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In-depth focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.

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It's "Technology Week" at the White House. So, naturally, President Trump is heading to farm country today. If that seems incongruous, you may not know there's a lot of high-tech stuff going on in the growing field of "precision agriculture.” Farmers are using all sorts of technology to determine the most efficient growing practices, which agriculture specialists will discuss with Trump during his Iowa trip.

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06/21/2017: Crowdsourcing our brains

8 hours ago

President Trump has called for a "sweeping transformation of the federal government's technology," but is that achievable? Matt Cutts of the U.S. Digital Service — which works on modernizing tech, one crisis at a time — joined us to talk about what his team does and whether progress is possible. Afterwards, we'll look at Amazon's latest attempt at world domination: the launch of a clothes shopping service that will let you order clothes and return them for free if you don't like them.

We often hear that healthcare accounts for a staggering one-sixth of the U.S. economy. According to the most recent data from the Center for Medicaid & Medicare services, we spend $3.2 trillion dollars a year on healthcare.  That is, indeed, about a sixth of our GDP.  Here’s what we spend it on, and why it’s so much. 

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Why Americans should be taking more vacations

22 hours ago
Kai Ryssdal and Emily Henderson

About half of workers in the U.S. didn't use all of their vacation days last year. 2016 saw 662 million available days left on the table. Travel and Leisure magazine wants to change that with a special issue that features travel deals and tips to get more Americans to take some time off.

Why do big companies support a carbon tax?

22 hours ago

A group called the Climate Leadership Council put out a plan for a carbon tax earlier this year, and it’s made up not just of environmentalist types, though there are some of those, but also conservative Republicans and business leaders. Its founding members include multinational corporations, including fossil fuel and auto companies like Exxon Mobil, BP and GM.

How do you do business without high-speed internet?

23 hours ago
Caitlin Esch

Driving around rural Erie County, Pennsylvania, what you notice — aside from rolling hills, old farm houses, and the occasional small town — are the movie rental stores. There are a lot of them.

Jamie Buie is the manager of Family Video in Erie City. As she rang up a customer with a towering stack of DVDs, she said her decision to take a job here five years ago came down to internet access.

Why you should listen to Leonard Cohen music when you eat toffee

Jun 20, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

Can a restaurant actually make you think its food tastes better because of the place settings and ambiance? Can a chocolate company make you think its candy bars are sweeter because they've changed shape? 

Adam Allington

The Supreme Court yesterday struck down part of a law that bans offensive trademarks.

The justices ruled that a 71-year-old clause in the Lanham Act, which barred disparaging terms or phrases from receiving federal trademark registration, infringed on free speech. 

Andy Uhler

The number of people fishing for fun in California has decreased over the past 30-plus years. Fewer people buying a recreational fishing license means less money for California's huge fish and wildlife agencies. A change to the fishing license system aims get more hooks in the water. 

Jim Kraft and his 12-year-old son, Tyler, spent the weekend fishing at Lopez Lake on California’s central coast. Their annual fishing licenses run $47.01 apiece.

06/20/2017: Barclays CEO faces fraud charges

Jun 20, 2017

The price of crude oil has been in sharp decline — the third straight year in a row. And that's making the job of policing interest rates in America even tougher. David Kelly, chief global strategist at JP Morgan Funds, joined us to talk about the connection between the two, and whether it's actually the right time to raise rates. Afterwards, we'll look at news that the former CEO of Barclays and three other executives at the bank are facing criminal charges in connection with the 2008 financial meltdown.

The board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which regulates many of the country’s smaller banks and oversees the “living wills” of larger banks, could soon have a new chairman. President Trump plans to tap long-time Republican congressional staffer James Clinger for the role, which would require congressional approval. What could change at the FDIC under a new chair?

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Department of Energy head Rick Perry has a history of developing renewable energy, especially wind power, as governor of Texas. He voiced support for wind and solar power expansion in his confirmation hearings and elsewhere. But the budget on the table for DOE includes drastic cuts to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as well as research labs that work on renewables. 

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Kai Ryssdal

It's another busy week on Capitol Hill. Just a few of the items on the agenda include Paul Ryan making a speech on tax reform and a hearing on the use of military force in Syria, and over in the Senate, getting the Republican health care bill done by the Fourth of July recess.

Can Tidal and Jay-Z get Sprint new users?

Jun 19, 2017
Reema Khrais

It's been a busy couple of weeks for music icon Jay-Z. He became the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and his wife, Beyonce, a music-industry force of her own, just had the twins.

Annie Baxter

“Somali Lives and Culture,” a four-week course open to anyone, wrapped up recently on the campus of the College of Saint Benedict, a Catholic college in Central Minnesota, near the town of St. Cloud. It drew about 40 people. The teacher, Hudda Ibrahim, is a Somali-born college instructor and author. Her book “From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis” served as the course material.

Ibrahim is tall, wears glasses, a chunky gold necklace and a head covering, as many Muslim women do. She told the class she gets a lot of questions about it.

After a difficult few months, Brexit negotiations begin

Jun 19, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Sam Beard

Today, British and European Union negotiators met to start talking about how they're going to talk about Brexit — in other words, how those negotiations are going to go. But those meetings have faded into the background of another terrorist attack, the fourth in recent weeks. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Stephen Beard, the Marketplace correspondent based in London, to see how the Brits feel going into these negotiations. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Andy Uhler

Morro Bay, a town on California’s central coast, touts itself as a fishing community. Fishing has been vital for the town's economy, but it collapsed at the turn of the century because of overfishing and subsequent federal regulation.

Fishermen were offered some relief money for their losses, but the industry was left for dead. Now, things are on the upswing thanks to an unlikely partnership between local fishermen and environmental group The Nature Conservancy.  

Marketplace Weekend Staff

Can peer pressure push people to investment in thousands of dollars worth of home improvements? Google hopes so. Project Sunroof, one of the tech giant's latest ventures, uses maps to show people which of their neighbors have installed solar panels. Google is hoping that if you've been toying with the idea of installing solar, a little keeping up with the Joneses might speed things along.

06/19/2017: Getting rid of those government floppy disks

Jun 19, 2017

The tech world's top CEOs are in D.C. today to meet with President Trump about how to help the government run more efficiently. We'll talk about some of the plans the White House in store, which includes an upgrade of of the government's computer systems. Afterwards, we'll look at whether Phoenix's power grid will be able to handle the Southwest's heatwave, and then discuss California's plans to change its fishing license system so that more people will go fishing.

Adam Allington

The CEOs of companies including, Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft are in Washington D.C. today for the second White House Technology Summit. It’s been six months since President Trump's last roundtable with Silicon Valley leaders.

Despite being largely against Trump’s positions at the time, there was at least a cautious sense they might be able to work together on issues such as cyber security and job creation.

It’s likely that the heat wave California, Arizona and Nevada has been experiencing is going to hit its peak this week. Temperatures could reach as high as 120 degrees in Phoenix. Across the region, the air conditioning will be roaring. But will the power grid be able to keep up? 

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Larry Buhl

The California Legislature is considering a proposal to link the cost of a traffic ticket to a person’s ability to pay. Supporters say if it becomes law, it will keep minor traffic violations from pushing low-income California drivers deep into debt. And, it could help the state recoup tens of millions of dollars in delinquent fines that people just can’t afford to pay.


Amid reports that President Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice, we talk with a former White House insider about what happens to the business of government when the president faces legal action. Plus: Why street vendors, and not doctors, are the main source for medicine in Haiti. Then: How a trip to a theme park could be the best financial education your child will ever get. And staying with the kids: School's out!

For many Haitians, street dispensaries are the only source of medicine

Jun 16, 2017

What's a street dispensary? It's "a sort of chemical Babel Tower," according to Arnaud Robert, who reported on these Haitian pharmacies for the June 2017 issue of National Geographic. But the street vendors are not pharmacists, and their wares are not regulated. This illegal, ubiquitous medical practice can have serious consequences for the health of many Haitians. But, Robert told us, Haitians have very few choices.

Dan Kraker

Three decades ago, Duluth, Minnesota, was in the doldrums. A steel mill had just closed. Unemployment was more than 20 percent. Someone posted a billboard on the way out of town that read: "Last one out, turn out the lights."

"We were as Rust Belt as they come," recalled Andy Goldfine, who in 1984 rented an old three-story brick building, bought a bunch of used sewing machines and started a company called Aerostich. His vision was to make motorcycle gear for hard-core riders to wear over their work clothes.

Robert Garrova

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Trump restores some Cuba restrictions

Jun 16, 2017
Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Friday he was restoring some travel and economic restrictions on Cuba that were lifted as part of the Obama administration’s historic easing. He challenged the communist government of Raul Castro to negotiate a better deal for Cubans and Cuban-Americans.

Tony Wagner

Time magazine's latest cover shows a familiar view, at least for the 40 million or so people who use Uber regularly: It's a bunch of tiny animated cars roving around a map on your phone, but they're all careening toward Uber's headquarters and ending in a fiery wreck.

The supermarket industry is about to undergo some big changes. Amazon has just announced it's purchasing Whole Foods in a deal worth $13.7 billion. On today's show, FTN Financial analyst Chris Low stopped by to discuss what a store from the two companies could look like and whether Amazon can improve Whole Foods' declining sales. Afterwards, we'll chat with the Financial Times' Rochelle Toplensky about a possible $1 billion penalty for Google from the European Union over its search engine. And finally, we'll look at the state of paternity leave in the U.S. 

What an Amazon-Whole Foods store may look like

Jun 16, 2017
David Brancaccio

This story was last updated at 12:31 CT.

In a move that will reshape the supermarket business, the online retailer Amazon has announced it’s buying the high-end food chain Whole Foods in a deal worth $13.7 billion. That comes out to about $42 a share.