Economy & Business

Business news

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

The Trump administration will scuttle an Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, made the announcement in Hazard, Ky., on Monday, saying the rule hurt coal-fired plants.

"The EPA and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy," Pruitt said, speaking at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

For the time being at least, Congress is not going to repeal Obamacare. But President Trump knows there's a lot he can do on his own. There are reports that he’s going to issue an executive order this week, making it easier for insurers to sidestep ACA regulations and sell more bare bones, cheaper plans to healthier consumers. This, in addition to recent moves to cut the advertising budget for Obamacare sign up, and shorten the enrollment period, leaves some wondering if this is a “synthetic repeal" of the ACA?

The White House sent Congress a letter yesterday, outlining what it wants in immigration reform. The list of White House wants was long. Just a few items: ending funding for so-called sanctuary cities, the completion of construction of President Trump’s wall along the Mexican border, and reducing the number of refugees the U.S. admits each year to an “appropriate level.” One of the bedrock ideas of the Trump plan is that the United States should move from an immigration system based on family ties to one based on merit or skills. Does that make sense?

When tech companies show up in a disaster zone, it’s not pure altruism.

“The reason why companies will come in after disasters is that the slate has been swept clean,” said Robert Collins, a professor of public policy at Dillard University in New Orleans. “There’s a void. There’s a vacuum.”

Cold and flu season can be expensive. Even if your office pays for flu shots, you might spend money on extra protection — vitamin C, hand sanitizer, zinc. And then, if you do catch a cold (or the flu) the price tag gets even higher — soup, tea, cold meds, cough syrup.

Tack on missed workdays, trips to the doctor and visits to the pharmacy for prescription medicine, and you could be shelling out hundreds of dollars for a bad seasonal bug.

The diplomatic approach to North Korea is a long game

Oct 9, 2017

The exchanges between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been less than diplomatic. But beneath all the Twitter noise, progress — albeit small steps — is being made in isolating Pyongyang.

Not everyone initially supported Richard Thaler for his work in behavioral economics, but he's now the 2017 Nobel Prize winner for his research in the field. 

"It was basically because economists weren't smart enough to write down models of real behavior," Thaler once explained to us in an interview.

A travel scandal has already caused one Trump administration official to step down. The Secretary of Health and Human Services resigned just over a week ago. Now, more reports from Politico on travel by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have prompted an investigation of his travel as well.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The U.S. Virgin Islands remain devastated after two category 5 hurricanes hit within two weeks of each other in September. Many residents are still without shelter, power or internet. But the territory’s roughly 14,000 public school students, who had barely started their school year before Irma hit, will begin returning to their classrooms this week. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Let's do the numbers: Halloween edition

Oct 9, 2017

Businesses hoping to cash in on Halloween are in for a big treat this year. The National Retail Federation estimates spending for the holiday is expected to hit a record number for the second year in a row. With more Americans partaking in the celebration of all things scary, Halloween spending is estimated to climb to $9.1 billion, nearly one billion more than last year’s total of $8.4 billion.

What LinkedIn tells us about the economy

Oct 9, 2017

The jobs report is something we talk about a lot here at Marketplace. Every month, the Labor Department announces how many jobs were gained or lost, as well as the unemployment rate. On Friday, we learned that the country lost jobs in September — 33,000 of them, to be specific — for the first time in seven years. We were also told not to panic, as some of the job loss had to do with storms.

Midwestern farmers are tied to a Gulf dead zone

Oct 9, 2017

A massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico grew to the largest size on record this year, expanding to an area as big as the state of New Jersey.

Rivers and streams across a huge swath of middle America drain into the Mississippi River and then down into the Gulf, and the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus accumulate in that water as it washes down, too. Chemicals that start as nutrients for crops become runoff that gets into waterways from farm fields, and then turn into pollutants for sea life at the end of their journey.

(U.S. Edition) Media tycoon Harvey Weinstein, a major player in Hollywood who's behind Oscar winners like "Shakespeare in Love," has been ousted from the company he founded. The move follows a New York Times article that published details on settlements he's reached for sexual harassment over the years. We'll recap these revelations, and then look at the financial standing of his company. Afterwards, we'll look at how schools on the U.S.

The new president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has a plan to ease many of the European Union’s recent crises, including debt, immigration controversies, the rising prominence of populist political parties and the British decision to pull out of the bloc. 

Macron recently laid out an ambitious reform program entailing much closer cooperation between the member states on defense, immigration and economics. Macron would like to see a single budget for all 19 countries that use the euro supervised by one finance minister and able to funnel money swiftly into the weaker member states. 

10/09/2017 U.S.-Turkey spat takes toll on markets

Oct 9, 2017

(Global Edition)  From the BBC’s World Service … Turkish stock markets have plunged and the value of the lira has fallen against the dollar after the U.S. and Turkey suspended non-immigrant visa services. We look at the implications of the political tit-for-tat. Then, Liberia heads to the polls in elections tomorrow as candidates bid to revive an economy ravaged by 14 years of war and the Ebola epidemic. We examine the economic outlook for the commodity-rich nation.