet and the gowns but fewer and fewer people have been tuning in to see who takes home the awards for best in television. The Emmys has been the least watched of the awards shows over the past few years. Now there’s pressure to change that. Struggling to recover ratings, the television academy signed a contract keeping the cost of broadcast rights from climbing unless there are steady ratings gains.


Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) Switzerland’s financial watchdog group FINMA has uncovered corruption at the global bank Credit Suisse, which will now be overseen by an independent monitor. Then, McDonald’s workers in 10 cities are planning a lunchtime strike on Tuesday to protest alleged sexual harassment on the job. Also, we check in to see what states are doing to prevent kids from vaping after FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb threatened to pull certain e-cigarettes from the market.

New IMF warnings with just six months until Brexit

Sep 17, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … It’s just six months until Brexit, and we’ll hear from U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who is doubling down on her controversial plan to divorce her country from the European Union. Then, Unilever wants to scrap its dual-national share structure and move the company’s headquarters to the Netherlands. But one of the major shareholders is encouraging others to vote no. Afterwards, can cities be ageist, sexist, or racist?

Here at Marketplace, we're doing a yearlong project on the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis called Divided Decade. At the center of it, of course, were dodgy housing loans that were packaged and resold as seemingly solid investments. They were known as mortgage-backed securities. Here's where the tech comes in: Back in the '90s, a guy named Michael Osinski and his wife, Isabel, wrote software that made it super simple to bundle loans into a security.

Here at Marketplace, we're doing a yearlong project on the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis called Divided Decade. At the center of it, of course, were dodgy housing loans that were packaged and resold as seemingly solid investments. They were known as mortgage-backed securities. Here's where the tech comes in: Back in the '90s, a guy named Michael Osinski and his wife, Isabel, wrote software that made it super simple to bundle loans into a security.

Updated at 3:55 a.m. ET on Monday

Tropical Depression Florence is continuing to bring relentless, torrential rain to much of the South. Florence has already set a record for rainfall in the state of North Carolina, and thousands have evacuated to shelters in North and South Carolina to ride out the storm.

More than 500,000 remain without electricity in North Carolina.

Updated 11:40 a.m. ET Sunday

Florence weakened to a tropical depression Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center said, but flooding continued to be a major danger throughout the Carolinas.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the storm is more dangerous now than when it made landfall. "Flood waters are still raging across parts of our state, and the risk to life is rising with the angry waters," Cooper said in a news conference on Sunday.

"The threat of flooded roads keeps spreading," Cooper continued.

Last year was the costliest hurricane season on record in the U.S., and Hurricane Irma was the fifth costliest storm of its kind in history. Storms like Irma have costs that can keep hurting people for a long time. For instance, the damage it did to citrus trees in Florida. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal checked in with Mark Wheeler, a citrus grower in central Florida, whose trees were damaged by Hurricane Irma, to see how business is one year after that storm.

The National Labor Relations Board has moved to roll back a rule that made union organizing a bit easier. The "joint employer" rule from the Obama era opened the way for workers at franchises, temp agencies and sub-contractors to bring the big companies at the top of the supply chain into their labor disputes. So, you could sue a big fast-food chain accused of blocking worker rights at its franchises, for instance, because the big company had some control over working conditions, scheduling, or union organizing activities.

Viewers of The Weather Channel may have noticed a lot of campaign ads this week as the midterm elections approach and more people tuned in to track Hurricane Florence.

According to NCC Media, the number of political advertisers on the channel grew from 59 last week to 83 this week.