Economy & Business

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(Markets Edition) We may get a new Federal Reserve chair soon, according to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Not on the shortlist: current chair Janet Yellen. Diane Swonk, CEO of DS Economics in Chicago, joined us to discuss who the final contenders are and how the markets might react if they're chosen. Afterwards, we'l look at how two retail workers on opposite sides of the country are coping with America's retail crisis. 

The Latest: Trump signs health care order

Oct 12, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's executive order on health care (all times local):

12 p.m.

President Donald Trump predicts "millions and millions of people'' will benefit from his action to unwind the health care law.

He's signed an executive order to make lower-premium plans more widely available.

As President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans try to push forward on tax reform, tax preparation companies are angling for an opportunity to keep the government out – permanently out – of their tax preparation business.

This would keep the privatized U.S. system different from most others. Many governments help citizens do their taxes electronically, often for free. Agencies have people’s salary and tax data on file, so they simply pre-populate electronic tax forms. That could work in the U.S. s as well, proponents argue.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

LaToya Dennis

There are still a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the huge LCD screen plant that Foxconn wants to build in Mount Pleasant. Area residents attended an open house looking for answers on Wednesday.

Wildfires raging across wine country in Northern California left 23 people dead, according to state officials, and at least 60,000 people evacuated from their homes. The 22 separate fires destroyed more than 3,500 homes and commercial buildings across Napa and Sonoma Counties, with the city of Santa Rosa especially hard-hit, and Calistoga newly threatened as dry winds strengthened again midweek.

As residents have begun to assess the damage in burned areas, most will be looking to homeowner’s insurance to rebuild.

Millions of Americans still unaware of the Equifax data hack

Oct 12, 2017

A week into September, credit-rating agency Equifax announced that its computer system was hacked from mid-May through July 2017. Personal information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses belonging to as many as 145.5 million U.S. consumers were compromised. That’s about 45 percent of the U.S. population.

When Hahna Alexander set out to create a shoe that could charge a battery, she had no idea what challenges lay ahead of her.

The inventing part went smoothly enough. Like many first-time inventors, she had a good idea and a passion for her work. She successfully invented a shoe that harnesses energy from each step the wearer takes. That energy can be used to charge a battery.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Men's Soccer Team failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. The stunning result brings to an end two disappointing years of qualifying matches for the United States, and reactions to those results could significantly change soccer in America.

The IMF meets in Washington this week

Oct 12, 2017

The IMF meets all this week in Washington. The meeting opens with global economic growth projections better than expected — 3.6 percent this year. But the growth can be uneven globally. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

It's hard being a retail worker in this economy

Oct 12, 2017

Fair warning: you might leave Trina Traylor’s section at Macy’s smelling like a flower shop.

“You know the lady that’s following you around, trying to spray you with the perfume?” she said. “That's me.”

Traylor, 52, is a freelance fragrance specialist at a Macy’s store in Los Angeles.

She started working at Macy’s in 1994, when her daughter, Elyse, was four. Now, she’s 28, and they still live together.

“She pays half of the bills,” Traylor said. “She knows that if she moves out, her mom will be homeless.”

(U.S. Edition) President Trump is expected to sign an executive order that would make it easier for Americans to buy basic insurance plans, but potentially make things harder for those with pre-existing conditions. On today's show, we'll look at how the insurance market will react to the uncertainty shrouding the future of health care. Afterwards, we'll discuss the International Monetary Fund's projections for global economic growth. It's expected to grow at an overall rate of 3.6 percent this year — but that growth doesn't apply to every country.

10/12/2017: Samsung's 'Crown Prince' back in court

Oct 12, 2017

(Global Edition) From the BBC’s World Service …  Jay Y. Lee, the de facto head of the Samsung empire, has appeared in a South Korean court to appeal a five-year jail sentence for corruption. We look inside a scandal that brought down the country’s president. Also, a looming deadline for President Donald Trump to recertify the Iran nuclear deal has sparked speculation that he will pave the way for sanctions to be reimposed. We examine the implications for Europe, Asia and the rest of the global business community.

Complicated passwords aren't going to solve the computer security problem

Oct 12, 2017

We already know that cybersecurity isn't really working. There was the Equifax hack and the Yahoo hack. There was the whole Russian agents stealing NSA secrets and North Korean hackers stealing U.S. and South Korean war plans thing. The problem seems to be getting worse, and we haven't yet figured out a way to stop the bad guys from getting in.

From data breaches to global cyberwarfare, it’s clear cybersecurity isn’t really working. And not even a newly minted MacArthur fellow can tell us why. What he can tell us: Advice like creating long, complicated passwords might not make a big difference in the end. Marketplace Tech’s Molly Wood talks with Stefan Savage about what we can do to make cybersecurity better.

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