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.

On this episode, we discuss the Affordable Care Act, get the lowdown on 401(k) plans and go inside the world of mature beauty tutorials on YouTube. Plus, stories on fashion subscription services and the unregulated business of donating a body to science. Weezer takes the Marketplace Quiz. 

There's a type of retail that blends e-commerce with old-school, mail-order services: subscription boxes. 

At this point, there's not much you can't subscribe to — a box of meals. Collectibles. Snack foods. And, of course, apparel from services like Stitch Fix, which recently filed to go public.

It's one of the first subscription box companies to do so. Stitch Fix works simply: You fill out an online style profile, a human stylist looks it over and sends you several outfits the company hopes you'll love. 

CVS-Aetna merger would help the drugstore take on Amazon

Oct 27, 2017

CVS is in talks to buy Aetna, the health insurance company, for more than $66 billion, according to multiple reports. Combined, that company would be one of the largest health care companies in the country, with about $240 billion in yearly revenue. 

YouTube beauty videos for people over 35 are a huge hit

Oct 27, 2017

Angela Wright is 59 and lives in Dallas, Texas. Whenever she’s curious about how a skin care product will work on her skin, she knows who to consult: Angie “Hot and Flashy” Schmitt,  a 55-year-old YouTuber who demos and reviews beauty products.

Wright found Schmitt's videos on YouTube about six months ago.

It's open enrollment season. But you'll see fewer ads for it than ever before.

Oct 27, 2017

Open enrollment begins Nov. 1. It's the time when people can buy new health insurance plans through their work or other methods, including or state-run exchanges.

This year, open enrollment will look different.

10/27/2017: U.S. economy grows at 3 percent rate

Oct 27, 2017

(Markets Edition) The House of Representatives has passed a budget blueprint that paves the way for an overhaul of America's tax system. But there are many, many unanswered questions about tax reform. Marketplace's Kimberly Adams is here with a monster list of the devils that lurk in the details. Afterwards, we'll chat with Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, about the U.S. economy's growth. Then, we'll discuss CVS attempt to merge with Aetna in a $66 billion deal — a move that CVS may need to stay competitive since Amazon may enter the pharmaceutical industry (again).

Amazon might go Canadian for its second headquarters

Oct 27, 2017

The applications are in, but we won't know until next year which of the 238 towns, cities, regions, provinces and territories will become the location for Amazon's second headquarters. That distinction could also bring along 50,000 jobs to the winning location.

While big U.S. cities like New York are major contenders, one Washington Post columnist has a very different region in mind. And that region isn't even in the U.S. 

Allan Sloan, a Marketplace regular, stopped by to discuss why he thinks Amazon will set up shop north of the border. Below is an edited transcript.

Oil earnings bubbling up

Oct 27, 2017

Exxon and Chevron report earnings today. Yesterday ConocoPhillips reported income that beat analysts’ estimates. Earlier in the week oil services firm Halliburton delivered strong earnings, with revenue up 10 percent. The earnings indicate the energy industry is in a minor rebound — after years of slump.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The English Avenue neighborhood on Atlanta’s Westside has struggled with crime and neglect for years. The street where John Ahmann stands is still dotted with vacant boarded-up houses. “When you look around here, you can see a lot of abandonment,” Ahmann said.

But Ahmann, who leads the Westside Future Fund, a nonprofit working to revitalize this neighborhood and the area around it, said change is coming.

(U.S. Edition) You go to CVS for shampoo, Tylenol and, maybe soon, your health insurance. The company is in talks to buy the health insurance company Aetna for more than $66 billion. We'll take a look at why someone would want a health insurance company these days, and the obstacles in the way of this merger. Afterwards, we'll look at how the energy industry is in a minor rebound. Then, to cap off today's show, Washington Post columnist Allan Sloan joins us to discuss his guess for Amazon's second headquarters. Hint: He doesn't think it'll be in the U.S.

10/27/2017: The end of an era in Hong Kong

Oct 27, 2017

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service...A big day in the ongoing drama between Spain and the separatist region of Catalonia, as Madrid prepares to take direct rule over the area after it voted in favor of independence a few weeks ago. We ask what the economic impact of this turmoil has been. Afterwards, physical trading on the floor of Hong Kong's stock exchange ends today after 31 years. We speak to traders right as the final bell goes off. Then - the US recently lifted sanctions on Sudan after two decades. Who is profiting most from the change?

Think about all the apps you use in a day: Amazon, Facebook, Gmail, maybe Lyft or Uber. In China, some of those apps are banned. But it’s possible to use one app — WeChat — to do lots of things, like sending messages and ordering taxis. Facebook Messenger is trying to take on the same role in the U.S. Jennifer Pak, Marketplace's new China correspondent, gives us the lowdown on WeChat and talks about why there's no equivalent in the U.S. ... yet. 

10/26/2017: So it's an emergency. Now what?

Oct 26, 2017

President Donald Trump announced a 90-day public health emergency to deal with the opioid crisis, but didn’t allot any new funds, so many are wondering if this will even scratch the surface of the problem. Deregulation is a hot topic among Republicans right now, and FCC head Ajit Pai is planning to dismantle rules limiting ownership of multiple media companies in one market. Plus, Kai catches up with the production supervisor for “Hamilton” to talk about what it’s been like taking the show on the road.

Workplace harassment and the bystander effect

Oct 26, 2017

In the days since the Harvey Weinstein story broke, more women have come forward with their own stories of harassment. In many of these cases, the accusers aren't the only people aware the harassment was going on. Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct has been called an "open secret" in Hollywood.

So why didn't anyone intervene?

There's a lesson from Psychology 101 that sheds some light on this. It's called the "bystander effect," and its relevance is growing for businesses.

Credit agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor's recently put out reports laying out this scenario: federal disaster spending drying up while damages from increasing disasters continue to rise. If cities, counties or states are left more on their own to fund rebuilding after natural disasters like hurricanes, they could have a lot of trouble managing their finances. That risk needs to be calculated into municipal bond ratings, the agencies say, to better reflect the risks that disaster-prone areas face, whether it’s superstorms, floods, wildfires or drought.