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Marketplace Morning Report

1,496 episodes - English - Latest episode: about 6 hours ago - ★★★★★ - 569 ratings

In less than 10 minutes, we’ll get you up to speed on all the news you missed overnight. Throughout the morning, Marketplace’s David Brancaccio will bring you the latest business and economic stories you need to know to start your day. And before U.S. markets open, you’ll get a global markets update from the BBC World Service in London. 

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US border businesses welcome Canadian consumers – if they come

November 29, 2021 15:35 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

The reopened U.S.-Canada border has businesses on the U.S. side of things ready and anxious to receive business from the neighbors to the north, even if it’s just to pick up packages. The crowds, however, have been slow to come. The markets appear to be bouncing back after the initial flood of concern surrounding the Omicron variant. Julia Coronado helps explain the market mood shift. We also hear some details on the sales action from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

How big a shadow does Omicron cast over vaccines and the economy?

November 29, 2021 12:17 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

President Biden is slated to talk about the newly detected COVID variant later today. Meanwhile, the economic concerns are real, as Wall Street is poised to recover after taking a bit of a tumble over the weekend. Also, the World Health Organization said Omicron posed a very high risk of surging infection rates. Senior economics contributor Chris Farrell helps us discuss the role of retirees during the labor shortage. Could some of them be coming back to work?

Markets rebound a bit as we wait for more details on the Omicron variant

November 29, 2021 11:54 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: That’s partly because despite a rise in infections in South Africa, they aren’t seeing an increase in COVID-19 deaths in the province hardest hit by the new variant. Plus, WHO member countries meet to discuss the global pandemic response. And, businesses in the Netherlands are worried about pandemic restrictions limiting opening hours for hospitality and cultural venues.

The debate over vaccine intellectual property rights is heating up

November 26, 2021 15:37 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

A new COVID-19 variant is emerging as President Biden faces growing pressure to push for an emergency intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines. In a letter to Biden, 15 human rights and medical groups called the waiver “a moral imperative” that would help get more doses of the vaccine to low-income countries.  We also look at what Small Business Saturday means for local retailers this year, and how supply chain shortages might actually work in their favor. Plus: how a South African...

Understanding the wage-price inflation cycle

November 26, 2021 12:33 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

The global semiconductor shortage could continue until the second half of next year, according to a projection from chip supplier Foxconn — which could mean higher prices for goods like cars. And people’s expectations that prices will go up can lead them to ask for higher wages to afford said goods. Businesses then raise prices to compensate, leading to a continuing cycle of inflation. Are we in danger of entering that cycle? Plus, we look at what the new COVID-19 variant means for markets a...

A new strain of COVID-19 sparks a selloff in global markets

November 26, 2021 12:00 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: As countries including the U.K., Germany and Japan announce restrictions on flights from a number of southern African countries, the WHO now needs to decide if this should be labelled a variant of concern. But, the selloff in markets, coming the day after Thanksgiving, needs a bit more context. And, we hear from global supermarket giant Carrefour on what super-fast delivery adds to its bottom line.

High gas prices could have staying power during the holidays

November 25, 2021 15:27 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

President Biden released 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve, but experts warn not to expect that to knock gas prices down during the holidays. We look into how the kinks in the supply chain could open up opportunities for gift cards. The BBC hits the streets of London to see how it does Thanksgiving.

USDA turns an eye toward Indigenous partnerships, food security

November 25, 2021 12:12 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced partnerships with tribal leaders and food producers in an effort to promote Indigenous food sovereignty. As the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade returns in full force, we look into the company’s announcement to cover tuition for its employees. Other companies have made the same pledges, but do those programs work? The BBC reports on a fresh wave of COVID cases that has hit Germany, right as the new incoming government begins to take over.

New German government, same old problems?

November 25, 2021 11:33 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: With COVID-19 infection rates across Europe, Germany’s incoming coalition government has to deal with pandemic challenges as well as supply-chain kinks and fresh data showing slower economic growth than expected. And, it’s harder than usual for Americans abroad to find some of their favorite Thanksgiving food.

The typewriter as a turning point for working women

November 24, 2021 15:47 - 10 minutes - 11.8 MB

When the first commercial typewriters were introduced in 1874, offices were men’s domain. But soon the majority of clerical workers were women, and that remains true today — and the typewriter is a crucial part of that revolution. We also look at President Biden’s nomination of Shalanda Young to head the Office of Management and Budget, who would be the first Black woman in the role permanently. Plus, what do today’s economic indicators tell us about the holiday shopping season?

A historic verdict in the opioid crisis

November 24, 2021 13:02 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

For the first time, a jury has found major pharmacy chains liable for the opioid addiction crisis. Two Ohio counties sued CVS, Walgreens and Walmart over the epidemic of addictions that’s claimed half a million lives in this country. Plus, two days before Black Friday, we take a moment to consider the junk we can’t seem to get rid of.

Turkey’s currency crisis is deepening by the day

November 24, 2021 11:43 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: After plunging 15% on Monday, the lira has recovered some of its early losses. But there are reports supermarkets are beginning to ration flour and sugar and prices for goods and services are rising. Plus, Germany’s incoming government is set to unveil its coalition deal, giving an idea of the direction for Europe’s largest economy. And, how so-called ‘scambaiters’ are trying to get revenge against scammers.

Add Christmas trees to the list of shortages

November 23, 2021 15:27 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

However, the reason for the dip in Christmas tree supply has to do with climate change. A dome of heat earlier in the covered the Pacific Northwest, wreaking havoc on tree farms and putting a dent in the overall inventory of trees that would have been on the market. Inflation has eaten into the increased benefits for SNAP recipients. We discuss the markets with Gus Faucher of PNC Financial Services Group.

A smoked turkey business in Texas rises from the ashes

November 23, 2021 12:31 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

Flames and explosions forced the shutdown of Greenberg Smoked Turkeys in Tyler, Texas last year. The company sold hundreds of thousands of turkeys every holiday season. Now, one year later, business appears to be booming, according to owner Sam Greenberg. President Biden announced today that the U.S. is releasing crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We have more details on what this means.

Afghanistan after 100 days back under Taliban rule

November 23, 2021 12:24 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: The Red Cross says policies designed to withhold funds from the Taliban are depriving ordinary Afghan people of the means of survival. The Taliban blames the west for the worsening humanitarian crisis. Plus, Beijing issues another warning to Taiwanese firms and those who finance them. And, the U.S. trade representative, Katherine Tai, is in India for talks about deepening trade ties and easing tensions.

It’s former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes’ time on the stand

November 22, 2021 15:28 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of tech company Theranos, took the stand over the weekend during her fraud trial and will do so again. For a recap, we turn to Adam Lashinsky of Business Insider. With news that President Biden has tabbed Jerome Powell for another tour as Fed Chair, we discuss the economic picture with Julia Coronado.

Quitting Time has reached executive level

November 22, 2021 12:30 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

Recruiting data shows that within the mass of people quitting their jobs at record rates, you’re going to find more than a few CEOs. It’s a culmination of a trend that’s been picking up momentum in recent years. The airline industry remains short on staff as the busiest travel days of the year approach. A program in Oregon has opened up motels and hotels to help shelter the homeless.

Austria has returned to a full national COVID-19 lockdown, despite protests

November 22, 2021 11:46 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: The World Health Organization’s director for Europe warned half a million more people might die this winter unless regional restrictions are tightened. But some European cities have seen a weekend of anti-lockdown protests. Plus, Australia is opening its border to more fully vaccinated travelers. And, the economic challenges for oil-rich Venezuela as President Maduro’s party sweeps to victory in regional elections.

Canada wants one part of Biden’s Build Back Better plan unplugged

November 19, 2021 15:21 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

Democrats passed the second part of President Biden’s domestic agenda today. However, there’s one element of the bill that Canada would like to go away. Canada says the bill would undermine its own efforts to build up an electric vehicle industry. Christopher Low joins us for today’s discussion about the markets. In New York City, the scars from the flooding of basement apartments illustrate the collision of housing and climate crises.

A look ahead to the pharmacies of the future

November 19, 2021 12:45 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

CVS plans to close hundreds of its stores over the next three years, signaling a shift toward health services and primary care many people say has been building for quite some time. We look into how the costs of COVID testing has affected shoppers near the border between U.S. and Canada. The FTC is cracking down on companies that make cancelling subscriptions too difficult, which could affect a lot of media companies.

Japan unleashes more pandemic stimulus as European nations go back into lockdown

November 19, 2021 11:59 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: The Japanese government has announced nearly half a trillion dollars to provide further economic support from the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Austria announces a full national lockdown starting Monday, while Germany won’t rule out a similar move. And, after a year’s long protest by hundreds of thousands of farmers in India, the government vows to repeal controversial farm laws.

The wage scale for job openings is trending up

November 18, 2021 15:44 - 10 minutes - 11.8 MB

Diane Swonk talks with us about the data showing that the abundance of job postings amid the labor shortage is starting to pivot toward higher-wage employment. President Biden is asking the Federal Trade Commission to look into whether sharply rising gas prices at the retail level are due to some kind of illegal conduct. Sticking with the theme of natural gas, Andy Uhler’s exploration of the natural gas industry and its impact took him to the town of Hackberry in Louisiana, a shale oil and f...

Apple has entered the DIY chat

November 18, 2021 12:21 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

Apple will start allowing customers to self-repair their Apple devices using tools and parts from the company. It’s a big policy shift, and a victory for the “right to repair” movement. Home builders have enough supply challenges, but data suggests yet another one: A shortage of land. We also look into how HBCUs also have an extensive history of being underfunded.

What does 20% inflation in Turkey actually feel like?

November 18, 2021 12:15 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: As Turkey’s central bank further slashes a key interest rate, we hear how President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes unorthodoxly that high interest rates cause prices to rise. And, with inflation so high, what is life like for the average person in Turkey? Plus, the Chinese blockbuster that’s causing consternation in Hollywood.

Earnings reports from Walmart, Target and friends show some holiday cheer

November 17, 2021 15:24 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

Upbeat numbers from some of the nation’s big retailers seems to counter some of the panic that’s been fueled by supply chain woes and inflation. Julia Coronado discusses the role of demand in all this during our markets overview. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy breaks down his plan for the embattled U.S. Postal Service as the holidays arrive. We ask for the thoughts of small businesses about paid family leave.

Postmaster General DeJoy on what awaits for the US Postal Service

November 17, 2021 12:32 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

The U.S. Postal Service had a rough holiday season in 2020. To help avoid a repeat, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is enacting a series of cost-cutting measures that are part of his 10-year plan to help bring the USPS out of its financial funk. We spoke to DeJoy at length about his plan and how the Postal Service will handle the holiday rush. A recent Bankrate survey notes how some Americans aren’t confident about their ability to save up for retirement.

What’s China’s role in a proposed U.S. economic framework for Asia?

November 17, 2021 11:52 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: Speaking at a summit in Singapore, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that at the start of 2022, the Biden administration is likely to start building out an economic framework for the Indo-Pacific region. And, a BBC investigation found two of the world’s most wanted cyber-crime suspects appear to be living luxurious lifestyles in Russia, despite the Kremlin’s claims it doesn’t shelter hackers.

What Bossier City in Louisiana can tell us about the rise of energy prices

November 16, 2021 15:15 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

The spike in natural gas prices has spurred many companies to make sure they’re set up to reap the benefits. We check in with Marketplace’s Andy Uhler, who’s reporting from Bossier City in Louisiana, an area that became a nexus of fracking more than a decade ago. We discuss how that area can illustrate the activity around the rise of energy prices. Drew Matus of MetLife Investment Management helps us interpret the retail numbers from the Department of Commerce. An Ohio public employee pensio...

Some are skipping holiday spending this year

November 16, 2021 12:38 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

Holiday shopping is expected to be up overall, but many lower-income households are holding up on spending money on gifts for holidays. Instead, they’ll be spending on essentials. The impact of inflation has reached food banks and pantries, which have had to alter their inventories as well as how they distribute to people. We look at how the labor market is interacting with the growing movement to salary transparency.

President Biden’s video call with China’s leader included some talk of trade

November 16, 2021 11:38 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: Presidents Biden and Xi spoke for more than three hours in frank and direct discussions, which yielded some progress, though no specific breakthroughs. Plus, unemployment in the U.K. fell more than expected in October, while job vacancies hit a fresh record high. And, a diamond mining project in India has set off a debate about conservation and jobs for local people.

The storm of holiday advertising might be a little lighter this season

November 15, 2021 15:32 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

You’ve probably already started to hear the cacophony of holiday-oriented jingles and marketable themes from advertisers, but perhaps not has much as a couple of years ago. That’s because analytics say TV advertising for several product categories is down. This is especially true for automakers, as the auto industry is suffering from global supply chain issues. We learn about how small businesses have been forced to adapt in the chaotic nature of the Great Resignation, where workers can just...

The Big Quit has left a big scar on health care

November 15, 2021 12:10 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

The pandemic helped usher in an era of people leaving their jobs, and one area that’s been hit particularly hard has been health care. Tens of thousands of workers have left their professions behind, resulting in a substantial labor shortage. We examine what President Biden’s infrastructure bill could mean for rural America, and Democrats are hoping to pass Biden’s second spending bill proposal, with a sticking point being – once again – paid family leave.

The EU is to step up sanctions on Belarus as a migrant crisis intensifies

November 15, 2021 11:58 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: Foreign ministers from across the European Union are widening the criteria the bloc uses to impose sanctions on Belarus as thousands of migrants remain trapped in freezing conditions at the border with Poland. Also, the Beijing Stock Exchange officially opens for business. Plus, Austria introduces lockdown restrictions for unvaccinated citizens. And, India considers pollution lockdown measures in Delhi amid worsening air quality levels.

Johnson & Johnson joins the breakup party

November 12, 2021 15:35 - 10 minutes - 11.8 MB

The health care giant has announced that it is splitting into two companies – one focused on consumer products, and the other focused on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The split is expected to complete in 18 to 24 months. We talk to our own Kimberly Adams about Marketplace Tech’s series of stories about tech regulation. Christopher Low joins us for our discussion about the markets.

A brewing humanitarian crisis in Eastern Europe could have major economic implications

November 12, 2021 12:45 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: Turkey is stopping citizens from Iraq, Syria and Yemen from flying out of the country to Belarus because of what it called the problem of “illegal border crossings” into the European Union. Many migrants face sub-zero temperatures close to the border. Plus, the Japanese industrial conglomerate Toshiba will split itself into three publicly-listed companies focused on infrastructure, devices, and memory chips. And, Cape Town’s unusual ways to cope with severe water ...

US intelligence community urges caution to tech companies doing foreign business

November 12, 2021 12:20 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

U.S. intelligence officials have been warning American companies in five industries – artificial intelligence, quantum information systems, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems – of possible foreign threats in business dealings with other countries. We spoke to Michael Orlando, acting director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, about it. We also discuss the further effects of recent inflation, especially when it comes to how consumers feel about their sp...

How panic and distress led one ICU nurse to leave

November 11, 2021 15:32 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

Whether you call it the Big Quit or the Great Resignation, the nationwide trend of people quitting their jobs has also hit health care. Nurses everywhere are quitting in record numbers. We spoke to a former ICU nurse who agreed to talk about his conflicted decision to go. Inflation has caused the IRS to make some tax adjustments. Diane Swonk helps us examine some of the aspects of the labor shortage in today’s discussion about the markets.

How China’s regulatory crackdown has changed the biggest online shopping day of the year

November 11, 2021 12:42 - 6 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: There’s no live tracker of Alibaba’s sales data, or live audiences for the company’s annual gala this year. But predictions suggest that spending on beauty, health and electronic goods from Alibaba and their competitors will outperform Singles Day last year. And, as Germany grapples with a fourth wave of COVID-19, the public and businesses are becoming fiercely divided on the need for another round of restrictions.

Could the Great Resignation actually be the right time for the big negotiation?

November 11, 2021 12:24 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

People have been quitting their jobs en masse to the point where the phenomenon has even led to a variety of nicknames, like The Big Quit. However, an expert we spoke to notes that instead of quitting, now might be a good time to reset terms with employers. We look at the mountain of work companies have to do to prepare for the Biden Administration’s federal vaccination rule. The Justice Department is suing Uber over its wait-time fees, saying they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Inflation rose 6.2% in a year. That hasn’t happened since the ’90s.

November 10, 2021 15:44 - 10 minutes - 11.8 MB

The last time inflation showed a spike like this, “Dances With Wolves” and “Home Alone” were dominating the box office during the first Bush administration. Susan Schmidt of Aviva Investors uses this data to kick off our discussion about the markets. We hear some more insight on inflation from U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who talked with Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal earlier in the week. Sticking with the theme of rising prices, we look into how people are swapping out what they buy in ...

What a real (or fake) Warhol sketch tells us about the idea of artistic authenticity

November 10, 2021 12:28 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

A New York art collective called MSCHF says it got an early sketch by artist Andy Warhol, made 999 copies of it, mixed in the real drawing with the fakes, then sold all 1,000 without knowing which was the real Warhol sketch. Blasphemy? Maybe not, according to the art critic and Warhol biographer we spoke to. The electric vehicle maker Rivian makes its debut on the Nasdaq. The BBC reports from the COP26 climate conference regarding a draft agreement from the United Nations.

Google loses out in court to Europe’s competition commissioner

November 10, 2021 11:34 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: Now, the tech giant may be forced to rethink parts of its business model after the European Union’s second highest court upheld a $2.8 billion fine imposed by the E.U.’s digital and competition chief, Margrethe Vestager. Plus, shares of another Chinese property developer, Fantasia, dropped nearly 50% in Hong Kong. And, Afghanistan’s former finance minister says the country’s government was brought down by rampant corruption, even among top army generals.

GE to divide into trinity of companies

November 09, 2021 15:30 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

General Electric is dividing itself into three new, separate businesses focused on aviation, energy and health care. The giant has struggled to recover from the previous financial crisis. Joining us to discuss it is Erik Gordon of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. We discuss the markets with David Kelly of J.P Morgan. We also look into how the jammed-up ports of Los Angeles has retailers concerned about their ability to keep their shelves filled ahead of the holidays.

Spots will be open on the Federal Reserve board of governors

November 09, 2021 12:23 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

There are some key vacancies at the Federal Reserve. On Monday, Randal Quarles, a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors, announced he’s stepping down. With Quarles’ resignation, President Biden will have at least three seats to fill on the seven-member Fed Board of Governors. Some new research shows a shift in how people view the process of getting a loan. We also look into the lingering impact that abandoned, dormant oil wells can have.

Trouble in China’s property sector could bleed over to the United States

November 09, 2021 11:38 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: That warning comes from the Federal Reserve’s latest financial stability report. So what risk do China’s property woes pose to the global economy? Plus, Australia’s plan to spend $130 million on electric-vehicle charging stations is panned by critics. And, the people smugglers in Afghanistan who say business has nearly doubled since the Taliban takeover in August.

Representation becomes a talking point at the COP26 climate talks

November 08, 2021 15:23 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

The BBC reports from the COP26 climate conference in Scotland, where the significant presence of the fossil fuel industry sparks concern about making progress on cutting down carbon. The U.S. opens its borders today to international travelers from dozens of countries. Airlines are gearing up for an influx of passengers and for the holiday travel season. We discuss what the reopening means. In Philadelphia, a carpentry program helps young people get experience in a profession and perhaps map ...

Biden’s infrastructure bill is about to be signed and sealed, but what will it deliver?

November 08, 2021 12:32 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

President Biden said Americans will begin to feel the impact of the bipartisan infrastructure spending bill within a few months as investments kick in for roads, transit, broadband internet and other priorities. The trillion-dollar bill passed Congress over the weekend. While the Friday jobs report showed gains in the labor market overall, one area that still appears stuck is the public sector, especially state government jobs and public schools. Amazon is setting up shop in Cathedral City, ...

The world’s most lucrative air corridor reopens

November 08, 2021 12:07 - 7 minutes - 11.8 MB

From the BBC World Service: For the first time in almost two years, the U.S. is allowing fully-vaccinated travelers in from 30 countries. Plus: Rising energy prices threaten the economic recovery in Spain.

US hiring bounces back in October with 531,000 jobs added

November 05, 2021 14:28 - 9 minutes - 11.8 MB

More people are saying “yes” to job openings, according to the latest numbers from the Department of Labor. Hiring in the U.S. stepped up to the tune of 531,000 added in the month of October. We got some insight from Julia Coronado on how the jobs report beat expectations. Sticking with the workforce, we try to figure out who foots the bill when it comes to the new OSHA vaccination rules for companies. Union workers at John Deere are still on strike, and negotiations appear to be at an impas...

The one predictable thing about the job market these days? Uncertainty.

November 05, 2021 11:23 - 8 minutes - 11.8 MB

As the economy recovers amid the COVID pandemic, the job market has become wildly unpredictable. Unfortunately, plenty of experts say the volatility is here to stay. The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on President Biden’s social spending and infrastructure bills. We speak to Smith College president Kathleen McCartney about her school’s move to go “no loan” in an effort to mitigate the issues of student debt.


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