Economics & Economy

02/20/17: Not exactly IKEA furniture

Feb 20, 2017
Marketplace

While many might be thinking about the next big thing in software, one Brooklyn facility is focused on hardware. We'll talk about the history and future of New Lab, a building that has several companies sharing its space to build new products. Joining us on today's show: David Belt, its cofounder; Sean Petterson, the cofounder of Strong Arm, which makes exoskeletons for industrial workers; and Jessica Banks from Rock Paper Robot, a kinetic furniture company (think levitating tables). 

The No. 1 challenge of retirement

Feb 17, 2017

Working Americans who save for retirement spend a lot of time and energy making decisions on how to save. It’s confusing, it’s hard. But you know what? It doesn’t get any easier when you hit retirement. One of the biggest stresses is trying to organize your finances when you don’t know how long you’re going to be around to need them. Economists have a favorite method for dealing with this anxiety: It’s called an income annuity, but it’s not quite a household name yet.  

NASA is the government’s space agency, but not all of what NASA does is linked to space. A good portion of its work is more inward looking and has to do with our own planet — things like weather and climate change. Some Republicans are talking about rebalancing NASA's priorities and moving away from that research and refocusing on space exploration. But what potential impacts could that rebalancing have? 

What was missing from Facebook’s 5,000-word manifesto

Feb 17, 2017
Marketplace

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared some deep thoughts this week in a long essay about where he sees humanity going online. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with senior tech correspondent Molly Wood about what the nearly 5,000-word treatise had to say. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

Kai Ryssdal: So here it is, 5,700-something words from Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, 1.9 billion people use Facebook, but it seemed to me there was no "there there" in this thing. There was no action coming out of this.

U.S. food company Kraft Heinz offered $143 billion for the British-Dutch consumer goods conglomerate Unilever. Unilever rejected the proposal, but Kraft Heinz said it looks forward to reaching an agreement on the terms of a transaction. If the deal does eventually go ahead, it would be one of the largest acquisitions on record. It's just a year since Heinz and Kraft Foods merged, but these big-time mergers are nothing new for the industry.

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