Economy & Business

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It was March 2007, China's legislature was wrapping up its annual session and Premier Wen Jiabao was about to speak at the closing press conference. The economy was seeing double-digit growth, a consumer class was rising and Beijing was soon hosting its first Olympics — there was every reason for a savvy politician to boast.

But that's not what the Chinese premier did.

"There are structural problems," Wen said ominously into a microphone, "which are causing unsteady, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development."

After Hurricane Maria, some good news for Puerto Rico

15 hours ago

Six months ago, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. According to the official death toll, 64 people lost their lives, but other counts put the total closer to 1,000. The storm also knocked out power and destroyed homes. Thousands of people left the island but others stayed. Michelle Rodriguez is one of them. She's the executive director of Niños De Nueva Esperanza in the neighborhood of Sabana Seca, 15 miles outside San Juan. Marketplace Weekend's Lizzie O'Leary met with Rodriguez during a reporting trip to the island in November.

The CEO of the last company in the U.S. making beer kegs out of American steel says new steel tariffs may come with unintended consequences for his business.

Health care in the United States costs a lot of money. In fact, we, as a country, spend twice as much as other wealthy nations. And we're collectively less healthy than many others. But why is it like this? Conventional wisdom says that Americans use more health care — more tests, scans, screenings and prescriptions. But a group of researchers has some new information that doesn't fit into the old theories. Dr.

Ten years ago, Bear Stearns went under as the financial crisis was breaking. Ana Swanson of The New York Times and Sheelah Kolhatkar from The New Yorker share their most vivid memories of that time with us. We also get a taste of Kai Ryssdal's interview with Tim Geithner, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, airing on the show starting Monday. "We were using duct tape and string to try to hold the thing together," Geithner said of the economy. It's part of our Divided Decade project.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that a trade war could be triggered by President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum and could trash the global economic recovery. The tariffs are due to come into effect next week. The European Union has reacted angrily to the U.S. move, threatening to slap its own tariffs on a wide range of American products.   

Ten years ago, the investment bank Bear Stearns collapsed, and the government stepped in to broker a bailout.

William D. Cohan thinks that was a mistake. He wrote about Bear in his book, House of Cards.

He talked to us about what happened then and what's changed since.

03/16/2018: What minty fresh hell is this?

19 hours ago

If the legal machinations of giant corporate mergers are your thing, next week is gonna be a good one for you. The U.S. v. AT&T and Time Warner heads to Federal court Monday. The Justice Department is trying to block the $85 billion deal, and the companies are fighting back. The case has a lot to do with the changing media landscape, of course, but it also says a lot about big mergers in the Trump era. First though, we have to deal with the week that was: Trade, sanctions and toys. Plus, why do we associate mint flavor with cleanliness? You've always wondered.

When President Trump announced that the United States would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this month, European allies warned that they could retaliate. Targets might include classic American exports such as bourbon, blue jeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Now, the European Union has published a 10-page list of hundreds of U.S. products that could be subject to European tariffs.

Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET

Florida transportation officials say that an engineer with the private firm that designed the concrete bridge that collapsed Thursday called the state two days before the incident to report cracks in the structure.

It's not immediately known whether the reported cracks contributed to the collapse of the pedestrian walkway that was intended to join the campus of Florida International University and the city of Sweetwater.

This is just one of the stories from our "I've Always Wondered" series, where we tackle all of your questions about the world of business, no matter how big or small. Ever wondered if recycling is worth it? Or how store brands stack up against name brands? What do you wonder?

03/16/2018: What a difference 10 years make

23 hours ago

High U.S. health care costs, a Bear Stearns love story and an insider’s guide on how to be a toymaker all feature in the show this week. Plus, a look at the gender wage gap and, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a conversation about the only company making kegs from American steel.

(Markets Edition) New housing construction fell 7 percent last month and retail sales aren't looking the strongest. We'll talk to Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, about how turmoil in Washington can trickle down to businesses. Afterwards, we'll look at how real estate agents are experimenting with new ways to find clients in an increasingly competitive field. Plus: A new report that says Trump's team is getting ready to punish China for stealing U.S. intellectual property.

Bonus: Make Me Smart is back

Mar 16, 2018

Your regularly scheduled episode of Marketplace is landing in your feed later today, but for now we have something special. Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly is back with brand-new weekly episodes, wading into the big topics we want to get smart about. This week we're looking at the fall of Wall Street bank Bear Stearns, exactly 10 years ago. Plus, Kai and Molly talk with Ai-jen Poo, an advocate for domestic workers who accompanied Meryl Streep to the Golden Globes this year. She's using her Hollywood moment to make sure #MeToo is working for everyone.

Iran deal may be imperiled

Mar 16, 2018

President Donald Trump’s choice to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state could spell trouble for the nuclear deal with Iran. Trump’s nominee, Mike Pompeo, shares the president’s disdain for the agreement. The international commission implementing the Iran deal will try to hammer out a compromise at a meeting in Vienna today.  

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