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  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

With in-depth focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets, Marketplace is timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.



Andy Uhler

This is just one of the stories from our "I've Always Wondered" series, where we tackle all of your questions about the world of business, no matter how big or small. Ever wondered if recycling is worth it? Or how store brands stack up against name brands?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin faced his second day of grilling on Capitol Hill today, this time appearing before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss his boss's proposed budget for next year. Baked into that budget is the assumption that the U.S. economy will start growing at 3 percent or higher by the year 2021, which is about the average for the past 60-plus years. But it's a lot faster than the more sluggish rate of around 2 percent we've been stuck at since the recession.

Tax collectors are crying poor

21 hours ago

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney were on Capitol Hill this week sounding the alarm on the debt ceiling. That’s the limit on how much debt the government can rack up. Mnuchin and Mulvaney said Congress might have to lift or suspend the debt limit sooner than planned. Mulvaney said that’s because tax revenues are coming in slower than he expected. Why is there a revenue shortfall?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

3 things you may have missed about Trump's budget

23 hours ago
Janet Nguyen

President Trump released his budget proposal this week, a plan that could have long-ranging consequences on the future of the U.S. economy, education system and country's voting preferences. 

With many programs expected to see billions slashed, let's take a closer look at the specific programs that could be negatively impacted and the rationale behind such huge cuts.  

First, what’s going to happen to the debt ceiling?

Trump’s plan calls our economy “broken” and “stagnant,” alerting readers to the country’s $20 trillion debt.

David Weinberg

In January of next year, California will become the largest state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana. Medicinal marijuana is already legal in the state. Now, some cash-strapped cities in California are hoping to revive their struggling economies by becoming the first to open their doors to the marijuana industry.

Is the craft movement making service jobs hip?

23 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal

What makes a job "cool?" That's the question behind Richard Ocejo's book, "Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy." Ocejo, an associate professor of sociology at John Jay University and The City University of New York," interviewed bartenders, distillers, barbers and butchers to understand why these folks pursue a craft service career. Ocejo even joined the bandwagon and got a job as an intern butcher at Dickson's Farmstead Meats in New York.

Here's why so much news seems to break late in the day

23 hours ago
Adrienne Hill

The early evening on the East Coast has become a pretty dramatic time of day. Phones start pinging with news alerts. Ping. Ping. Twitter goes crazy. Cable-news anchors jump in with breathless breaking news reports.

Even White House aides live in "dread" of 5 o’clock; worried about the latest news dump, reports The New York Times.

Why is that the time of day it seems like big news has been breaking?

05/25/2017: What, me worry?

May 25, 2017

We've talked a lot about the economic anxiety normal Americans face every day, but today we're casting and eye toward economic anxiety in and about Washington. First, the White House's budget. There are some assumptions that don't quite add up, but today Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated his confidence that tax cuts, deregulation and trade policy will ratchet up economic growth. But what if it doesn't? Then: Mnuchin and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney both testified on Capitol Hill this week to sound the alarm about the deb limit.

Jana Kasperkevic

On Wednesday evening, Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for Montana’s lone House seat, allegedly “body-slammed” Guardian U.S. political reporter Ben Jacobs and broke his glasses in the process. The altercation took place when Jacobs tried to ask Gianforte for his take on the recently released Congressional Budget Office score of the new health care replacement bill. The exchange was recorded by Jacobs and later released to public by the Guardian.

Let’s do the numbers: the 'Star Wars' empire

May 25, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

Happy 40th birthday, "Star Wars"! May the Force be with you.

Disappointment over declining oil prices abound. OPEC had agreed to make production cuts to help with an oil glut, but it seems these policy changes aren't helping — and neither is the U.S. We'll look at how America's own production habits undercuts the cartel's. Afterwards, we'll examine how state insurance markets that get waivers for pre-existing conditions would react to the GOP's new health care bill, and then talk about the stock market's inability to yield the magic it used to.

The Congressional Budget Office has released its report on the health care bill passed in the House of Representatives. It projects an additional 23 million people would be uninsured under that bill. And it also imagines what the insurance market would look like in states that take advantage of one of the bill’s key provisions: waivers from federal rules on pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits. 

The struggle is real for Sears Holdings — the company behind Sears and Kmart. The once-powerful brand warned investors back in March that there was “substantial doubt” about its future. This week, Sears announced it’s pushed back a deadline on a $500 million loan by six months. That’s got Sears vendors even more anxious about a looming bankruptcy.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

NYU program piles on classes for early graduation

May 25, 2017
Kristin Schwab

Colleges across the country are trying new ways to confront the rising cost of tuition. One increasingly popular option: accelerated degrees.

New York University recently announced a program that helps students graduate a semester early by taking extra courses throughout the year and during winter and summer breaks. There are similar programs at the University of San Francisco and American University in Washington, D.C., among others.

First-time homebuyers are taking out more new loans

May 25, 2017
Ryan Kailath

The number of people taking out new home loans is at a three-year low, according to a report out today from the real estate data firm ATTOM. But one group taking out more new loans, ATTOM said, is first-time homebuyers.

Mortgage rates are rising, which means buying the same priced home costs more money every month. And that naturally scares some people away. So what edge do these first-time homebuyers have?