Business/Economy | KERA News


One year later: we check in on the refugee settlement in Erie, Pennsylvania

12 hours ago

In January of 2017, Marketplace traveled to Erie, Pennsylvania to do a live show the day before President Trump's inauguration as part of our series The Big Promise. The particular politics of Erie, voting twice for President Obama and then for Trump, have made it a microcosm of the larger political and socioeconomic climate in America. That includes the way its economy has changed over the past couple of decades -- specifically, the number of immigrants and refugees who joined the workforce.

You may need to get used to the threat of government shutdown

12 hours ago

There is currently no plan to fund the federal government beyond tomorrow. Lawmakers have yet to agree on a continuing resolution to fund the government. The deadline to do so is this Friday at midnight. To get a sense of how budget negotiations used to go—and whether we can expect the current state of affairs to be the new normal—Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Stan Collender, professor of public policy at Georgetown. 

Here we are again. No federal budget, no government funding beyond the next day or so. There was a time when this state of affairs was brushed off as congressional legislators simply kicking the can down the road, that they'd come to their senses and be, y'know, responsible. But those days seem to be gone, and this economy's getting by on a never-ending series of four-week budget stopgaps. That's how we're starting the show today. Then: a check on the White House's infrastructure plan, which is expected in the next few weeks.

Mick Mulvaney doesn’t think the CFPB needs more money

14 hours ago

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, sent an unusual letter to Fed Chair Janet Yellen yesterday. The CFPB gets its funding from the Federal Reserve like other government bureaus, so each quarter it requests money to keep the bureau going. However, this time no money was requested for the second quarter of this fiscal year.  

That’s right, Mulvaney requested $0 for the CFPB.

If your New Year's resolution is to cook more, you might be tempted to order a meal kit from a company like HelloFresh, Sun Basket, or Blue Apron. These companies prepare and package up ingredients, along with a recipe and send them right to customers' doorsteps.

For years, some small farmers have been doing something similar —  CSA or community-supported agriculture. Now, some of those farmers say that the meal kit companies are cutting in to that market.

(Markets Edition) The House of Representatives is set to vote on whether to approve funding for the federal government to stay open for a few more weeks. But what happens if the government does end up shutting down? Economist Diane Swonk explains how that could affect the implementation of the GOP's tax overhaul. Afterwards, we'll discuss what Apple plans to do with the billions of dollars it plans to bring to the U.S. from overseas, and whether this decision had to do with the new tax bill.

Amazon narrows list to 20 for its second headquarters

17 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon has narrowed its hunt for a second headquarters to 20 locations, concentrated among cities in the U.S. East and Midwest. Toronto made the list as well, keeping the company’s international options open.

The online retailer said Thursday that after sorting through 238 proposals, the potential locations still include tech-strong places like Boston and New York. Other contenders include Chicago, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, in the Midwest.

One of the big promises made by Donald Trump during the presidential campaign was that he was going to bring manufacturing back to this country. We spent some time in Pennsylvania talking about manufacturing with people in the industry for our series The Big Promise and spoke with Cary Quigley, the vice president of Sterling Technologies in Lake City.

How to lower your income tax bill

19 hours ago

One business columnist is so disappointed in the Republican tax overhaul, that he's been on a quest for creative ways to reduce his tax bill. 

"If we had anything like a fair and rational and reasonable procedure, I probably would not aggressively be out cutting my taxes," said Allan Sloan, a Washington Post columnist and Marketplace regular. 


Amazon has narrowed the list of cities under consideration for its second headquarters to 20 — and Dallas is one of them.

President Donald Trump is visiting a heavy equipment plant in Pittsburgh today, to campaign for a Republican candidate looking to fill a vacant congressional seat there. The president is expected to promote the new tax bill and tout recent growth in U.S. manufacturing — a sector he campaigned on saving. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

01/18/2018: Lowering your income taxes

22 hours ago

(U.S. Edition) Now that the GOP tax overhaul has passed, Apple is pledging to bring back a quarter of a trillion dollars to the U.S. We'll take a look at what the tech giant plans to do with all of that cash. Afterwards, amid President Trump's visit to a heavy equipment plant in Pittsburgh, we'll take a look at the state of the manufacturing industry.

Foreclosure rate is the lowest since 2005, report says

23 hours ago

Foreclosure activity fell in 2017 to a 12-year low, according to a new report by ATTOM Data Solutions. In 2017, 0.5 percent of all U.S. residential properties were in some stage of foreclosure — notice of default, scheduled auction or bank repossession. That's down from a peak of 2.2 percent at the height of the housing crisis in 2010.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service …China notches solid growth figures for 2017, but can the pace continue in the new year? Then, Benjamin Netanyahu is in India for the first visit by an Israeli prime minister in 15 years…we’ll take you there and explain what deal is on the table for the two longtime trade and security partners.  Afterward, the pope departs Chile today, but we’ll explain why his visit has come under fire for economic reasons.

Two major Apple investors are asking the company to make sure its devices aren't harming kids. They want Apple to do more research into smartphone addiction. Could exploring this somehow be good business for Apple? Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Megan Moreno, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin.  

Apple plans to repatriate its overseas cash

Jan 17, 2018

Apple announced in a press release today that it's committing to add $350 billion to the American economy over the next five years. According to Apple, that includes 20,000 new jobs. But it's unclear exactly where that multibillion-dollar figure comes from. A portion, at least — around $38 billion — is attributed to "a record tax payment upon repatriation of overseas profits." That means taxes on the over $200 billion in cash Apple is keeping overseas. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood to unpack the news. 

The head of BlackRock just gave CEOs a talking to

Jan 17, 2018

If you run a large public company and haven't considered whether your business provides positive contributions to society, then BlackRock CEO Larry Fink would like to have a word with you.

CFPB will take another look at the payday lending rules

Jan 17, 2018

Last year, the Obama administration enacted new rules regarding payday lending. They haven't yet come into effect. Now, the Consumer Financial Protection Board says it will reconsider the tighter regulation that would have required payday lenders to make sure the people they lend to can actually repay their loans. The rule was bitterly opposed by some in the lending industry who say it would cut off credit to potential borrowers. Many consumer advocates, however, said the rule would have prevented people from being taken advantage of. 

Uber had a secret defense against law enforcement

Jan 17, 2018

Despite being one of the highest-valued private companies, the last few years have been rough for Uber's public relations. Between revelations of sexual harassment in the workplace and the behavior of former CEO Travis Kalanick, the company hasn't had many opportunities away from the spotlight. As if those problems weren't bad enough, the company has also grappled with regulators in the many cities it operates in, particularly in Canada and Europe.

You can add a certain device maker from Cupertino, California, to the list of companies crediting the new tax law for new strategic business decisions. Apple announced today it would bring profits back from overseas and add a bunch of new jobs in the next five years. We'll kick off the show today by talking about what it all means. Then: President Donald Trump likes to take credit for gains in the stock market over the past year, but it's worth noting that economies and markets in Europe, China and Japan are booming, too. We'll look at the full picture.

Shanghai’s population is now nearly three times bigger than New York City’s.

That has implications for things like traffic. Pedestrians need to constantly be on alert. Even if a traffic light is green, electric bikes and bicycles will still be moving forward from all directions.

It is just as stressful to ride the public transit.

“Whether you take the bus or metro, people are squished together,” said Chen Guoqiang, who has been working in Shanghai for six years. He added that the air is polluted and homes are expensive to rent.

What's behind the global rally?

Jan 17, 2018

President Donald Trump has claimed credit for falling U.S. unemployment and rising growth figures. But how credible is that claim since there have been similar improvements in other key economies around the world? Since the president’s inauguration a year ago, economic growth has quickened and stock markets have boomed in China, Japan and Europe, partly thanks to rock-bottom interest rates.   

Andrew Kenningham, global economist with a London-based consulting firm Capital Economics, is skeptical about the president’s claims.

Acres of mud and debris continue to make travel in and out of the Santa Barbara, California area a big challenge. So commuters are relying on some old fashioned transportation alternates.

BlackRock CEO wants companies to make a "positive contribution to society"

Jan 17, 2018

Larry Fink, the CEO of the giant asset management company, BlackRock (think pensions and mutual funds), wrote an open letter to corporate CEOs about social responsibility. Specifically, about how companies shouldn't just think about profits, they also should be making a "positive contribution to society." It's kind of a big deal, coming from a guy running a company with $6 trillion in investments to manage.

Tim Mayopoulos joined Fannie Mae in 2009, shortly after the mortgage-backing company went into government conservatorship. He had left behind a career on Wall Street, where he worked for some of the biggest banks. Mayopoulos became CEO in 2012, but he says in the those early days at Fannie Mae during the financial crisis, "I wasn't sure things were actually going to be OK." He talks to host Kai Ryssdal about the crisis and the lingering effects it's had on Fannie Mae; why he's not convinced Fannie Mae needs to exist; and about the affordable housing crisis.

(Markets Edition) Amid the stock market's very positive run, we'll talk to Susan Schmidt — senior portfolio manager at Westwood Holdings — about the possibility of a correction. Next, we'll look at how China has the capability to influence aluminum prices, and then we'll discuss how the Trump administration plans to revisit a payday lending rule put in place under the Obama administration.

Texas Central Partners

After years of hearing about a bullet train shuttling passengers between Dallas and Houston in 90 minutes, the public will get a chance to talk about the ambitious and controversial project.

01/17/2018: What's ahead for Republicans in 2018

Jan 17, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The planners of the upcoming Davos conference have a new report on global threats. We'll look at what they're warning against, which includes everything from stock market crashes to little bits of computer intelligence that could infect us. Afterwards, we'll chat with Michael Boskin — senior fellow at the conservative-leaning Council of Economic Advisers  — about what's on the economic agenda for Republicans in the upcoming year. 

As we approach the Trump administration's one-year anniversary, we're looking at the economic agenda ahead. With the Republicans in power, and the passage of their major $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, what's next? Michael Boskin, economics professor and senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, joined Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to share his perspective.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Data this morning showed Japanese companies are finally starting to invest their substantial cash piles, which is helping spur economic growth. While it’s positive news, we’ll explain what risks investors should look out for. Then, the World Economic Forum in Davos might be a week away, but its new report on global risks out this morning has a warning about issues like protectionism amid recently rosy headlines of widespread growth.