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10-24-2014 Marketplace Ebola in Gotham
As the Ebola story unfolds, authorities in New York have Dr. Spencer's own account as a starting point, but are helped by the multiple electronic checkpoints of life in Gotham. Plus, P&G spins off Duracell, and we take a look at the business and the history.
10-23-2014 Marketplace - Blue chipped
With a trend of dismal earnings for the likes of IBM, Coke and McDonald's, blue chip companies appear to have lost their sheen. We trace the evolution of the blue chip company since its beginnings, and ask what does it mean today – and who are the new generation of blue chip companies. Plus, we're going there: Email. It's a giant time waster, expensive productivity suck, and all over pain in the...
10-22-2014 Marketplace - Johnson & Johnson & Ebola
There are some good economic reasons no one created an Ebola vaccine – yet. Now multiple companies, including Johnson & Johnson, are racing to produce a cure. The business rationale changed in part due to the size of the outbreak itself, but also an increasingly interested market and potential payday. Plus: New regulations aimed at preventing another housing crisis have been finalized, only they don't include a down payment requirement. Financial experts think homeowners should put down 20 percent to be safe, but where did that number come from in the first place? Also: Seemingly out of nowhere in 1979, the Hunt brothers attempted to corner the silver market, pushing up prices almost 1,000 percent as they bought rights to nearly half of the silver in the open market. But when the commodities markets responded by changing the rules for margin trading, they went bust. Following the death of Nelson Bunker Hunt on Tuesday, Oct. 21, we look at why this strange bubble can't really happen again.
10-21-2014 Marketplace - Crash course
The Chinese economy grew at its slowest pace in five years during the third quarter. A cloudy forecast across the pond raises the question of if economic stalling in Europe or China is the greater threat to the U.S. economy. Next: In today's cheap fast-food market, where does McDonald's fit in? The company's third-quarter sales were worse than expected, with any number of reasons to blame, including food supplier controversies, service and lower pricing from competitors. Plus: Airbag manufacturer Takata does business with Toyota, Honda, Nissan and BMW, just to name a few. The recent recall of airbags in several makes of cars is complicated by the widespread supply to so many different manufacturers.
10-20-2014 Marketplace the Sustained Drop
IBM is paying someone $1.5 billion to buy its chipmaker division. Sometimes it’s more cost effective to pay someone to take a division off your hands than to wind it down yourself. Plus, The drop in oil prices looks like a sustained drop - which amounts to a 20 percent discount on one of the global economy’s chief drivers. This is a dramatic economic development with many potential consequences.
10-17-2014 Marketplace Ebola Czar Explained
50% of Americans are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” they will contract Ebola, a study says. How is corporate America reacting? Plus, as the midterm elections approach, tech giant Google has spent $1.43 million on political donations this year, surpassing spending by Goldman Sachs, a bank well-known for its political links. We explore why Google is spending the money and where it’s going. Finally, Ron Klain is the new Ebola Czar. We explain the ultimate purpose of the job and why it’s better to be a Czar than a real government official.
10-16-2014 Marketplace - Pick a volatility villain
The market continued its downward trajectory Thursday with an overabundance of choices as to why: blame Ebola, blame earnings or even blame Netflix. Some economists believe this is only the beginning as the current volatility affects investors, business and consumers. Next: Our health care system is built around specialty care. As Ebola patients are sent across the country for treatment, hospitals look at what it takes to specialize in treating the disease given the need for expert training. Finally: Amazon announced Thursday plans to hire 80,000 seasonal workers for the company's distribution centers, a 14 percent increase from last year. Some holiday hires move up to full-time jobs, but what happens to those who don't?
10-15-2014 Marketplace -Shot Clock Til You Drop
Texas Health Presbyterian is a community hospital up against Ebola, and the CDC now says every hospital in the U.S. should be prepared for an Ebola patient. With 5,000 community hospitals in the nation, plenty of training, time and resources are needed to fight the virus. Next: Retail sales dropped down this month, but still did better than expected. With consumer behavior changing during the last decade, do the metrics used to judge and predict consumer spending work anymore? Plus: The NBA is experimenting this Sunday with the pre-season game between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Game time will be four minutes shorter than usual, but could less mean more?
10-14-2014 Marketplace - Crisis management
Three big banks reported earnings Tuesday: JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. The results show how “the American bank” has changed since the financial crisis. Next: Projections for an increase in oil demand are at the lowest level since 2009 - according to the International Energy Agency - a reflection of how the global economy is struggling to grow five years since the depths of the financial crisis. Plus: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he and his wife Priscilla Chan will donate $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help fight Ebola. A look at why private money is flowing into the fight, and how different it is from support for natural disaster.
10-13-2014 Marketplace - No polar bear politics
Department store chain, JC Penney has announced that Marvin Ellison will take over as President and CEO. Execs hope that Ellison, who will be the third CEO in less than four years, can improve its flagging fortunes. Plus: The Pentagon issues a report on its plans for dealing with energy and climate change. This isn't about polar bears or politics - the Pentagon is the big spender in alternative energy as a matter of national security. Finally: Another Frenchman has won the Nobel Prize. Jean Tirole has studied regulation and large corporations, and determined that you cannot take a one size fits all approach to regulating industry.
10-10-2014 Marketplace - It's a casino
Saudi Arabia is keeping its pumps going despite a glut of oil and falling prices. In the meantime, some U.S. companies could start shutting down rigs if prices fall much more. Plus: the market’s up; the market’s down. You can - and people have - blamed everything from Germany’s slowdown to problems in the Middle East to the weather.
10-09-2014 - Marketplace - Icahn, iGlass
Activist Investor Carl Icahn is going after Apple again, asking the company to buy more shares and more quickly. We ask the question: What does Icahn actually want? Next: A company called GT Advanced is in bankruptcy court Thursday, reeling from the casualties of its relationship with Apple. It had hoped to make glass for the iPhone 6, but Apple went with Corning instead. Finally: Lego announces it won’t renew a long-standing partnership with Shell, after Greenpeace used the toys in an animated video attacking Arctic oil development. Greenpeace, they say, in effect mugged Lego to make its point about the Arctic.
The IMF had stern words for the state of Europe’s banks and the policy tools it’s used — and still using — to ease the continent out of recession. The U.S., whose approach was initially scorned by Europe, is pulling out ahead. Is that good for the global economy? For the US? Plus, unemployment is low, and job openings are now at a 13-year high. But it takes 25 days to fill a vacancy — so what's the disconnect between what the labour market is offering and what workers are looking for? Finally, Western Pennsylvania is ground zero for the battle between industry and citizens over fracking, the oil-and-gas procedure. And now it’s a battleground for the word “fracking,” as oil drillers try to reclaim fracking as a positive term.
10-06-2014 Marketplace - Twin Peaks, Twinned
Timothy Geithner, former head of the New York Fed is in court today, testifying about the AIG bailout. This is a big deal because the evidence he gives could change the popular narrative about how the crisis was handled and why. Plus, in an attempt to protect the rapidly growing ed-tech business and get out in front of new laws or regulations, several big-name ed-tech companies are signing a “voluntary” privacy promise, vowing not to sell student data or use it for marketing purposes. Thing is...lots of big names (Google, Apple, Pearson) aren’t there. And it’s a pretty thin promise. Finally, David Lynch is bringing back “Twin Peaks” after 25 years… 25 years during which the short-lived TV series became a cult classic among new generations of DVD viewers.
10-05-2014 Marketplace - Hewlett [and] Packard?
Silicon Valley stalwart Hewlett-Packard is going to divide itself two publicly traded companies. One will focus business technology, including software and services, while the other will sell PCs and printers. HP isn’t the first company (tech or otherwise) to change it’s business model of late. Plus: Reading behind the news that the JP Morgan hack was the tip of a very large iceberg, it turns out that the regulations governing disclosure of hacks to the public are full of holes. They vary from state to state, and in some cases, depending on what information has been compromised, may not require disclosure at all. Finally, as part of its latest deal with the NBA, ESPN will offer online streaming of regular season games live, even for people who aren’t cable or satellite TV subscribers. It’s a major shift in approach. We run down the questions remaining.
10-03-14 Marketplace - Is Phillips Curving?
The unemployment rate is falling and some are now calling on the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates. Does the famous “Phillips Curve” still apply in an age where the nature of unemployment has changed so radically? Next, in the wake of JP Morgan’s admission that 76 million households were hit with a data breach, up from just a few million in August, we explain how companies determine they have been breached, the forensics that go into identifying and repairing the breach, and what this means for JPMorgan’s 76 million households. We also take a look at the world of film adaptations - Gillian Flynn adapted her book "Gone Girl" into a screenplay herself, and she's not the only author who has done the same very recently for high profile pics. It used to be pretty hard for authors to get these gigs. And, last but certainly not least, we trace the boom and bust of guar gum - a product used in everything from toothpaste to fracking.
10-02-14 - Marketplace - The Stronger Dollar
The dollar is getting stronger. For that, you can thank the decision to roll back quantitative easing in the U.S., and the European Central Bank's decision to do more QE in the EU. Some people love a strong dollar, but others don't. We look at why the dollar's doing better, and who the winners and losers are this time round. Meanwhile, oil prices are falling in part because the global production of oil is reducing Saudi Arabia's — and therefore OPEC's — influence. Saudi Arabia was the swing state that could turn production up or down to affect prices. Now it's keeping production up despite falling prices to avoid losing foreign buyers. Plus, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is getting into the auto market. The company is buying the Van Tuyl Group, which is America's fifth-largest dealership. The purchase price is unknown, but we do know that whatever Buffett does, others watch very closely. What's behind the move, and what does it say about the auto biz?
10-01-14 - Marketplace - How to get a vaccine to market
The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. raises the question of whether there will be a more concerted effort to create a vaccine or drug treatment for the disease. We explain the incentives at play when companies and governments pursue drugs, how the industry/marketplace respond to outbreaks, and how drug resources get mobilized. Next, small cable companies are getting out of the TV side of the business or reducing their offerings. We look at what this means for shows. Finally: Reddit has just raised $50 million in funding from investors and is preparing to give 10 percent of these shares back to its community of users as equity. This is a “long-held dream” says CEO Yishan Wong, and now it's time to figure out how that model could actually work.
09-30-14 - Marketplace - Birthday cake for HealthCare.gov?
Today eBay announced that it’s going to split with PayPal and make both entities separate companies. Will PayPal users actually notice? In other tech-companies-talking news, Netflix has forged a deal with the Weinstein Company to stream a sequel to the hit movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” next year on the same day the movie is released in selected theaters. This disrupts the current movie distribution system, which mandates a delay between a movie’s release in theaters and its being made available in other forms – DVD, Pay TV and Video on Demand platforms. And finally, it's the anniversary of the launch of HealthCare.gov. We check in.
09-29-2014-Marketplace- Protests in Hong Kong
Three days of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have nearly shut down the city. They’ve also made financial traders around the world nervous. Prices dropped on Asian and European exchanges today and U.S. stocks also opened lower. Why what happens in Hong Kong matters to U.S. and global markets. Meanwhile, Facebook has launched its rebuilt advertising platform. Atlas, as it’s called, will let marketers use the knowledge and information the company has of its users to target them on mobile apps and websites. Why has it taken so long for Facebook to launch this, and what impact will it have on the company’s competitors and users?