Marketplace from American Public Media is the premier business news show on public radio. Host Kai Ryssdal and the Marketplace team deliver news that matters, from your wallet to Wall Street. Online at Marketplace.org.
Updated: 3 hours 22 min ago
The unemployment level has fallen to 7 percent for the first time since 2008, after the Labor Department release surprisingly strong jobs data for November. That news comes less than a month before unemployment benefits run out for more than a million Americans. Plus, the ability of businesses to track your every move has taken a leap forward today as Apple activated tracking beacons in its stores, the latest retailer to enable micro-location technology. And finally, hospitals get penalized for readmissions, so now instead of readmitting Medicare patients quickly, they are "observed" for as long as two days. That way the hospital doesn’t risk getting fined … and Medicare doesn't pay.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed former Los Angeles police chief Bill Bratton as head of the NYPD. Why is it that the list of top candidates for the top policing jobs in the U.S. is such a short one? The same candidates seem to reappear time and time again. Plus, a deal to avoid another government shutdown seems to be coalescing around increasing revenues – but not taxes. The government would bring in additional money through user fees. And finally, revised GDP numbers juiced the market today, but the reality behind the data should give us pause. The number’s big because inventories were high last quarter.
Now that regulators are close to deciding on the Volcker Rule, conventional wisdom has shifted from "it will be so weak as to be useless" to "it will be tougher than expected." But what is the rule? Also, the credit rating agency Experian says Americans are taking out bigger car loans and are taking longer to pay them back. We look at what’s behind the return of easy automotive credit, and whether we’re again on the slippery slope of subprime lending. Finally, Newsweek is to be revived, in print.
Dow Chemical says it’s getting out of the commodity chemical market so much that it may drop 'Chemical' from its name. Overseas competitors can produce these chemicals much more cheaply. And so will pass from U.S. manufacturing a class of products without which life is hard to imagine. Ziploc bags. Nylon (in DuPont’s case). Then, sales of pickup trucks helped the Big Three U.S. automakers beat analysts’ expectations for November sales. We look at how those sales figures play out in the U.S. job market, and whether workers have been recalled to build those vehicles.
Amazon wants to use unmanned "drone" aircraft to fly products to customers in 30 minutes or less. It sounds great, but how realistic is the proposal? Next, the administration says the front end of healthcare.gov is up-and-running, so now developers will start to focus on the back-end connection to the insurers. Finally, a gauge of the global economy: The purchaser’s management index in most countries is up…but only just. It’s evidence of a nascent recovery in the global economy, but political unrest in some countries, combined with the prospect of tapering, has some economists worried.
Marketplace’s Sabri Ben-Achour braves the holiday shopping crowds to find out how opening on Thanksgiving Day affected this year’s sales figures. Plus, a look at how U.S. taxpayers are close to getting back all the money they put into the housing giants. Marketplace host Lizzie O’Leary talks with Bloomberg Government’s Nela Richardson and Cardiff Garcia from FT Alphaville for a wrap-up of the week’s business news. And, a lot of fans are calling for USC’s interim head football coach to take the top job permanently, especially after their upset of Stanford a few weeks ago. But as Marketplace’s Mark Garrison reports, that may not necessarily be the case.
The consternation over Black Friday's creeping into Thanksgiving might lead you to believe Thanksgiving has always been a sacred (though secular) space for Americans. Yeah. Not so much. Then, we look at the economics of food philanthropy. Clothing retailer H&M says it's developing a plan to ensure that the people that make their clothes will earn a living wage by 2018. This week, a judge ruled that Sriracha-maker Huy Fong Foods had to partially shut down because of offensive orders coming from their Southern California factory. And, five years on from the worst of the foreclosure crisis, the federal government still owns close to 200,000 homes not yet on the market. Rowan Moore Gerety reports.
The IRS will change some of the ground rules when it comes to the unlimited and anonymous spending that groups have been able to do in political races after the Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United. Sunday is December 1, which is also a big day for the Obama administration's implementation of the Affordable Care Act. What's the latest on health care? And finally, Thanksgiving week is always a big week for movies, which means this week will be big for the latest movie in the Hunger Games franchise. The film is already going great guns at the box office, but it’s not just kids who are watching.
Men’s Wearhouse turns the tables on its would-be acquirer, Jos. A. Bank. What one suits-for-the-masses retailer has to gain by buying another. The pope dished out a searing critique of capitalism today. But what influence does the Papal office have these days? We take another look at why the 30-year fixed mortgage is our home loan of choice. And finally, the economics of airline cancellations: How airlines anticipate and react to big storms barreling down at peak travel periods like Thanksgiving.
With a six-month agreement in place to thaw some of the restrictions on doing business in Iran, international firms are now making calculations about whether to get involved in that marketplace, or wait and see what comes next. Also, Yahoo! is hiring Katie Couric. It’s the latest in a number of high-priced recruitments by the internet company, but Couric is unusual. She’s older, she’s a TV icon, and she’s a host, not a reporter. Finally, the Affordable Care Act has turned insurance brokers into a legion of private navigators for individuals and families faced with insurance decisions. The brokers are frustrated by the law’s complications and the failures of healthcare.gov, but also have a wave of new business.