National Partners

Stories from our program partners, including NPR, APM, and PRI.

A fundamentally different American economy?

10 hours ago

Has the current administration “fundamentally changed the structure” of the American economy, as Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,  said? We break it down with David Gura from MSNBC and Ana Swanson from The New York Times. We also discuss International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s comments on the United States regarding the tax plan and what it means for American economic growth. Later, we talk about the push to reach a NAFTA deal before May and bilateral versus multilateral trade.

Global economic recovery eats through oil glut

10 hours ago

This morning President Donald Trump turned his ire on OPEC: “OPEC is at it again,” he tweeted. “Oil prices are artificially Very High!” Sure, it’s convenient to blame someone for high gas prices. But the broader story — beyond the 280 characters that Twitter allows — is that something bigger is happening in the world oil market.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Looking for a luxury apartment? Try Pittsburgh

11 hours ago

There's plenty to see in Pittsburgh's East End. Carnegie Mellon is based here. So is the University of Pittsburgh. And the hip neighborhood, Lawrenceville. Another thing you can find: plenty of construction, mostly apartment buildings with signs touting amenities – pools, gyms, rooftop decks.

It's time to get your financial life in order

12 hours ago

Tax season may be over, but that doesn't mean you should stop thinking about your finances. That's one conclusion from John Schwartz of the New York Times, who decided that after many decades of keeping his nose to the grind and ignoring his letters from Vanguard, he should take a step back and look at how his financial life was really doing.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued its first penalty under the leadership of Mick Mulvaney. Wells Fargo will pay a total of $1 billion to the CFPB and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as part of a settlement over charges tied to the company's mortgage and auto lending business. 

Wells Fargo will pay the federal government a billion dollars to settle charges of misconduct in its car and home loans. That's a lot, but only a small percentage of the banks' recent profits. It's also the biggest bank fine imposed by the Trump administration and the first by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the direction of Mick Mulvaney. He's no fan of the agency he's now in charge of, and he's still Trump's budget guy, so we had him on today to talk about all of it.

Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest chapter in years-long, wide-ranging scandal at the banking giant. However, it appears that none of the $1 billion will go directly to the victims of Wells Fargo’s abuses.

In a settlement announced Friday, Wells will pay $500 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its main national bank regulator, as well as a net $500 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This artist wants to make you smile

16 hours ago

Bren Bataclan is an artist whose goal is to make you smile. Read on to learn exactly how he does that, but here's some background first.

Bataclan was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States with his family in 1981. He was 12 years old when they arrived, and together they all settled in Daly City. That's a section of San Francisco with a large Filipino population. The excitement of their arrival is depicted in Bataclan's painting "Daly City, Our New Home."

The town of Santa María del Mar, Mexico, hasn’t had electricity for more than three years. At night a generator hums in the town plaza, powering a few pale streetlights. 

Santa María, population 800, rests at the end of a skinny peninsula sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and a shallow lagoon that locals call the Dead Sea. Most days tempestuous winds drawn off the hot plains of Mexico’s Oaxaca state billow across the peninsula out toward the cool Pacific. 

(Markets Edition) When it comes to the market, traders look at three influential figures: the chair of the Fed, its vice chair, and the president of the New York Fed. We'll talk to Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, about why some were "disturbed" by what John Williams, the next NY Fed president, recently had to say at a press conference in Madrid. Afterwards, we'll look at one major domestic appliance company that could come out ahead amid all this tariff talk. Whirlpool may have an advantage thanks to a protective tariff on foreign washing machines. 

Critics of President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs say the policies hurt U.S. manufacturers that use a lot of those materials. And one industry likely to feel the pinch of higher production costs: home appliance manufacturers. Still, at least one major domestic appliance company, Whirlpool Corp., may come out ahead, thanks to another protective tariff — on foreign washing machines.

Ideastream's Adrian Ma is with the Marketplace Hub in Cleveland.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, which was up 0.3 percent in March, indicates the economy looks pretty good heading into summer and fall. The index crunches forward-looking measures like building permits, factory orders and unemployment claims to predict where the economy will be six months from now. And it looks as if the economy is growing at a fairly strong rate. But there are potential clouds on the horizon: President Donald Trump’s threatened tariffs and potential retaliation by China, which could lead to price spikes, industry contraction and layoffs.

04/20/2018: The cannabis brand wars

21 hours ago

(U.S. Edition) There are reports that Wells Fargo is close to a $1 billion settlement with federal regulators after charging customers for car insurance they didn't need. On today's show, we'll recap the controversy. Afterwards, we'll talk to Drake Sutton-Shearer, CEO of PROHBTD Media, about how quality cannabis brands could start emerging within the next decade, Wall Street's valuation of the industry, and his push to change the "stoner" stereotypes surrounding the product. Plus: A look at the financial struggles General Electric is facing. 

We're still waiting to see which company will become the Grey Goose of marijuana.

Right now, there isn't a whole lot of brand awareness about specific cannabis companies. But with marijuana legalization on the rise, that could all change within the next decade. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The head of one of Australia’s largest financial institutions has resigned after revelations the company lied to regulators for a decade about customer charges. Then, a tiny Philippines' tourist hot spot is facing a sudden six-month closure for infrastructure upgrades. But it’s not a popular decision among the island’s residents whose livelihoods depend on the $1 billion in tourism revenue they see each year.

04/20/2018: Feeling "privacy fatigue" yet?

23 hours ago

This week, Facebook revealed more about the way it collects data on just about everyone. The company disclosed how much data it collects when users aren’t logged in to Facebook and are just surfing the web. The company even tracks people who don’t have a Facebook account. To put the deluge of privacy news into perspective, Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Tom Merritt, host of the "Daily Tech News Show" podcast, about whether this is all just a Facebook problem.   

Tight labor market, tight … jeans?

Apr 19, 2018

It’s a tight labor market out there – so in a quest to attract workers, Walmart is trying out something new – allowing workers on the stores’ floors to wear jeans and solid shirts in any color. The new policy is being tested in less than two dozen stores. 

 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

American Icons: ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’

Apr 19, 2018

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom's Cabin” to promote the abolitionist cause, basing some of her novel on the testimony of an escaped slave. Her central character was a man of dignity, a good Christian, who suffered the abuses of slavery nobly and died protecting others. So how did Uncle Tom become the byword for a race traitor — a “shuffling, kowtowing, sniveling coward”?

American Icons: ‘Amazing Grace’

Apr 19, 2018

“Amazing Grace” is a hymn that’s recognizable to almost every American, regardless of religious background.

“It seems kind of like an all-purpose, hopeful song,” says Steve Turner, author of “Amazing Grace: The Story of America's Most Beloved Song.” But while the song has a universal message, its origins are much more complex.

American Icons: ‘Spoon River Anthology’

Apr 19, 2018

In “Spoon River Anthology,” the denizens of Edgar Lee Masters’ fictional Midwestern town speak to us from the grave. Death has loosened their tongues, and they tell us what they really think about their hopes and dreams and damaged lives.

Seven months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still recovering

Apr 19, 2018

It's been seven months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and the island is still facing some serious problems. This week, an islandwide power outrage left most of Puerto Rico in the dark. And teachers along with parents have been protesting the Education Department's plan to close 283 schools. Host Kai Ryssdal checks in with Marketplace reporter Lizzie O'Leary on the latest news of Puerto Rico's recovery. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

The rent is too damn high, according to a new Pew report

Apr 19, 2018

In 2015, 38 percent of renter households spent more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing, according to a new report released today by Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew report said high rates of families living in such a precarious financial state threatens the long-term economic mobility of American families, and has implications for the economy as a whole.

Maria Walkenbach lives in Detroit with her four dogs, just around the corner from the construction site for the Gordie Howe International Bridge, being built across the Detroit River to Canada. Walkenbach’s been here, in the home she inherited from her mother-in-law, for almost 20 years.

“My husband actually passed away in this home. So, there's a lot of memories in this home. And now that I'm looking to retire in another year or two, I want to start fresh,” Walkenbach said.

On May 19, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry. The couple will wed in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle — a royal residence in the small town of Windsor some 22 miles west of central London.

The bells of St. George’s will chime to mark the happy event, but the cash tills are already ringing. 

Tourism is by far Windsor’s biggest industry. Thanks to the royals, 7 million visitors flock to the town every year, and an extra 100,000 are expected on the wedding day, boosting the local economy.

04/19/2018: Puerto Rico is still recovering

Apr 19, 2018

Sometimes you've got a plan for reporting out a story, then circumstances change your mind. That's what happened to Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O'Leary, who's in Puerto Rico this week. She was in the middle of reporting an update on how the island is recovering after last year's hurricanes, then the lights went out ... everywhere. We got Lizzie on the phone today to talk about how things are going. But first, the latest on the AT&T-Time Warner trial — and reminder of what's at stake. Plus: the business of a royal wedding.

Castro steps down as Díaz-Canel assumes Cuban presidency

Apr 19, 2018

A page of history turned yesterday as Raul Castro, Cuban president and brother of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, stepped down from office to make way for a new generation of leadership and an uncertain future for the embattled archipelago.

Puerto Rico's power company said it had restored power to more than 1.1 million homes and businesses by Thursday morning after a transmission line failure cut service to almost all of the island's 3.4 million residents the day before.

The Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA, was working to restore power to the less than 30 percent of customers in the US territory still without power after Wednesday morning's blackout.

(Markets Edition) The International Monetary Fund — which gets called to the rescue when economies melt down — meets in Washington. We'll talk to Diane Swonk, chief economist at the firm Grant Thornton, about one especially big worry that's looming: world debt. And the leader of that happens to be the U.S. Afterwards, we'll look at why rivals Amazon and Best Buy are partnering to sell televisions, and then we'll explore how a rise in trawlers off the coast of Senegal is causing local fishermen to lose their livelihoods.

Amazon and Best Buy are partnering to sell televisions. As part of the deal, Best Buy will sell Amazon smart TVs in their stores and on Amazon as a third-party merchant. What’s bringing two apparent rivals together to sell expensive gadgets to consumers?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

With the weekly jobless claims out Thursday, we look at whether the tight labor market is creating opportunities for younger workers. Are employers more willing to look at — and train — younger workers? And are young workers prepared for the jobs that are available?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

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