Economy & Business

Business news

Crowdfund my startup, please!

May 16, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Securities and Exchange Commission has ushered in a new era of small-investor equity crowdfunding under Title III of the JOBS (Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups) Act. It allows ordinary investors, subject to various regulatory restrictions, to purchase equity shares in small businesses that publicize their investment opportunities on new crowdfunding platforms, such as NextSeed, FlashFunders, SeedInvest and Wefunder. The companies started advertising their new ideas on those crowdfunding platforms Monday.

Marketplace for Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

Venture capitalism is open to more than just the rich. Plus, why guessing oil prices is as easy as guessing the weather and tales from China's Street of Eternal Happiness.

Networks are fighting for your binging, bloodshot eyeballs

May 16, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

To all of you who don’t watch TV shows one episode at a time, but instead spend an entire Sunday glued to your screens motionless, emotionally numb, bits of pretzels casually accumulating in your sheets as you watch entire seasons at a time, well, you are causing a huge fight in the TV world. 

“Definitely a lot of negotiating and conflict,” said Ashwin Navin, CEO of Samba TV, a media and analytics firm. 

Employers abuse H-2 visa holders

May 16, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Last year, more than 175,000 people came to this country on H-2 visas. The H-2 visa program allows foreign workers — mostly from Mexico and Central America — to come into the United States and do some of the country’s most menial labor.

Employers of these "guest workers" have to meet certain basic standards, like provide transportation to and from the border, sometimes housing. They must pay fair wages and provide decent working conditions. But that doesn't always happen.

Banks look at new ways to recruit recent graduates

May 16, 2016
Mark Garrison

A big bank is offering its new hires something unusual: a gap year. Citigroup is launching a program in which some incoming analysts will delay their start date at the bank for a year so they can work for nonprofits after graduating from college.

Now you can crowdfund your angel investors

May 16, 2016
Lane Wallace

A new kind of crowdfunding campaign launched on Monday: For the first time, companies will be able to seek out small investors by using a similar model as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

An uptick in crude oil prices

May 16, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about an increase in crude oil prices; the ongoing Verizon strike and what it highlights about the changing telecom industry; and the decline of Wyoming's coal industry. 

Adult Beverage: Fermented Whey

May 16, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Wyoming's powerful coal industry facing a downturn

May 16, 2016

Wyoming’s powerful coal industry is starting to feel the full force of the market’s decline. In March, hundreds of workers were laid off from two of the country’s largest mines, and three of the state’s four largest producers are now in bankruptcy. Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson reports on the issue from Gillette, Wyoming, the state's coal capital.

Click the above audio player to hear the full report.

Millions more white-collar workers could get overtime

May 16, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Labor Department is expected to issue a final rule soon that could make millions more white-collar workers eligible for overtime.

Right now, workers don't get overtime if they're managers or administrative workers making at least $23,660 a year.  So, say a convenience store manager works long hours but doesn't get overtime. The Obama administration wants to change that.

Some retail entrepreneurs push brands in-store and online

May 16, 2016

Many major U.S. retail chains are struggling as same-store sales and sales revenue per square foot decline year over year. E-commerce, meanwhile, is growing by double digits annually. Many legacy retailers are downsizing and closing stores, even as they try to accelerate e-commerce sales. But they’re still being outsold online by Amazon and other web-only merchants.

However, some retailers are starting up, and even thriving, in the midst of this retail shakeout. They embrace the web, but don’t shun old-fashioned storefronts, either.

Verizon strike underscores changes in telecom

May 16, 2016
Annie Baxter

About 40,000 workers at Verizon have been on strike since April 13 in several East Coast states, including New York, Massachusetts and Virginia.

They include unionized network technicians and customer service representatives of the company's fiber optic or Fios Internet, telephone and television services.

“The workers who are striking are on what’s known as the wireline side of the business. In other words, people who deal with landline services, whether that's phone or TV or broadband,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. 

Marketplace Tech for Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about more relaxed investment rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission; what the ongoing Verizon strike tells us about the changing telecom landscape; and Google's developer's conference, where the tech company is expected to unveil a competitor to Amazon Echo.

Marketplace Morning Report for Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about expanded opportunities for people to participate in venture capitalism; an anticipated new rule from the Labor Department that will make millions of white-collar workers eligible for overtime; and retailers who are embracing both the old-fashioned storefront and e-commerce.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit