Marketplace from APM

Mon-Fri 6:30PM – 7PM
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

American Public Media's Marketplace presents news on business, economics, and money for the rest of us.

More info on Marketplace

And now, a currency war?

15 hours ago

President Donald Trump today accused Beijing of manipulating its currency. This is not a new charge. But what has occurred is an 8 percent fall in the Chinese currency against the dollar since the trade spat began in the spring. That helps Chinese exporters, because it effectively makes their products cheaper.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

"Mamma Mia!" The numbers behind the music

16 hours ago

Ten years after the original movie hit the big screen, the sequel, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," has been released.


The musical follows a single mother, her daughter and three potential fathers — it's a long story — all set in the beautiful (and fictional) island of Kalokairi. 

In honor of the release, let's do the numbers on "Mamma Mia!," the stage production and the movie. 

So long as sharks are terrifying, there will be shark content

16 hours ago

In 1975, "Jaws" became the first movie to gross over $100 million. Its success made it the first summer blockbuster. This summer's shark offering is "The Meg," a story about Carcharodon megalodon, the largest shark that ever lived. The movie is based on a novel written by Steve Alten, who saw "Jaws" when it came out and became obsessed with sharks. It turned out to be a lucrative obsession — sharks are a moneymaker.

In a rare move for a president, Donald Trump has criticized the Federal Reserve’s decision to hike interest rates.

“I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up,” Trump said in an interview with CNBC.

Live every week like it's Shark Week

18 hours ago

President Donald Trump accused China of manipulating its currency today. It's not the first time the White House has thrown out the accusation, but this time it comes amid trade tensions, when the yuan has fallen 8 percent compared to the dollar, which could offset the effects of tariffs. We'll talk about that at the top of the show today, along with Trump's recent comments about the Fed. Then, the latest in Trump’s efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations includes the Endangered Species Act.

The extraordinary power of Comic-Con and pop culture

19 hours ago

Ready your wigs, blasters, and convention badges — the mecca of all things pop culture has finally arrived.

This weekend kicks off the 49th annual Comic-Con International: San Diego. Taking over downtown San Diego, California for upwards of four days, SDCC has become ground zero for all things entertainment – everything from films, television, video games, and of course, all things comic book.

Three mayors, three economies (encore)

19 hours ago

Back in 2017, we visited three cities: Dalton, Georgia; Gillette, Wyoming; and Corvallis, Oregon. In each place, we met with the mayor and with folks around town, getting a sense of the economy there and how it's changing. We visited carpet factories and coal mines, spoke to students and business owners, and found unique stories of economic change — and how it affects real people and their lives. 

The U.S. economy is going strong nearly a decade after the Great Recession. The unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in June 2018, and fell even lower earlier in the year (3.8 percent in May 2018) before ticking up as new job seekers entered the labor force.

(Markets Edition) President Trump has criticized the China and the European for allegedly "manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower." Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, joined us to discuss how true these claims are. Afterwards, we'll chat with labor economist Giovanni Peri about what America's changing immigration policies could mean for wages, employment growth, and the overall economy.

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest point since 1969, according to data released by the Labor Department Thursday. These numbers are another sign of a tight labor market. And they’ve got retailers thinking about the holiday season.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The wealth of the world's billionaires has increased steadily by 13 percent per year since 2010, according to a report released by Oxfam in January. This rate is six times faster than that of regular workers.

(U.S. Edition) General Electric has reported second-quarter earnings, revealing that it beat expectations. But over the past year, its stock has been down 50 percent. We'll take a look at how a company that used to be the most valuable in the world is trying to turn itself around. Afterwards, we'll discuss how a gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany is causing controversy, and then we'll turn back the clock to examine whether the job market is as good as it was at the end of the Clinton administration.

What U.S. immigration policy has to do with wages and labor shortages

Jul 20, 2018

A report from the U.S. Department of Labor on job opportunities and labor turnover, or JOLTS, showed there were more reported job opportunities than unemployed people in May. This suggests that the economy is dealing with a labor shortage, but that raises the question of where these workers will come from when current U.S. immigration policy is reducing the amount of immigrant labor.

Indian workers win "the right to sit"

Jul 20, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … North Korea’s economy suffered its biggest contraction in two decades as international sanctions imposed over the country’s nuclear programs began to bite. But can the economic pressure on Pyongyang force change to its nuclear policy? Then, feeling tired at work? Spare a thought for a group of women in India who have just won the right to sit down on the job. We'll explain how the case began. And, what do you do if you're a luxury clothing brand with excess stock at the end of the season? Apparently you burn it.

This week, representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook all spoke at a congressional hearing about how they present news and opinions on their platforms. The next day, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg told the Recode podcast that Facebook shouldn't overregulate speech on the site, even if it means not banning Holocaust deniers. So how much should these companies be responsible for what is said online?

This week, representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook all spoke at a congressional hearing about how they present news and opinions on their platforms. The next day, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg told the Recode podcast that Facebook shouldn't overregulate speech on the site, even if it means not banning Holocaust deniers. 

Comcast looks to Sky for international expansion

Jul 19, 2018

Comcast said today it was giving up its bid to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment assets. Instead, Comcast said it will “focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” the U.K.-based broadcaster. Last week, Comcast upped its offer to $34 billion. Sky has until Aug. 22 to accept. So what does Sky have that Comcast wants?

A dreaded ending to the tariff exemption process

Jul 19, 2018

 Todd Adams is vice president of Stainless Imports Inc., a small family-owned stainless steel manufacturer based in Florida. We had Adams on the show in early May. His company had applied for an exemption from tariffs on a specific product; the company had "combed the earth" to find a mill that could produce it and found one in China.

Today, surrounded by executives from some of the country's best-known companies, President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker, aimed at developing a stronger workforce. The strategy is heavy on pledges, committees and advisory boards. But who’s going to foot the bill?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

What does summer sound like?

Jul 19, 2018

"Domestic car company" is kind of a misnomer these days. Auto manufacturers get parts from all over the world, and companies like Ford and General Motors stand to both benefit and be hurt by tariffs, making the politics much murkier. We'll talk about it, plus we'll hear from one business owner who applied for exclusions from steel tariffs and was denied. Plus, we'll talk about urban heat islands and how we crown the Song of the Summer. 

Why the auto industry (mostly) opposes proposed tariffs

Jul 19, 2018

The Trump administration imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum first. It then added tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese exports, which it may increase to $250 billion in the coming months. Since May, it’s also been considering whether to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imports of cars and auto parts.

The American brand might be on the decline

Jul 19, 2018

(Markets Edition) President Trump has threatened "tremendous retribution" against the European Union over trade, possibly targeting imported cars, trucks and auto parts. We'll look at how groups representing automakers feel about these potential penalties, and what they mean for car prices. Afterwards, we'll chat with Diane Swonk, chief economist for the firm Grant Thornton, about what she expects the country's second-quarter GDP results to look like, and then we'll talk with political risk consultant Ian Bremmer about how America is doing as a brand.

Summer brought to you by: Song of the summer

Jul 19, 2018

In the spring of 2017, DJ Khaled released “I’m the One.”

It was everywhere.

The song featured Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne. In the music video, they’re at a mansion hanging by the pool. Bieber is in a bathing suit and women are dancing around in bikinis. The champagne is flowing. The grill is fired up.

Charlie Foster, promotions executive at Epic Records, which distributes DJ Khaled’s music, remembers when he first heard this song.

Tesla is synonymous with Elon Musk. Is that a problem?

Jul 19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk apologized this week not only to the cave diver involved in the recent rescue in Thailand, who Musk insulted, but also to the people who work for Musk. After months of erratic behavior swinging Tesla’s stock price, investors are worried about the visionary founder’s temperament.

(U.S. Edition) The Senate is voting today on Trump's pick to head the IRS (Charles Rettig), which comes during a week when the agency is getting blowback for a new policy. We'll discuss the rule, which says that certain types of nonprofits will no longer have to disclose their big donors. Afterwards, we'll look at how Tesla investors are getting worried about CEO Elon Musk's temperament, and then we'll talk to MIT economics professor David Autor about current trade tensions.

How the American brand is faring on the global stage

Jul 19, 2018

The U.S. has a certain brand image globally. That brand will be different to each person, but the way that brand appears is important for businesses abroad. 

The world's most controversial energy project

Jul 19, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Brussels is warning European businesses to do more to prepare for a "no deal" Brexit. With 253 days left until the U.K. leaves the European Union and no end in sight to British infighting, should businesses keep calm and carry on? Afterwards, we'll discuss how Cuba is preparing to change its constitution in a shake-up that will include recognition of private land ownership for the first time in more than 40 years. Then, it’s been branded the world's most controversial energy project.

Is Watson enough to carry IBM?

Jul 19, 2018

IBM reported earnings Wednesday. Most revenue came from cloud services, security and data analytics. Less impressive was its Cognitive Solutions department, which includes artificial intelligence, mostly under the brand of the "Jeopardy"-winning supercomputer Watson. Brandon Purcell, an analyst with Forrester, said IBM is selling artificial intelligence as a service through what’s called an API — application programming interface — which lets companies license the power of Watson and build their own tools on top of it, like digital assistants or in-house analysis tools.

Is Watson enough to carry IBM?

Jul 19, 2018

IBM reported earnings Wednesday. The company has been on a long turnaround path, focusing its business on cloud services, security and data analytics. It’s also investing in artificial intelligence, mostly under the brand of the "Jeopardy"-winning supercomputer Watson. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks to Brandon Purcell, an analyst with Forrester, about the profit potential of artificial intelligence for IBM and other tech companies. (07/19/2018)

Is Kathy Kraninger qualified to run the CFPB?

Jul 18, 2018

The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on Kathleen Kraninger, President Donald Trump's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The nomination is controversial because Kraninger has no consumer finance experience. Her work has been at the Office of Management and Budget, helping oversee homeland security. And her tenure there raises other questions.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.