Marketplace

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.

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In just the last week, Facebook and Google have both announced new smart speakers with video screens. And Amazon is heck-bent on putting Alexa in everything. On the one hand, people seem to want these doohickeys. Research firm Canalys says global smart speaker sales grew 187 percent in the second quarter of this year. On the other hand, an always-on, always-connected listening device in the home really freaks some folks out. Let's dig into this in Quality Assurance, the segment where we take a deeper look at a big tech story.

How food banks are reaching high-risk seniors

14 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"

18 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?

18 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.

18 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

19 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?

22 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.

The Consumer Price Index tracks the average price change over time for a "basket"  of goods and services. The CPI takes into account things like food, transportation and health care. If the CPI goes up, that's considered an indication that the inflation rate is rising. But when the Federal Reserve calculates the inflation rate, it relies on something called the core PCE, the personal consumption expenditures price index. Why use a different measure? 

(U.S. Edition) Wednesday was a rough day for Wall Street, with markets dropping across the board. To shed some light on what’s happening is Michael Hewson, market analyst with CMC Markets. Also, earnings season is coming up, and big banks are expected to report their earnings on Friday. Marketplace’s Justin Ho shares more. Then, we look into the issue affecting people 50 years of age and older: hunger.

Global stocks retreat as U.S. worries spread

Oct 11, 2018

(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)

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