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Marketplace Morning Report

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In less than 10 minutes, we’ll get you up to speed on all the news you missed overnight. Throughout the morning, Marketplace’s David Brancaccio will bring you the latest business and economic stories you need to know to start your day. And before U.S. markets open, you’ll get a global markets update from the BBC World Service in London.


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In less than 10 minutes, we’ll get you up to speed on all the news you missed overnight. Throughout the morning, Marketplace’s David Brancaccio will bring you the latest business and economic stories you need to know to start your day. And before U.S. markets open, you’ll get a global markets update from the BBC World Service in London.




Jerome Powell and co. gain ground on inflation

The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, out this morning indicates that inflation tempered last month. FHN Financial Chief Economist Christopher Low helps us look behind the numbers. And, China’s holdings of developing countries’ debt is beginning to play into the wider U.S.-China relationship, says David Dollar of the Brookings Institution.


Why are there fewer scientific innovations nowadays?

A new paper in the journal “Nature” finds that the rate of scientific innovation has been on a steady decline, despite living in the most technologically advanced age in the history of humanity. Co-author Russell Funk, a professor at the University of Minnesota, helps us understand what’s going on. This round of corporate layoffs could portend a larger slowdown in the labor market, which has remained hot. And, yesterday’s GDP numbers may be good on the surface, but there are some...


European firms demand a response to U.S. green subsidies

From the BBC World Service: In a special programme from Dresden in east Germany, we hear from one European green tech company – Solarwatt – who are calling for the EU to give the industry similar tax breaks and financial incentives to those introduced by President Biden in the U.S.. We also talk to the semi-conductor manufacturer Global Foundries about how to keep the supply chain secure, amid concerns about China’s data collection.


The economy grew at a solid pace, buoyed by consumers

Today’s GDP numbers likely lifted many an economist’s spirits — the economy grew at 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter last year, a solid showing despite inflation pressures and the threat of recession. KPMG Chief Economist Diane Swonk helps us dissect what’s in today’s report. Boeing is being sued for fraud over faults in its 737 MAX plane that caused two fatal crashes. And, a look at the effects of the increasing amount of private money flowing into drug rehabilitation programs.


Taser drones in schools — real thing or just an idea?

The maker of the Taser, the weapon meant to be a non-lethal option for law enforcement, is toying with the idea of selling drones with Tasers attached. Among the potential clients: schools. We talked to Dina Temple-Raston, host of the “Click Here” podcast, about her reporting on the story. Southwest is facing a probe on whether the airline booked more flights than it could cancel at the time of its mass-cancellation debacle. And, there are storm clouds hanging over the housing market, but...


Tankonomics: How much do they cost to supply and support?

From the BBC World Service: A deal has finally been done to send American and German tanks to Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky says they need to be delivered quickly, but just how realistic is that – and how costly? We hear from the former commander of the British Army’s tank regiment. Millions of Pakistanis were left without power this week after a major failure of the country’s energy grid. The system is back up and running but businesses tell us they fear more cuts, and the...


Caution amid a relatively downbeat earnings season

The corporate earnings season has thus far been a downer. Yesterday, Microsoft announced its profits fell 12 percent last quarter, which comes after major banks reported similarly poor performances. We check in with Susan Schmidt, Head of Public Equity at the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, about what to expect as companies continue to report earnings. Mainline economic indicators fell again this month, raising the spectre of recession. Copper prices are surging worldwide, partly due to...


Elon Musk on trial over a market-moving tweet

Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk is once again defending himself against a lawsuit. This time, plaintiffs are suing Musk over a 2018 tweet saying he was considering taking Tesla private which caused investors to lose money. Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan, helps us break down the suit. And, the Department of Justice is suing Google’s parent company, Alphabet, over allegations that the company has monopolized the digital advertising business.


Amazon’s U.K. workers stage their first walk out

From the BBC World Service: We hear from the Amazon workers in the UK who are staging their first strike in a dispute over pay and conditions. Plus, a German union says Ford is planning thousands of job cuts in Europe. What’s driving the group’s future strategy? And, Egypt is struggling with rising prices, a weak currency and a cash-strapped government. What impact is that having on day-to-day lives?


Ticketmaster faces Senate grilling over Taylor Swift debacle

The CEO of Live Nation, an entertainment company bought by Ticketmaster over a decade ago, is facing a grilling on Capitol Hill over last year’s online sales debacle with Taylor Swift concert tickets. This, as it reportedly faces a probe by the Department of Justice. There’s data today that orders from factories are down, which comes amid a spate of bad news for the manufacturing sector. And, as part of our Econ Extra Credit series, we delve into how social media and algorithms promote a...


Amazon now has a prescription drug service. Will it last?

Amazon announced it will launch a new subscription drug service dubbed Amazon RxPass to complement its existing pharmaceutical products. The service, which will offer generic medications for $5 a month with Prime membership, will be the latest attempt by the online retail behemoth to make waves in the healthcare space. And, as part of our Econ Extra Credit series, we delve into the extreme fitness industry with Stephen Mayville, a Reno-based psychologist who studies muscle dysmorphia and...


Royal rent woe for Twitter

From the BBC World Service: Twitter stands accused of skipping rent to King Charles III. The Crown Estate in the U.K., which manages property belonging to the reigning monarch, has filed court proceedings against the firm for arrears on its headquarters in London’s famous Piccadilly Circus. Plus, questions are being raised over Ticketmaster and whether it has a monopoly. We look at what U.S. regulators could maybe learn from Europe. And we hear more on those plans for a common currency in...


Are some of the clouds lifting on gloomy recession forecasts?

With the latest inflation report indicating a moderation in rising prices, some CEOs and economists are changing their tune on forecasts of a potential recession this year. Julia Coronado explains what’s driving optimism that the near-term economic future may not be as bad as originally predicted. As Lunar New Year festivities kick off worldwide, China is having to balance celebrating one of the country’s most important holidays with a severe Covid situation. And, Chris Farrell talks about...


‘Tis the season — for taxes

The holiday season may be over, but another “season” is now upon us — the one to pay your taxes. The IRS’s window to submit tax returns is open from now until around April 15 for most people, and the agency is promising better service than in recent years when it experienced crippling delays. Renters nowadays are having to spend higher and higher proportions of their income on housing, which takes away from spending in other areas. And, some of the Federal Reserve’s highest-profile figures...


Could a South American common currency rival the dollar?

From the BBC World Service: We examine why Brazil and Argentina are exploring a common currency. Both countries have been wracked by economic demons – with Argentina in particular suffering one of the highest inflation rates in world. Plus, why Pakistan is facing power cuts. And we meet the Hongkongers celebrating Lunar New Year in the U.K.


For most, owning a place is now pricier than renting

A big swing in the housing market occurred over the last year: for the vast majority of people, it’s now cheaper to rent a place than to own it. According to a new report, that’s in big part due to rising mortgage rates, which have risen in tandem with the Fed’s rate hikes. Netflix’s CEO, Reed Hastings, is stepping down — he helped transform the company from a mail-order DVD service to a streaming behemoth. Christopher Low helps break down what’s behind the recent strength of bond yields....


College rankings under fire again, this time from Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School, one of the top in the country, will stop submitting data to the U.S. News and World Report college ranking system. It’s another blow for the rankings, which has recently come under criticism from a number of high-profile schools for alleged flaws in the methodology. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced that it would lay off 12,000 workers, making it the latest tech giant to announce job cuts. And, the high-flying Davos summit wraps up today amid a mix of...


Digging for coal has to stop, says German activist

From the BBC World Service: The fight over a controversial coal mine in Germany isn’t over according to one of the country’s best-known climate activists Luisa Neubauer. She tells us how mining cannot be justified, even in the context of an energy crisis in Europe triggered by Russia’s war with Ukraine. Plus, the demise of British Volt, once the UK’s great hope for the future of the auto industry. And millions are on the move in Asia for the Lunar New Year.


More bad news for the beleaguered housing market

There’s more bad news out this morning for the embattled housing sector. Housing starts, the metric used to measure the number of new homes being constructed in the U.S., fell for a fourth consecutive month. KPMG Chief Economist Diane Swonk helps us break down what the data means for the wider economy. And, Treasury Janet Yellen said that her department would take “extraordinary measures” to keep the U.S. government paying its debts as Congress mulls increasing the debt ceiling. And, a story...


Buckle up, the debt ceiling fight is just beginning

It’s estimated that the U.S. government will hit the Congressionally-mandated debt ceiling today, meaning it will have to find ways to shuffle funds around until Congress raises the limit. Lawmakers are gearing up for a protracted fight on Capitol Hill. Recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York show that inflation is hitting low-income households, especially those that are Black and Latino, the hardest. And, amid unease following the collapse of FTX, crypto miners are being...