Marketplace on RADIO IQ

Weekdays at 6:30 p.m. on RADIO IQ
Kai Ryssdal

Marketplace with host Kai Ryssdal produced and distributed by American Public Media focuses 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. 

Marketplace, weekdays at 6:00 pm on WVTF and 6:30 pm on our RADIO IQ and RADIO IQ With BBC News networks.

Be sure to check out the  Marketplace Morning Report weekdays at 9:51 on RADIO IQ andRADIO IQ With BBC News.

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Program Headlines

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:00am

    Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association are hoping to arm communities with resources in the event of another water crisis on Lake Erie this summer. 

    Algae blooms, caused by excessive phosphorus from pollutants like farm fertilizers, made water in the Toledo area undrinkable last summer. When the algae die, they produce a toxin, which can make water unsafe to drink. 

    “These blooms, cynobacteria, they like it hot. They don't grow very well when it's cold,” says Richard Stumpf, a NOAA oceanographer. 

    Stumpf is part of an effort to create a forecast of algae blooms for this summer, based on phosophorus levels in Lake Erie in the spring months. 

    “The spring phosphorus load is what drives the summer bloom,” he says. 

    Stumpf says armed with the forecast, communities can at least do things like order more supplies such as charcoal filters, which eliminate the toxins and make the water drinkable.

    New rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency this week were expected to protect waterways in such a way as to limit runoff of farm fertilizer.

    But, William Buzbee, a law professor at Georgetown University, says the new rules largely limit deliberate pollution, not runoff.

    “That remains a thorny challenge we haven't addressed effectively in the United States,” he said.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:00am

    A year ago, a European Court said people had a right to demand Google take down certain search results about them. The right to be forgotten was born.

    “That idea is spreading in some areas,” says Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties for the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

    Most recently, Google is challenging a ruling by Mexican authorities that Google Mexico must remove embarrassing—but true—search results about a prominent businessman there.

    Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea are also considering questions involving the right to be forgotten. Post dictator democracies in Latin America, says Granick, have resisted the notion.

    “The real question,” she says, “is as nations adopt a right to be forgotten in their countries how will that affect the internet and search engines as a whole?”

    European regulators want Google to take down search results on all versions of Google, not just the European ones. Google has balked at this for now, but it isn’t inconceivable that Europe’s views could reach beyond its borders.

    “It surely could,” says Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “Right now, when something is taken down because its alleged to be copyright infringing, Google doesn’t take it down when an American complains under American law from Google.com it takes it down from all Google portals.”

    He says Google might try to restructure to get out from certain jurisdictions, “or you might even see the American legislature adopt a law telling google not to obey certain orders of a certain kind coming from overseas.”

    Google has said it’s received a quarter of a million requests for removal in Europe, from victims of crimes trying to protect their personal information, to politicians trying to cover up misdeeds. Google has rejected 60 percent of those requests.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:00am

    Tobacco tax revenues that pay for California preschool and other early childhood services are steadily declining as users give up smoking, and a scramble is on to find another source of funding.

    The tale of the shrinking funding source — now down to $350 million this year from $650 million in 1998 — starts at tobacco shops like Drive Thru Cigarettes. Tucked inside a strip mall on Huntington Drive in Duarte, the business and other nearby shops have seen sales drop to a trickle. 

    Customer Eduardo Hernandez said he used to smoke a lot, but he’s down to a pack a day and looks forward to quitting — and relishing the money he could save from his Little Cesar’s Pizza server salary.

    Customer of Drive Thru Cigarettes Eduardo Hernandez said one day he will quit smoking. Declining tobacco tax revenues is leading to less money for early childhood programs. (DEEPA FERNANDES /KPCC) 

    “I know smoking is bad,” he said.

    But for now, Hernandez’s habit is helping fund free preschool for disadvantaged families and other early childhood programs. 80 percent of tobacco taxes go directly to fund programs for children under five.

    For the full story, go to KPCC.org

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015 6:00am

    The Eddy, in New York’s East Village, is the kind of place that manages to make tater tots feel fancy — they're made with bacon and topped with an English pea puree. The décor is modern, but also a bit rustic, and since its dining room only has 30 seats, reservations tend to book up.

    Nearly every week, owner Jason Soloway says he gets an inquiry from some startup hoping to help The Eddy solve problems, both real and imagined. The restaurant industry, like many others, is in the midst of a tech makeover. Tablets are replacing waiters at some restaurants, startups want to streamline tasks from hiring staff or ordering food. Restaurant goers have long been able to book reservations online, but a handful of apps and services now offer up often difficult reservations for a price.

    The Eddy has partnered with Resy, an app that sells reservations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C. Soloway sets aside a table or two at peak hours for the app to sell for $5 per person, a fee he splits with Resy. On a $10 reservation, after the Resy’s cut and fees, Soloway estimates he’ll take home $4 or $5. That additional revenue is part of the appeal, as is the marketing and promotion he gets from being on the app.

    “The risk is we have to hold that table for [Resy] up until usually 6 o’clock the day of the reservation,” Soloway says.

    If the reservation doesn’t sell, he then scrambles to fill the table or lose money.

    But Resy’s not the only app selling reservations at The Eddy. Unbeknowst to Soloway, tables at The Eddy are also listed for sale on Shout, a marketplace for many of different things, including restaurant reservations in New York City, in-demand sneakers, and event tickets.

    Unlike Resy, Shout doesn’t work directly with restaurants. Rather, an individual user makes a reservation they then sell to other users on the app. Shout runs basic background checks on its users, processes payments and holds their funds in escrow until after the time of the reservation to ensure their legitimacy.

    “It’s entirely peer-to-peer,” says Zachariah Reitano, one of Shout’s founders. Some users are just looking to sell a reservation they made and now can’t use, while others, “the power sellers, sort of see themselves as personal concierges.”

    The same way powerful executives might have their assistants book reservations for them, Reitano says, for a small fee, other people can get a similar service. If restaurants don’t want to be on the platform, Shout won’t remove them, but it’ll let users know they’re going against the restaurant’s wishes. They also ban buyers who no-show.

    “We really don’t want facilitate new types of exchange that hurt other people’s business,” Reitano says, adding that there is a market here; people are willing to pay for these reservations.

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015 5:00pm

    Early this morning Zurich time, Swiss police arrested seven top officials from FIFA, the international organization governing soccer. What’s more, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced today that the Department of Justice will indict some FIFA executives, including former Vice President Jack Warner.   

    “They corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and to enrich themselves,” Lynch said in a statement. The U.S. charges include racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud.

    In all, 14 people have been indicted, but not the man at the top, longtime FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

    “He’s basically said to have been running sort of a corrupt organization for the better part of two decades,” says Edward Derse, a senior vice president at Universal Sports Network.

    Blatter and other FIFA executives are known for their luxurious lifestyles, too.

    “Blatter has a huge expense budget. He lives very well,” Derse says.

    But even though it looks as if he might soon be elected to another term as FIFA president, Blatter will undoubtedly have a lot of questions to answer as part of the DOJ’s investigation.  

    “I think it’s going to change things a lot for FIFA," Derse says. "I mean, clearly, you know, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that this is not going to stop here."