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Companies and countries seek tariff exemptions

Mar 19, 2018

A beer trade group with members that sell the beverage in aluminum cans. Companies that want to show their products have a role in national security. And foreign trading blocs like the European Union. All these entities are trying to figure out the new rules when it comes to applying for exemptions from tariffs on steel and aluminum that are set to take effect at the end of this week.

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On a recent drive from Dublin to the northern city of Londonderry, the only way I knew I had crossed an international border was because the GPS screen in my rental car told me so. 

"You have entered the United Kingdom," it said. 

The thing to know about the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of Great Britain, and the Republic of Ireland, which will remain part of the European Union after Brexit, is this: there really isn't one. 

Does the U.S. have too many financial regulators?

Mar 19, 2018

How many agencies does it take to regulate a financial system? In United States, about half a dozen at least.

And this fragmented system made dealing with the 2008 financial crisis more difficult. Regulators struggled to figure out who had authority to do what, and there was no one figure overseeing the efforts to right the U.S. economy.

Pharmaceutical companies and insurers are slugging it out over drug coupons, and the fight is likely to affect the prices people pay for their prescriptions.

Coupons, which are used to get steep discounts, typically come in the form of cards that consumers get in drug ads or from doctors. Coupons help drug companies sell more products, but studies show coupons also raise health care costs because they encourage people to buy more expensive drugs, even when cheaper generics are available. Insurance companies, therefore, don’t think much of coupons.

03/19/2018: Ben, Hank and Tim

Mar 19, 2018

That is, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner, former president of the New York Federal Reserve and former Treasury secretary. We sat down with all three of them at Yale University last week to talk about what they saw 10 years ago as the economy collapsed, and what worries them now. We'll bring you bits of that conversation throughout today's show, with even more in the coming days.

Long before Americans heard about Russians using social media as part of a broader interference campaign in the 2016 US presidential elections, the Kremlin was trolling its own citizens.

For years, reports have surfaced of nondescript buildings in St. Petersburg and Moscow that teemed with trolls who produced blog posts, comments and memes designed to influence opinions, sow confusion and sway voters’ opinions.

Facebook and other tech stocks plunge as U.S. indexes skid

Mar 19, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) - A sharp loss for Facebook is dragging technology companies lower Monday as U.S. stock indexes skid. The social media company is facing new criticism related to privacy issues following reports that a data mining firm working for the Trump campaign improperly obtained and then kept data on tens of millions of users. The stock is on pace for its biggest loss in four years.

In Russia, a ‘ghost empire’ rises

Mar 19, 2018

In July of 2016, I wrangled a rare invitation to the Baltic Factory, a legendary shipyard in Saint Petersburg, for the maiden voyage of the Arktika. 

This was no ordinary ship. The first of a series of next-generation Russian nuclear icebreakers, the Arktika was and is touted as the biggest and most powerful ship of its kind — a mammoth football field-sized vessel that could cut through ice almost 10 feet deep on ostensibly endless journeys through the most desolate areas of the globe. And while it’s doing that, Arktika is also securing Russia’s economic future. 

At first glance, the tactics appear as different as the geography.

In Ukraine, the Kremlin has denied — repeatedly — the presence of Russian armed forces. The war is cast as an internal conflict between a fascist Ukrainian government in Kiev and Russian-speaking separatists in the country’s east. Yet the Kremlin sides with the separatists politically while tacitly endorsing incursions by patriotic Russian “volunteers” to aid the separatists militarily. Many of these “volunteers” were once members of the armed forces. Others, it appears, still are.

The home equity loan deduction gets a second life

Mar 19, 2018

At the end of February, the IRS issued a statement announcing that interest paid on home equity loans is still deductible under the new tax law if it is used for home improvements. The deduction was declared dead by a number of tax experts following the passage of the Republican tax bill at the end of 2017.

Cash-strapped American cities are increasingly asking their residents to pay higher amounts for mundane services as they struggle to pay for mounting pension obligations, cover costly infrastructure improvements and replace revenue depleted by the last recession. Bills are rising for everything from parking tickets and 911 calls to sewer service and trash pickup.

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What your internet service provider knows about you

Mar 19, 2018

I don’t know him all that well, but Cameron Camp knows a lot about me.

In just a few days, he’s collected 30 million records on me. We asked his company, ESET, to try and understand what information my internet company, my internet service provider, knows about me.

Camp sent me a device called a “packet sniffer,” which I hooked up to my computer and let him see pretty much everything I do online that’s not encrypted. He can see that I collaborate with a team, some of the websites I've visited and some of the articles that I’ve read. Some of it was really personal.

03/19/2018: The Fed isn't handing out candy anymore

Mar 19, 2018

(Markets Edition) Jerome Powell is set to chair his first interest rate meeting at the Federal Reserve this week, and you can expect rates to go up. We'll talk to economist Julia Coronado from MacroPolicy Perspectives about how the possibility of interest hikes — and America's new trade policies — is making the markets nervous. Afterwards, we'll look at how companies use coupons for name-brand drugs to steer customers away from purchasing lower-cost generics.

With Toys R Us closing its doors, what will happen to toy manufacturers that depended on the chain to display and sell everything from dolls to toy cars? What options do big toymakers like Mattel and Hasbro have, and what about smaller companies that looked to the retailer for shelf space? For companies in the toy game, a look at the next move.

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Merger of AT&T-Time Warner goes to court

Mar 19, 2018

AT&T’s proposed $84.5 billion bid to take over Time Warner goes before a federal judge beginning today . The Trump Justice Department is suing to block the mega-merger on antitrust grounds.

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The recent departure of a former US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson is putting a spotlight on the agency’s special operations — large, multi-day investigations that identify, arrest and deport people who are deemed a risk to public safety and have committed immigration violations.

03/19/2018: AT&T vs. the government

Mar 19, 2018

(U.S. Edition) AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner in an $85 billion deal is heading to court today. We'll look at why AT&T wants to make this move — and what some of the consequences could be if this deal goes through. Afterwards, we'll preview part of our interview with Timothy Geithner, former president of the New York Fed, about whether the government was right to rescue big banks back during the financial crisis.

In the age of social media, we should add a coda to the saying that knowledge is power: Data is a weapon.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … China today named a new central bank governor, but it’s another appointment that’s garnering attention. Liu He, who has been tapped as vice premier, believes his country’s economic growth model, which relies heavily on debt, is posing a fundamental issue of security. We’ll tell you what it means for China’s future economic policies. Then, Russian President Vladimir Putin will lead his country for another six years, but what will the nation’s continued saber rattling mean for U.S. sanctions and economic stability?

The three men who helped shepherd the U.S. through the 2008 Great Recession are worried that the country and Congress have not learned the right lessons from the last financial crisis — and may not have the tools to weather the next one.

After Hurricane Maria, some good news for Puerto Rico

Mar 16, 2018

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.

On hearing the news of a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, some parents from the remote town of Chibok northeast Nigeria began planning a trip to Abuja, capital city of the country. Almost four years ago, on April 14, 2014, these parents lost more than 200 of their own children when the girls were kidnapped from a school dormitory in Chibok.

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?

(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.

Sometime after midnight in mid-May of 2017, 27-year-old JeanCarlo Jimenez Joseph fashioned a noose from a bed sheet and hanged himself in his solitary confinement cell at the Stewart Detention Center, located in the pine woods of southwest Georgia. Stewart’s low-slung complex lies behind two tall chain-linked fences, each crowned with huge spirals of glinting barbed wire. Beginning in 2006, the facility began to house undocumented immigrants detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.​

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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