Economy & Business

Business news

Hooray! It's that time of election season again, when (depending on whom you support) every single poll is cause for either panic or triumphantly punching the air.

Election Day, by the way, is Nov. 8. That's almost half a year more of hyperventilation over polls.

That sounds exhausting.

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer has launched a $62 billion bid for seed seller Monsanto in what some news reports say would be the largest-ever German takeover of a foreign company.

Bayer's all-cash offer is 37 percent higher than Monsanto's stock price before news broke about the possible deal.

"This transaction represents a compelling opportunity for Monsanto's shareholders," Bayer CEO Werner Baumann told reporters on a conference call Monday.

The presidential effect on foreign business deals

May 23, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

Boeing has made a deal to sell aircraft to VietJet.  GE Wind will partner with the Vietnamese government to develop windpower.  Pratt & Whitney will sell advanced engines to Vietnam. 

All these deals are announced just as President Obama is in Hanoi to put an end to a decades long arms embargo and highlight improving ties with the former adversary. 

Marketplace for Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016

Aircraft manufacturing deals abroad, hospital mergers at home and an interview with Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann. Plus: Why are there no ads on most streaming sports?

The Colorado River has been a major source of water in the Southwestern United States region, but many worry that it's beginning to dry up. Some observers point to population growth, climate change and water mismanagement as causes in discussions regarding the dwindling river.

Could the water crisis that has struck many Western states be a sign of what's to come for the rest of the nation? And who decides how much water is used or who controls it?

When mergers fail because of clashing work culture

May 23, 2016
D Gorenstein

The Wall Street Journal got a hold of correspondence Monday that suggests there may be some tension between insurance giants Anthem and Cigna, two companies that have proposed a $48 billion merger.

Apparently the two firms don’t see eye-to-eye on several matters, including submitting merger documents to federal anti-trust officials. It could be a sign of fraying nerves as regulators scrutinize the deal, or a lack of leadership and communication.

Kai Ryssdal

Here's a chance to get something special for the big "Mad Men" fan in your life.

Lionsgate is auctioning off a bunch of old props. 

Kai Ryssdal

Last week, Sumner Redstone, majority owner of CBS and Viacom, kicked Viacom CEO and protégé Philippe Dauman off the trust Redstone setup to run things after his death. Suits and countersuits have been filed as the Redstone saga continues.

William Cohan is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair where he’s reported on the Redstone story extensively. Cohan spoke with Kai Ryssdal about how the case is progressing.

Who is Sumner Redstone and why does he matter in corporate America?

Amy Scott

Every Wednesday, the teachers and staff at Lanier High School wear college T-shirts and sweatshirts to work. Lanier is in Austin, Texas, so there’s a lot of burnt orange – for the University of Texas.

“It just makes you wonder, ‘what if I went there?’” said Janet Aviles, a senior at Lanier.  “I could become one of them, too, like a role model.”

Donna Tam

President Barack Obama lifted the Cold War arms embargo against Vietnam on Monday, while also announcing a $16 billion deal for commercial aircrafts between Boeing, a top American weapons manufacturers, and low-cost Vietnamese airline VietJet.

What's up with no commercials when you stream?

May 23, 2016
Andy Uhler

If you’ve ever watched a live sporting event online, you might notice something different about the commercial breaks. That is, sometimes there just aren’t any commercials. Just music, like you're on hold.

ESPN, Turner Broadcasting and some online-only media people said there's a lot going on here. Craig McAnsh, chief marketing officer at Infrared Experience Marketing, said things are changing fast, but marketing hasn't caught up.

Kai Ryssdal

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world. Launched in 2000, the organization aim to enhance healthcare and extreme poverty, as well as expand educational opportunities.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Home sales may be turning around

May 23, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about increased cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam; home sale predictions; and the struggles for parents during summer break.