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.

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11/17/2017: Taxes, trade deficits and peanut butter

Nov 17, 2017

On today's Weekly Wrap, we're consumed by tax reform and discuss voodoo economics, which is a euphemism for trickle-down economics coined by a Republican. Then it's on to President Trump's goal to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and whether or not the tax plan could further that. And in Zimbabwe, negotiations continue for a political settlement after Tuesday's intervention by the country's military. Finally, we play a clip from this season of The Uncertain Hour about how one ordinary citizen helped change the peanut butter industry.

Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post and Linette Lopez of Business Insider join us to discuss this week’s business and economic news. We discuss the viability of trickle-down economics, the concept the new GOP tax bill is built upon, and it’s rocky history in the public eye. We also talk about the differing versions of the tax bill going through both the Senate and the House. Plus, how will this tax bill truly affect both smaller and larger businesses? 

Save the world by scaling down your Thanksgiving turkey

Nov 17, 2017

It's the weekend before Thanksgiving, and odds are, you already have a menu in mind, whether it is family traditions, potluck plans or maybe even some new recipes. Mark Bittman, author of "How To Cook Everything" and, most recently, the new edition of "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian," hopes it won't be meat. 

NFL owners may be headed for a showdown

Nov 17, 2017

This has not been the greatest of seasons for the NFL.

There's been the political turmoil over players taking a knee during the national anthem, the declining television audiences, and there's now some boardroom drama in a $14 billion-a-year enterprise. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is in a back and forth with his fellow owners over whether to renew Commissioner Roger Goodell's contract.

So far, Jones has tried to slow or halt the negotiations. And his interference is threatening to become a PR problem for the NFL. 

What’s peanut butter?

That’s the question the Food and Drug Administration was trying to answer in 1959. You’d think it’d be an easy one. They did too.

Federal regulators first set the definition of peanut butter at 95 percent peanuts, five percent sweeteners, oils, and other stuff. Because that’s what peanut butter is, the FDA reasoned. It’s peanuts.

What they didn’t know is that first, short memo would set off a long, complicated legal battle that would change the way we think about food in this country.

This week we're taking a new look at some favorite stories we've covered this year — and what's happened since. We're taking a look at whether states are constitutionally obligated to teach kids how to read, the consequences of ID theft, and how digital apps like Instagram are changing the physical world. Plus, veggie delights for Thanksgiving and the growth of vegan food chains. 

(Markets Edition) With Republicans racing to approve legislation that would overhaul America's tax system, we'll hear from Diane Swonk — CEO of DS Economics — about the math behind the plan. These tax cuts could end up adding to the deficit, which Swonk says will create "liabilities" for future generations.

Tesla unveils an electric truck, but will it catch on?

Nov 17, 2017

CEO Elon Musk said the new electric Tesla trucks will have a range of about 300 miles. But truckers may not want to pay for the cleaner ride.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Holiday travel up with consumer confidence

Nov 17, 2017

A resurgence is stocks, healthier home values and a low unemployment rate is boosting consumer optimism, which in turn means even more people are expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

It’s 2017 and for the first time ever, the majority of Americans no longer prefer a male boss to a female boss, according to a new Gallup survey of 1,028 adults. When asked, 55 percent said it did not matter to them if their manager was male or female. That’s up from 46 percent in 2014.

Interestingly enough, women are more likely to have a preference than men and up till this year that preference used to be for a male boss.

(U.S. Edition) The Republican tax overhaul — which calls for a reduced corporate tax rate of 20 percent — has now passed in the House. There's been a lot of debate over how much this bill will help American taxpayers. One noted economist who argues that it won't: Jeffrey Sachs, who joined our show today.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The CEO and executives from Japan’s second-biggest car-maker Nissan plan to return part of their pay, following an investigation into a vehicle inspection scandal that led to the recall of 1.2 million cars. Afterwards: the credit ratings agency Moody's has upgraded India for the first time in nearly 14 years, putting one of the world's fastest growing economies on par with the Philippines and Italy.  Then we hear from the Indian city of Mumbai about the ongoing struggle for latrine provisions ahead of World Toilet Day this weekend.

Corporate tax cuts: "a heist" or a way to raise wages?

Nov 17, 2017

A centerpiece of the planned GOP tax overhaul has been to lower the corporate tax rate, which Republicans have argued will push companies to invest more at home.

Earlier this week, Uber announced progress toward a massive investment from the Japanese conglomeration SoftBank. If the deal goes through, it will be worth about $10 billion. But that’s not all. The deal would require changes to the board that would take power away from former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talked with analyst and venture capitalist Paul Kedrosky about what the deal means and if it’s likely to move forward.

Why the pass through tax is important for businesses

Nov 16, 2017

Today the House passed its version of the tax bill. It has yet to be voted on in the Senate. To get a sense of how the bill could affect people in the economy Kai sat down with Ed Fryar, owner of the growing business Ozark Mountain Poultry.  Below is an edited version of their conversation.

Kai Ryssdal: First of all, how's the chicken business doing?

AT&T and Sinclair Broadcast Group want to increase their market share of TV stations and national TV networks. The two would-be buyers face a complicated regulatory path. But that's where their tales diverge, leaving some analysts scratching their heads. That's because Sinclair's proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media appears headed for smooth sailing before the Federal Communications Commission, which voted Thursday to relax its ownership rules.

Puerto Rico still has no power

Nov 16, 2017

The latest information out of Puerto Rico indicates that less than half of the island has electrical power. That means hospitals, supermarkets and small business are still struggling to literally and figuratively keep the lights on. Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O'Leary has been reporting from Puerto Rico. She talked with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about the situation on the ground. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

For producer DeVon Franklin, Christian films merge his passion and his faith

Nov 16, 2017

You may not have heard of him unless you're a Hollywood insider, but DeVon Franklin, the CEO and founder of Franklin Entertainment, is arguably the person behind wide-release Christian films.

Many British businesses are complaining about Brexit. They fear that when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union as scheduled at the end of March 2019, the country will lose its free and frictionless access to the huge European market on its doorstep. But one beleaguered British industry sees departure in a much more optimistic light. After decades of decline, many of the U.K.’s fishermen believe Brexit will be their salvation.

Marketplace traveled to England’s largest fishing port, at Newlyn in the southern county of Cornwall, to test the waters.

11/16/2017: How's the chicken business though?

Nov 16, 2017

We step away from the Hill to talk to someone who will be affected by the tax bill: a poultry company CEO (and former economist) in Rogers, Arkansas, for whom tax cuts could allow a business expansion a year or so earlier than would be possible at the current tax rate. And we check in with Lizzie O'Leary, on the ground in San Juan, Puerto Rico, about how the island is rebuilding two months after Hurricane Maria.

This story was last updated at 02:40 p.m. PT. 

With the House of Representatives passing its version of a tax reform bill, what can we learn from a person who's been through a big tax overhaul before? In the 1980s, under President Ronald Reagan, there was Treasury Secretary Donald Regan. And under him, there was a deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis named Eugene Steuerle, who these days is head of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center set up by the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

Walmart earnings in a fast-moving retail landscape

Nov 16, 2017

Walmart is expected to release third quarter earnings today. Its stock has been trading lately at an all-time high. The retail giant’s biggest challenge is taking on the online retail space ... and, at the same time, sustaining profits. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

11/16/2017: A change of leadership for Zimbabwe

Nov 16, 2017

(Markets Edition) Amid Walmart's announcement that quarterly earnings exceeded expectations, we'll take a look at how the retail giant has been trying to find that sweet spot between saving shoppers money and making enough money for itself. Afterwards, we'll talk to the Washington Post's Helaine Olen about what America's proposed tax overhaul could mean for our personal finances. Then, we'll focus on Zimbabwe to learn more about the house arrest of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, the country's president of 37 years.

A helpful guide to wonky tax terminology

Nov 16, 2017

We throw around a lot of numbers here at Marketplace, but also a lot of names, groups and terms. In our ongoing coverage of the GOP plan to overhaul the tax code, there’s a bunch of wonky terminology floating around. Here’s a short glossary of some names and terms to know, and we’ll be adding to it. Suggestions for additions welcome!


Lots of different groups have weighed in on the cost and impact of the various versions of the tax plans and bills. Here are some of the major players.

A $3.9 billion merger that would combine Tribune Media and Sinclair Broadcasting is waiting in the wings. Sinclair is already the nation’s biggest broadcaster with 193 television stations and if the rules change, they’ll add 42 more, including in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) With the House GOP set to vote today on its plan for American taxes, we'll chat with someone who's been through a big tax overhaul before: Gene Steuerle, who heads the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. He joined us to talk about the basic principles most people can agree with when it comes to tax reform. Afterwards, we'll talk to Marketplace regular Allan Sloan about how Congress' tax plans might affect none other than President Donald Trump.


(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... There are some fresh warnings today about serious risks facing China's economy. A senior government official told a conference in Beijing the country's financial sector needs quick reform to avoid crisis. Afterwards, a new study says many of the effects of climate change are inevitable, even if the world radically cuts carbon dioxide emissions now. Then, we hear from a French winemaker about the hype and history of Beaujolais Nouveau Day.

Toronto is building a billion-dollar mini smart city

Nov 16, 2017

Not all tech is in Silicon Valley. Many cities around the world are trying to grow their own industries. Recently, the city of Toronto partnered with Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet, to build a billion-dollar mini smart city on its waterfront. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Mayor John Tory while he was in New York looking to increase tech investments. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Molly Wood: How local is the local tech economy doing?

11/16/2017: Smart cities are collecting your data

Nov 16, 2017

Smart-city technology is becoming more common, from Singapore to San Jose. The latest city to incorporate this technology into its infrastructure is Toronto. It recently partnered with Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs to redevelop a section of city waterfront. Lots of sensors will collect data on traffic, noise and temperature. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talked with Toronto Mayor John Tory about the city’s tech investments and how data collection will be regulated.

Last night Senate Republicans made some major changes to their mammoth tax bill, including some improvements for the middle class. But these credits and lower rates are temporary — they would sunset beginning in 2025, and tax cuts for corporations would be permanent. Plus, we talk about changes to the financial regulatory environment under the Trump administration, a potential merger between giants AT&T and Time Warner and play part two of our report on the health risks associated with fracking operations.