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Award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine on business and economics news "for the rest of us."  Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics. Marketplace takes a fresh approach to business news covering  listeners from wallet to Wall Street. 

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Networks cash in on debates

Sep 16, 2015
Sabri Ben-Achour

 It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. If you’re a cable or tv news network. 

Fox News’ Republican debate last month, with 24 million viewers, was the ninth-most-viewed cable program. Ever. The other eight were college football games. 

CNN is now staring a windfall in the face as it expects a record-breaking number of people to tune in for its debate.  

“This is going to be huge for CNN,” says Billie Gold, vice president and director of programming research at Dentsu Aegis. 

The Banker's Almanac: A guide to interest rates

Sep 16, 2015
Sam Weiner and Bridget Bodnar

The audio version of this story will be added shortly.

Comedian Sam Weiner is tired of waiting for the Federal Reserve to finally raise interest rates. So he's turned to the Banker's Almanac.

Will the Fed raise interest rates? For the answer, we can turn to our old friend, the Banker's Almanac.

Like the Farmer's Almanac, the Banker's version provides valuable predictions based on top-secret meteorological data and homespun claptrap.

Federal poverty measure unchanged from last year

Sep 16, 2015
Noel King

More than 46.5 million Americans are living below the poverty line, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday. The poverty rate held steady at 14.8%, and median income remained flat, a sign, economists say, that wages are not rising. Even those who have had a pay bump find themselves squeezed. 

Homeowners, techies will be sad when Fed raises rates

Sep 16, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Federal Reserve has started its big, two-day meeting, and on Thursday will make its latest announcement on interest rates.

With rates near zero for so many years, who's benefited? Basically, it’s been borrowers. 

We’re talking about people like 36-year-old Drew Wood of Minneapolis and his wife, Vanessa. They  have two kids, a Boston terrier and a very low interest rate on their mortgage.

“It was like, basically December 2012 that we bought this house — that was when we closed at 3.125 percent,” he says.

PODCAST: The hype surrounding the Fed

Sep 16, 2015
Molly Wood

On today's show, we'll talk about a possible merger between the two largest beer companies in the world; if Wednesday's Fed meeting will be more hype than action; and why everything about the U.S. military uniform is American made ... except for the shoes.

Airing on Wednesday, September 16, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about a possible merger between the world's two largest beer brewers; the outlook for FedEx; and a reshaping of how Fannie Mae looks at mortgages.

All in the family: the new mortgage math

Sep 16, 2015
Noel King

Fannie Mae is making changes to a mortgage product for middle- and low-income earners in order to better reflect the way many folks live now: with working parents, children or roommates who may not be the main mortgage borrower, but who pitch in money for rent, groceries and utilities.

Like 27-year-old Kristin Bjornsen. She is college-educated and works two jobs: as an editorial designer for a newspaper chain and a legal assistant. Despite the two jobs, she lives with her mom in Fort Lauderdale, in part, because her mom needed help paying the mortgage. 

On the bright side for FedEx: growing e-commerce

Sep 16, 2015
Sally Herships

When a giant country like China has financial problems, they ripple right through borders. For shipping companies, that can mean sending fewer goods or materials.

It can have an effect on what's known in the industry as "general cargo", which are "loads that are a few tons in weight," says Satish Jindel, president of SJ Consulting Group, a research and consulting firm in the transportation logistics industry, and part of the founding team of FedEx Ground.

Sam Kaplan

The U.S. military outfits service members almost entirely in American manufactured uniforms. This is partly due to tradition, but also a 1940s law called the Berry Amendment, which requires the Department of Defense to do so. There has been an exception though: athletic shoes.

In April 2014, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts, who led the lobbying effort to ensure that military recruits sneakers were made only in the U.S., announced that Pentagon officials had "conceded … that recruits' running shoes should be made domestically."

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sep 16, 2015
Bruce Johnson

Airing on Wednesday, September 16, 2015: On today's show, we'll talk about the FBI's mistake in charging Temple Univ Professor Xi with spying; paying extra for replays on Snapchat; and using Twitter for political donations.

Jobs R Not Us

Sep 15, 2015
Marketplace staff


That's how many fewer workers Toys R Us plans to hire for seasonal work this December. The company says it will hire roughly 40,000 workers for its 570 U.S. locations. As Fortune writes, the decreased hiring may signal that the company has more faith in e-commerce than it does for in-store sales.

$250 billion

Paper industry wants customers back

Sep 15, 2015
Jim Burress

To the paper industry, you’re half the consumer you used to be.

Thanks to e-mail, e-vites and e-readers, the industry says per capita use of paper has dropped 46 percent since the year 2000, and shreds about 5 percent each year.

But paper manufacturers want you back. This year, they’re pouring tens of millions of dollars into a campaign in the hope you’ll think good thoughts about the product.

Marketplace for Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sep 15, 2015

Self-driving cars; tax policy; and the Fed's big decision.

Here's why an interest-rate increase is inevitable

Sep 15, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

Come Thursday at 2 o'clock Washington time, the Federal Reserve will announce … something. Whether it will raise interest rates or let them stay at current levels a bit longer is the economic question of the year. But here’s another one: Why do they have to raise rates at all?

“Eventually, they’ve got to come up,” says Ken Kuttner, an economics professor at Williams College. “The only question is when.”

Kuttner says while consumers and companies might like to borrow money at cheap rates, savers don’t like the low returns they’re seeing.

Refugees bring in big business in Europe

Sep 15, 2015
Kai Ryssdal, Mukta Mohan and Bridget Bodnar

We're in the middle of the biggest mass migration in Europe since the end of the World War II, and as distasteful as this may sound, that's a huge business opportunity. It ranges from housing refugees to selling commodities.