Economy & Business

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When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Stock buybacks break records, prop up markets

Jul 13, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

The first quarter of 2016 saw more stock buybacks than at any time since late 2007, just before the recession - $166 billion dollars worth according to research firm Factset. The controversial practice is used to drive up a company’s stock prices, but some argue it is done at the cost of a company’s long-term health and rewards shareholders over all other stakeholders in a company. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

How would Mr. Robot market 'Mr. Robot'?

Jul 13, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

Fans of the hacker drama series "Mr. Robot" will be able to watch the season two premiere tonight – that is, if they didn’t already catch it online on Sunday.

Online premieres are becoming common, but what USA Network did with Mr. Robot added a twist. The online premiere was announced in the middle of a Facebook live event featuring some of the cast. That premiere was then available to stream for a limited time – before being pulled.

Negative yields may be good for U.S. borrowers

Jul 13, 2016
Donna Tam

Germany’s historic sale of 10-year bonds at a negative yield Wednesday reflects the economic turmoil in Europe and elsewhere, but it could also stimulate demand for U.S. treasuries.

Line messaging app enters an overcrowded market

Jul 13, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood

This week will bring us the biggest initial public offering of 2016. It's a mobile messaging app named Line. It will be jointly listed in Tokyo and New York in an IPO that could raise as much as $1.3 billion.

Line is the latest edition to a very long line of messaging apps that're already out there. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks with Marketplace senior tech correspondent Molly Wood to find out why we need so many messenger apps in the first place.

On the abundance of messaging apps:

Is Brazil really ready for the Olympics?

Jul 13, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

The summer Olympics are just a few weeks away and all eyes are on Brazil, for all of the wrong reasons. The country is in the midst of several crises, including a presidential impeachment, a recession and several public health concerns. As the world watches, the question that comes to mind is: will the country be able to pull this off?

Julia Carniero, a correspondent for the BBC in Rio, spoke to Marketplace about where Brazil stands in anticipation for the games.

Marketplace for Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Jul 13, 2016

Germany's 10-year treasury bond yield dipped below zero yesterday; Theresa May took office today as the United Kingdom's new Prime Minister — we take a look at her economic policies; and is Brazil really ready for the Olympics? 

Germany is in negative territory

Jul 13, 2016

The German government issued 10-year bonds with a negative yield for the first time Wednesday, following similar auctions in Japan and Switzerland.

“By the end of the time the bond matures, you get back less than you paid for it,” said Kathy Jones is chief fixed-income strategist at Charles Schwab.

Tony Wagner

The nation has been gripped by a Pokemania not seen since the '90s.

Theresa May becomes UK Prime Minister

Jul 13, 2016
Sam Beard

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Theresa May, is only the second woman in British history to hold that position. Her supporters say that, like the U.K.’s first female PM, Margaret Thatcher, May is steely and tough-minded.  But unlike the Iron Lady, May has voiced concern about social and economic inequality and has promised to try to curb excessive executive pay.

Alaskans faced with the first recession in decades

Jul 13, 2016
Rachel Waldholz

On a recent sunny afternoon in downtown Anchorage, there's a late lunchtime rush at the sandwich shop Urban Greens. Behind the counter is a woman in red flannel and big glasses. She seems to know the names of half the people walking through the door.

This is Rachel Mills — until July, she was the manager at Urban Greens. But go back several months, and she had a very different role — as a botanist for ASRC Energy Services, an oil and gas contractor.Then, this winter, right around the time oil plunged to a 12-year low, Mills was told she no longer had a job.

America is rigged, Trump says. Many of you agree.

Jul 13, 2016

During a late night appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday night, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump claimed that the American system is “rigged.”   

“Well, I’ve been saying, even against me the system is rigged. When I ran for president, I mean, I could see what was going on with the system, and the system is rigged,” Trump said.


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The season for blueberries used to be short. You'd find fresh berries in the store just during a couple of months in the middle of summer.

Now, though, it's always blueberry season somewhere. Blueberry production is booming. The berries are grown in Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Michigan and the Pacific Northwest — not to mention the southern hemisphere.

But in any one location, the season is still short. And this means that workers follow the blueberry harvest, never staying in one place for long.

More than 4 in 10 working Americans say their job affects their overall health, with stress being cited most often as having a negative impact.

That's according to a new survey about the workplace and health from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

While it may not sound so surprising that work affects health, when we looked more closely, we found one group was particularly affected by stress on the job: the disabled.