Marketplace on WVTF, RADIO IQ & RADIO IQ w/BBC News
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.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 6:00am
The controversial Export-Import Bank’s authorization will expire at the stroke of midnight Wednesday, meaning the government institution that finances exports made by American companies, among other things, can follow through on its existing loans and guarantees, but can’t fund new ones.
The bank has long been targeted by some Republicans who don’t believe the government should be involved in this market and that the bank only benefits large corporations.
Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, says the bank amounts to corporate welfare and sees opportunity in Wednesday’s expiration.
“It’s one thing to reauthorize it,” he says, noting the bank has been reauthorized numerous times during its eight-decade existence. “It’s another thing to restart it once it’s already expired.”
Supporters of the Ex-Im Bank, meanwhile, argue it fills a gap in the private lending market for companies of all sizes and that the uncertainty leading up to Wednesday’s expiration has already hurt American businesses.
"Symbolically, [the expiration] is hugely important," says Edward Alden, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. "I do think contracts will be lost, though it's hard to put a clear number on it."
“The winner here is China and other countries that are going full steam ahead with their own export credit agencies and taking advantage of the opportunity to see Ex-Im lapse,” says Miriam Sapiro, principal at the consulting firm Summit Strategies and a former deputy U.S. trade representative.
Sapiro’s hoping Congress will reauthorize the bank when it’s back in session in July.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 6:00am
Banks are rationing cash, European creditors are closing in — Sounds like the current situation in Greece. But that was Cyprus, two years ago.
Even though their economies are different, Greece could learn some lessons from Cyprus.
Lesson one? Staying with the euro doesn’t mean a trip down easy street. Cyprus still struggles with high unemployment.
Lesson two? Listen to creditors, like the IMF.
“Cooperating with the IMF paid off for Cyprus because, after two years they’re on the road to recovery,” says Charles Movit, an economist at IHS covering Cyprus.
“I don’t think so at all,” says Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He says Cyprus is still in bad shape.
“A lot of people have suffered," he says. "They’re still unemployed. A lot of businesses went bankrupt.”
But Weisbrot and Movit agree on lesson three: limits on how much money can be sent abroad or taken out of a bank can help keep cash where it’s needed.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 6:00am
The upscale Nairobi mall attacked by terrorists in 2013 plans a partial reopening on Wednesday. At least 67 people died when Al Shabaab, an African offshoot of Al Qaeda, attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall.
The siege was a blow to the heart of Nairobi’s prosperity, where malls serve espresso and hummus. New roads, and ever present construction cranes show Kenya’s continued rise. It’s become an economic hub of East Africa, but fears of terrorism have hurt business and scared away some foreign tourists.
The reopening of Westgate, many say, is a conscious decision to defy the terrorists. Others see it as callous.
“The fact that they want to reopen Westgate mall is a bit demeaning. It really is,” says Sadia Ahmed, who, until recently, was a radio host on East FM, a Kenyan radio station popular with the region’s Asian population.
On September 21, 2013, she was recording a cooking segment on Westgate’s roof.
“Two explosions went off, and that’s when we saw people run out of the mall and onto the rooftop,” Ahmed remembers. She spent hours running and crouching amid grenades and gunshots. She'd rather the mall become a memorial park. That's what became of the American Embassy attacked in Nairobi in 1998.
Just weeks ago, you could still see bullet holes in Westgate's windows. Outside, there were ghostly outlines on the walls where there had once been shop signs. Then, almost overnight, the building received a fresh coat of paint. Contractors hammered as new signs went up. Westgate has the same name and logo as before the attack.
There will be a different color scheme inside the mall when it reopens, and some shops won’t return, but it will mostly look the same.
“It’s a sort of reaffirmation to citizens that look, we are resilient,” says Peter Alingo, who directs the Institute for Security Studies in Kenya. He welcomes the mall’s return, but worries poor levels of security across Nairobi are unchanged.
When mall security guards check people out with metal detectors, it’s more a matter of performance than prevention. When Alingo goes to park his car, he’s taken to asking the guards what they’re looking for in his trunk.
“They say to me they’re looking for anything that looks weird, that has some wires on it,” he says. “And, I said ‘what the heck is this? And, how are you going to deal with it once you see it?’ They have no idea.”
One guard told him, if he sees a bomb, he’ll just run for his life.
People living in the upscale neighborhood near Westgate are cautiously awaiting the mall’s return. Some say it’ll be strange at first. Resident Jyoti Dadhley says she’ll certainly shop there again, “but it will be just for ... do what I need to and get the hell out.”
But Sadia Ahmed just wants to see the inside of the mall to remember.
“I will go back. Once. Just for closure. But I would never step into that mall to have a good time. Never,” she says.
Monday, June 29, 2015 7:08pm
Monday's Marketplace was broadcast live from the Belly Up in Aspen, Colorado, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. We took a break from the usual Marketplace format for a series of conversations all around one theme: mobility and the economy.
Economic mobility (or lack thereof) in Greece (starts at 01:10)
First things first: we had to talk about Greece. The European Central Bank froze funding to Greek banks. As the latest deadline for the country looms over its creditors and citizens, tensions are understandably high.
Some business owners, like gourmet sandwich shop owner Nick Voglis, have voiced their concerns.
"They implemented capital control here in Athens, and people started getting a little worried," Voglis told our reporter. "They have panicked a little bit."
To help better understand the current situation, Kai Ryssdal spoke to David Leonhardt, managing editor for The Upshot from The New York Times.
Mobility in education (starts at 6:15)
Next up, Knewton CEO Jose Ferreira and Veniam CEO Robin Chase, who chatted with us about the intersection of technology and education. The ever growing number of technology platforms makes it easier for people to use data. As a consequence, this makes it easier for students all over the world to expand their opportunities.
The bottom line when it comes to education and technology: “Get on board, or get left behind.”
Mobile content (starts at 14:55)
Netflix has revolutionized the way television content is distributed and consumed. Ted Sarandos, the company's chief content officer, says that he doesn't care how people watch the content of the service, even if it means watching "Lawrence of Arabia" on an iPhone.
"We just want you to have the best experience possible," Sarandos says. "For some, that experience is defined by convenience and watching a movie on your iPad. Or it's defined by wanting to see it on your big TV in 4K."
Brand mobility (starts at 20:12)
Among the leaders and thinkers at the Aspen Ideas Festival were some unexpected guests. Entrepreneur and two-time world champion skier Chris Davenport talked with us about what it takes to change your brand when you’re an athlete.
First things first, why does anyone choose to hike up dangerous mountains and ski down them? Chris says, “because it’s there.”
As of now, Chris is an athlete. But someday he’ll have to make the transition away from that. Of course, whether it’s a physical risk or a reputation-based risk, being brand mobile can be tricky. Chris says one of the keys to keeping himself on the right track is that he “can’t be afraid to fail.”
He says, “I’m out there putting one foot in front of the other … always have to be willing and able to turn around and find another way.… In my business, there has to be another day, I can’t afford to risk it all.”
Monday, June 29, 2015 5:33pm
The Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama two victories last week: the Affordable Care Act will keep its subsidies and same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states. But in a 5-4 decision on Monday, the Supreme Court decided against the Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution regulations.
The regulations would have limited emissions from coal-fired plants, but the court's decision centered on the issue of environmental benefits versus industry cost.
Justice Antonin Scalia, on behalf of the court, wrote, "The agency must consider cost — including, most importantly, cost of compliance — before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary." Scalia added, "It is not rational, never mind 'appropriate,' to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits."
The EPA's rules will stay in effect until a District of Columbia appeals court decides whether the rules will be amended or thrown out entirely.