Marketplace on WCAI

Weekdays at 6:30pm
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

In-depth focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.

(Markets Edition) On today's show, we'll discuss the state of the housing sector and the new frontrunner for the Fed chair: Jerome Powell, a current member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. How do the markets feel about this candidate? Pretty good, given that he's likely to follow Janet Yellen's policies. Afterwards, we'll hear from Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, about taking our agency back from big tech companies. And finally, we'll look at Mattel's decision to dive into the quinceañera industry by creating its own quinceañera Barbie.

When Susan Fowler found herself on the receiving end of inappropriate chats from her male manager, she documented the exchange and reported him to the company’s human resource department. Fowler, who was at the time an engineer at Uber, thought they would handle the situation. Instead, she was told to either find another team or remain in her current position and risk getting a negative performance review from that manager later on.

Why is the internet so sick?

Oct 30, 2017

This week Facebook, Google and Twitter are set to appear in front of Congress. All three companies have admitted Russian entities bought ads on their sites in an effort to skew the U.S. presidential vote. That's just one symptom among many that has led the Mozilla Foundation to warn that the internet has become dangerously sick. The foundation is currently soliciting feedback on the first version of its annual Internet Health Report, which looks at things like the web’s openness, inclusivity and safety.

Expat tax burden could shift

Oct 30, 2017

Americans overseas pay income taxes both in the U.S. and in the countries where they work. Now lawmakers could lighten the burden for individuals. As the tax overhaul is drafted in Washington, a range of complaints about expat taxes will be considered. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

10/30/2017: The great fish escape

Oct 30, 2017

(U.S. Edition) We may get details on the House bill to overhaul taxes as soon as Wednesday. One big component of this measure: how U.S. corporations are taxed on overseas earnings. We'll take a look at how America's tax system differs from most other countries, which have a territorial system in place. Afterwards, we'll discuss how a cut in Obamacare ad dollars may lead to lower enrollment, and then cap off today's show by checking out Washington state's fishing woes.

With Obamacare ad dollars slashed, expect lower enrollment

Oct 30, 2017

Want to know what happens when you cut ad spending for Obamacare? Just ask Kentucky. When the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges first went online, Kentucky had a Democratic governor. But a year later, Kentucky elected a Republican governor, who quickly slashed the ad budget.

Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, studied how the drop in advertising affected the Kentucky exchange. There were “450,000 fewer page views per week on the website,” she said.

The Hope Island fish farm floats in a sheltered bay off Washington state’s Puget Sound. Giant rectangular nets hold thousands of fish, though it’s difficult to see them till they jump.

“This site’s very brackish water,” said Tom Glaspie, the site manager. “Sometimes it's hard to see the fish inside here.”

Washington state is home to one of the biggest farmed salmon industries in the country. But, since the escape of at least 150,000 Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound this August, fish farm opponents have renewed their calls for putting an end to aquaculture in state waters.

10/30/2017: What's making the internet sick?

Oct 30, 2017

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... Europe's largest bank, HSBC, posted quarterly profits that were up five-fold from the same time last year. What's behind the rise? Afterwards, as Google, Facebook and Twitter head to Congress this week, the Mozilla Foundation warns that the internet is becoming increasingly "unhealthy." Executive Director Mark Surman gives an overview of this very sick patient. Then, Macedonia’s capital Skopje has undergone an estimated $600 million architectural transformation to attract foreign visitors.

Companies are required to file equal employment opportunity reports with the government. But few make that information public. Reporters at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX looked into how diversity stacks up in Silicon Valley. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talked with reporter Will Evans about why hard data on diversity in tech remains a bit of a mystery.

What will the GOP tax plan look like?

Oct 27, 2017

David Gura of Bloomberg and Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker join us to discuss the week’s business and economic news. Despite economists' predictions of the GDP falling, there was economic growth of 3 percent last quarter — we breakdown exactly this means. We also discuss the hurdles the GOP tax plan will have to jump before it's unveiled Wednesday. Plus, we touch on President Donald Trump’s upcoming Fed chair appointment.  

Hey! Hands off my deduction

Oct 27, 2017

The GOP is expected to unveil its long-awaited tax plan on November 1, and then the real battle will begin over how it will be paid for. And nearly every deduction is on the line. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Oil companies make do with breaking even

Oct 27, 2017

A few years ago, oil prices were hitting record highs. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate went for $107 dollars in the summer of 2014. Then, there was a fracking boom in the U.S., a worldwide oil supply glut and prices collapsed. Many oil producers went out of business. But oil prices are now picking up. Prices are hovering around $50 dollars a barrel and oil companies are adjusting to the new normal.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Is Amazon finally poised for a complete retail takeover?

Oct 27, 2017

CVS is reportedly offering $66 billion to buy health insurer Aetna, and there's a lot at play here. But one reason behind the bid may be concern that Amazon is eyeing the prescription drug market. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Amazon has approval to be a wholesale drug distributor in at least 12 states. Earlier this year, Amazon jumped into the grocery market, buying up Whole Foods. It also wants to drop packages inside your house.

Reining in federal regulation has been on lawmakers minds for decades. President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are just the latest to promise economic growth through deregulation.

But how did we become a regulatory state in the first place? On this season of "The Uncertain Hour," we traced it back to Ruth Desmond, a D.C.-area homemaker turned powerful consumer activist. By the 1970s she was the so-called Peanut Butter Grandma, the Terror of Washington who "spit in the corporate eye."

Republicans in Congress are moving toward a tax overhaul. On Thursday, the House approved a budget resolution that opens the door for a tax bill. There are a number of areas of focus, including corporate tax rates and retirement accounts. Congress has suggested capping the 401(k) annual contribution limit to just $2,400. With that in mind, this week's 5 Things You Need to Know looks at 401(k)s. Laura Adams, a personal finance expert and host of "The Money Girl Podcast," provides her advice below: