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Laptops and smartphones on the New Silk Road

Oct 11, 2016
John Laurenson

Half a mile of steel grinds into Duisburg. The train has 47 containers on board, many with Chinese writing on the sides. You may not have heard of Duisburg, just down the Rhine River from Dusseldorf, but it’s one of the biggest inland ports in the world.

This train’s come over 7,000 miles, through steppe and desert and forest, from another place you may not have heard of — Chongqing. This city in the middle of China has about the same population as New York.

This week is the first Bringing Up Business Week in Columbia. It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch new ideas, learn business skills and network with each other.


KBIA’s Michaela Tucker talked with Steve Wyatt, the Vice Provost of Economic Development at the University and an organizer of the week, about how the university is engaging with the entrepreneurial community in Mid-Missouri.


Trump Taj Mahal closes down, laying off 3,000

Oct 10, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Carl Icahn brought down the curtain on Republican nominee Donald Trump's tenure in Atlantic City, New Jersey, today.

Icahn, an activist investor and Trump supporter bought the Trump Taj Mahal casino resort and some other properties out of bankruptcy in 2014.

Marketplace for Monday, October 10, 2016

Oct 10, 2016

Wow, what a weekend. Today we're looking on how down-ballot Republican candidates might be affected by Trump's debate performance and the now-infamous tape of him making extremely vulgar comments about women in 2005. Plus: Believe it or not there was some economic talk in last night's debate. Weirdly, a lot of it was about "carried interest." We'll talk about what that is and why you should care. Finally, a look at this year's Nobel prize for economics, which actually went to some research the layperson can understand.


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is not only losing the confidence of his party's leaders, he's likely losing the party's money as well.

Bruce Johnson

Two or three sessions into trying out the new PlayStation VR headset that is launching this week, my worst fear was realized.

Kim Adams

At Schlafly’s Bottleworks in a suburb of St. Louis, a mostly pro-Clinton crowd packed two bar rooms to watch the debate on Sunday night. It was mostly a Clinton crowd, and Clinton supporter Mary DeLeonardis said she wanted to hear the candidates discuss the economy.

The cost of Trump's and Clinton's tax plans

Oct 10, 2016
Kim Adams

Many voters might have been left bewildered by the claims and counter claims of the presidential candidates about their tax plans during last night's debate. 

Trump said:

We're cutting taxes for the middle class, and I will tell you, we are cutting them big league for the middle class. And I will tell you, Hillary Clinton is raising your taxes, folks. You can look at me. She's raising your taxes really high. 

Trump is correct in that when he says he would cut taxes for everyone, he would cut the tax rates for everyone.

Weekly Wrap: It's the first Friday of the month!

Oct 7, 2016

Joining us this week to talk about the last five days in business and economics are Cardiff Garcia of  FT Alphaville and Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post. They discussed jobs numbers, labor force participation and the British pound. 

Kai Ryssdal

Chuck E. Cheese's is moving away from physical tokens to reward cards that can be loaded and re-loaded, according to Bloomberg.

The company, known for pizza and arcade games, has issued billions of game tokens for the last 39 years. The news is causing no small upset among collectors. It turns outs there's actually a market in Chuck E. Cheese's tokens, thanks to pop culture nostalgia.

The rarest of them can go for $1,000.

How Hurricane Matthew is affecting fuel supplies

Oct 7, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about how Hurricane Matthew will affect the supply of gasoline; what an increase in the unemployment rate indicates about our economy; and why manufacturers are saying they can't find enough skilled workers. 

Janet Nguyen

To find out how bad a natural disaster really is, many residents turn to social media, television screens, phone apps — and in some cases, their favorite Waffle House.

With Hurricane Matthew approaching, Waffle House's Twitter announced Thursday that "All Waffle House restaurants on 1-95 between Titusville, Fla. and Fort Pierce, Fla. are closed. Stay safe Waffle Nation!"

U.S. economy adds 156,000 jobs in September

Oct 7, 2016
David Brancaccio

According to the Labor Department, 156,000 jobs were added to American payrolls in September. That's in line with continued moderate growth for the labor market, but it's less than the 170,000 figure many analysts were predicting. 

Not enough skilled factory workers — really?

Oct 7, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The U.S. unemployment rate is at 5.0 percent, job openings are abundant, and employers say labor shortages are starting to develop in some fields, especially skilled manufacturing.

At Benchmade Knife Company in Oregon City, Ore., the company’s high-end hunting and utility knives are precisely tooled by skilled machinists.

Melanie Sevcenko

Since it passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act has given millions of Americans access to mental health coverage. That’s created a demand for providers,  especially  in rural areas and some underserved communities.

To lure more people into the industry, state and federally funded loan forgiveness programs are gaining traction. They work by paying off a portion of a provider’s student debt in exchange for employment in an underserved area.

Finding unregistered voters can be a costly process

Oct 6, 2016
Johnny Kauffman

On a Saturday morning, Wayne Brumfield is on his way into a Wal-Mart outside Atlanta to shop for his mom. He just moved here from Louisiana.

"She's getting a little older and my brothers are in the service, so I was like the only one left,” Brumfield said.

Freelancers made an estimated $1 trillion last year

Oct 6, 2016
Donna Tam and Mitchell Hartman

The stigma around choosing freelance work is fading and that has contributed to a steady increase of freelancers in the U.S., according to a survey released today by the Freelancers Union.

“Freelancing is becoming a way of life for a third of the workforce. Even if someone is doing it a little bit, it’s just getting to be more ubiquitous,” said Sara Horowitz, the head of the Freelancers Union.

In Detroit, a risky alternative to mortgages

Oct 6, 2016
Lane Wallace

This is the third in a three-part series on the Detroit housing market. Read part one, on the city's residents who rent from faraway buyers, and part two, on why mortgages have all but disappeared from the city.

JaeRan Kim

A government contractor who was arrested in August is accused of taking top secret computer code designed to help the U.S. hack into foreign government computer networks. Harold Thomas Martin, 51, worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, the same private consulting company that had employed Edward Snowden, who released a slew of confidential data to journalists in 2013.

On today's show, we'll talk about a drop in the number of new people signing up for unemployment benefits; news that the Paris Agreement — a pact aimed at tackling climate change — will officially take effect next month; and an overlooked item on Donald Trump's 1995 tax records.

How a new rule could affect your retirement savings

Oct 6, 2016
Mark Garrison

A Wall Street giant is chopping prices on something that may be part of your retirement savings. BlackRock is reducing fees for some of its low-cost exchange traded funds, or ETFs. Lower-fee products, like BlackRock’s iShares, are expected to get much more popular as a new government rule kicks in requiring brokers to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.

Click the above audio player to hear how this new rule could impact what you pay to save for retirement.

Stay or go? Evacuations carry a price

Oct 6, 2016

People are piling into cars and buses and headed inland in parts of South Carolina and Florida to avoid damage from Hurricane Matthew. Evacuations are a financial boon for places like convenience stores and motels, but expensive for homeowners.

Click the above audio player to hear the full report. 

Why can't employers find enough candidates to hire?

Oct 6, 2016
David Brancaccio

The September jobs report will be released tomorrow — the next to last report before Election Day. As the job market strengthens, many employers are saying they can't find enough workers. Is this good or bad?

Chris Farrell, a senior economics contributor for Marketplace, joined us to chat about the country's labor market.

On taking advantage of job opportunities: 

Yahoo doesn't deny it scanned users' emails

Oct 5, 2016
Molly Wood

After Reuters broke the news that Yahoo allegedly intercepted millions of users' emails at the request of U.S. intelligence, Yahoo took about 20 hours to issue a short statement through a PR firm: "The article is misleading. We narrowly interpret every government request for user data to minimize disclosure. The mail scanning described in the article does not exist on our systems."

That's not a denial.

Marketplace for Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Oct 5, 2016

On today's show, batting down the hatches for Hurricane Matthew, what $100,000 in student debt feels like and who on earth might buy Twitter. Plus: a conversation with Ev Williams, CEO of Medium and a co-founder of Twitter.

Donna Tam

Netflix’s nationwide promotion for its revival of “Gilmore Girls,” a show that has been off air for nearly a decade, basically centered around a piece of cardboard:

Why there's almost no mortgage lending in Detroit

Oct 5, 2016
Lane Wallace

Hardly anyone in Detroit gets a mortgage, and that’s common knowledge. Just ask Cymone Thomas,

“There’s some beautiful homes in Highland Park ... big family homes,” she said, describing the area’s blocks upon blocks of solid brick two-stories, three or four bedrooms with yards. A lot of them need work, but they can be really affordable, well below $50,000.

“I definitely want a home cause I have a son, I want him to have his own backyard,” she said. But when a home sells in her neighborhood, it’s almost always in cash.

On today's show, we'll talk about how the vice presidential candidates addressed our country's $19 trillion debt during last night's debate; Monsanto's better-than-expected quarterly earnings; and the mixed feelings North Dakota residents have about the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. 

Monsanto in uncertain marriage

Oct 5, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Monsanto announces fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday, amid a time of considerable uncertainty for the seed and chemical giant. 

Monsanto and Bayer announced last month they plan to merge, in a $66 billion deal. But it’s not a done deal. 

It’s not clear that government regulators will approve Bayer’s proposed takeover of Monsanto.

Yahoo accused of spying on users' emails

Oct 4, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood

Marissa Mayer of Yahoo has been having a rough go of it.

That go got rougher today, thanks to a report from Reuters about what the company is said to have done in response to orders from US intelligence agencies last year.

Kai Ryssdal spoke with Marketplace’s Senior Tech Correspondent Molly Wood.

The gist of the issue: