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.

Composer ID: 
5187f8c9e1c84d4a4b12564c|5187f8c5e1c84d4a4b12563e

Program Headlines

  • Friday, July 25, 2014 2:00pm

    As the song goes, "Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down!" That is, unless you're getting paid the federal minimum wage like Mary Poppins.

    Or, rather, Kristen Bell as Mary Poppins in a Funny or Die video poking fun at how difficult it is to live on $7.25 an hour:

    Aside from lamenting that she has to buy her own birds (from Mexico, apparently), Poppins points out the irony of CEOs' growing paychecks, while she can't even live above the poverty line. Our own Paddy Hirsch has a video on this phenomenon. He doesn't sing:

    Can't this British nanny catch a break? Or at least get a new umbrella?

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:54pm

    Twitter is the latest tech company to disclose statistics on the race and gender of its workforce, following Facebook, Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn. Like those companies, Twitter is falling short on diversity. Technology companies seem to recognize that there is a problem. In an email to Marketplace, Twitter pointed to a list of organizations it supports, including Girls Who Code, YearUp, Black Girls Code, and others. 

    These organizations help push more women and people of color through the pipeline and into tech jobs. 

    Kathryn Finney, the founder of DigitalUndivided, says for people of color, networking can be a stumbling block.

    "Usually in tech, you get a job because your friend works there, or you know the founder, or you went to the same school and were classmates," says Finney. "We're not part of those networks."

    But people who work in tech say helping others break in is only part of the solution.

    Leigh Honeywell, a security engineer, administrator of the Geek Feminism wiki, and member of Double Union, a feminist hacker space, says women who make it through the pipeline and get jobs in tech are confronted by a culture that can be downright sexist.

    "I could tell you stories that would make you be like, is this 'Mad Men?'" Honeywell says, referring to the 1960s-set AMC TV series. 

    She says simply bringing diverse employees in isn't enough.

    "It's really not cool to be encouraging all of these young girls and young people of color to enter a field where they are going to face discrimination," says Honeywell. "It's up to those of us that are here, both men and women to encourage attitude changes."

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:54pm

    General Motors says compensating victims of its faulty ignition switches will cost $400-600 million, maybe more. That doesn’t include repairs and other costs associated with multiple GM recalls. The company’s recall crisis isn’t readily apparent in auto sales numbers. New GM cars are selling well, without the company having to offer big incentives.

    “It’s amazing. General Motors would have had an outstanding quarter had it not been for all of the costs associated with the recalls,” says AutoTrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs.

    Car industry watchers credit GM’s improved public relations response after early bumbling. But not everyone is impressed.

    “If I were grading them in my class, they’d get a low pass, which is sort of the equivalent of a D,” says Paul Argenti, who teaches corporate communications at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

    He wants to see the company better explain how it’s going to change a corporate culture that led to serious, deadly engineering flaws getting on the road. That goes beyond a simple PR response. It’s a real leadership challenge for CEO Mary Barra. Breaking decades of bad habits is a lot harder than fixing an ignition switch.

    “All of what she’s doing and all of what she says will go for naught if a year from now, it’s business as usual,” says auto analyst Maryann Keller.

    Mark Garrison: You wouldn’t think GM is the company going through a recall crisis based on sales numbers.

    Michelle Krebs: It’s amazing. General Motors would have had an outstanding quarter had it not been for all of the costs associated with the recalls.

    AutoTrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs adds that recalls actually provide a sales opportunity.

    Krebs: A lot of these recall people are coming into the dealership and liking what they see in the showroom. They get their recall fixed, but they buy a new car.

    And GM is driving sales without giving away the store, says Sean McAlinden with the Center for Automotive Research.

    Sean McAlinden: They have not resorted to incentive campaigns to keep their sales up. Profitability on some of their newer models is very healthy.

    Car industry watchers credit GM’s improved PR response after early bumbling. But Paul Argenti, who teaches corporate communications at Dartmouth’s business school, isn’t impressed.

    Paul Argenti: You know, if I were grading them in my class, they’d get a low pass, which is sort of the equivalent of a D.

    He wants to see the company better explain how it’s going to change a culture that led to serious, deadly engineering flaws getting on the road.

    Argenti: What people wanna know in a crisis is why it happened. But then they also wanna know why that’s just not gonna happen again.

    And that’s a real leadership challenge for CEO Mary Barra. For auto analyst Maryann Keller, it’s about action, not talk.

    Maryann Keller: All of what she says will go for naught if a year from now, it’s business as usual.

    And breaking decades of bad habits is a lot harder than fixing an ignition switch. I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:54pm

    A couple years ago Facebook had to prove it could figure out how to make money off its mobile services.

    Consider it done. 

    Revenue from mobile ads helped propel the company’s profit to $800 million in the second quarter, up from $333 million a year earlier.

    Those ads feature products like furniture or detergent, and they now appear  like it or not  as regularly as your friends' adorable baby photos in your Facebook mobile news feed.

    “The mobile ads business is growing faster than anyone had anticipated,” says Ben Schachter,  internet analyst with Macquarie Capital, which invests in Facebook.

    Google still owns the mobile ad space. The search giant took in 42 percent of all U.S. mobile ad revenue last year, according to the research firm eMarketer. Facebook commanded about 16 percent. But Google has been losing ground and Facebook is coming on strong.

    “The thing is they're growing so fast, there's already the question, when are they going to take over Google,” says Karsten Weide, vice president for media and entertainment at International Data Corporation.

    But there are some tougher questions, too, like how Facebook is going to keep up its daily user base, which didn’t grow in the latest quarter, and how Facebook plans to make money off new services like private messaging and virtual reality.

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:58pm

    Computer science is still a brogrammer’s world. But efforts to bring more girls and minorities into the field may finally be paying off.

    According to the College Board, which administers advanced-placement tests to high schoolers, the number of girls taking the AP computer science test in 2014 increased by 35.5 percent over last year. For boys, the increase was 24.5 percent.  While the participation for white students grew by 21.6 percent from 2013, the  rates of increase were even larger in other racial categories, including for non-Mexican Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and those who described their race as “other.”

    Students who do well enough on the exam earn college credit for the course.

    One College Board official called the AP results the “first real indication of progress” for girls and minorities in years.

    The exam is still dominated by boys, specifically white and Asian ones.  And while the percentage of male test-takers dropped to its lowest level in five years in 2014, overall they still accounted for 80 percent of all students taking the test.

    Similarly, while the percentage of white students who took the test dropped to its lowest rate in the last five years, white students still make up 50.4 percent of all test-takers.

    The numbers are preliminary; the results of some make-up tests have not yet been recorded, according to Trevor Packer, who runs the AP program at the College Board.

    The charts below show  the number of boys and girls who took the test from 2010 to 2014, as well as the increased participation rates by race.  

     

     

     

Playlist

June 30, 2014

6:57 PM
War Zone
Artist : Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Album : The Speed of Things
Composer :
Label : Warner Bros.