Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our flagship program is all about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy numbers, we help listeners understand the economic world around them.
Whether because they want to or because they need to, more Americans are working past 65 and even 75 years old, which means we now have the most age-diverse workforce we’ve ever had. There are four, sometimes even five distinct generations working side by side. That dynamic can foster a lot of intergenerational miscommunication, starting with punctuation and emoji. Plus: Boeing’s latest woes and the difference between the minimum wage and a “living wage.”
After a drone strike hit the Aramco oil facility in Saudi Arabia in September, the price for a barrel of oil surged by nearly 20%. You may have noticed a spike for gasoline, too. But what exactly determines the price for a gallon of gas? That’s our latest installment of “Kai Explains.” Plus: 5G and the business of Broadway.
United Auto Workers presidents from around the country are meeting in Detroit today to vote on a deal that could end the monthlong General Motors strike. But even if that vote passes, rank-and-file workers need to approve it, too. We bring you the latest. Plus: Tariffs on European goods and changes to the Fair Housing Act.
Amazon’s massive warehouses have a reputation for being hard places to work. Today we’re taking a tour, and it’s not an exclusive or an investigation — Amazon wants the public to come in. We tell you why and what we saw. Plus: New discretionary spending numbers, and what teachers are spending on their classrooms.
For years, Oyler School has been trying to provide for students’ basic needs in one of Cincinnati’s poorest neighborhoods. Now, leaders are looking outside the school and trying to improve the local job market. Plus: The International Monetary Fund projects an economy without the U.S.-China trade war, and Walmart’s new direct-to-fridge delivery service.
Cincinnati’s Oyler School serves one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Community leaders have used public and private money to add a food pantry, health clinics and more so students could focus on learning. Graduation rates have been steadily ticking up, but in recent years, the school’s been trying to help more homeless students find a place to stay. Administrators are realizing that transforming a school may not be enough to spark the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood. Plus: China’s latest import and export numbers, and why some key players are pulling out of Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts.
According to Census Bureau data, about 37% of Californians age 18 to 34 still live with a parent. In more expensive parts of the state, that number is much higher. Today, we look at the factors making living at home the new normal for some young adults. Plus: new consumer sentiment numbers and the first state law cracking down on forced arbitration.
We talked a bit yesterday about West Virginia, which has the highest rate of children in foster care in the nation, thanks largely to the opioid crisis. Today, we’re continuing that story by looking at some of the challenges facing foster parents there. Plus: The impact California’s power outages are having on low-income households, and why negotiating a salary is so hard.
As many American parents struggle with opioid addiction, the number of children put into foster care in the U.S. is steadily increasing. West Virginia has been hit particularly hard: 70% more children entered foster care there in six years, and most of them have a parent struggling with substance use. Today, we’ll take you inside a system that’s straining to care for them all. But first: The latest from the Fed, and the controversy in the NBA over Chinese protestors.
If a service is free, the saying goes, then you’re the product. Most of us have come to accept that when you’re using social media or a free email client, you’re giving up some data in exchange. But what if you got paid for giving up some of that information? Today, we talk with a startup that’s working on it. Plus: Target is joining forces with a resurrected Toys R Us, and California is fighting wildfires by turning the lights off.
General Electric will freeze pensions for 20,000 workers and offer pension buyouts to another 100,000 former employees. Today, we trace the decline of the once-common benefit. But first: We check in on the state of the trade war and the autoworkers’ strike. Plus, a conversation with the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods.
We talk about the federal government’s jobs report every month. But determining how many Americans are unemployed, how many jobs the economy created and in which sectors is a tricky business. Ahead of tomorrow’s new numbers, we’ll dig into how it all works. Plus: A story from communist China, which turns 70 this week. And who pays to fix federal monuments?
Economists and market watchers have spent the past few months trying to figure out if we’re headed toward, or maybe already in, a recession. But there’s a growing chorus wondering if the U.S. economy is just headed toward a period of slow growth. Today, we dig into what that means. Plus: How Amazon handles counterfeit goods and how couples handle money.
Oct. 1 is the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that means you’ll be seeing pink all over: at NFL games, at charity walks and on virtually any consumer good you could buy. Today, we dig into the economics of awareness. Plus: What’s behind this disappointing year for IPOs and the national debt, explained.
It’s an interesting time in the American capital markets. Specifically, for stocks. The major indexes have been at or near record highs after trending up for more than a decade. But as we’ve said before, and we’ll surely say again: The stock market is not the economy. For today’s installment of “Kai Explains,” we’ll dig into what it is and isn’t. Plus: Why the Trump administration would want to curb American investment in Chinese firms, and how Amazon’s HQ2 could reshape Arlington, Virginia’s economy.
We say it over and over: Keep an eye on the bond market. But it can be hard to know what the “10-year T-note” even is, much less what it tells us about the economy. So in today’s installment of our new series “Kai Explains,” we’re going to dig into bonds. Plus: Saudi Arabia opens up to tourists, and a conversation with Rakim.
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau says inequality is the highest it’s been since the measure began in the 1960s. Today, we dig into why. Plus: Health care spending is breaking records, too, and consumer confidence, explained.
Home fitness company Peloton is expected to go public tomorrow. It’ll be the latest in a series of high-profile tech IPOs, some of which haven’t gone so smoothly. Today, we’ll look at how companies are valued, how that process has changed and why markets haven’t quiet caught up. Plus: What a no-deal Brexit would do to Europe and what’s next for embattled e-cigarette maker Juul.
Americans owe $13.86 trillion in household debt. That’s slightly higher than the total amount right before the 2008 financial crisis, and it’s rising. Today, we’re gonna dig into debt a bit: Who owes whom, what it does to the economy and what we can do about it. Plus: What you need to know about new overtime rules, and, inspired by Greta Thunberg, what we talk about when we talk about “economic growth.”
Some might think that the best part of a taco is what’s inside. But Rick Ortega and Omar Ahmed, founders of Kernel of Truth Organics, disagree. They’re champions of soft corn tortillas and pride themselves on being the only known tortilleria in Los Angeles using certified organic corn. Plus: Americans are saving more money, and farmers aren’t keen on being bailed out.
General Motors workers have been striking since midnight on Sunday after contract negotiations broke down. The company’s use of temp workers is one of the main reasons for the strike. Temps make less money, don’t get benefits and can take very limited time off, unpaid. We hear from one GM worker who was a temp for four years before being hired full time. Plus: Why grad students might lose their ability to unionize, and what items will be exempt from tariffs.
Sometimes businesses make hard left turns. YouTube was a dating site. Shopify sold snowboard equipment. Then there’s Black Ridge: It recently got out of oil and gas and into the fast-growing world of competitive gaming. How’s a company go from fracking to “Fortnite”? Today, we look at the art of the pivot. Plus: Why central banks are predicting an economic slowdown and what Silicon Valley is (and isn’t) doing to combat climate change.
President Donald Trump plans to revoke California’s ability to set its own fuel efficiency standards. But what happens when many consumers want lower emissions? Plus: What you need to know about the rate cut and an update on the GM strike.
As the war of streaming TV services heats up, tech and media giants like Comcast, WarnerMedia and Disney are racing to build their libraries. That means dropping hundreds of millions of dollars for the rights to old shows like “Seinfeld” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Plus: We’ll walk you through the Federal Reserve’s toolkit and take a look at the way oil prices affect the larger economy.
With new reports of people getting sick and politicians vowing to crack down on electronic cigarettes, the industry leader, Juul, is looking for new research on the health effects of its products. But the vaping giant has had difficulty finding scientists to take on that research, and the few who have accepted Juul’s overtures face blowback. Plus: Nearly 50,000 members of the United Auto Workers went on strike against General Motors today, and oil prices jumped following an attack on Saudi oil facilities.
Forever 21 is expected to close 100 stores as part of a bankruptcy filing. Big anchor stores like Sears have been struggling for a long time, so what’s left? The American mall looks pretty different these days. Plus: The federal deficit has passed $1 trillion for the first time since 2012, and the latest in our “Adventures in Housing” series.
The European Central Bank cut interest rates to -0.5 percent. President Trump praised the decision, as he’s been pushing the Federal Reserve to do the same. Today, we compare the economic situation in the U.S. and abroad and explore how negative rates would work. Plus: California’s attempt to curb soaring rents and a new DIY clothing start-up.
A California bill that would reclassify many independent contract workers as employees is on track to becoming law. It would affect hundreds of thousands of people in the gig economy — not just those who deliver food and give rides, but also nail salon workers, truck drivers and more. Today, we talk with some of those independent contractors about how their lives would change and look at the broader economic implications. Plus: An update on the blocked offshore wind project.
There’s another Democratic presidential debate on Thursday, and hopefuls that reach the stage will have done so by meeting polling and donation requirements. It’s just one reason why candidates spend a lot of time and energy hitting you up for cash, and there are a lot of businesses facilitating that effort. Today, we follow the money. Plus: Why Moody’s says Ford is “junk,” and looking ahead to the holiday hiring season.
… But those tweets do affect markets, and JPMorgan is launching a new index to track the impact of a presidential tweet. Plus: dispatches from the supposed “worst place to live in America,” and is bigger still better for American companies?
A growing number of adults are willing to pay to do kid stuff: smashing their faces into cake, watching Saturday morning cartoons, doing scavenger hunts. Today, we dive into the big money of feeling little again. Plus, we recap the jobs report and examine the declining entrepreneurship rate.
The unemployment rate has been historically low for months now. But even in a tight labor market, not everyone who needs a job has one. Today we’ll meet some job hunters and run through some of the fundamentals of this economy. Plus: Why the company behind WeWork is still going public after slashing its valuation.
As uncertainty looms about how Britain will leave the European Union, a trade deal with the United States would help make up for any loss of business with the EU and show the country isn’t cutting itself off completely. Today, we look at how a trans-Atlantic trade deal could happen and the sticking points that remain. But first: YouTube’s record fine to settle claims it violated children’s privacy, and the Trump administration’s plan to turn Fannie and Freddie private again.
President Donald Trump says his tariffs on Chinese goods will create manufacturing jobs in the United States, but the opposite may actually be happening. We’ll look into it, and how businesses are affected by new tariffs. Plus: Taylor Swift’s staying power and why Uber can’t easily shake its toxic reputation.
Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas today and is expected to move towards the east coast of the U.S. over the next 48 hours. Today, we’ll look at which communities are most vulnerable. Plus: The start of (fantasy) football season, how grounding the Boeing 737 Max will affect holiday travel and is it time for a stunt Oscar?
Between the many hearings on Capitol Hill and antitrust investigations happening both in the U.S. and abroad, it would seem as though regulations are coming for the tech sector. But is the government ready to play referee in Silicon Valley? That was the question before a town hall Kai Ryssdal moderated recently. Plus: More tariffs starting Sunday and the rise of consumer debt with consumer spending.
President Donald Trump’s latest round of tariffs will affect $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, and are set to go into effect Sunday. Today, we look at some of the industries affected. Plus: 100-year bonds, algorithms and volatility.
We’re kicking off a new series today, “Adventures in Housing,” because that’s often what buying a home feels like. Today we follow a couple who decided to move into their own guest house. Plus: Why tech manufacturing is moving to Vietnam and a conversation with the president of the Dallas Fed.
Last week, a CEO group declared that corporations shouldn’t be accountable to just shareholders, but employees and customers as well. That statement is already having an impact: An Oklahoma court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 billion over claims it downplayed the risk of opioids. Today, we take a look at what this redefinition could mean going forward. Plus: Why Amazon is streaming the Fenty runway show, and what you’re really getting when you pay for fast internet.
“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!” President Donald Trump tweeted this weekend. Today, we do that. Plus: The robocalls are getting sneakier, and Puerto Rico is prepping for hurricane season.
President Donald Trump and his advisers have been talking a lot lately about the strength of the U.S. dollar, saying it’s weighing on U.S. exports and hurting American manufacturers. Today, let’s take a step back and explore how we determine what makes the dollar “strong” anyway. Plus: Robocalls, the toy-to-movie pipeline and the latest tariff news.
The U.S. has averaged a recession every seven years since its founding. Australia, on the other hand, hasn’t experienced one in more than 25 years. So what gives? Today, we dig into the rules and chance governing the business cycle. Plus: What one city stands to lose when a GM plant shuts down, how negative interest rates work and President Trump’s relationship with new U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
A series of economic indicators are suggesting that businesses have pulled back their spending amid fear of a recession. But can talk of a recession make one happen? Plus: The latest Fed meeting minutes, virtual reality in the workplace and how an unexpected inheritance can complicate grief.
As AI algorithms improve, scientists are still facing some difficulties, including language translations. But first: There’s been a lot of talk about an economic downturn lately, and in the middle of it all is the American consumer. Turns out, consumer spending might just be what’s keeping the U.S. economy afloat. But can consumers save the economy from a recession? Then, the number of video streaming services is on the rise. We look into the growing monthly costs for consumers. Also, the latest drink of the summer: White Claw.
The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group comprised of about 200 CEOs, today announced a change in its definition of a corporation’s purpose: Shareholder value should no longer be their main objective, and they should prioritize customers and employees. This might just lead to a delicate balancing act to keep shareholders, customers and employees happy. We break it all down and what it could mean for the future of the corporate world. Also, we take a closer look at the challenges surrounding cashless restaurants. Then: an interview with Jennifer Silva, on her book which examines the economic realities in the heart of coal country.
YouTubers have started monetizing one of the biggest consumer moments in a kid’s life: the first day back at school. But first: yield curve inversions, trade wars and recessions, oh my! Remember to take a deep breath while we break it all down. This week, Netflix reported its U.S. subscriber loss in almost eight years. What does that mean for the company’s future? Then, how oat milk entered the mainstream.
Markets panicked yesterday because the yield on 10-year government bonds dropped below that of 2-year bonds. Today, we’re gonna go deep on the different types of bonds, and why their differences matter. Plus: What high water in the Great Lakes is doing for the region’s economy, and why Pabst is getting in to the whiskey business.
More than 30 years ago Hamtramck, Michigan, was desperate for a GM plant, so desperate that the government used eminent domain to tear down a neighborhood. Today, we look back at how that plant got built — and what happened when the work slowed down. Plus, we’ll do the numbers on today’s huge Dow drop, WeWork’s IPO and the yield curve inversion.
After more than a decade apart, CBS and Viacom announced Tuesday that they are reuniting. Today, we look at how the new company, ViacomCBS, fits into today’s rapidly consolidated media environment. Plus, Trump’s holiday-driven tariff delay and why Tumblr lost so much value.
The protests in Hong Kong are now in their 10th week, grounding flights in one of the word’s busiest airports today. The tense situation is beginning to take a toll on the region’s economy — and it has potential to reach much further beyond that. Today, a crash course in what the region means for the global economy. Plus: Nike’s new subscription service for kids and pumpkin spice season? Already?
Former retail giant J.C. Penney is a now a “penny stock” and is at risk of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Today, we look at what happens when a company gets delisted. Plus: the future of gig economy workers in California and the unwritten rules of the middle class.
Online shopping has made returns easier than ever — but all that stuff can pile up, and it’s not always in the best shape. Today, we dive into the growing secondary market for your online returns. Plus: How the trade war is affecting food and the growing business of clothes rentals.
As we enter the dog days of summer, several states are offering sales tax holidays. Officials say if you give people a temporary tax break, they’ll spend more at local retailers, and not just on school supplies. But do they really work? Today we dig into it. Plus: A conversation with Ben Folds about his career in music and why FedEx is dropping Amazon.
GM announced last fall it would shut down manufacturing at some of its plants. About 15% of its workforce would get laid off, and there were new jobs available for workers willing to relocate. We follow one family for whom following GM didn’t feel like much of a choice at all. Plus: Toni Morrison’s legacy, China’s new label as a currency manipulator and what it’s like to “curate” snacks at Google.
Usually when the markets have a day like today, we like to say, “Take a deep breath, calm down.” Not today. We’re in uncharted territory now. We catch you up on everything you need to know about China’s escalating tariffs and the race to the bottom for currency. Plus: How businesses react to tragedy.
President Trump says China is bearing the costs of tariffs his administration has imposed on Chinese goods. That’s … not how it works. Today, we look at the effects of the trade war on consumers. Plus: the ice cream sandwich turns 120 and what the pyramids of central Mexico tell us about ancient economies.
Illinois and New Jersey just banned employers from asking for job applicants’ salary history. At least 18 states and as many cities have adopted similar bans. Today, we look at the effort to fix pay gaps in race and gender, and how businesses are responding. Plus: What low construction spending tells us about the economy and a conversation with REI’s CEO.
Well, it happened. The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis. It was a quarter point. Markets reacted. We’re still here. So what’s gonna happen next? Today, we look back to 2008, explore negative interest rates and get a former Fed economist to answer your questions. Plus: We dig into what “Medicare for All” really means.
The security breach at Capital One Financial, revealed this week, compromised the personal data of more than 100 million people. The Equifax breach hit 147 million people. Target’s 2013 data breach? Some 40 million. And there have been others. Today, we spoke to a mathematics professor about the odds you’ve been affected. Plus, yes, we’re prepping for the big interest rate cut.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates for the first time since 2008. Does that mean a recession’s on the horizon? Plus: the fight over who gets to sell cancer drugs and the uncomfortable feelings that can happen when your parents control your money.
In presidential tweets to corporate earnings reports, the U.S. dollar has gotten a lot of chatter lately. Today, we take some time to explain why people are looking at the strength of the dollar and why that matters. Plus: Elvis in Vegas and the quest for carbon-neutral utilities.
The governor of Puerto Rico announced his resignation last night, but even as the protests against Ricardo Rosselló die down, serious economic challenges remain. Plus: How companies gain trust and the business of urban paleontology.
The Department of Justice is launching an antitrust investigation into Big Tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. Today, we break down what that means for consumers and Silicon Valley. Plus: new players in local news and changes to the investor visa.
The White House and Congress have reached a bipartisan deal by raising the debt ceiling and increasing spending by nearly $50 billion for the upcoming year. Today, we look at whether either party really cares about the national debt — and whether it matters. Then: Boris Johnson will be the United Kingdom’s new prime minister, raising concerns over a no-deal Brexit.
Workplace messaging platform Slack has gone public, and now boasts 10 million daily users. But is it any closer to replacing email? We talked with CEO Stewart Butterfield about how his company has evolved as big competitors like Microsoft and Cisco are ramping up their efforts. Plus: Marvel’s plan to follow “Endgame,” and why people choose #vanlife.
On July 20, 1969, the world watched as man set foot on the moon. But 50 years later, you can see the legacy of the Apollo missions in today’s tech. In fact, the mission to put a man on the moon was deeply tied to the birth of Silicon Valley. Today, we chart that path. Plus: “The Office” reruns as a cure for burnout and a conversation with the head of the Boston Fed.
Lawmakers have just days to pass a budget deal before they leave for the August recess. Today we look at what’s in the deal, and what’s holding it up. Plus: How cities are dealing with the heat wave, and how Netflix lost American subscribers for the first time.
The Chinese government claims low inflation, but people in the financial hub of Shanghai complain that the cost of living is rising much faster. Last available figures put the average monthly wage in the city at 7,200 yuan or $1,047. Today, we look at what it’s like to live on that. Plus: the Fed and business leaders are puzzled by the economy, but consumers don’t seem to mind.
Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple were on the defensive in Washington today, as Congress held hearings touching on cryptocurrency, election interference, antitrust concerns and more. It was a lot to take in, so we’ll spend sometime at the top of the show getting you up to speed. Plus: Why Nestlé’s launching a premium Kit-Kat, and the numbers behind the new camping economy.
Professionals keep losing to Pluribus, an AI poker player that’s learned a new strategy for a bot: bluffing. Today, we look at what this kind of breakthrough could mean for artificial intelligence overall. Plus: the business of Prime Day and a new strategy to fight the affordable housing crisis.
More than half of American workers don’t use all their paid vacation days, and when they do, it’s with a fair amount of guilt. Plus: Alexander Acosta’s legacy at the labor department and a woman who found a career in counting cards.
You hear it all the time: White House officials, pundits and lawmakers will claim a piece of legislation will “pay for itself.” President Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow said just this week that big 2017 cuts were two-thirds of the way there. But what’s that really mean, anyway? We’ll take some time today to define some terms. Plus: How Europe’s heat wave is affecting its economy and why Amazon is investing.
How about “Rate cut coming in July”? The Federal Reserve is sending strong, consistent signals that it’s gonna happen. Today, we’ll break down everything you need to know. Then: A new report shows most immigrants who entered the country legally are highly skilled and educated, ahead of President Donald Trump’s policy changes set to emphasize those attributes. Plus: A new combatant has entered the streaming war, and it brought “Friends.”
A proposal from House Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage received a mixed report from the Congressional Budget Office. Today, we look at how data and politics are shaping the debate. Plus: Ross Perot’s legacy and the big business of posting song lyrics online.
It’s been widely agreed that politicians ought not dabble in monetary policy. But that’s a norm that’s becoming less normal. Arthur Laffer and other critics of the Federal Reserve are saying it should be controlled by the president and Congress. Today, we look at central banking’s independence in the United States and abroad. Plus: The race to make french fries stand up to delivery and making money off of carbon.
The World Cup brings together the best of the best in the realm of women’s soccer and for fans of the game, the U.S. national side has done nothing but impress and people are taking notice. Jerseys are flying off the shelves and the Women’s Professional Soccer League has signed a deal with ESPN. But what does all this mean for the team after the final whistle? Plus a look at the latest jobs report and why Cadillac car sales are up in China.