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09-19-2014- Marketplace- This may Suit SAP
As Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce behemoth, debuts on the New York Stock Exchange we look at its ambitious founder Jack Ma and consider his significance. Plus, entrepreneur Jesse Herzog has designed a new kind of work suit and it’s a one piece suit with a twist. He calls it the suitsie. The concept might make you laugh (or not), but its creation begs the question: when did workplace dress codes, especially for office workers start to change? We investigate. Also, if your workplace has had you book travel plans on a website, chances are you used programming from the software company, Concur. Well, the Seattle-area based company is being gobbled up by another software giant, SAP. The cost of the deal for the German-based company? Over $8 billion. The acquisition is also expected to increase SAP's number of users for its cloud-based technology from 38 to 50 million users.
09-18-2014- Marketplace- Space Race Gets Added Boost
Nearly half of all households in major cities don’t have enough money saved to cover essential expenses in an emergency, according to a new study from Corporation for Enterprise Developments. We look at how much people are benefiting from the recovering economy when a job loss or major medical bill can derail their financial lives. Plus, the commercial space race is getting an added boost. Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space venture, has announced a partnership with another space company to develop a new rocket engine. One that could potentially replace the Russian engines the US relies on – and gain an advantage over his rival, Elon Musk. Also, tomorrow the White House will unveil its campaign effort to curb sexual assaults on college campuses. It's called "it's On Us" and it focuses on the men's role in preventing sexual violence. Schools have been responding with training programs, tighter security etc. But there is a cost to getting these programs off the ground.
09-17-2014- Marketplace- NFL Pressure Points
Yahoo is one of the biggest investors in Alibaba and the company stands to gain billions in the coming IPO. So what will Yahoo do with all that cash? Plus, the Fed’s Open Market Committee meeting concludes its two days of meetings in Washington today. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has hinted that interest rates could soon be on the upswing. But today’s CPI numbers came in lower than expected, and inflation continues to hover below the Fed’s 2 percent target. How much do low inflation rates complicate the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates? Also, not a good time to be embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Anheuser-Busch has fired a warning shot to the NFL, and hotel chain Radisson has pulled its corporate sponsorship from the Minnesota Vikings. But are some levers more powerful than others?
09-16-2014-Marketplace- The Real Costs Of Climate Change
Whether it’s due to a weak slate of Fall shows or competition from the Web, big television networks are seeing a worrying decline in advertising revenue this quarter. Optimistic network execs see it as a blip, but could it be a signal of a bigger shift in the future of advertising to the masses? Also, a report says the cost of addressing global warming shrinks considerably when you consider the trillions the world is generally spending on power generation, transportation and infrastructure. The report’s proposals, however, still butts up against political realities. We investigate.
09-15-2014- Marketplace- Philanthropies Lead Ebola Take-Down
Clothing retailer ‘The Limited’ announced that it has teamed up with ‘Scandal’ star Kerry Washington and Lyn Paolo, the show’s costume designer, to launch a clothing line inspired by the hit TV series. We look at why retailers are increasingly going in this direction and how successful it's been for them. Plus, Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates have committed a collective $59 million to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, substantially more than the U.S. government has so far put up to help end this Ebola epidemic. We explore what has changed and why philanthropies have felt the need to take the reigns in combating an acute international health crisis.
09-12-2014- Marketplace- Just Add Salt
As the U.S. prepares to attack ISIS militarily, what implements of financial mass destruction does America have at its disposal to damage the fund-raising efforts of a non-state actor? Plus, logic suggests that a television show that receives high ratings, even on a cable channel, would have some longevity. But that’s not the case with the A&E show, Longmire. The show was abruptly cancelled after three seasons, despite millions of loyal viewers. Why did they pull the plug on Longmire? Also, the boardroom battle between Starboard and Darden, parent of Olive Garden, is heating up as a shareholder vote nears. Starboard, the activist hedge fund trying to take control, released a 300-slide presentation yesterday on what it will do to increase shareholder value. Get ready for fewer breadsticks and saltier pasta water.
09-11-2014- Marketplace- Twitter Needs Help
The NFL is arguably the country’s most powerful sports league. We look at the wide range of NFL corporate tie-ins and business interests that make this behemoth a multibillion-dollar concern. Plus, the SEC is going after the small fry. As part of its “broken windows” policy, it’s fining companies and individuals for small infractions and reaping small sums. But this is about more than just reminding Wall Street that the SEC is out there. It’s about showing how the agency, and its attitude toward enforcement, has changed under new management. Also, Twitter goes to the bond market in an effort to raise as much as $1.5 billion. This is likely an attempt to build up its advertising business, but Twitter remains unprofitable and borrowing is cheap. So what does this tell us about the economy?
09-10-2014- Marketplace- Phone Carriers Change Plans
Today, President Obama is expected to discuss his plan for sustained military operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS. We explain why that could be a game-changer for the U.S. defense industry. Plus, carriers that have traditionally subsidized the cost of phones, like Sprint and Version, have released new phone plans for the iPhone 6. But how do they keep their margins high whilst ensuring affordability for their customers? We a take look at how mobile phone carriers have responded to the release of the iPhone 6. Also, a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that the Affordable Care Act has made few waves in the employer-based insurance market where 58 percent of all Americans get their health coverage. And while it may be a long way off. How employees get their insurance could look very different than it does today.
09-09-2014- Marketplace- Too Many Grads For Jobs Available
More employers are requiring college degrees for jobs that don’t really require skills learned in college — and are held mostly by people now who don’t have degrees, according to a new study. Why? Because they can. Does that mean we're producing too many grads for the jobs available to them? Plus, Home Depot's stock price is taking a beating after hackers breached the company's payment systems last week. Are retailers, like Target and Home Depot, doing enough to protect themselves and their customers from credit card hackers? We explore.
09-08-2014- Marketplace- To Spend Or Not To Spend
President Obama has asked Congress for $500 million to "train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition.” So, what do you get for $500 million? And how do you ensure your spending is not equipping the wrong people? Plus, the Chinese company, Alibaba, is having trouble helping potential investors understand just what it is the company does. The vast majority of its business is done overseas in a different language. So, what does it do? Also, today’s the last day to comment on a proposal that would make the revenue of stores, both super and corner, from food stamps public. We explain why it’s an issue and what the public has to say.
09-05-2014- Marketplace- The Power Of YouTube Videos
Tesla’s huge bet on a giant battery factory is a bet on the present while the future races on. Tesla is counting on fab efficiency to cut prices on an established type of battery, while research on new types makes it hard to even envision what other devices they’ll make possible in the near future. Plus, Goucher College in Baltimore switches its admissions policy to allow students to skip high school transcripts and submit a two-minute video instead. With liberal arts schools struggling to fill classes, will a play at “creativity” over grades boost the school's attendance? Also, ABC has just announced the lineup for its 19th season of "Dancing With the Stars," which includes 18-year-old YouTube sensation Bethany Mota. The Disney-owned network hopes to lure Mota’s 7 million-plus online followers back to prime-time TV, but will the strategy work?
09-04-2014- Marketplace- "It's Shonda Night"
The European Central Bank today made a surprise decision to cut interest rates and promote stimulus. Though some say this move comes too late in the day to be much help to European economies, others welcome the cut as a bold move. We look at the ramifications of the decision in Europe and for the U.S. Plus, the days of wild gains in productivity feel like so long ago. There was a huge dip in the first quarter, and revised figures out today show there’s only been slow growth in the last year. We put it into context. Also, facing off against Thursday Night Football… Shonda Rhimes!!! ABC has stacked its prime-time lineup with three dramas by the woman who has changed the look of prime time with her diverse casts. What do Rhimes’ dramas bring, and how’s ABC’s “It’s Shonda Night” strategy likely to work?
09-03-2014- Marketplace- Apple Crisis And Retail Hackers
Under Armour, the sports clothing for people who look good with or without it, is aggressively moving to broaden its market. Just today it picked up model Gisele Bündchen as an endorsee. So what’s Under Armour’s corporate je ne sais quoi? We investigate. Plus, the security breach that exposed celebrities photos that had been stored in iCloud creates a major PR problem for Apple, whose image is on the hook regardless of the particulars of the breach. We look at how the company will handle it, and how a hack of the cloud – taking personal information like photos – is very different than a hack at a retailer – taking a person’s credit card number. Also, Fashion Week in New York starts tomorrow. Apparently fashion designers are having trouble standing out from the crowd with all the noise and fluff surrounding the week. We take a look at how a designer differentiates him or herself?
09-02-2014- Marketplace- Dollar General's Hostile Takeover
Dollar General has upped its bid for Family Dollar, but that doesn’t mean Family Dollar will say yes. Observers are now expecting Dollar General to turn this from a friendly bid into a hostile takeover. We explain what going hostile really means. Plus, the former House Majority Leader is joining the banking industry, providing “strategic counsel” to an investment bank’s corporate and institutional clients. But what does he brings to the job? And after, we look at the delightfully snarky website that brought you – indirectly, because you almost certainly don’t visit 4Chan – the nude photos of actresses and celebrity models.
09-01-2014- Marketplace- Made in the USA
Made in America is a very important consideration for many Americans. There's a perception that things made here are better quality and that buying them will help keep jobs in the country. It is a very powerful label, but if you want to put it on your product, you better mean it. Marketplace's Adriene Hill reports. And, Lizzie O'Leary talks to Earl Swift about his book, “Auto Biography,” about cars and the American dream. Plus, with it being Labor Day we thought it'd be a good time to check in on how much most American workers are getting paid for their labor these days. The answer? Not a whole lot more than they were three decades ago, relatively speaking. That's according to a new study of census data from the Economic Policy Institute.
08-29-2014- Marketplace- Abercrombie & Fitch Toss Logo
Personal income and spending seemed to stall in July, according to figures out today. Yet consumers and businesses both say they’re as confident as they’ve been in the economy in years. We dig into the apparent contradiction in terms. Plus, Morgan Stanley has been buying up diesel contracts in Europe. Big time. What does this say about commodity markets and their players. Also, Abercrombie and Fitch has decided to take the labels off its clothes. The move reflects a trend amongst younger shoppers who are increasingly buying from brands that don’t use a logo, such as Zara or H&M. But it also reflects the company’s recent poor performance.
08-28-2014- Marketplace- Twitter offers #flightschool
ISIS is believed to get revenue from selling oil on the black market from fields it’s captured. We look at the black market for oil and how it works. Plus, advertising on Twitter is such an impenetrable mystery that Twitter is giving away free classes to teach vendors how to promote their stuff via its platform. The program is called #flightschool. We explain how it works and what it’s gonna teach. Also, two new studies indicate that immigrants to the U.S. weathered the recent housing slump better than native-born Americans and are also rapidly closing the gap on home ownership rates. We look at why immigrants are doing so well and what it means.
08-27-2014- Marketplace- American Airlines Ditches Orbitz
Snapchat has been allocated an impressive valuation...which appears to bear little or no relation to the valuation it had when it was last valued several months ago. So what makes it worth what people think it's worth today? Plus, American Airlines announced this week that it would pull its fares from any websites run by Orbitz Worldwide. The reason? The companies couldn’t agree on new contract terms. It’s the second contract dispute between the two travel giants and comes at a time when, according to reports, upgraded websites are becoming more popular with consumers. How will American Airlines withdrawal affect Orbitz? And how does a business relationship like this work? Also, the Commerce Department is imposing tariffs on Mexican sugar, after U.S. growers complained the Mexico was dumping cut-rate sugar here. U.S. sugar is already highly protected and is more expensive than in other countries. How will these tariffs affect industrial-scale users of sugar like candy makers?
08-26-2014- Marketplace- Durable Goods Number Is Flying
The durable goods number today came with a mixed message. They were up big, but only because Airline companies bought lots of planes. Take that number out, and things don’t look so rosy. Plus, according to data from the credit agency TransUnion, the national credit card delinquency rate has declined to its lowest level in the last seven years, to 1.16 percent. Banks are known to make revenue from credit card debt and late payments, but how much do they depend on them? Is this latest trend affecting their business – and is the improvement in the payment delinquency rate a blip? Also, CNN is offering buyouts to older employees with several years on board. But what’s the personal calculation when you get an offer in your late 50’s, several years away from retirement, with a comfortable salary. Is it a boon or a jump off a cliff?
08-25-2014- Marketplace- Miley's Friend's Place
Burger King is looking to merge with Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons. It’s the latest chapter in Burger King’s patterned history. It’s gone in and out of private hands over the last few years and has a famously young leadership team. We look at what Burger King stands to gain from Tim Hortons' heft in the breakfast market. Plus, the American Academy of Pediatrics has become the latest group to declare that most middle and high school classes start too early for teenagers. The AAP says classes should begin no earlier than 8:30 am because adolescents are naturally wired to fall asleep after 11 pm and wake up later than most school start times allow for. But few school districts are likely to follow through, because everything from their bus schedules to extracurricular activities is dependent on the current schedule. Also, Miley Cyrus pointed to a longstanding problem when she had a young homeless person go on stage in her place at the VMAs. Lots of young people come to Los Angeles hoping to make it in the entertainment business and then get shipwrecked. She’s chosen My Friend’s Place, which works with young homeless people, as her beneficiary.