Local and national business news.

Midwest farmers are wary of talk about tariffs

Jan 6, 2017
Mark Steil

Grain companies in the midwest this year have been busy loading soybean trains for overseas sales.  Soybean exports are so good they've almost single-handedly raised the price of the commodity.  But President-elect Donald Trump's threats of trade sanctions has farmers wondering if that will continue.

We started with a promising jobs report this morning and ended with a report from American intelligence agencies saying Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to help Donald Trump win last year’s presidential election.

Trump, fresh from a briefing with intelligence officials earlier in the day, insisted in a statement that Russia’s actions had no effect on the election.

01/06/17: Americans are finally getting a raise

Jan 6, 2017

First up, wages are on the rise for the first time since President Barack Obama took office. What might this mean for inflation? Then: China is investing a whopping $360 billion in renewable energy over the next few years, and it's not the only emerging economy to make a green power play. Plus, conversations with "nerd Ryan Seacrest" Chris Hardwick and outgoing Secretary of Education John King.

China is investing a whopping $360 billion in renewable energy over the next few years. It’s part of a wider shift in the global green energy story. Where emerging economies are getting more investment in this sector than richer economies.

For all the benefits to future generations that may come with the move away from fossil fuels, China’s move is largely prompted by good old self-interest.

Click the audio player above for the full interview.

What the Secretary of Education wishes he had accomplished

Jan 6, 2017
Lizzie O'Leary and Crystal Castle

In just two weeks, we will have a new president. And along with a new commander-in-chief comes a series of new cabinet members. But before we transition, let’s take a look back.

The outgoing Secretary of Education John King, spoke to Marketplace host Lizzie O’Leary about his time in the department. Below is a transcript that was edited for clarity and brevity.

Tony Wagner

It might be hard for Uber to convince drivers and passengers to carpool, but a study from MIT says widespread use of ridesharing with a good algorithm could cut traffic in crowded cities way, way down.

Researchers used modelling to test a new algorithm on three million taxi trips in New York City. By using carpooling and matching rides in real-time, MIT found just 3,000 cars could cover 98 percent of those rides while keeping wait time to an average 2.7 minutes.

Chris Hardwick on ‘The Wall,’ nerd ubiquity and fighting impostor syndrome

Jan 6, 2017
Lizzie O'Leary, Robert Garrova and Adhiti Bandlamudi

There's a new game show on NBC called "The Wall.” The action centers around a huge pinball looking thing which resembles Japanese pachinko games and contestants have to answer trivia questions to win big money.

The show is co-executive produced by LeBron James and Chris Hardwick, who also hosts.

What rising wages look like around the U.S.

Jan 6, 2017
Donna Tam

The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than economists were expecting in December, but there was some good news: wages are finally on the rise.

Wages last month were up 2.9 percent over the past year, which pencils out to a raise, on average, of about $0.75 an hour.  

Lizzie O'Leary and Eliza Mills

On this week's show Marketplace's Andy Uhler and Kimberly Adams go long on Mexican energy deregulation and short on McDonald's. We talk to Steve Heely, the CEO of the vegan fast casual chain Veggie Grill, about bringing vegan food to the masses. The Atlantic's Dr. James Hamblin talks about his book "If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining the Human Body" and why we should  be weary of health claims made by businesses. Plus, musician Mayer Hawthorne takes the Marketplace Quiz.

Veggie Grill CEO Steve Heeley on expansion and 'veggie positivity'

Jan 6, 2017
Lizzie O'Leary and Eliza Mills

Vegan fast-casual chain Veggie Grill has found success on the West Coast. Since it was founded in 2007 in Irvine, Calif., the restaurant has opened 28 locations in California, Oregon and Washington. The chain recently completed a $22 million round of fundraising, and is now gearing up for a nationwide expansion, planning to double the number of locations in the next three years.