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

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

Jan 18, 2018

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. 

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

Jan 18, 2018

(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

Jan 18, 2018

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.

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.

What does Martin Luther have to do with Facebook? According to one historian, they both prove that networks have great power and can do a lot of harm. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Niall Ferguson, whose new book is called "The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook."

GE reckons with a large debt from an old business

Jan 16, 2018

General Electric CEO John Flannery said in an earnings call today that he was “deeply disappointed” in big liabilities found over on the company’s insurance side. GE actually sold off this business – insurance for long-term care – years ago. But turns out it’s still liable for billions of dollars’ worth of policies.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Denver wants to help the middle class move on up

Jan 16, 2018

Supply and demand have come to bear on the housing market, and it's putting some cities out of reach for much of the middle class. The city of Denver has a plan to deal with the problem: housings subsidies. The subsidies aim to help middle-class professionals, like nurses and teachers, afford higher end apartments in areas with skyrocketing rents. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Laura Kusisto of the Wall Street Journal about her article on the subsidy plan. 

01/16/2018: Is "Catan" the next blockbuster?

Jan 16, 2018

Sony Pictures hopes so. The studio is making a bid for the rights to the bestselling board game. We like Catan because it's all about economics, but is there enough there for the kind of mega-franchise Hollywood demands these days? Plus, we're talking markets and the Chinese government's new plan for limiting the population of Shanghai.

While the markets closed today with a slight loss, they opened at a high point. This morning, the Dow broke 26,000 points for the first time in its 120 year history — and that's after a year with practically no dips to speak of.

But that lack of volatility has some market watchers a little nervous. According to Michael Regan, senior editor of markets at Bloomberg, you never know how long a bull market is going to last. 

What do actress Mila Kunis, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck have in common? They're fans of the German board game Catan, which deals in trade and economics. Players represent tribes who have landed on the island of Catan. They jockey for the best position to collect resources, grow settlements and beat their opponents.

“It's a really cleverly designed game that you never really know until the very end who's going to win,” Adam Williams said as he stood with about two dozen other Catan fans at a gaming convention in Darmstadt, Germany.

What's on the Democratic agenda in the upcoming year?

Jan 16, 2018

As we approach the Trump administration's one-year anniversary, we're looking more broadly at the economic agenda ahead.

With the Republicans in power, and the passage of their major $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, what are Democrats planning? Felicia Wong, president and CEO of the progressive leaning think tank the Roosevelt Institute, stopped by to give us some insight. Below is an edited transcript.

(Markets Edition) Another day, another stock market surge — but is that a good thing? David Kelly, chief global strategist at JP Morgan Funds, joined us to share why it makes him feel a little bit "uncomfortable." Afterwards, we'll look at how the U.K. is dealing with a corporate collapse similar to the Enron debacle — this one involving a big government contractor called Carillion, PLC. Finally, we'll talk about the rise of high-end male grooming salons and barbershops around the country.

New barbershops cash in on male grooming trend

Jan 16, 2018

Male grooming is in.

To capitalize on the trend, new high-end male grooming salons and barbershops are popping up in cities around the country. Men are shelling out at these places to get everything from a haircut and a shave to a wax and mani-pedi — or rather, “hand and foot detailing.”

Clifford Chiu did not use to spend a lot on a haircut — just $8 or $10. Then Chiu got a new job and decided it was time to pay for something a bit more elaborate in the old hair department.