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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.
Monday, March 10, 2014 5:12pm
Fyffes plc may not be a familiar name in to U.S. consumers, but it means "bananas" in Europe, and the company is the world's fourth-largest purveyor of the fruit.
And despite the impending bananapocalypse, as discussed on our show last week, U.S.-based Chiquita Brands has purchased the company, creating a $4.6 billion empire (which also includes pineapples, melons, and other fruits).
The companies say they expect to save $40 million by the end of 2016, a number that sounds low to Brett Hundley, a senior equity analyst who watches agribusiness for BB&T Capital Markets. He thinks consolidation will give the new company more leverage with both suppliers and with supermarkets.
"It will provide them more power at the negotiating table each year," he says.
That's been a problem for companies like Chiquita in recent years, says Edward Evans, an economist at the Center for Tropical Agriculture at the University of Florida. As supermarket firms consolidated, he says, "They were able to say, 'Well, we're going to pay you less for the bananas.'"
Monday, March 10, 2014 4:21pm
The Ukrainian economy is one big mess. The country has zero percent growth. Its currency is plummeting. Its credit rating is worse than Greece’s, and its black market economy is one of the biggest in the world, depriving the government of much-needed taxes. The government owes billions, including nearly $2 billion to Russia for fuel.
Bad leadership and corruption are at the root of Ukraine’s problems, says Anders Aslund, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a former advisor to the country. “President Victor Yanukovych had one aim for his economic policies – enriching himself as much as possible together with his family. He didn’t care much about the rest.”
That corruption has scared off foreign investment in a country that has agriculture, steel, rocketry and even its own (under-developed, critics say) natural gas resources. Ukrainian leaders say they need at least $35 billion to start fixing the mess they’re in.
Monday, March 10, 2014 3:25pm
A couple of weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration and First Lady Michelle Obama announced changes to waht's officially called the Nutrition Facts label.
Burkey Belser is the graphic deisgner who did the original label. He says "it's as if my dog died and I got a new puppy I liked but not as much as old Spot." Belser did the original label for free because Congress hadn't designated funds to pay him.
He was paid for the Energy Guide label though -- that bright yellow sticker on your appliance that says how much it costs to run it.
Belser says the key in designing these types of labels is to design it for all Americans to read, which means removing anything that might slow down someone who has poor literacy skills or for whom English might be a secodn language. That's why there's no punctuation on his original design. "The goal is to be clear...while I always, and any designer hopes that they're going to have an artistic presentation, artistry plays second fiddle to getting the idea across."
The new nutrition facts label hasn't been formalized yet and Belser has his own ideas about how'd he update it.
Here are the current nutrition label (left), the FDA's suggested nutrition label (middle), and Belser's suggested nutrition label (right):
And just for kicks, here's the original label from the 1970s:
Monday, March 10, 2014 2:59pm
This final note about online polls and surveys. The social media team at WFAE in Charlotte have come up with a new one: Which public radio host are you?
It's got some reasonably relevant questions: Who would you most like to interview? What's your favorite public radio show? What should your college major have been?
So, I took it. And, honestly, I don't know how I didn't come up with me.
Who did I get? Apparently the internet thinks I should be Audie Cornish, the co-host of NPR's All Things Considered.
Monday, March 10, 2014 2:27pm
We're not very far into 2014, but you can already call this the year of the IPO. So far, more than 40 companies have gone public. That's more than double last year at this time and the most since the economic boom year of 2007. "And the party’s just starting," says John Fitzgibbon, founder of IPO Scoop. He says the IPO boom is all about the strong stock market. "It’s very simple approach. Good stock market equals good IPO market. Lousy market, kiss it goodbye."
The stock market has been a bit bumpy, but worries about a crash are easing. Investors now want to put their money into companies they think will deliver solid returns. "The increase in the activity for the IPO market is really a statement of how much the market had been held back in the previous last few years," says David Menlow, president of IPO Financial.com. And Menlow says many companies feel they’ve gotta go public before the other guy. "They’ll be a sense of urgency as we move through the year and businesses will expand and as a result we’re expecting all boats to rise with the tide."
Menlow expects we’ll see the IPO pace keep up through the end of the year.
March 25, 2013