Economy & Business

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Janet Yellen and co. raised interest rates by a quarter percent — but there's much more to the story than that. DS Economics' Diane Swonk joined us to discuss what this says about the Fed's views toward inflation. Afterwards, we'll look at what Trump's budget proposal means for U.S. cities, and then explore the challenges that exist for luxury brands that go public. 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is probably the happiest man in Europe today after the anti-Muslim and anti-European Union candidate Geert Wilders did worse than expected in elections yesterday. Trans-Atlantic economic attention now turns to Washington visits this week by two European leaders, both of whom have been critical of President Donald Trump. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is in town for the annual St. Patrick's Day Reception. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is at the White House tomorrow, and that meeting could be awkward. Trump has accused Germany of unfair trade practices.

President Donald Trump reminded Fox News' Tucker Carlson last night that he aims to bring taxes "way down" on businesses, from 35 percent to 15 percent. But a lot of companies don’t pay 35 percent, because they take deductions and exclusions to shave their tax bill. A drop in the overall tax rate could make U.S. corporate tax rates more competitive. However, some argue those tax breaks would have to go to offset huge revenue losses otherwise. So far, Trump's administration doesn't have a detailed tax proposal ready for Congress.

Trump’s opening salvo in the budget wars

Mar 16, 2017

President Donald Trump's proposed budget is known as the skinny budget, the basic outline of what the president's priorities are. It's a bit like an expanded version of one of his tweets. It's a long way from what the actual budget will be, but it is a window into his thinking when it comes to policy.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

03/16/2017: It's budget day

Mar 16, 2017

The budget plan the White House released today is sort of like an extension of President Donald Trump's tweets: It gives you a sense of his thinking, but it's not the whole plan. It's called a "skinny budget." We'll discuss what that means and what it says. Then, Trump told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that he wants to cut business taxes from 35 percent down to 15 percent. But what businesses actually pay that much, and what would a cut mean for the economy? Plus, a conversation with the CEO of the Uber-for-chores company TaskRabbit and one man's billion-dollar bet against Herbalife stock.

TaskRabbit doubles the number of cities it operates in

Mar 16, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

TaskRabbit is an on-demand app that lets users hire people to complete various household tasks. Think of it like Uber for chores. Stacy Brown-Philpot, the company's CEO, said over the next six months, the company will double the number of cities it operates in. Brown-Philpot talked with host Kai Ryssdal about the company. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Kai Ryssdal: So when you go to a dinner party or your kid's soccer game, or, I don’t know, out at the store and someone says, “What do you do?” what do you tell them?

TaskRabbit is what work will look like in the future, CEO says

Mar 16, 2017

Stacy Brown-Philpot took over as CEO at TaskRabbit less than a year ago. Today, she's announcing that the on-demand chore and handyman service will double the number of cities it operates in over the next six months. The first five include Cincinnati, Minneapolis, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Brown-Philpot also talks to host Kai Ryssdal about the changing nature of work and why she thinks working for companies like TaskRabbit is the future. 


Somebody's in McTrouble

Mar 16, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

McDonald’s official corporate Twitter account was "compromised" this morning when it sent a tweet insulting President Donald Trump, the company said.

“Twitter notified us that our account was compromised. We deleted the tweet, secured our account and are now investigating this,” a McDonald’s spokeswoman told Marketplace. The company later tweeted out the statement as well.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Why some say Fed interest rate hikes are premature

Mar 16, 2017
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Federal Reserve voted to increase interest rates by a quarter percentage point at its March meeting. It's signaling two more quarter-point rate hikes this year.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the economy is strong and ready for a rate hike. Inflation is closing in on the Fed’s target of 2 percent, and Yellen said the unemployment rate is continuing to fall. But some people say it’s premature to raise rates. 

How tech is finding its way into your beauty bag

Mar 16, 2017
Erika Beras

Tech has found its way into your beauty bag. Earlier this year, L'Oreal announced it's releasing a smart $200 hairbrush, which has a built-in microphone that listens to your brushing patterns to make sure you don’t overbrush. The vibrating brush also measures the force you're applying to the scalp. All of that connects to an app. It's like a Fitbit for your hair.

Rising car loan default rates spell trouble for automakers

Mar 16, 2017

People who took out subprime loans to buy a car are falling behind on their payments at the highest rate since the financial crisis. That could lead to higher costs for people who want a car loan. It’s also bad news for the automakers. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

High-end Toronto retailer Canada Goose is looking to raise at least $230 million with its IPO launch. Its product line is tiny, and the coyote fur-lined winter coat price tags are big, with some parkas going as high as $1,300. These are the challenges for luxury brands that go public. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Which areas will see cuts under Trump's budget?

Mar 16, 2017
Marketplace staff

The Trump administration's $1.15 trillion budget proposal for the upcoming year calls for reduced funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and a major boost for defense spending.

The biggest winner: those who favor a smaller government. The proposal, released today, dramatically cuts the size of the federal government, slashing budgets for many agencies and eliminating dozens of programs.