Marketplace

Weekdays, 5:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics. Airing weekday afternoons, Marketplace takes a fresh approach to business news, covering listeners' interests in a way that's vital in today's economy.

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How food banks are reaching high-risk seniors

9 hours ago

The AARP estimates more than 10 million people 50 and older are at risk of going hungry every day in the United States. In Florida, where many baby boomers retire, this food insecurity is compounded by a lack of public transportation. Some food banks are holding food drops to bring food and other health-related events to the neighborhoods where they live in an attempt to reach more high-risk seniors.

This story was produced by the Marketplace hub at WMFE in Orlando.

Questlove on "chasing ghosts"

13 hours ago

If you watch late night TV — "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," in particular — you probably know the show’s house band, The Roots. And perhaps you'd recognize its drummer and frontman, Questlove, aka Ahmir Khalib Thompson.

Thompson is also a DJ, a producer, an author, a foodie, and a podcaster on Pandora with "Questlove Supreme." He came into the studio Thursday to talk with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Why do gas prices end in 9/10 of a cent?

13 hours ago

This series originally ran during February 2014. We're republishing it today in light of our Make Me Smart podcast's new Explainathon episode, which included the first question here. The rest are good too, and the original article appears below.

For those of you who have stockpiles of Forever Stamps, some good news: the post office is planning to hike their prices.

The U.S. Postal Service has proposed increasing the price of its first-class mail Forever Stamp from 50 cents to 55 cents, which would take effect on Jan. 27 of next year. (However, the price for any additional ounces will drop from 21 cents to 15 cents.) Like the name suggests, this piece of postage doesn't expire.

What's better than no fees? Negative fees.

13 hours ago

Roughly one in three people in the United States have less than $5,000 in retirement savings, but for those lucky enough to have some money stashed away, the cost of investing has been getting lower and lower. Management fees for mutual funds have dropped to fractions of a percent over the last decade, and some funds have no fees. So what's driving the fee wars? What do institutions get out of it? We'll talk about it. Then, a conversation with Ahmir Khalib Thompson, better known as Questlove of the legendary Roots crew, about deciding to accept his biggest job offer.

The low-fee wars have no end in sight

14 hours ago

Roughly one in three people in the United States have less than $5,000 in retirement savings. It doesn’t help that wages haven’t been getting much better. But for those lucky enough to have some money stashed away, the cost of investing has been getting lower and lower.

Like many Oakland residents, Candice Elder, 34, is alarmed at the rapidly increasing number of people pitching tents on sidewalks and under freeways in the city.

Unlike most residents, Elder has worked at dozens of homeless encampments as part of a team providing “rapid response services on call 24-7,” including food, crisis management and medical assistance.

At the end of every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases an updated percentage estimating how many Americans are unemployed. But the question always comes up, what exactly does employed mean?

Say you’re a part-time barista, part-time Uber driver, when-you-really-need-the-money-time IKEA-furniture-assembler, what kind of employed are you? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one asking the question: The Bureau of Labor Statistics is confused too.

Could a vacancy tax help Oakland with homelessness?

17 hours ago

(Markets Edition) We take a look at inflation numbers in light of the Consumer Price Index’s rise by a tenth of a percent last month. Then we talk about pollution from a seemingly unlikely source: meat. Large meat processors have released more pollution than acceptable in streams and rivers according to a new study.

Global stocks retreat as U.S. worries spread

22 hours ago

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Stock markets around the world are in retreat as a selloff ricochets from the U.S. Is it the latest buy-the-dip opportunity or are there more serious risks at play? Then, a conference on the illegal trade in wildlife opens Thursday in London – it's worth $22 billion a year, making it the fourth-biggest transnational organized crime. Afterwards, prepare for takeoff: The world’s longest non-stop flight, from Singapore to New York, clocks in at 19 hours and launches Thursday.

The whole multitrillion dollar promise of 5G and its millions of jobs and new businesses is just a pipe dream without infrastructure. Unlike 4G, which can be delivered through a relatively small number of tall towers, 5G wireless service relies on lots and lots of small receivers placed fairly close together. And installing all those little 5G cells is turning into a big fight. (10/11/18)

The whole multitrillion dollar promise of 5G — millions of jobs and new businesses — is just a pipe dream without infrastructure. Unlike 4G, which can be delivered through a relatively small number of tall towers, 5G wireless service relies on lots and lots of small receivers placed fairly close together. And installing all those little 5G cells is turning into a big fight.

At Tuesday’s American Music Awards, Taylor Swift repeated a plea she’d made earlier to her 112 million followers on Instagram: Register and vote. Swift is the latest celebrity to join what’s been a concerted effort this year to boost voter registration among young people.

U.S. tightens foreign investment rules

Oct 10, 2018

Some sensitive industries — everything from technology to defense firms — will face tougher federal scrutiny under new regulations formalized Wednesday. The Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, announced its pilot program will take effect in 30 days. The announcement has some innovation, defense and tech companies scrambling to comply so they don't face penalties.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Sears teeters on the edge of bankruptcy

Oct 10, 2018

Shares of Sears fell today on reports from the Wall Street Journal that the company has hired advisors to prepare a bankruptcy filing. The department store chain has been struggling for decades, announcing one turnaround effort after another.

Why rock is still king on the concert circuit

Oct 10, 2018

With a nod to the fact that nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame came out this week, there's an economic reality about the music business that needs to be recognized: Last year, hip-hop and rhythm and blues replaced rock as this country’s most popular music genre. That’s according to Nielsen’s analysis of digital and physical album sales as well as streaming. There's a twist here, though, because what Nielsen did not consider was how much money people spend on concerts.

Here are some reasons why China's currency is sinking

Oct 10, 2018

One U.S. dollar today is worth about 9.92 Chinese yuan. That's down nearly 10 percent from where it was last spring. That drop has the attention of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said Wednesday he wants to make sure China is not doing "competitive devaluations." That's when a country seeks an advantage by making its currency, and therefore its goods, cheaper relative to other countries. But the cheap yuan might have more to do with what's going on in the United States than it does with China.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Dow Jones industrials sink 700 points as bond yields rise

Oct 10, 2018

U.S. stocks are plunging toward their worst loss in six months on Wednesday as technology companies continue to take sharp losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 700 points in afternoon trading.

The losses were widespread as bond yields remained high after steep increases last week. Companies that have been the biggest winners on the market the last few years, including technology companies and retailers, suffered steep declines.

6 Supreme Court cases to keep an eye on this term

Oct 10, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court has been in the spotlight in recent weeks over the confirmation of its latest justice, Brett Kavanaugh. Now attention turns to the cases the fully staffed high court will consider this session.

For more on what the new makeup of Supreme Court will mean for business and the economy, and some of the cases to watch, we spoke with Jessica Levinson, a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. The following is an edited conversation with Levinson. 

President Donald Trump, who created a business out of licensing his name, recently tried his hand at branding something else: the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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