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Jack and the non-GMO beanstalk

Oct 4, 2016
Annie Baxter

In the late 90s, many farmers went all in on biotech crops, whose genetics have been tweaked to do things like repel insects or resist herbicides. Today, about 90 percent of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified.

But as crop prices falter, and some Americans express wariness about GMOs, farmers are increasingly interested in non-biotech crops.

Jack Bruns, a farmer in Valley City, North Dakota, is among them. About 10 years ago, he decided to grow some non-biotech soybeans. His motivation was simple: “To make more money!” he said.

Google's big plans for its Pixel smartphones

Oct 4, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about anticipation over Google's new smartphones; the International Monetary Fund's efforts to accelerate global growth; why central bankers are stocking up on gold; and Amazon's decision to pull 1,500 titles from its flat-fee system in Japan.

Canada will have a carbon price. Will the US?

Oct 4, 2016
JaeRan Kim

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this week that Canada will institute a national price on carbon emissions. Doing so would help it reach goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement.

With the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels, the plan allows provinces to decide how to reduce their own emissions, either through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. Failure to do so would result in a government-mandated system. 

David Brancaccio

When it comes to the all-important credit profile, should you get brownie points for improvement? Maybe you once had a rough patch trying to repay debt, but have since gotten better. 

The credit reporting company Equifax is now rolling out a system that will take that into account.

Central banks rush to gold

Oct 4, 2016
Sam Beard

Since the financial crisis eight years ago, there’s been something of a gold rush as worried investors have piled into the yellow metal. But a new study has revealed that part of the stampede into bullion has come from a  rather surprising quarter: the central banks.

Trump's return reveals real estate tax benefits

Oct 3, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return, obtained by The New York Times, showed a near-one billion dollar loss that may have allowed him to avoid paying income tax for decades.  It also brings to the fore several features baked into the tax code that benefit the real estate industry, some by design and others not necessarily so.

Kai Ryssdal

Classic rock fans are gearing up for Desert Trip, a three-day festival happening this week and next at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California.

Sam Beard

So now we have a date for Brexit. By no later than March next year the British government will have begun negotiating the terms of the UK’s departure from the European Union and , under EU law, the UK should be out of the bloc by  March 2019.  British Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled the timetable at her annual party conference and  she also revealed she’ll play hardball with her European partners. That delighted the so-called “Hard Brexiters”, while disheartening  those in the “Soft Brexit” camp.  

How the tax code can help out those in real estate

Oct 3, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about tax provisions granted to those who work in real estate; negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership; a slowdown in auto sales; and controversy over the identity of Elena Ferrante, the author of the Neapolitan Novels. 

Andy Uhler

The presidential candidates don’t agree on much, but they agree on at least one thing: They both oppose the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or T-TIP, between the U.S. and Europe. Even though passage seems unlikely, President Barack Obama wants to make it part of his legacy before he exits in January. The 15th round of talks start Monday in New York.

Auto sales go on cruise control

Oct 3, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Update: Automakers reported rising U.S. sales in September, with vehicles sold at a 17.8 million annual rate. That is a 4.7 percent increase from the 17.0 million annual rate of vehicle sales reported in August. The data is compiled by Autodata, from individual automakers' sales figures, and released on the first business day of the month.

Lizzie O'Leary

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may have paid no federal income taxes for almost two decades, according to reporting and tax analysis from the New York Times.

The paper got a hold of part of Trump's 1995 tax filings, which show that he recorded a loss of almost $916 million that year — enough of a loss that it could offset taxable income for 18 years.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, October 3, 2016

Oct 3, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about hype surrounding a potential new smartphone from Google; interview Lieutenant Colonel Peter Garretson about the importance of space technology; and look at the launch of South by South Lawn, a White House festival of "ideas, art and action."

Is it evil? A year of email controversies

Sep 30, 2016
Donna Tam

To prepare for Season 2 of our tech podcast "Codebreaker," we’re revisiting Season 1 and exploring the news around the technology scrutinized in each episode. First up: email.

In Season 1 of "Codebreaker," we asked: is email evil?

Kai Ryssdal

CVS bought Target's pharmacy business for nearly $2 billion last year. So far so good, right? 

Weekly Wrap: Banks at home, and abroad

Sep 30, 2016

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks with Leigh Gallagher of Fortune Magazine and John Carney of the Wall Street Journal about the week's business and economic news. This week, they talk about European and American banks and their ability to deal with financial crises and legal trouble.

The dangerous world of the Internet of Things

Sep 30, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

In the brave new Internet of Things, everything’s connected to the internet. Your TV, your thermostat.

For cheaper stuff companies may decide not to spend the money for extra security. So, if you’re making, say, a new fitness tracker,

“It would be a lot easier, and a lot cheaper to design it without having encrypted storage, without all sorts of things that some people think you need to have," said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Andy Uhler

There’s a new, growing population of American citizens in Florida who might be able to vote for president for the first time – Puerto Ricans. And a lot of those leaving the island’s broken economy end up in Central Florida. Thousands of Puerto Ricans have settled over the past couple of decades in a town south of Orlando, near Disney World, called Kissimmee.

DeutscheBank woes highlight European bank issues

Sep 30, 2016
Sam Beard


Actually, consumers are pretty happy

Sep 30, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Despite what you might have heard from politicians, American consumers are bullish. Consumer confidence numbers are reaching the highest levels since 2007.

“We’ve last seen levels this high before the Great Recession,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators and surveys at The Conference Board, which measures consumer confidence every month.

“Consumers are confident," she added. "There’s a willingness to spend.”

Lane Wallace

Wells Fargo is still under fire after a tough visit to Capitol Hill for CEO John Stumpf on Thursday.

Stumpf was berated by members of the House Financial Services Committee for more than four hours in a hearing that addressed a growing scandal over Wells Fargo branch bankers opening unauthorized accounts in order to keep up with sales quotas.

Wells Fargo workers opened some 2 million accounts without customers’ permission.

Andy Uhler

It’s been more than a year since Puerto Rico first defaulted on its debt obligations. The federal government has appointed an oversight board that has to approve any restructuring. But it’s not just an economics problem on the island. Many are calling it a humanitarian crisis. And people are migrating. Many settle in Central Florida. 

Natalie Moore

Jordan Buckner grew up on the South Side of Chicago and is creator of Tea Squares, puffed millet-filled bites with raw almonds or pumpkin seeds infused with organic tea powder.

“For me it was important that we actually eat a lot healthier than eating the normal chips and candy that we often eat to kind of get through our day,” Buckner said.

Buckner is one of 35 small South Side businesses featured in a new Whole Foods Englewood store that opened this week.

Did Trump break the Cuba embargo?

Sep 29, 2016
Donna Tam

Donald Trump’s company broke the U.S.-Cuba embargo in 1998 by sending consultants to the island to research a business venture, Newsweek reported today.

Why Spotify buying SoundCloud makes music sense

Sep 29, 2016
Gigi Douban

Spotify is negotiating a deal to acquire SoundCloud. With Apple, Google, and Amazon each getting a foothold into the music streaming space, it’s getting really crowded, and Spotify, which has about 40 million paid subscribers, is looking to SoundCloud to grow its customer base.

2020 Summer Olympic games could cost up to $30 billion

Sep 29, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the state of our country's economic growth; the possibility that cable boxes may become obsolete; how the insurance industry can use drones to assess damage in an area after a disaster; and the high cost of the next Summer Olympics. 

Audio update: The FCC has indefinitely postponed its plans to vote on a proposal that would allow cable subscribers to access programming outside of cable boxes. 

RIP Blackberry phones, you will be missed (kinda)

Sep 29, 2016
Marketplace staff

The iconic "work phone" will no longer be produced by Blackberry. Yesterday, the company said it will outsource production of future phones. Of course, it doesn't sound like there's a line out of the door for them. Blackberry will now focus on “providing state-of-the-art security software for devices.”

Lane Wallace

Oil prices were up Wednesday evening and waffling Thursday morning based on the news that OPEC plans to cut output for the first time since 2008. The cartel of petroleum exporters has abandoned production limits over the last couple years, contributing to global oversupply and rock-bottom prices that have just started to come back up.

OPEC’s strategy in the past was to agree on some total output limit, divvy it up, and voila: higher prices for crude oil around the world.

Patrick Skahill

Claim University is a giant warehouse operated by the insurance company Travelers, where insurance adjusters go to train. Inside are dinged-up cars, damaged store fronts, and big model houses.

And while you might not think of insurance adjusters as risk takers, Patrick Gee, who works on auto and property claims for Travelers, said they can be.

“Whenever you climb ladders or you get up on a roof, despite well-trained claim professionals with safety standards, there's always a risk of an accident occurring,” Gee said.

Kai Ryssdal

The sixth biggest economy in the world came after Wells Fargo today.