FM/HD1: Weekdays 6:30-7:00 pm; HD2: Weekdays 6:00-6:30 pm
  • 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.



Is the e-scooter craze more bubble than business?

19 hours ago

Venture capitalists have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in scooters — electric scooters, specifically. On a sunny day in San Francisco, they're clogging every sidewalk. Lime and Bird are the two best-known options. They also operate in Santa Monica, California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta. You use an app to check out a scooter, GPS tracks your location and you just drop it anywhere when you're done with it. There's speculation that Uber or Lyft will buy one of the bigger companies since both have invested in electric bikes.

Earlier this year, corporate titans Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon announced they would team up to form a new health care company. Their mission: Improve health and save a few bucks for the 1 million people who work for Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. Today we learned that Atul Gawande will lead this still-to-be-named venture. Gawande is an accomplished surgeon, a Harvard professor, a staff writer at the New Yorker and a best-selling author.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

With NBA picks, data can only take you so far

Jun 20, 2018

The NBA draft takes place tomorrow in Brooklyn, when teams make big bets on young players, hoping they might been the next LeBron James or Steph Curry, that once-in-a-generation player who can transform a team's fortunes. But these players are notoriously risky investments.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

How a red-hot housing market made Zillow a media company

Jun 20, 2018

A few years before the financial crisis hit, Spencer Rascoff was among the entrepreneurs who started a new website devoted to real estate. They named it Zillow, and it was meant to hold all the data and information consumers needed to buy and sell their homes. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Rascoff, who is now CEO, about the years the company's spent collecting data as home values crashed, recovered and are now skyrocketing. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Ireland is famous for its hospitality, offering visitors an abundance of “craic,” or fun.

And that warmest of warm welcomes has been extended to embrace foreign corporations, too. If they set up in Ireland, they get to pay one of the lowest rates of corporate tax in the European Union: 12.5 percent compared with the recently reduced rate of 21 percent in the United States. There are numerous, generous tax breaks in the Emerald Isle as well.

Let's do the Zestimate

Jun 20, 2018

If you've been listening the past few weeks, you know the federal government is working on a list of companies to exclude from new, costly tariffs on steel and aluminum. During testimony today about that list, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross promised one senator that he’d personally consider a company residing in the senator's district. Ross called the place right after the hearing, and we did, too. Then: Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon have tapped surgeon and writer Atul Gawande to run their new health care company.

Even the markets care about sound bites

Jun 20, 2018

(Markets Edition) From a markets perspective, we're in a lull right now. No data releases, no big announcements from the Fed. But they will be looking out for soundbites, especially around trade, according to Westwood Holdings Group's Susan Schmidt. We'll hear from her about how all this tariff talk could *eventually* cause concern to creep into the markets. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new technology that'll help preserve avocados, and then we'll chat with the Economist's Natasha Loder about why automation doesn't necessarily spell doom for radiologists.

Spencer Rascoff has been at Zillow, the company familiar to many a person searching for a home or apartment, pretty much from the beginning. Since 2005, he's weathered the housing crisis and another housing boom. And as CEO, he's leading the real estate/tech/data company into a new market: buying and selling its own homes. He talked with us about where the housing market's been and where it's going. 

Holy guacamole! That avocado could last four weeks.

Jun 20, 2018

Giving a whole new meaning to shelf life, avocados wearing a life-extending plant-based coating debut this week on U.S. grocery shelves. It’s one of the first products to potentially help cut down the billions of dollars in food waste each year in the United States.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

The facilities that are housing children separated from their parents

Jun 20, 2018

Who's getting paid to carry out the Trump administration's policy of separating children?

In March, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge people illegally crossing the border and separate children traveling with their parents. Marketplace's Andy Uhler looked at the money that flows into the facilities housing these children, starting with a firm called Southwest Key. Below is an edited transcript. 

David Brancaccio: Tell me more about this company. How did this nonprofit grow to be such a key player in this industry?

(U.S. Edition) We're looking into who's getting paid to carry out the Trump administration's policy of separating children at the U.S. border. One of the principal firms: Southwest Key. Afterwards, we'll discuss what to expect from today's Senate testimony with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who's likely to get an earful on tariffs, and then we'll talk about a new "life-extending" coating for avocados.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... Higher tariffs on goods for the U.S. and China might be theoretical at this point, but the escalating threats are already having a real effect on financial markets. So how are emerging-market currencies – already under pressure from local political turmoil – feeling the heat? Then, there's a vote by the International Monetary Fund today on a record-breaking aid package for Argentina. But what is the country doing to help give international investors more confidence in the economy?

You have more choices for wireless than you might think

Jun 20, 2018

This week, T-Mobile and Sprint officially asked the Federal Communications Commission for approval to merge. If the merger goes through, there will only be three big wireless providers to choose from. And with net neutrality out the window, people are worried that cell phone service will keep getting more expensive.

This week, T-Mobile and Sprint officially asked the Federal Communications Commission for approval to merge. If the merger goes through, there will only be three big wireless providers to choose from. And with net neutrality out the window, people are worried that cell phone service will keep getting more expensive. But there is another collection of wireless providers like FreedomPop, Mint, Boost Mobile, Tello and Metro PCS that offer an alternative, at least on price. These companies are what's called mobile virtual network operators.

Could mounting trade tensions harm U.S. services to China?

Jun 19, 2018

President Donald Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese products, up from the $50 billion already in the works. That's a big escalation. If he follows through, nearly half of all imported goods from China could be subject to a tariff. But there's another side of trade we haven't been talking about as much lately: The roughly $56 billion worth of services the United States sells annually to China. 

Click the audio player above for the full story.