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Marketplace

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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our flagship program is all about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy numbers, we help listeners understand the economic world around them.
199 Episodes
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The federal government shutdown ended a year ago, but it’s still hurting temporary workers, like security guards, who will never get that month of wages back. The Trump administration is using a lot more contractors than previous White Houses, and today we talk with some people still paying off credit cards and other debt they took on. Plus: The head of the New York subway system steps down, the “American Dirt” controversy and how China is responding to the coronavirus.
And not just in the U.S. All around the world, central banks have kept interest rates low or even negative, but inflation isn’t going up as expected. What’s going on? We kick off today’s show trying to answer that question. Plus: P&G’s earnings, bricklaying robots and the effects of the government shutdown, a year later.
The business of TV in 2020

The business of TV in 2020

2020-01-2200:27:141

With a record 532 scripted series on air and an expensive streaming war on, this is a challenging time to take over a cable channel. We’ll talk about the business with AMC President Sarah Barnett. After that, we look at how Netflix measures its shows’ success and what counts as a “view.” Plus, the latest on auto tariffs, Boeing and Venezuelan refugees in Chile.
President Trump told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos today that the U.S. was in a “blue-collar boom.” We’re going to take some time to assess that claim and the state of blue-collar work in general. Plus: AI goes to the movies, a new spate of retail closures and why China is leading the world in solar, wind and … coal.
Microsoft has recently announced plans to spend $1 billion on technologies that will help eliminate carbon from the atmosphere. It’s part of the company’s greater plan to becoming carbon negative in the next 10 years. Molly spoke to Lucas Joppa, Microsoft’s chief environmental officer, about this approach. Plus: Thousands of business leaders and lawmakers converse on Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. We also look at the IMF’s 2020 economic forecast, Ireland’s housing crisis and negative perceptions of female CEOs.
While we’ve been hearing a lot about how the trade war has negatively impacted U.S. farmers, the executive vice president of the largest garlic producer in the country wants people to know it’s helped others. “We’re apolitical as a company,” said Ken Christopher of Christopher Ranch. “What we are is pro-American garlic farmers.” Plus: negotiations over a digital tax is causing a rift between the U.S. and E.U., when companies should split in two, and we find out just how the trade deal with China was approved.
The Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission allowed corporations and unions to spend money in politics in an unprecedented way. It’ll be 10 years next week, so today we’re taking a look back on how our elections have changed. Plus: new retail and supply chain numbers, and the economics of hologram musicians.
The trade war isn’t over

The trade war isn’t over

2020-01-1500:27:351

The U.S. and China signed a phase one trade deal this morning. Today we’re answering more of your trade questions, talking with a farmer about how she’s affected by the trade deal and examining more of America’s trade disputes around the globe. Plus, Target’s sluggish growth, the affordable housing shortage and Amazon’s fraught relationship with FedEx.
The trade saga between the United States and China has gone on for almost two years. Now it might just be at the end. With President Donald Trump set to sign a phase one deal tomorrow, we’re devoting most of today’s show to the trade war: how we got here, what tensions still remain and how the conflict has impacted people, businesses and regulators here and abroad.
According to the International Federation of Journalists, more than a dozen Iranian journalists recently reported having their Instagram profiles suspended after they posted about Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s death. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, said any accounts or posts that are being blocked is because the company is being careful not to violate sanctions. It makes sense that sanctioned people, like Soleimani, might be blocked from the platforms, but what about people just posting about him? Plus: How phase one of the trade deal between the U.S. and China is affecting the steel industry, a new way to measure inflation and the lack of diversity in the financial planning industry.
As soon as the electric scooters showed up America’s streets, they were gone. Some of them, anyway. One of the big players, Lime, is laying off 14% of its staff and pulling out of 12 cities. Today, we take a look at the competitive landscape of scooting. Plus: Verizon kills the bundle, gift cards had another big holiday season and, of course, we have to talk about the December jobs numbers.
While most of the conversation around streaming services has focused on big American brands like “Star Wars” or luminaries like Martin Scorsese. But don’t sleep on anime — it’s a big draw for a young, engaged international audiences, and services like HBO Max, Hulu and Netflix are inking big deals with the premier Japanese animation studios. Plus: What you need to know about Facebook’s political ad policies, credit card fee hikes and how monetary markets are reacting to the conflict with Iran.
There are some signs that tensions between the U.S. and Iran could be de-escalating, but there’s more than just a physical war to worry about. Today we assess the tools for cyber warfare Iran has at its disposal, and the market reaction to last night’s missile attack in Iraq. Plus: a look at how technology might bring down the cost of prosthetic limbs, and more from our “Adventures in Housing” series.
Stocks hardly reacted to the first part of a trade deal with China last month, but the U.S. assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and new tensions with Iran have caused a stir. Today, we’re going to dig into how unpredictability riles markets and what it means for events to be “priced in.” Plus: What the low trade deficit does and doesn’t tell us, modern email etiquette and how the #MeToo movement has changed the American Economic Association’s annual conference.
Would the Fed go negative?

Would the Fed go negative?

2020-01-0600:26:234

Former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke sparked chatter in economic circles by saying the Fed should not rule out using negative interest rates. That would discourage banks from stashing their cash in the central bank and nudge them to lend. Even though the economy is growing at the moment, it could be good to have the option when things stall. But current Fed Chair Jerome Powell has pretty much ruled that out. Plus: How sanctions have shaped Iran’s economy, how alternative milks are putting a dent in the dairy industry, and how a Bahamian island is still recovering from Hurricane Dorian.
A U.S. airstrike in Iraq early Friday morning killed Qassem Soleimani, a powerful Iranian military leader. Iran has vowed retaliation, and while nothing has come yet, the oil markets are reacting. This is a critical spot in the oil market, and analysts are trying to assess where the heightened risks are to oilfields, workers, pipelines, processing facilities, vessels and shipping lanes. Plus: global spending on video games hit a high in 2019, a new industry that’s helping adults make friends and economic opportunities that lie on the hiking trails.
The dollar is going down

The dollar is going down

2020-01-0300:27:102

The U.S. dollar rose for most of last year, until September hit.  Since then, it has lost about 2.6% of its value, according to the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index. The rise and fall of global markets affects the value of the dollar because it’s thought of as a sort of safe haven. At the same time, the U.S. Federal Reserve started pumping more dollars into the U.S. financial system. But should we worry about the dollar’s drop? Plus: the fourth quarter election fundraising numbers are in, a new Nevada law that bans employers from denying jobs to applicants who test positive for marijuana, and the story of an international consultant who finally landed at home.
Ever realize you have 17 bottles of hand lotion and decide to reevaluate? That’s what Haley Falconer realized before she decided to do a shopping fast. She decided she would buy only the essentials, like groceries, and forgo all else. In the latest installment of our series “How We Shop,” we hear how she did it and how the year long experiment saved her family $4,000. Plus: A look back at this decade in the workplace, the story of a security guard who just turned 80 and a conversation about the board game industry.
A tweet from presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg about making the East Room in the White House an open office plan set the internet ablaze. Open plan office spaces have been trending for a few years now, but research shows there are quite a few downsides, like increased illness and decreased communication. Will the end of the decade bring the end of the open office? Plus: an update on U.S. trade relations, how a retired government contractor is winding down on the vineyard and a look at this decade in housing.
The tech trends of the 2010s

The tech trends of the 2010s

2019-12-3000:28:101

“Marketplace Tech” host Molly Wood dropped by to tell us about the major tech trends of the past decade. If the 2000s were about the growth of the internet, the 2010s were about learning how to use it. Software saw a boom, with the rise of apps like Uber and platforms like Facebook. Molly’s big prediction? By 2030, phones will be no longer. Plus: the trade deficit in goods shrank for the third straight month, California’s new data privacy law kicks in at the start of the new year and a nurse navigates finances in her semiretirement.
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Comments (26)

Vernon Shoemaker

My first thought was that tax cuts can be paid for with more Iranian sanctions, but I'm unsure of that. Then I wondered why you need to pay at all since the government is only creating a medium that circulates, why demand a returned portion with earned value. That is, printed money is worthless until it's immersed in an economy that creates value. Then there's the aspect of time. Expenditure is a timeline and revenue is a separate one and the difference is government debt, at each concurrent point. Unlike the Kansans who play that movie and close schools, the federal government doesn't have to annually balance because it's budget is included in the entire economy and if it's not too great a loser the economy supports it. Increased debt derived from shortfall that supposedly creates conditions for growth is dependent on growth to be negligible as a dead, unproductive portion. It's necessary because the private sector doesn't support and invest in certain necessary services, like war. I suppose tax has the same effect as inflation, but I'm unsure of that too.

Jan 22nd
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Timothy Webb

love this show #NPR

Jan 1st
Reply (1)

BeantownJewels

YES, YES, AND YES!

Oct 22nd
Reply (1)

Dharam Sookram

love the new segment "Kai Explains"... why then do I rename it "Man-splaning, with Kai" everytime it comes on...lol

Oct 4th
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Shani Lynn

Thanks! Loved it!

Jul 29th
Reply (1)

Mark Matthieu

Farmers are nervous and need help, but they will vote Trump again. Damn those ideologues

May 11th
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Dharam Sookram

the podcast has long stretches of no audio

May 8th
Reply (2)

Mark Matthieu

This is such a great podcast. I'm always amazed at what they are able to do in such a short time.

Apr 26th
Reply

Mel Vis

Very disappointed in the cavalier and dismissive comments from Kai regarding the Mueller report. He lost his credibility as a journalist and gained a reputation for condoning illicit behavior. Confirms the belief that Wall street supports corruption.

Apr 20th
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Strang3rDang3r

hell yeah El Ten Eleven used as intermission music! for anyone that wanted to know the song that starts at 12:15, its called My Only Swerving

Feb 15th
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Strang3rDang3r

lol what a disingenuous and ridiculous assessment of this issue. are you kidding me? "yeah the federal government forces me to get their tenuous licensing and approval for my small business, but now the govt is shut down. they won't approve me, but they'll fine me or shut me down if I keep working, it really sucks." WELL WELL WELL, SOUNDS LIKE SMALL BUSINESSES LOVE REGULATIONS!! how STUPID is that logic. clearly this doesn't show that we need government regulators, it shows that we need competition in the regulatory and standards market (3rd party testing and licensing) because the government regulatory monopoly is unreliable and fails the second the idiots in Washington can't agree on how much further debt they're going to put our country in.

Jan 17th
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Benjamin Lyon

known unknown = the rest of the story :)

Jan 15th
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Zach Johnson

The sound does not work 100%. can hear but it's hard.

Dec 26th
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John Roberts

What is the assertion that "another reason the medical industry relies fax machines; it's more secure than e-mail" based on? The entire story before that was about how insecure fax machines are, and then instead of a conclusion we get tossed an unsupported claim. If it's more secure than email then I would have hoped the rest of the story would have been "stop sending email and start using your fax machine again" but it wasn't because that doesn't make sense to anybody.

Aug 15th
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Matthew Chagan

30

Aug 8th
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Chris Horton

Mr. Kudlow's prognostication sounds all green grass and high tides. But he always left an a carefully placed out should he be wrong. He only seems to look at the big GDP numbers and ignores the scores of businesses that are currently being hurt by tariffs. The possibility that these tariff hurt businesses can result in lower future GDP is something he would not acknowledge. Lastly, it is almost impossible for the EU to take all the soybeans that China was taking simply due to the shear volume that China was taking.

Aug 4th
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John Slavin

Your interview with Ken Lango, Home Depot co-founder skillfully revealed a chilling insight into how the top one percent view the growing chasm between the weathly and the rest of society. Your gentle probing and (rightfully) respectful questions revealed a mindset that is rooted in an implicit bias. The foundation of the "we deserve to have nearly all and if they aren't rich they don't bias" seems ironclad....No matter how respectfully you guided Mr. Lango... He was unable to move towards a path outside his bubble of wealth and privilege. Women and men of great accomplishment deserve respect, even admiration. However, the disconnect from empathy and the sometimes harsh realities of the rest of society is omninous. That particular reality bubble floats beyond the reach of those below... Below reason itself.

Jun 2nd
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Richard Schoen

this did not happen overnight. Where were these guys a year earlier. Evidently nobody wanted to do anything until the house burnt down

Mar 20th
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iTunes User

Marketplace has been my PM drive home choice since David hosted the show (no, the other one). Kai and the current gang of reporters are the strongest ever, and now I grab the podcast at work and listen on the way home, no matter when I leave the office. I don't have to miss a thing. THIS, and The Onion :-), showcase what the deilvery method of podcasting can be; It's great for listeners, great for content providers, and great for advertisers (er, I meant underwriters. Those 30-second mentions with full contact information and product descriptions on NPR are not ads, you see. That would be illegal).

Aug 30th
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iTunes User

This podcast continually amazes me. Not only is it entertaining and informative, but the topics range all over the spectrum of our society. And they manage to squeeze all this news and information into a fairly brief podcast. At the end of each one I feel more in touch with the world. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Aug 30th
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