Economy & Business

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

It has 13 decks, eight restaurants, a casino and a spa. Staterooms start at about $20,000 and run as high as $120,000.

And it's about to journey through the Northwest Passage.

The Crystal Serenity is the largest cruise ship to navigate from Alaska to New York City, by way of the Arctic Ocean. And as climate change opens up the top of the world, it may be just the first taste of what's to come.

Episode 721: Unbuilding A City

Aug 26, 2016

Shrinking cities have a problem: Millions of abandoned, falling-apart houses. Often, knocking them down is the best solution. But it can be remarkably hard to do that.

On today's show, we visit a single block in Baltimore and figure out why it's so hard to knock down buildings — even when everybody wants them gone.

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looked into the Mississippi-based regional bank BancorpSouth, it didn't just review thousands of loan applications. It sent in undercover operatives — some white, some black — who pretended to be customers applying for loans.

"They had similar credit scores and similar background and situations," says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Our investigation had found that BancorpSouth had engaged in illegal redlining in Memphis, meaning refusing to lend into specific areas of the city."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

There might be a way to eliminate traffic jams

Aug 26, 2016
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David Lazarus and Crystal Castle

Next weekend for Labor Day, AAA estimates that 35 million Americans will travel. And about 86 percent are due to fill up their gas tanks for one final summer road trip. 

The company also estimates that it costs about 57 cents a mile to drive. But with so many people on the road, most of that fuel will be wasted idling in traffic. However, there is a glimmer of hope. Benjamin Seibold, a professor at Temple University who studies traffic, said jams can be mitigated simply by changing the way you drive. 

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Molly Wood

When it comes to TV screen resolution, apparently you can never have too many Ks.

Panasonic and Sony are teaming up to produce and sell 8K TVs by 2020. Those screens would essentially offer eight times the resolution of a standard high definition television set, so it seems like a good time for the return of my new segment: Tech Intervention.

You know what? You can have too many Ks. We're not going to need 8K TVs in 2020.

Americans are eating more cheese than ever

Aug 26, 2016
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Donna Tam

You might think it’s your American duty to buy a few extra blocks of cheddar this weekend, given the U.S. government's need to purchase surplus cheese in order to help the dairy industry. But rest assured. You have already played your part.

Americans are eating more cheese than ever — consuming over 34 pounds per capita in 2015 — and there’s no end in sight for our love with this dairy staple.

Supermarket price wars heating up

Aug 26, 2016
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Adam Allington

Competition is heating up between America's biggest grocery chains, and food prices are falling as a result. Discount retailer Dollar General said Thursday that it's cutting prices on hundreds of items across 2,000 stores.

The strategy follows a similar path set forth by other chains such as Wal-Mart, Kroger and Trader Joe's. Cutting costs to get people in the door is a time-tested strategy, but it could mean slimmer margins for both grocery stores and suppliers.

As it turns out, that could be a risky move.

Moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico isn't a bad thing

Aug 26, 2016
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David Lazarus and Crystal Castle

It isn't news that there has been a drop in manufacturing employment. 

In fact, those jobs have been in decline since the 1970s, and have dropped by 5 million since 2000. But what may come as a surprise is that the jobs that have left the United States and relocated south of the border have actually benefited workers in the United States. In order to produce commodities, Mexico needs to consume a chunk of good from the U.S. About 40 cents of every dollar that the United States imports from Mexico comes from the U.S.

This fall, TV networks go back in time

Aug 26, 2016
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Reema Khrais

Time travel seems to be a popular motif with broadcast networks these days. Three different shows about time shifting are coming to three different networks. There’s NBC’s "Timeless," Fox’s "Making History," and ABC’s "Time After Time."

But the characters aren’t the only ones trying to rewrite history. The television networks themselves are jumping into a kind of time machine.

This fall, along with their usual shows about doctors, lawyers and cops, the networks are also adapting movies and reviving old series.

Can Slowing Down Help You Be More Creative?

Aug 26, 2016

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Slowing Down

About Adam Grant's TED Talk

Despite being a self-described 'pre-crastinator, psychologist Adam Grant says those who slow down — even procrastinate — tend to be more creative, original thinkers.

About Adam Grant

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Amy Scott

Shayla Thacker had a rough start at the University of Minnesota. There were the usual freshman adjustments, like living away from home for the first time and a heavier workload.

“Then in the classes, there’s not too many students that kind of fit my profile,” she said.  

Thacker, now 22, is African-American and was raised by a single mother whose income fell below the poverty line. She’s also the first in her family to go to college.

“Just finding other students to relate to, it wasn't a natural process to connect with some of my peers,” she said.

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Marketplace Weekend Staff

As August winds down, it's time to go back to school. The United States spends $12,296 per public school student, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That money helps take care of school operations and maintains school property.

For this week's conversation, we want to know about how you spend on education. Are you splurging on school stuff for your kids? Or maybe you're still paying off the degree you completed years ago? What have you learned?

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