Marketplace on WVTF, RADIO IQ & RADIO IQ w/BBC News

Weekdays at 6:00 PM on WVTF and 6:30 PM on RADIO IQ

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 and RADIO IQ With BBC News.

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Composer ID: 
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Program Headlines

  • Monday, April 27, 2015 7:00am

    An update on aid after the earthquake in Nepal. Plus, President Obama is due to report to Congress today, the initial recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. What’s at stake for military personnel and for the federal budget? And just a few years ago, the Tennessee Valley Authority made waves with plans to complete at least three mothballed reactors. After billions in cost overruns and a slowdown in power demand because of the economic downturn and increased efficiency, TVA says the single reactor being completed this year will be enough.

  • Monday, April 27, 2015 7:00am

    When we think about a global health crisis, we often think about specific diseases. But a new report out Monday in the Lancet challenges that view.

    Authors point out a lack of adequate, timely and affordable surgical care resulted in a third of all deaths worldwide in 2010, or nearly 17 million lives—HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined for less than 4 million.

    This paper reflects the shifting attitudes towards addressing global health problems. In a concrete way, we now have numbers that help get our arms around the essential role surgery plays.

    First, the Lancet Commissioner on Global Surgery, which had input from 110 countries, found that 5 billion people don’t have access to surgery when they need it. Only a tiny sliver of all surgeries occur in the poorest countries.

    The bottom line is that many easily treatable conditions effectively become death sentences. For example, 90 percent of maternal deaths could be averted—That’s 100,000 women a year. In the past, a lot of time and money has been devoted to a particular disease like malaria or TB.

    But Dr. David Barash, Chief Medical Officer of the GE Foundation, says through combating Ebola, governments, philanthropists and industry are learning that tackling one disease in isolation is limited. Barash says what’s needed is a more robust public health infrastructure.

    The awareness of what happened with Ebola really catalyzed everyone’s thinking that ‘Yes, it’s about the system, we need to invest in the system. Industry needs to be a part of that. Foundations need to be part of that. Academics need to be part of that,” he says.

    Barash is optimistic this report will lead to action in part because it sets targets.

    To improve global access to by 2030, 143 million more surgeries are needed each year, the health workforce must double, and there’s even a price tag: $350 billion.

    Of course, the real hope is if you build infrastructure for surgeries, that same infrastructure will serve the public well during the next epidemic.

  • Monday, April 27, 2015 6:00am

    The nation’s largest public utility is quietly scaling back expansion plans for nuclear power. Just eight years ago, the Tennessee Valley Authority was leading a nuclear renaissance, with plans to restart work on a handful of mothballed reactors. But splitting atoms to make electricity has become less attractive in the last few years.

    The energy sector’s appetite for nuclear power has always ebbed and flowed. The plants are attractive because they create so much power in one place, but they’re also highly regulated by the federal government. They take many years to build and almost always cost more than anyone predicts.

    And now there’s less demand for power.

    “At least in the cases that we looked at, the need for a large base-load plant really doesn’t show up over time,” TVA vice president Joe Hoagland says of the utility’s new Integrated Resource Plan.

    The new power predictions mean TVA will only finish Watts Bar Unit II, slated for completion later this year, after delays that span decades and cost overruns in the billions of dollars. Hoagland says demand just hasn’t picked up since the recession, and not just because big industrial customers went out of business—though they did. Consumers are more energy conscious, he says.

    “The most obvious example of that would be the shift from incandescent lights to compact fluorescents,” Hoagland says.

    Compounding the economic shift is the abundance of natural gas.

    Richard Myers of the Nuclear Energy Institute says no one expected that the shale gas boom would be such a game changer.

    “The volumes of gas that they found just truly blew everybody’s mind,” he says.

    Utilities like TVA have been adding natural gas power plants, which are cheaper and more flexible than nuclear. But Myers figures nuclear’s time will still come.

    “I think the new plants are going to get built when they’re needed, where they’re needed,” he says, noting that one in five U.S. households is powered by nuclear reactors.

    Environmentalists who want to curtail the use of nuclear power in the U.S. agree with the assessment that the energy form will live on.

    Don Safer of the Sierra Club says considering nuclear’s roller-coaster history, he figures it’s just a matter of time before the building boom resumes.

    “It’s not over ‘til it’s over,” he says.

     

  • Monday, April 27, 2015 6:00am

    A new report from InsuranceQuotes shows that North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Maine have at least one thing in common: drivers there pay the least for auto insurance. In North Carolina, insurance rates ran 41 percent less than the national average. Highest was Michigan, where drivers paid more the double the national average for car insurance. There is a method to all of this insurance madness.

    Next time you're in your car driving down the road, take a look at the billboards. Do you see a lot of ads for what are known as ambulance chasers? That might explain a thing or two about your insurance rates.

    Robert Hoyt, who teaches risk management and insurance at the University of Georgia, says your state's legal environment has a lot to do with it. In other words, how likely drivers are to sue each other. Hoyt says when they're setting rates, insurance companies track all of this, even how often juries decide to award for damages.

    Also, state laws factor in.

    "The states that have the highest auto insurance costs do happen to be the no-fault states," he says. No-fault means your insurance company covers your injuries.

    Laura Adams, senior analyst with InsuranceQuotes, says often it's just a matter of population density.

    "The more cars, the more accidents that happen," she says.

    She says that's why people in urban areas pay a lot more for car insurance.

     

  • Monday, April 27, 2015 6:00am

    As it stands today, servicemembers who advance through the Department of Defense are entitled to a pension of 50 percent of their income at retirement after 20 years of service. But a new proposal making its way through Congress would lower that to 40 percent and add a 401(k) savings account. 

    Some veterans' groups, like the Military Officers Association of America, oppose the change and say the 20-year pension is an incentive for top officers to stay in the service.

    "We're concerned that the commission's blended retirement benefit would fail to provide the necessary draw to retain those service members," says Col. Mike Barron, deputy director of government relations for MOAA. 

    But the report from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission suggested this plan as a way to both save costs and increase incentives for servicemembers who don't make it to 20 years. Other, more controversial proposals—like overhauling the TriCare health system used by servicemembers—are stalled.

    Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow for Defense Budget Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says it's clear that the 20-year pension isn't a good incentive, because only 17 percent of servicemembers get to that point.

    "They are pushing out some of their best people with this inflexible, industrial age career model," Harrison says.

    Harrison also notes that not all veterans' groups oppose the change; others, like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, support it.

Playlist

March 31, 2015

6:27 PM
The Afterlife
Artist : YACHT
Album : See Mystery Lights
Composer :
Label : DFA Records