Marketplace

Weekdays from 6:30pm to 7pm
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal
  • Local Host Larkin Page Jacobs

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is a daily magazine of business and economics.

A former coal miner's take on the declining industry

6 hours ago
Lizzie O'Leary and Paulina Velasco

It's been hard to escape the narrative of the coal miner over the last year. President Trump talks a lot about putting coal miners back to work, and he's rolled back Obama-era regulations aimed at doing just that.

But setting narratives aside, the numbers show coal is declining. Natural gas is cheaper to use to make electricity. And many of the people who have done this work don't see much of a future for themselves in coal.

The Wall Street Journal made a phone for just 70 bucks

9 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst

The $600 to $800 price tag on the latest Apple or Samsung smartphone could create some serious sticker shock, especially compared to the much cheaper models from Chinese competitors. Chinese smartphone brands from the Pearl River Delta region and the city of Shenzhen are gaining market share fast. They can contract with manufacturers in Shenzhen who are already tapped into the region's vast smartphone supply chain and pump out low-cost phones under their own brands, no designing or engineering necessary.

Sam Beard

Britain’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union have begun. The formal talks over the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU and the future shape of its trade relationship with the bloc are expected to last at least 15 months and could go on for much longer.

Robert Garrova

Brought to You By” is our series about all the stuff that’s become part of the culture and of the economy. Where did they came from and who thought of them?

Everyone recognizes Smokey Bear, the lovable National Parks mascot who warns visitors about the dangers of forest fires. But where do those friendly anthropomorphic bear cutouts come from?

06/23/2017: What's going on with America's infrastructure?

13 hours ago

Now that Senate Republicans have released the draft for their bill on health care reform, we'll recap how the markets are doing. Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, joined us to explain why health care stocks have been reacting positively. (Hint: It's not expected to actually pass.) Afterwards, we'll look at what Japan and the European Union have in store for their free-trade agreement, and then explore some of the questions U.S. mayors have surrounding Trump's infrastructure promises. 

More than 250 mayors are in Miami Beach for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. A White House infrastructure adviser is there, too, and city leaders have plenty of questions. What’s in Trump’s infrastructure plan as far as federal partnerships with cities and states? The plan includes about 200 million in federal spending to leverage much more in private investments. But how will any public-private partnerships be structured? The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates about $4.6 trillion is needed in infrastructure investments by 2025, so details on funding are crucial.

Sabri Ben-Achour

The Senate's version of the Republican health care bill calls for big cuts to Medicaid and would release Americans from the requirement to get health insurance.

Its overall vision is a fiscally conservative one, whose aim is to have consumer behavior pressure companies into delivering the best services possible. But will that pan out?

Japan and the EU head for a massive trade deal

17 hours ago

Japan and the European Union say they’re close to agreement on a broad free-trade deal. It would be the largest such pact for the EU. The two trading partners have been hammering out this deal since 2013, but negotiations have taken on new urgency recently. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Solar tariffs request is dividing the industry

18 hours ago
JaeRan Kim

The Los Angeles office of Green Solar Technologies was humming on a recent Tuesday. In dozens of cubicles, sales people were working their phones, following up on sales pitches for solar systems.

Looking out through his large office windows, Edward Harner, chief operating officer of the company, didn't focus on the mountains that were visible but on the houses spread out before him.

Marketplace

The Trump White House is wrapping up its tech week. Over the past several days, the administration discussed everything from emerging technology (like 5G networks) to ways it could modernize the government's workforce. Recode senior editor Tony Romm joined us to give his thoughts on whether the administration "gets" where tech is and knows how to move forward, and talked about a clash that went on between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Trump. Plus: To cap off the week, we're playing Silicon Valley with Nadia Boujarwah, co-founder of Dia&Co., a clothing delivery site for sizes 14 and up. 

Marketplace

A draft of the Senate's version of the Republican health care bill is finally here. We'll talk about the changes it would make to Medicaid, and whether consumer behavior would change under the plan. Afterwards, we'll look at the conflict brewing between U.S. solar panel makers and foreign ones. Two American manufacturers have asked for steep tariffs on foreign panels because of their cheap prices, which makes it hard to compete. 

Democratic leaders try to formulate a sound economic message

Jun 22, 2017

Democrats are having a hard time crafting an economic message that gets through to voters. They lost two special congressional elections earlier this week. Some Democrats say being the anti-Trump party is a weak platform on which to take a stand and reach Americans who feel their concerns and needs are not being met. What does the Democratic leadership need to do to come up with an economic message that reaches blue-collar and other Americans who feel the economy is not working for them?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Banker to Hollywood elites branches out to South LA

Jun 22, 2017
Aaron Schrank

Los Angeles-based City National Bank’s modern eight-story branch in Beverly Hills overlooks the Rodeo Drive luxury shopping district, where Bentleys and Range Rovers compete for street parking.

The bank began building its reputation 60 years ago as the go-to lender for the entertainment industry.

“Los Angeles needed a bank that would reach out to a community that was not well served by the biggest banks,” said CEO Russell Goldsmith, himself a former movie executive. 

Qatar Airways, the national airline of that embattled Persian Gulf nation, plans to invest about $808 million in American Airlines. This is an unsolicited investment — a purchase of voting shares on the open market. This comes as U.S. airlines, including American, have criticized Qatar Airways and two carriers based in the United Arab Emirates about alleged unfair competition. They say the Persian Gulf governments subsidize ticket prices and service, undercutting U.S. carriers on routes to the Middle East, Africa and the Far East. Qatar may also have a geopolitical goal in mind.

Kai Ryssdal

Now that the Senate health care bill has been released, it’s being digested by all the relevant interested parties. Some of those interested parties are people running the state heath exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. Peter Lee is the executive director of Covered California, California's health exchange and the first created after the bill became law back in 2010. He talked with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about the health care policy conversation in Washington. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Dan Boyce

President Trump has ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review whether more than 20 large areas designated as national monuments should remain protected. The goal is to determine if monument status too greatly restricts access to public land and economic activity, like timber cutting or oil and gas drilling.

Republican Arkansas looks to cut its once-expanded Medicaid rolls

Jun 22, 2017
Sarah Whites-Koditschek

Willie Freeman works in the meat department at Edward’s Food Giant in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is 54 and has been insured through the Affordable Care Act for four years.

“All the time. I use it all the time,” he said.

His job pays $9 an hour, too much for him to be on traditional Medicaid, which covers low-income people, and too little to be in the health care exchange.

But because Arkansas opted to expand Medicaid to fill the gap, Freeman was able to start going to the doctor.

Marketplace staff

Many view the divisions in our current political environment through a "conservative vs. liberal" or "Democrat vs. Republican" filter. After all, a large number of people in both of the major political parties have said that the other group elicits feelings of fear and anger

Marketplace

At long last, Senate Republicans have revealed their health care bill. It was hatched in secret, and they hope to vote on it in a week so let's dig in. It's similar to the plan passed by the House: Sharp and sweeping cuts to Medicaid, more power to states to decide what insurance plans have to cover, shrinking the Obamacare subsidies. Here's what it won't do: make health care cheaper. We'll talk about why, then head to Arkansas, where a plan to roll back Medicaid expansion will put tens of thousands back on the exchanges, if they can afford it.

06/22/2017: Disagreement in the Fed over another rate hike

Jun 22, 2017

As of the late, Janet Yellen and co. had seemed keen on another rate hike, but the mood appears to be shifting. Diane Swonk of DS Economics stopped by to explain why there's some dissent among Fed members. Afterwards, we'll talk about why the major banks are required to take "stress tests," and then look at how America's productivity rate is doing. 

Tony Wagner

Politicians love to talk about the national debt and especially the deficit. But as different factions jockey for their plans and policies, things can start to get confusing. Whose plan is going to cost more? How important is it to be "deficit-neutral"? How does the debt ceiling factor into all of this?

On this week's Make Me Smart, we asked "The Budget Guy," Stan Collender, about  it all. He says don't worry if you don't get it, you're not alone.

How to prevent a financial crisis

Jun 22, 2017

The Federal Reserve is releasing the first part of its annual stress tests for big banks today. All of the major banks are expected to pass this year, which is good news if you want to see the U.S. financial system survive a future crisis. The test applies to more than 30 of the biggest banks in the country, and aims to ensure that banks have enough cash reserves to withstand a severe global recession like the 2008 financial crisis.

For NBA stars, branding goes beyond the court

Jun 22, 2017
Andy Uhler

Remember these commercials?

The shoes were Nikes, but to basically every kid in America, they were "Air Jordans."

Michael Jordan was, and still is, the brand. His net worth today is $1.3 billion.

The lucrative partnership is an example of how Nike leveraged an athlete's popularity to sell shoes. Back then, what mattered most was Jordan being a great player. Nowadays, how good you are on the court is only one factor in a star athlete's earning potential.

David Brancaccio

It feels like America is more divided than ever before.

Surveys even show that the country's major political parties have very unfavorable views of each other. But maybe we need to reframe the cause of some of the polarization happening in our country.

06/22/2017: The rise of cryptocurrencies

Jun 22, 2017
Marketplace

Uber is looking to the future after investors pushed CEO Travis Kalanick to resign. But with old lawsuits still trailing the company, we'll discuss whether Uber can truly move forward and if an IPO is in its near future. Afterwards, we'll look at Tesla's scramble to keep up in the self-driving car race, and then talk about the surge in cryptocurrency prices over the last few months.

06/22/2017: America's great divide

Jun 22, 2017
Marketplace

In just a few hours, we should have a draft of the Senate's health care overhaul. But even though it hasn't been officially released, parts of the bill have been leaking. On today's show, we'll discuss some of the reforms the measure calls for, which will outline how much power states would have and how Medicaid could change. Afterwards, we'll chat with Guardian reporter Chris Arnade about how divisions in America may not necessarily have to do with a liberal-conservative construct, but with those who left their hometowns vs. those who stayed. 

Used to be if you wanted some hand-hewn dreamcatcher earrings or a wallet made of duct tape, there was one place to go: Etsy. The e-commerce website brought artisan-crafted products to customers around the world. It launched with four employees in 2005 and grew into a $1.6 billion public company. But now Etsy’s laying off 15 percent of its staff, the second round of cuts this year. Its problems seem to stem back to when the company let the mass-produced sell alongside the homespun.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

How towns are hurt when malls run into trouble

Jun 21, 2017
Marielle Segarra

After more than 20 years, Jim Quigley left his job at a Wall Street investment firm for a smaller market. He got elected town supervisor in Ulster, New York, about 100 miles north of Manhattan. Population: 12,251.  

“My family's been in this community since 1849,” Quigley said.

These days, Quigley is working 60-hour weeks, trying to keep the town’s budget in the black. He’s been preparing for a drop in tax dollars from Ulster’s largest taxpayer, the Hudson Valley Mall.

Some economists think technology might be slowing inflation

Jun 21, 2017

Should inflation be added to the list of things disrupted by tech? For years, we’ve accepted the integrity of the idea of the Phillips curve: that as unemployment declines, wages rise and companies pass along those increased labor costs in the form of price hikes on goods and services. Inflation. But as unemployment has declined in this economic cycle, we’re seeing very little inflation. Is that because of the influence of technology?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Today is the deadline for health insurance companies to decide if they're going to be in or out of the health care exchanges in 2018. Several of the big insurers, like Anthem and Humana, are bailing on the exchanges in many markets, limiting or eliminating options for patients using Obamacare. But while some companies are jumping ship, others are jumping in — like New York startup Oscar, and Centene, based in St. Louis. Why do these companies see this moment as an opportunity when many others are fleeing?

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