Weekdays 3:00-3:30pm and 6:30-7:00pm
Marketplace: Cuba and oil
Airing on Thursday Dec. 18, 2014: Thawing relations between the U.S. and Cuba will open up Cuba to American business. Is this a great business opportunity or just a mirage? Plus, the price of oil is incorporated into many consumer products, including tires. Petroleum is a major component in tires, but don’t expect the price of those wheels to drop any time soon. Finally, we look at what the price of a barrel of oil really means.
Marketplace: The Interview and law school
Airing on Wednesday Dec. 17, 2014: Our take on the latest updates from the Sony hacks. Plus, law school enrollment is way down. We look at how that's related to the cost-cutting going on in the practice of law.
Marketplace: AMC and the ruble
Airing on Tuesday Dec. 16, 2014: AMC theaters are offering a subscription deal. For $100 a month, you can see as many movies as you like. We look at how businesses are using auto-pay subscription models. Plus, Russia's central bank raised interest rates overnight by 17 percent in an unsuccessful attempt to stem the continuing decline of the ruble. With the failure of this latest effort to shore up its currency, Russia’s economic turmoil is affecting global markets as investors lose confidence.
Marketplace: Sony, Petsmart and Antonio Weiss
Airing on Monday Dec. 15, 2014: What have the Sony leaks revealed about the company's corporate strategy? And what can Sony do to prevent further dissemination and exploitation of this information? Plus, PetSmart was acquired for $8.7 billion by BC Partners. We take a closer look at the buyout. Finally, President Obama nominated investment banker Antonio Weiss for treasury undersecretary. We take a look at the job description for this position.
Oil, inflation and household debt
Airing on Friday Dec. 12, 2014: If there’s a global surplus of oil, where's it sloshing around? We look at how countries are stockpiling. Plus, with inflation low, we ask what's the ideal rate. Finally, American household debt has fallen in comparison to incomes. We investigate the “magic number” for debt loads in a healthy economy.
Derivatives, gas prices and Twitter
Airing on Thursday Dec. 11, 2014: We explain everything you need to know about derivatives. Plus, Americans are saving a buck a gallon on gas these days. Where’s that extra money going? Finally, Instagram just passed Twitter in monthly users and announced yesterday that it plans to start cracking down harder on fake followers.
Uber and climate change
Airing on Wednesday Dec. 10, 2014: Uber’s reputation has taken a few big hits just this week. We look at the damage to Uber's reputation and ask what it can do to recover. Plus, we take a look at the United Nations climate change conference. Some countries that formerly held back are now stepping forward.
The Fed, oil prices and hackers
Airing on Tuesday Dec. 9, 2014: Members of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee have entered their quiet period ahead of next week’s meeting. We look at how they are handling interest rates. Plus, falling oil prices are good, right? In a fossil-fuel based global economy, the consumer winners greatly outnumber the oil-producer losers. Finally, we look at businesses that benefit from a security breach like the Sony hacks. They don’t just profit off the victims, but off the fear of would-be victims.
Antibiotics, Cosmo and the dollar
Airing on Monday Dec. 8, 2014: Are big drug companies finally being persuaded to research new antibiotics as opposed to more profitable drugs for cancer and chronic conditions? Plus, Cosmopolitan and CoverGirl just announced their joint sponsorship of New York Time Square’s New Year’s Eve celebrations for 2015. Finally, the dollar is up. Which is great, isn’t it? Well, maybe not if you’re an emerging economy.
Tesla, Starbucks and gentrification
Airing on Friday Dec. 5, 2014: Tesla is building a battery factory outside of Reno that has electric companies scared. The idea is to build batteries that can store the solar power collected by rooftop solar panels. Plus, Starbucks has plans to open dozens of stores selling pricey craft coffees. The gourmet coffee trend is spreading to hip neighborhoods across the country.
Baby bust, Nook and Highland Park
Airing Thursday Dec. 4, 2014: The US fertility rate edged down last year to a record low. The now-5-year-old economic recovery has yet to translate into an upturn in births. Plus, if someone were to pen the story of Barnes & Noble today, booksellers would probably file it under mystery. We take a look at the future of the Nook.
Tax credits, investors and York & Fig
Aired Dec. 3, 2014: The House is voting on whether to bring back certain tax credits that expired at the beginning of the year. It raises the question: Why do they expire in the first place?
Rubles, auto sales and exercise
Struggling with falling oil prices and continued sanctions, the Russian ruble just suffered its biggest one-day fall against the U.S. dollar in more than two decades. Plus, newly reported auto sales figures are strong. We look at the factors driving sales, including the improving economy and heavy discounts. Finally, working out can benefit your body and your bank account, beginning this month in Massachusetts. Pact Health is an add-on benefit that lowers your insurance deductible if you work out while wearing a health-tracking device.
#GentrificationIs, Funding and Facebook
We're launching our gentrification project about the Highland Park neighborhood in Los Angeles. Use the hashtag #GentrificationIs on Twitter and Instagram to show how your neighborhood is changing. Plus, one option under consideration for keeping the government running beyond Dec. 11? Congress could pass an omnibus spending bill that would solve the problem for only nine months and affect every agency except the Department of Homeland Security, which would be kept on a shorter funding leash. Finally, Facebook makes a money grab by making small businesses and certain political outfits pay for things they used to get for free.
Open enrollment and outsourcing
In addition to holiday shopping and leftover turkey, it’s open-enrollment season—time to think about financial choices for next year, like retirement savings. Plus, some law professors and now some entrepreneurs are playing with the idea of outsourcing boards of directors. How would it work? Like an accounting firm provides accounting services, or a law firm provides legal services.
Oil slides ... stores gear up for Black Friday mania ... and two lucky turkeys get off scott free.
Pollution, Ferguson and John Deere
Pollution is an issue in big cities in the U.S., but how and when do regulators weigh the economic costs of allowing pollution against the environmental benefits of curbing it? And how has the process changed over the years? Plus, Deere & Co. earns two-thirds of its revenue from farm and turf machinery, so when times are tough for farmers, times are also tough for John Deere. The company says it expects sales to fall further, because low prices for commodities like grain are pushing down demand for tractors and other equipment.
Ferguson, dressing rooms and counting calories
People in Ferguson are dealing with police actions, fires, and closings of businesses and schools. We look at the long-term setback in light of the years of redevelopment work in the area. Plus, just who counts those calories in the fast-food items that we see displayed? How do they do it, and how real are the numbers?
11-24-2014-Marketplace-Updated with the Ferguson grand jury decision
Update: Added some information on the St. Louis County grand jury, which has declined to charge Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. We devise a job description for a new Secretary of Defense that reflects the demands of the modern world. Plus, we examine the potential impact of the new immigration policy on higher and lower education.
11-21-2014-Marketplace-Immigration and Jobs
President Obama made a lot of claims this week about how his move on immigration will boost the economy. We look at which industries will be impacted most, and how. Plus, one of the jobs of the Federal Reserve is to provide regulatory oversight of banks. But the Fed’s watchers think the relationship between the Fed and the banks is way too cozy, and they’re giving the Fed a hard time on the Hill. Finally, the NFL has moved Sunday’s Bills-Jets game from Ralph Wilson Stadium in snow-covered Buffalo, N.Y., to Monday night in Detroit. A move like that is rare, so we explain the many logistics behind it.