Economy & Business

Business news

(Markets Edition) When it comes to the market, traders look at three influential figures: the chair of the Fed, its vice chair, and the president of the New York Fed. We'll talk to Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, about why some were "disturbed" by what John Williams, the next NY Fed president, recently had to say at a press conference in Madrid. Afterwards, we'll look at one major domestic appliance company that could come out ahead amid all this tariff talk. Whirlpool may have an advantage thanks to a protective tariff on foreign washing machines. 

Critics of President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs say the policies hurt U.S. manufacturers that use a lot of those materials. And one industry likely to feel the pinch of higher production costs: home appliance manufacturers. Still, at least one major domestic appliance company, Whirlpool Corp., may come out ahead, thanks to another protective tariff — on foreign washing machines.

Ideastream's Adrian Ma is with the Marketplace Hub in Cleveland.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, which was up 0.3 percent in March, indicates the economy looks pretty good heading into summer and fall. The index crunches forward-looking measures like building permits, factory orders and unemployment claims to predict where the economy will be six months from now. And it looks as if the economy is growing at a fairly strong rate. But there are potential clouds on the horizon: President Donald Trump’s threatened tariffs and potential retaliation by China, which could lead to price spikes, industry contraction and layoffs.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is levying a $1 billion fine against Wells Fargo — a record for the agency — as punishment for the banking giant's actions in its mortgage and auto loan businesses.

Wells Fargo's "conduct caused and was likely to cause substantial injury to consumers," the agency said in its filings about the bank.

04/20/2018: The cannabis brand wars

Apr 20, 2018

(U.S. Edition) There are reports that Wells Fargo is close to a $1 billion settlement with federal regulators after charging customers for car insurance they didn't need. On today's show, we'll recap the controversy. Afterwards, we'll talk to Drake Sutton-Shearer, CEO of PROHBTD Media, about how quality cannabis brands could start emerging within the next decade, Wall Street's valuation of the industry, and his push to change the "stoner" stereotypes surrounding the product. Plus: A look at the financial struggles General Electric is facing. 

Where other chefs might see kitchen trash, Tim Ma finds treasure — for his culinary creations, and his bottom line.

We're still waiting to see which company will become the Grey Goose of marijuana.

Right now, there isn't a whole lot of brand awareness about specific cannabis companies. But with marijuana legalization on the rise, that could all change within the next decade. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The head of one of Australia’s largest financial institutions has resigned after revelations the company lied to regulators for a decade about customer charges. Then, a tiny Philippines' tourist hot spot is facing a sudden six-month closure for infrastructure upgrades. But it’s not a popular decision among the island’s residents whose livelihoods depend on the $1 billion in tourism revenue they see each year.

04/20/2018: Feeling "privacy fatigue" yet?

Apr 20, 2018

This week, Facebook revealed more about the way it collects data on just about everyone. The company disclosed how much data it collects when users aren’t logged in to Facebook and are just surfing the web. The company even tracks people who don’t have a Facebook account. To put the deluge of privacy news into perspective, Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Tom Merritt, host of the "Daily Tech News Show" podcast, about whether this is all just a Facebook problem.   

The American Federation of Teachers said Thursday that it is cutting its financial ties with Wells Fargo as a result of the banking giant's relationships with the National Rifle Association and gunmakers.

The AFT, a 1.7 million-member national union, is dropping the bank as a recommended mortgage lender, to which it currently channels more than 20,000 AFT mortgages.

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As early as today, Wells Fargo could be facing a new fine of up to a billion dollars for a variety of infractions against its customers. NPR's Jim Zarroli has details. And we should note - Wells Fargo is a financial supporter of some NPR programming.

Within seconds, a bright, white flash erupted on the lower deck of West Delta 105 E, an oil-production platform positioned a dozen miles off the Louisiana coast. Disoriented, one crew member found himself 10 feet away from where he had been working before he blacked out. Another likened the impact to a sledgehammer blow to his head. A third told investigators he felt like he'd been hit by an 18-wheeler, his hard hat, glasses and earplugs knocked off in the blast.

It's no secret that the Internet has been hammering newspapers. Ad sales and subscriptions have been falling for years. Now, there's a new problem — the actual paper newspapers are printed on just got much more expensive.

Since the first of the year, the Commerce Department has imposed steep tariffs of up to 32 percent on newsprint imported from Canada. While that's boosting profits for the five remaining U.S. newsprint mills, the preliminary tariffs have raised prices nationwide and triggered something of a crisis in an already troubled industry.

Tight labor market, tight … jeans?

Apr 19, 2018

It’s a tight labor market out there – so in a quest to attract workers, Walmart is trying out something new – allowing workers on the stores’ floors to wear jeans and solid shirts in any color. The new policy is being tested in less than two dozen stores. 

 

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Seven months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still recovering

Apr 19, 2018

It's been seven months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and the island is still facing some serious problems. This week, an islandwide power outrage left most of Puerto Rico in the dark. And teachers along with parents have been protesting the Education Department's plan to close 283 schools. Host Kai Ryssdal checks in with Marketplace reporter Lizzie O'Leary on the latest news of Puerto Rico's recovery. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

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