Economy & Business

Business news

After a 330,000-gallon spill shut down a gasoline pipeline in Alabama on Sept. 9, fuel shortages and high gas prices are occurring across the Southern United States this week, NPR member stations report.

Emily Siner of Nashville's WPLN tells NPR's Newscast that prices there have risen about 20 cents per gallon since Thursday, and officials are urging drivers not to fill up unless they need to:

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Clawbacks often leave out the clawing

Sep 20, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

Wells Fargo CEO Jon Stumpf went to Capitol Hill today to get an earful from Senators. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren did not hold back.

“This just isn’t right.  A cashier who steals a handful of twenties is held accountable but Wall Street executives almost never hold themselves accountable,” she said, referring both to the financial crisis and to the incentive system at Wells Fargo that she said drove employees to illegally open bank accounts for customers without their knowledge. 


As driverless cars go from sci-fi to reality, Americans are watching the birth of a revolutionary new industry — and the government wants to play more of a role in shaping it. 

The Obama Administration has released guidelines to get makers of self-driving cars to share more information about their safety systems proactively, instead of having them hash everything out on their own. 

You’re probably wasting money on premium gas

Sep 20, 2016
Sarah Menendez

Using premium fuel for cars that only require regular-grade fuel has no added benefit — in fact, it’s a waste of money, according to a study from AAA. The study reported that Americans “wasted more than $2.1 billion dollars in the last year using premium-grade gasoline in vehicles designed to run on regular fuel.”

Wells Fargo has been feeling the heat since news broke earlier this month that it was being fined $185 million to settle allegations that thousands of employees secretly opened unauthorized accounts for customers in order to meet sales goals.

During testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf apologized for betraying customers' trust.

JaeRan Kim

California is renewing its leadership in combating climate change with a bill signed yesterday by Governor Jerry Brown. The law takes aim at reducing short-lived climate pollutants, which include methane.

California’s dairies produce about 20 percent of the nation’s milk supply. They also produce high quantities of methane, which seeps from manure or escapes in cow flatulence. The bill requires a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2024.

Administration Aims To Fight Crime With Job Training

Sep 20, 2016

The Labor Department will hand out $5 million in grants to fund job centers for people coming out of jails, part of a broader Obama administration initiative to help reduce recidivism, NPR has learned.

"The earlier you start investing in people who are incarcerated, the better the odds of a successful outcome," Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in an interview.

The new batch of funding means that 41 such grant projects in a number of states have now won federal funding, known as Linking to Employment Activities Pre-release.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Doing farm to table in the 1800s (before it was cool)

Sep 20, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

Taverns existed in America pretty much from the beginning. But Paul Freedman, author of “Ten Restaurants that Changed America” says the first real restaurant in America, “a place where you dined in a nice atmosphere with the people you came in with, where you had a choice of what to order from a menu, and where you could go at different times,” is pretty new.

Marijuana is about to become Big Business

Sep 20, 2016
Jeff Tyler

This November, nine states will consider ballot measures related to marijuana. The big one is California, where voters could make pot legal for recreational use. Considering that the Golden State’s economy is around the sixth biggest in the world, the move could be the tipping point for legitimizing the cannabis market.

As weed has gone more mainstream, it’s attracted more conventional investors. Some of them could be found at the recent Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo in Los Angeles.

A note about "Actuality"

Sep 20, 2016

We are fondly wrapping up production of our podcast Actuality, which was a joint venture between Marketplace and Quartz. The idea for a co-produced podcast came from a shared sensibility around covering business and the economy–a natural outgrowth of our admiration for each other’s work. Actuality has been a great chance for us to experiment together in the ever-changing area of on-demand media.

Marketplace for Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sep 20, 2016

On today's show, we're looking at how government deals with big and growing business: taking back giant Wall Street bonuses, managing fleets of self-driving cars, and managing the pollutants that are, um, produced by dairy herds. Plus: what will happen to the already-growing market for pot as nine more states put recreational use on the ballot?