Economy & Business

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Selling food on the streets of New York City might seem like an easy way to make money, but it’s an almost impossible gig to land — legally. The number of legal street food vending permits issued in the city has barely increased since the 1980s.

02/20/2018: Splurging during Chinese New Year

Feb 20, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The grocery chain Albertsons is planning to buy part of Rite Aid in a $24 billion deal. On today's show, we'll look at the tough supermarket landscape that big chains have to face these days. Afterwards, we'll discuss Walmart's venture into new apparel brands so that it can compete with Amazon, and then find out what some people in China are planning to splurge on this Chinese New Year.

For many, Chinese New Year is a time to splurge

Feb 20, 2018

Chinese people are known as big savers, but the lunar new year, also known as the spring festival, is the one time of year when even farmers must splurge. Think of it as a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The festival began on Friday and ends on Wednesday. Last year, Chinese people spent $122 billion during the weeklong holiday, and they’re expected to spend even more this year. What are Chinese people buying? Marketplace caught up with people at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station before they rushed back to their hometowns.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … The World Bank says pensions will consume Brazil’s entire federal budget by 2030 …but the country today shelved a vote on reform. What does it mean for a nation recovering from financial crisis, and will October elections bring light at the end of the tunnel? Then, a new cryptocurrency launches today, this time backed by Venezuelan oil. We’ll explain who’s investing — and who’s not. Afterward, to Spain where a key business witness will give evidence today in ongoing Spanish corruption investigations.

In the tech world, we talk a lot about the applications for virtual reality, when you’re immersed in a totally different world.  But there may be more business applications for AUGMENTED  reality, where you add something to the scene around you.  Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks about it with Tim Merel, managing director of the tech consulting firm Digi-Capital.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In 1984, two men were thinking a lot about the Internet. One of them invented it. The other is an artist who would see its impact on society with uncanny prescience.

First is the man often called "the father of the Internet," Vint Cerf. Between the early 1970s and early '80s, he led a team of scientists supported by research from the Defense Department.

Initially, Cerf was trying to create an Internet through which scientists and academics from all over the world could share data and research.

Like a lot of science fiction fans, I read William Gibson's visionary novel Neuromancer not long after it came out in 1984. It painted a dystopian world where people spent most of their time on computers communicating across networks in "cyberspace."

When I read it, I thought it was an engaging fantasy. Now, over 30 years later, the prescience of Gibson's novel is unquestionable. In the intervening years, I've wondered how he and other artists were able to imagine the future when the technologies they wrote about had barely been invented.

MLB Sets New Rules To Speed Up The Game

Feb 20, 2018

The average nine-inning baseball game took 3 hours and 8 minutes to play last season. That's up from 2 hours and 46 minutes in 2005.

Major League Baseball has long had the goal of moving things along, and on Monday, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced new rules aimed at shortening how long it takes to get a game played.

IRS launches online tax calculator for 2018

Feb 19, 2018

The Internal Revenue Service is trying to help tax filers prepare for next year. In the light of the recent tax overhaul, it’s launching its new withholding calculator that will help people check if they are having too much or too little held back from their paychecks for taxes.

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Black Panther soundtrack soars

Feb 19, 2018

A typical movie soundtrack captures the essence of what people see on screen. It propels moviegoers to become music consumers eager to feel the moments of a film after its release. But "Black Panther: The Album" is not typical.

Can Facebook regulate itself?

Feb 19, 2018

When Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian companies and people on Friday for criminal interference in U.S. elections, the indictment singled out Facebook as a particularly powerful way to manipulate U.S. citizens with fake pages, posts and highly targeted ad campaigns. Facebook says it's hiring more people to address security and that it will do things like send postcards to verify that potential ad buyers live in the United States.

02/19/18: Life after a mass shooting

Feb 19, 2018

A couple of weeks ago on this show, we told you about some of the funding and resources available for mass shooting victims to help with their short-term recovery. Today, we consider what life and work is like five, or even ten years after surviving a high-profile shooting. Two survivors of a mass shooting describe long term recovery. Also on today's show, we continue with our project called "Divided Decade," as we hear stories of how people's lives changed since the financial crisis ten years ago.

How Jerry Smith's Entrepreneurship Shaped His Career in Commercial Banking

Feb 19, 2018

Jerry Smith's entrepreneurial streak helped shape a successful 45-year career in commercial banking. He was founding CEO of First Business Bank and its parent company. Jerry is now chairman of First Business Financial Services, a publicly traded company with a $200 million market cap and $1.8 billion in assets.

1. Trust your instincts and don’t quit

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