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

Now more than ever, cars are just rolling computers

15 hours ago

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because of the risk that drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control. The recall includes 15 Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and Ram models from six model years. Fiat Chrysler says it can fix the issue with a software update. Earlier this week Tesla said it could fix a braking performance issue highlighted by Consumer Reports via a software update. These cases highlight the extent to which software controls critical safety systems in cars. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Instagram entrepreneurs are searching vintage racks for you

16 hours ago

We've been shopping online for more than two decades. Now social media is a burgeoning new venue for shoppers who would rather scroll and comment than hunt for treasures themselves at brick-and-mortar stores. But how does it work for both the consumers and "shop" owners? Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked about it with Alexandra Stratton, who wrote about the trend for Bloomberg. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Not white? Ancestry services don't work so well. Companies are looking for fixes.

16 hours ago

Ever wondered where you come from? Like, every wanted to look far back? Really, really far back?

Beyond calling up your oldest relative and combing through there family tree, there's a whole industry that wants to help: Direct-to-consumer genetic ancestry products ranging from to 23andMe. They say they provide a way to dive into your heritage, possibly unearth some skeletons in your genetic closet and really narrow down what percentage of what ethnicity lives in your genes.

What's the return on investment for bias trainings?

17 hours ago

Starbucks plans to close 8,000 stores for a single day to conduct racial bias training for over 175,000 members of their workforce. It follows public outrage after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks while waiting for a friend. In recent years, companies have embraced bias training as a way to get ahead of — or get out from under — similar incidents. So, how do businesses know whether these training sessions really work and how do you measure their effectiveness?

Starbucks stores around the country are closing down next week for unconscious bias training. The programs are getting more and more popular, but is their impact measurable? Plus, we cap of our week covering graduates in the recession with the story of one man who regrets going to college. But first, a look back at the week's business and financial news.

Where did the word "economics" come from?

19 hours ago

When it comes to economics, it's easy to get caught up in big ideas: Money, the markets, trade, labor and more.

Now, believe it or not, the study of these ideas can all be traced back to one guy in ancient Greece — a mercenary who lay down his weapons, thought long and hard about household management and then wrote a text about it. 

So let's take a look backward to where the original idea of economics came from and why that's important today.

1. Xenophon, the mercenary turned armchair philosopher

Bias, feral hogs and ancient money

19 hours ago

Want to know why you've been getting bogged down with terms-of-service emails from companies, how to tell if bias trainings work or how entrepreneurs learn the business of, well, business? We dive into all of that on this week's show. Plus, the surprising ancient origins of the word "economics." And why hunting feral hogs has become an aerial activity in Texas.

Feral hogs cause almost $800 million in annual crop damage across the U.S. according to the United States Department of Agriculture. More than a quarter of that damage happens in Texas – where farmers are spending millions of dollars in trying to mitigate the hog problem.

How to learn the business of business as a high schooler

22 hours ago

At a recent trade show in New York, high school student Ashley Klement walked me through the different flavors of coffee her company, TropiCoffee, sells. There are five: original, mocha, caramel, vanilla and a special seasonal flavor.

“Right now, it’s Peeps flavor, but every holiday it switches,” she said.

I can’t buy any Easter bunny-flavored coffee however, because TropiCoffee doesn’t exist. It’s a class project.

As the summer travel season gets under way, a look at hotel security. One of the largest providers of hotel locking systems recently updated a bug in its software after a security company found its key cards, used in 7 million hotel rooms, could be hacked. What are options for hotels trying to ensure that guests and their belongings stay safe? And what should hotel patrons be aware of when it comes to security?

(Markets Edition) Investment money has been flowing out of several developing countries, including Turkey and Argentina. On today's show, we'll chat with Chris Low — chief economist with FTN Financial — about why selling's been heavy and how these countries are trying to handle the issue. Next, we'll look at whether the National Flood Insurance Program is doing after last year's hurricane season, and whether it has the funds to tackle another Harvey. Plus: We explore how hotels are dealing with security in the digital age, as data breaches become more of a threat.  

We're still figuring out how to desegregate higher education

May 25, 2018

Back in 1975, Jake Ayers Sr. sued the state of Mississippi, arguing that the state treated its three historically black colleges and universities differently than it did the state colleges and universities white students attended. A landmark case to desegregate higher education, the Ayers case, as it is known, wound its way through the courts for nearly 30 years, and ended in a $500 million settlement for the state's HBCUs. That money is about to run out.

Despite Texas’ reputation as a business-friendly state, a survey last year from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found access to capital is the number one concern for women and non-white small business owners in the state.  

Last year was the most damaging hurricane season on record, with storms Harvey, Irma and Maria wreaking hundreds of millions of dollars of destruction across the United States. The 2018 season gets underway in June, and some forecasters are predicting a normal to above-normal season. What does that mean for getting flood insurance coverage?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Arizona's trying to draw more tourists from Mexico

May 25, 2018

(U.S. Edition) You may have noticed lots of emails from websites or apps saying they've changed their terms of service or privacy policies. They're all trying to comply with a new European law known as the General Data Protection Regulation, which takes effect today. We'll look at how the law benefits consumers and what it means for companies' business models. Afterwards, we'll discuss Arizona's efforts to attract more tourists from Central Mexico. (05/25/2018)


Foreign visitors to the United States are on the decline after six straight years of growth, according to the Department of Commerce. Mexico is the U.S.'s second main source of visitors, but the number of travelers from there to the U.S. fell about 7.5 percent in September 2017, compared to the previous year. Some states are working to keep Mexican tourists coming, like Arizona. “Mexico is our number one international market. Mexican travelers spend a lot of money,” said Scott Dunn, senior director of communications for the Arizona Office of Tourism.

A new era in online privacy begins

May 25, 2018

(Global Editon) From the BBC World Service ... Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has stepped down as a director of Russia’s biggest aluminium producer in a bid to lift crippling U.S. sanctions. We discuss the man, his motives and what’s next for Russia's billionaires. Then, new European regulation will transform the way businesses deal with their customers. We look at the challenges and benefits as Europe gets tough on privacy. Next, India's sporting prowess hit the headlines after athletes won a record 66 medals at the Commonwealth Games. Many of them were won by women.

What's the risk when a company is identified with its CEO?

May 25, 2018

Tech founders and CEOs often become household names. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs are just a few examples. So is Elon Musk, who cut off an analyst for asking boring supply chain questions in a recent earnings call. This week Musk attacked the media overall after news reports about problems with Tesla production, factory injuries and crashes related to its Autopilot technology. Some analysts said investors should be worried about Musk’s behavior and its impact on the company.

Tech founders and CEOs often become household names. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs are just a few examples. So is Elon Musk, who cut off an analyst for asking boring supply chain questions in a recent earnings call. This week, Musk attacked the media overall after news reports about problems with Tesla production, factory injuries and crashes related to its Autopilot technology. Some analysts said investors should be worried about Musk’s behavior and its impact on the company.

5 things you need to know about the GDPR

May 24, 2018

If you're a person on the internet, you've probably been getting a lot of emails from companies about privacy updates, all related to a new law that just went into effect in the European Union: the General Data Protection Regulation, known as the GDPR.

Even though the GDPR is a European law, there's a big impact here in the United States. Confused? Here are five things you need to know about the GDPR, starting with the basics.

Here’s how the supply chain for car-making got global

May 24, 2018

President Donald Trump has ordered the Commerce Department to look into whether higher tariffs are needed on imports of cars, trucks and automotive parts, in the interest of national security. But how do you decide if a vehicle is imported? These days, some American brands are made overseas. Foreign carmakers have factories in the U.S. And cars are assembled from parts made across the globe. How did we get to this place?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The Washington Capitals are headed to the Stanley Cup finals and the team's fans have sponsors to help them catch a ride home. Because Washington, D.C.'s metro system usually shuts down at 11:30 pm, some interesting public-private partnerships are evolving to fund late night service.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

65: It's a GDPaRty!

May 24, 2018

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably seen a email or two (or a million) saying something along the lines of "we're updating our privacy policy." Why now? Well, tomorrow is the deadline for companies to comply with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR. Today's show is all about GDPR. It's a GDPaRty! We've got two stressed-out lawyers rushing toward the deadline to get their clients in compliance, but they're taking a break to talk to us. Plus, your questions answered. And what better to do with GDPR than make cocktails about it?

President Trump is considering imposing higher tariffs on imported cars, trucks and automotive parts in the interest of national security. The automotive supply chain today is global. Some American brands make their cars overseas, some foreign automakers make cars in the U.S. and vehicles are assembled from parts made all over the world. Bill Brebrick is the U.S. sales manager with Zapp Precision Wire, a German steel company with several factories in the United States. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked with him about how his company fits into the global automobile supply chain.

The quest for the next great red pigment

May 24, 2018

A modern computer can display 16.8 million colors, but not every one of them could be applied to materials. One important factor needed in the process is called pigment. And today, many of them are either toxic or not durable. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Zach Schonbrun, a freelance journalist, about his piece on Bloomberg's Businessweek that looks at the pigment market and why the world needs a new red pigment.

The Trump administration announced it would investigate possible tariffs on auto imports on national security grounds. But, how exactly is the auto industry connected to national security? We sent Marketplace's Sabri Ben-Achour on a hunt for answers. And while we're on the subject, we talked to a sales manager at a German auto parts company with a U.S. factory about what the Trump administration’s investigation into possible auto import tariffs could mean for his business.

College students who graduate into a recession fall into a deep job market hole. That’s clear from the economic  literature, and its also clear from the words of 2008 graduates from the University of Central Arkansas.

The pot lobby hits Capitol Hill

May 24, 2018

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia. But when it comes to federal law, marijuana is illegal. This legal-illegal thing makes it complicated and expensive to operate a pot business. That's why a couple hundred business owners and members of the National Cannabis Industry Association hit Capitol Hill this week to press lawmakers to legalize marijuana, or at least ease certain banking and tax laws. 

(Markets Edition) The Trump team is looking into penalties on imported cars and trucks, which may be an attempt to target Mexico since they're one of our largest exporters. We'll explore why this might hurt hurt the auto industry, particularly in areas like the Midwest, and how the U.S. is pushing Mexico to create alliances with the European Union.

Inventory shortage driving existing home sales market

May 24, 2018

There’s a shortage of existing homes for sale in some parts of the country and prices are going up steadily. Part of the problem is that people aren’t moving and there aren’t enough new homes being built.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.