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

The No. 1 challenge of retirement

Feb 17, 2017

Working Americans who save for retirement spend a lot of time and energy making decisions on how to save. It’s confusing, it’s hard. But you know what? It doesn’t get any easier when you hit retirement. One of the biggest stresses is trying to organize your finances when you don’t know how long you’re going to be around to need them. Economists have a favorite method for dealing with this anxiety: It’s called an income annuity, but it’s not quite a household name yet.  

NASA is the government’s space agency, but not all of what NASA does is linked to space. A good portion of its work is more inward looking and has to do with our own planet — things like weather and climate change. Some Republicans are talking about rebalancing NASA's priorities and moving away from that research and refocusing on space exploration. But what potential impacts could that rebalancing have? 

What was missing from Facebook’s 5,000-word manifesto

Feb 17, 2017

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared some deep thoughts this week in a long essay about where he sees humanity going online. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with senior tech correspondent Molly Wood about what the nearly 5,000-word treatise had to say. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Kai Ryssdal: So here it is, 5,700-something words from Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, 1.9 billion people use Facebook, but it seemed to me there was no "there there" in this thing. There was no action coming out of this.

U.S. food company Kraft Heinz offered $143 billion for the British-Dutch consumer goods conglomerate Unilever. Unilever rejected the proposal, but Kraft Heinz said it looks forward to reaching an agreement on the terms of a transaction. If the deal does eventually go ahead, it would be one of the largest acquisitions on record. It's just a year since Heinz and Kraft Foods merged, but these big-time mergers are nothing new for the industry.

Sam Beard

In Europe, Brexit has put Grexit in the shade. The British vote to leave the European Union has dominated the economic headlines since last summer’s referendum and overshadowed the fear that Greece — the EU’s most vulnerable and debt-laden country — would crash out of the Eurozone. But could Grexit be poised for a comeback? We may get the answer on Monday. Euro finance ministers meet to consider whether the Greeks should get the next installment of their bailout money, money they must have before July if they are to avoid defaulting on some of their loans.

Sam Harnett

CEO Bill Phelps says his thoughts on minimum wage have evolved. In 1994, Phelps co-founded the fast food chain Wetzel’s Pretzels, which has almost a hundred outlets in California.

“Like most business people,” Phelps said, “I was concerned about it a couple of years ago when California started raising the minimum wage."

Eliza Mills

Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia, attracts students from all over Georgia and all over the world, but the manufacturing city it calls home still has a strong influence on the small campus. Dalton is where most of the carpet in the United States is produced, and many of the students here have parents who work in the carpet industry or are preparing themselves for science and tech jobs in manufacturing. 

Weekly Wrap: 8 years since Obama's stimulus package

Feb 17, 2017

Leigh Gallagher of Fortune and Sudeep Reddy of Politico join Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal to discuss the week's business and economic news. This week, they talk about the Federal Reserve: Chair Janet Yellen's trip to the Hill, Daniel Tarullo's resignation from the board of governors and how President Donald Trump will tackle forming a new Fed. Also, eight years ago today, then-President Barack Obama signed an $800 billion stimulus package. Why hasn't Trump followed through with any direct action for the economy yet? 

02/17/2017: Total global dominance by Facebook

Feb 17, 2017

A. Lot. Happened. This. Week. We're here to wrap it up. Leigh Gallagher of Fortune and Sudeep Reddy of Politico join host Kai Ryssdal to review the week that was. We'll also talk about that 5,700-word letter posted yesterday by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and what it all means. We also hear from a CEO in California who says the state's increase in minimum wage has been great for his business.

02/17/17: The rise of athlete activism

Feb 17, 2017

Americans are having trouble paying back their auto loans. We'll look at whether these delinquent payments pose risks to the financial system. Next, we'll discuss why there's been a rise in activism among athletes — especially among NBA players — and a plan in Washington that would keep water flowing to high-value crops.

In Venezuela: a bad week, a bad economy

Feb 17, 2017

It’s been a turbulent week in Venezuela. On Wednesday, the government ordered cable operators to take the Spanish-language version of CNN off the air, after objecting to its reporting. Last Monday, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s vice president, calling him a “drug kingpin.” But perhaps the biggest headache for Venezuela is the dire state of the nation’s economy, which has suffered from falling oil revenues and rampant inflation.  

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

The 66th NBA All-Star Game tips off  Sunday night at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The league moved it from Charlotte, North Carolina, to protest the Republican-controlled legislature’s so-called “bathroom bill” that required transgender people to use the facilities corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

Eilis O'Neill

Brad Carpenter grows apples, cherries, grapes and hops — four of Washington state's most important crops. Statewide, those crops add about $3 billion to Washington’s economy. Come summer, Carpenter will need a lot of water to keep his orchards and hop yards alive.

“They’re all perennial crops,” Carpenter said. “And if you don’t get water to them, it not only affects yield from that year, but it affects the health and the viability of that plant for years to come.”

David Brancaccio

Chef Nancy Silverton — known for culinary ventures like La Brea Bakery, Campanile and, most recently, Mozza — is one of the subjects of the next season of Netflix's acclaimed culinary documentary series, "Chef's Table," which premieres this weekend.


One of the latest innovations to give athletes an edge? Neuropriming, the practice of putting electrodes on your head to shock your brain so that you can get a boost in mental abilities. Proday's Sarah Kunst stopped by to discuss how powerful the priming is and whether it could become mainstream one day. Next, we'll look at Facebook's recent decision to jump into the job recruiting game, and then play this week's "Silicon Tally" with Cadie Thompson, senior transportation editor for Business Insider. 

02/17/17: From college dorm room to fancy kitchen

Feb 17, 2017

This morning we're looking at why the head of Samsung has been embroiled in a corruption scandal and news that the biggest pension fund in the U.S., CalPERS, is protesting the Dakota Access pipeline. Plus: A conversation with chef Nancy Silverton about why she wanted to enter the profession and her initial reservations about doing the Netflix series "Chef's Table." 

U.S. warns NATO to up defense spending

Feb 16, 2017

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis was in Brussels today, meeting with defense ministers from the 28-member NATO alliance. Mattis told the allies that they needed to step up their defense spending or else America might moderate its commitment to NATO.  What does the current U.S. stance mean for the future of the alliance and how many NATO members are meeting spending targets? 

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Kai Ryssdal

President Donald Trump had a pessimistic outlook on the economy at his press conference today.

"To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home, and abroad — a mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country. You see what's going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to Mexico and other places. Low pay and low wages."

In describing the economy, context is important. And without taking anything away from the challenges Trump faces overseas, a few things should be noted in light of his comments:

Trump tries again with new Labor secretary pick

Feb 16, 2017

President Donald Trump announced that he’s got a new pick for Labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta. Recall his previous nominee, Andrew Puzder, dropped out after a good deal of backlash and potential looming scandals. Acosta is formerly of the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Justice, and, most recently, dean of the law school at Florida International University. In other words, the exact opposite of Puzder.

Tony Wagner

We do the numbers every day around here. But on this week's "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly," we got a listener question about the numbers, specifically, data created and distributed by the federal government.

Snap, the parent company of the social network Snapchat, laid out a preliminary valuation for its highly anticipated IPO today in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The maker of the disappearing-photo application puts its market value in the range of $16 billion to $18.5 billion. This is down considerably from the $25 billion it was initially predicting.

Still, that is quite a chunk of change for a company that is only five years old. But how exactly do investors set a price on a company like Snap?

My Economy: The expensive side of working gigs

Feb 16, 2017
Robert Garrova

For this latest installment of our series My Economy, we hear from Tom Trimbath in Clinton, Washington. Trimbath's work includes freelance writing and consulting.

There was a time when a North Korean missile launch, a Russian spy boat, a resigned national security adviser and a couple of disastrously rolled out executive orders might have been very bad news for Wall Street and stock prices.

How small is too big to fail?

Feb 16, 2017

President Donald Trump has said he wants to roll back much of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that Congress passed after the financial crisis. Smaller regional banks have honed in on one part of Dodd-Frank they would like to change: the rule on how big a bank has to be for it to be considered systemically important. In other words, too big to fail. It's a topic Janet Yellen was asked about during her testimony this week on Capitol Hill and a debate that’s gaining strength in Washington.

Trump nominates R. Alexander Acosta for labor secretary

Feb 16, 2017
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday announced law school dean R. Alexander Acosta as his new labor secretary nominee, one day after his original pick abruptly withdrew from consideration.

Trump said Acosta, who did not appear with the president, "has had a tremendous career." He noted that, unlike Puzder, Acosta has been confirmed by the Senate three times and "did very, very well."

If confirmed anew by the Senate, Acosta would become the first Hispanic member of Trump's Cabinet. He is now dean of the Florida International University law school.

Laid-off aluminum workers look to retraining

Feb 16, 2017
Mitchell Hartman

The aluminum industry was an important contributor to American power and prosperity in the 20th century. It equipped ships and planes for the Allied war effort in World War II, and then ramped up to produce the modern household appliances, food packaging and transportation equipment of the post-war boom years.

Ambulance service in Texas now delivering home care

Feb 16, 2017
Lauren Silverman

For more than a decade, John Farris traveled through the streets of Fort Worth, Texas, working 911 calls. As a paramedic for MedStar, he would ask himself: Could he prevent these 911 calls in the first place?

02/16/17: Janet Yellen's message to Congress

Feb 16, 2017

Janet Yellen took a trip to Capitol Hill this week, with the message that the U.S. economy is entering 2017 better than it did a year ago. What does this mean for the Fed's future plans? Next, we'll discuss why Boeing workers in South Carolina decided to shoot down a plan for unionization, and then look at a new study that says some ER doctors are more likely than others to prescribe opioids.

President Donald Trump sought rights to the Trump trademark for construction services in China for years. Trademarks in China operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and someone else beat Trump to the punch. But this week, after years of refusal, China’s Trademark Office awarded the rights to Trump. The president’s legal win is raising hackles among ethics experts, who fear it suggests favoritism on the part of the Chinese government.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Boeing workers defeat union plans in South Carolina

Feb 16, 2017
David Brancaccio

South Carolina has a nonunion reputation, but the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers thought they had a shot at unionizing the Boeing aircraft plant in North Charleston.

"It would have been a grand victory for the Machinist union and for labor," said Hoyt Wheeler, a professor at the University of South Carolina and an expert on labor relations.