Economy & Business

Business news

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

In 2011, Lariat Alhassan had a business in Abuja, Nigeria. Larclux Paint was the name. She sold house paint. And industrial paint. Textured paint. Paint that fills in cracks in your walls. It was a paint company. But a really small one.

"The employee I had was just me. I was the production manager. I was the marketer. I was delivery person. I was everything," says Alhassan, laughing. "Except the security."

That was the company. A woman in her late 20s and a security guard watching over a factory space she rented to make the paint.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Will work for Tesla

May 20, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

This final note today, which comes with the following caveat.

A couple of years ago, also on a Friday, as it happens, I made a joke about how that day was gonna be my last day hosting this program because I'd discovered a company in Florida that had Beer Cart Friday every week.

The boss came by with a beer cart and gave out free beer.

What's not to like, right?

Well, let's just say not everyone realized I was kidding, and I got something of a talking to.

So to repeat, this is not that.

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a plan to update a 40-year-old law regulating the safety of chemicals.

The new, redesigned "Nutrition Facts" label is coming. The Food and Drug Administration has announced that the new label will be required on most packaged food by July 2018.

Weekly Wrap: Who cares about a trade war?

May 20, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

If they hadn't already, the politics of the presidential campaign are definitely bumping up against economic reality now.

"Trade war?" presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump said at a fundraiser this week. "We're losing $500 billion in trade with China. Who the hell cares if there's a trade war?"

Kim Adams

Egyptian and French officials are still sorting out what brought down Egypt Air flight 804 on Thursday. Families are mourning their lost love ones as Egypt braces for the broader effects of the accident.

Eleven percent of Egypt’s GDP is tied up in tourism, and the sector has been struggling.  Since the 2011 revolution, multiple — often violent — changes of government, terrorism and now two recent plane accidents are keeping tourists away.


The term millennial is thrown around so frequently that many may not know who is and isn't a millennial. It's used pretty generally to mean a young person, and it doesn't really have a strict definition, which has been confusing for some. 

Kai Ryssdal

In the 1960s, Bob Moog started making synthesizers. Now, more than a decade after his death, the name Moog is synonymous with synth. What’s more, Moog Music the company is going strong thanks to Mr. Moog’s ability to engineer instruments musicians love to play.

Credit card debt soars to nearly $1 trillion

May 20, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

It was a long struggle.  But finally, two months ago, 35-year-old Davin Anderson of Cleveland and his wife Kristin paid off their credit card balance, which at one point was as high as $8,000.  The bank just kept raising their credit limit.

“It happened again and again and again,” Anderson said.

Finally, Anderson said, his wife asked the bank to lower their credit limit to $4,000.

“They balked and argued with us a little bit," he said. "Just prying questions — you know, "Why?”

LaToya Dennis

News broke this week that the employees at Leon's Frozen Custard were only allowed to speak English to customers, even if they could be best helped in Spanish. Since then, the owner of the iconic custard stand on Milwaukee's south side has reversed his English only policy. 

While a few groups were calling for a federal investigation into labor law violations, not everyone was swayed by allegations of discrimination.

Marketplace for Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Rising credit card debt, dwindling Egyptian tourism and some very Angry Birds. Plus: a conversation with Moog CEO Mike Adams.

Making 'Angry Birds' fly

May 20, 2016
Adrienne Hill

When you think about the job of a Hollywood director, maybe you conjure up an image of Steven Spielberg framing the perfect shot. Or Martin Scorsese coaxing an Oscar-winning performance out of Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Meryl Streep.

But what if, instead, that director was bringing his cinematic vision to a movie about a  bunch of cartoon birds who shoot themselves like feathered missiles toward  green pigs?

What goes into that job?