Illinois Economy

Business and economic news

Where does Silicon Valley's bro culture start? VC

Nov 15, 2017

This week, venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, left that firm after allegations of inappropriate behavior and an internal investigation. The company said he left by mutual agreement; he has publicly denied any allegations against him and said on Twitter that he’ll pursue legal action against his accusers.

SJ-R

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis.

The Source Code: Ellen Pao

Nov 15, 2017

In 2012, venture capitalist Ellen Pao sued well-known firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender discrimination. She lost. But the fallout inspired women in the tech industry to come forward with their own stories. Pao and Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke about the pervasive sexual harassment problem in venture capital, how that seeps into the very companies those firms fund and why it's going to take more than a few leaders stepping down to solve the problem. 

Listen to the whole unedited conversation here. 

11/15/2017: Ellen Pao and the bad apples of venture

Nov 15, 2017

This week, venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson left that firm following allegations of inappropriate behavior and an internal investigation. The company said he left by mutual agreement. Ellen Pao is a venture capitalist who sued another well-known firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, for gender discrimination in 2012. She lost the case, but it inspired other women to come forward. Marketplace Tech’s Molly Wood talked with Pao about how her public battle shined a light on venture capital’s culture.

Why discrimination in venture capital runs deep

Nov 15, 2017

This week, venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson left his own firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, amid allegations of inappropriate conduct that led to an internal investigation. The company said he left by mutual agreement.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Ninety-three-year-old Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, but now South Africa's president has confirmed he is under house arrest. We chart the country's economic decline under Mugabe, and ask what his removal from power could mean for the country's future. Afterwards, figures out today from the U.N. show opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is up 40 percent. We hear from Afghanistan about the thousands of young children addicted to the drug.

11/14/2017: Forget it Jake, it’s Washington

Nov 14, 2017

It’s a tax bill! It’s a healthcare bill! It’s a tax bill! It’s a healthcare bill? Just when we were beginning to fully grasp the Senate’s tax bill, Republicans throw in a repeal of the individual health care mandate. And, trade deficits: the president tweeted that he wants them erased — quickly — but why? Economists talk about ways to bring them down, and we have a report on the oil and gas industry, where one trade deficit could become a surplus. Plus, the bipartisan deal in the works to ease banking regulations, and the health risks of fracking.

The powerful hold of Silicon Valley's venture capital priesthood

Nov 14, 2017

Yesterday one of the most prominent venture capital firms in Silicon Valley had a name partner, Steve Jurvetson, resign amid a sexual harassment investigation. Silicon Valley doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to gender issues, and it joins the list of industries under scrutiny in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Molly Wood, host of Marketplace Tech, about the importance of venture capital in the tech ecosystem and how that affects startups run by women.

The Senate tax bill has a health care throwback

Nov 14, 2017

Senate Republicans are working on a tax bill, and today Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul formally proposed an amendment that would get rid of the Affordable Care Act's individual health insurance mandate. Sarah Kliff is the senior policy correspondent at Vox and the host of the new podcast "The Impact." Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal called her up to do a little tax bill unpacking. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

We're about a decade into an oil and gas revolution known shorthand as fracking. It relies on shooting high-pressure water mixed with chemicals down into layers of rock to crack the stone and release oil and gas. Pretty much since the fracking boom began, people who live near these wells have worried about chemicals getting into their water and making them sick.

A bipartisan group of senators has agreed to take a big step in loosening up some of the bank regulations that were put in place after the 2008 financial crisis under the Dodd-Frank law. They're backing a deal that would exempt small and regional banks from regulations and testing meant to ensure that financial institutions can survive certain economic shocks.   Is this a good idea? And who are the winners and losers?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

One front where the U.S. is closing its trade deficit: oil and gas. The International Energy Agency’s new World Energy Outlook forecasts astounding growth in U.S. shale oil production, a growth rate that rivals that of Saudi Arabia at its fastest. The agency said the U.S. will eventually sell more oil than it buys, and while that’s big energy news, it’s not enough to fuel the entire economy.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

What would happen if we reduced trade deficits quickly?

Nov 14, 2017

Fresh from his trip to Asia, President Donald Trump today tweeted that things must change when it comes to trade. "The United States has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion. The massive trade deficits must go down quickly!" he wrote. Now, most economists disagree with the president on whether the current U.S. trade deficits are the problem he says they are. But if the president could reduce America's trade deficit quickly, what would happen?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

41: Do you hear the people sing?

Nov 14, 2017

As we continue to ask the question of whether free-market capitalism is working for enough people, we found ourselves with another question — what happens when it doesn't? Political and economic disruption follows. New leaders emerge. Movements emerge again, like populism. 

(Markets Edition) With the House and Senate continuing to work out the details of their tax plans, we'll take a look at what their proposed cuts would mean in a tight labor market like this.

Fifteen billion dollars a year. That’s about how much historically black colleges and universities contribute to the U.S. economy each year, according to a new study released today by the United Negro College Fund and conducted by the University of Georgia. As Marketplace’s Reema Khrais reports, it’s part of a bigger strategy to highlight the relevance of HBCUs today.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

At the United Nations climate talks in Germany, White House officials are talking about plans to make fossil fuels cleaner or more efficient, and to expand nuclear power, as approaches to reducing emissions. While the rest of the world may be more into discussing renewable energy, the focus of the current U.S. delegation would reduce carbon as well, as fossil fuels and nuclear are expected to remain a big part of the global energy mix.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) A group of senators has announced that they're rolling back regulation on small and regional banks, along with credit unions. We'll go over some of the changes they plan to make, which include easing some Dodd-Frank requirements. Afterwards, we'll examine a new report that shows historically black colleges and universities are contributing $15 billion a year to the economy, and then we'll cap off today's show by looking at a nursing shortage that's forcing hospitals to close beds. One big reason: existing nurses aren't going into education.

International climate talks continue this week in Bonn, Germany. But the actual host nation for the United Nation annual conference is Fiji, and it's the first time an island nation facing dire impacts of climate change has held the symbolic leadership role.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service…Venezuela owes investors $150 billion and one credit agency now say the country is in selective default. Afterwards we hear how Greenpeace activists are taking the Norwegian government to court today to stop Arctic oil drilling.  Then we look at how investors are reacting to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

Nursing shortages are forcing hospitals to close beds, hire temporary nurses at great expense to fill the gap and possibly provide less than optimal care to patients. The problem is not just that people aren’t going into nursing, but also that existing nurses aren’t going into education.

In the tech world, the word “unicorn” refers to a startup company that investors value at more than $1 billion. Unicorns include companies like Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest. But a group of women founders said venture capitalists are too focused on the exponential growth that unicorns provide. They’re pushing back, and have come up with a new term, “zebras,” which they call companies that are both profitable and good for society. Marketplace’s Amy Scott talks with Mara Zepeda, one of the founders of the Zebra Movement.

With the rise of online banking, branches are looking for innovative ways to attract people. One bank in Berlin added a cafe and co-working space, as well as a kids’ corner and a space for gallery exhibitions. Plus, travel insurance is on the rise. And we have reports on dividend cuts at General Electric, the ongoing tax cuts saga and President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Another spin of the revolving door between industry and Washington

Nov 13, 2017

President Donald Trump has nominated Alex Azar as the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. If Azar is confirmed by the Senate, it’ll be a return trip for him. He was deputy secretary of HHS under the George W. Bush administration. Then he took a break, to work as a top executive at the drug maker Eli Lilly.

Would you eat lunch at the bank of the future?

Nov 13, 2017

Karsten Kammholz is taking a lunch break at a unique Deutsche Bank branch in Berlin.

“I don’t come here to do some banking, I just go here sometimes to eat my lunch,” he said. Kammholz confirms that, like in the United States, eating lunch at a bank branch is not normal in Germany. “One colleague said once, 'Come on, let’s go to the Deutsche Bank and eat something,'” he said. “I was looking at him like, 'OK, what?'”

Tariffs for solar power hardware move forward

Nov 13, 2017

The International Trade Commission is delivering its report to the White House on how much to tax imported solar panels and other solar power hardware. It’s the type of tariff President Donald Trump has requested, to help put “America First,” but it will have a major impact on the broader solar industry, from installation to power purchase agreements.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

General Electric announced today that all is maybe not well inside the multinational conglomerate empire. CEO John Flannery said the next couple years will be less profitable than previously thought and that, among other changes, he company will cut its annual dividend in half. That may sound scary if you're holding some GE stock, or if your investment strategy is based on getting reliable chunks of income from dividends, but there’s more to it.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Nervous Americans are shelling out for travel insurance

Nov 13, 2017

Traditionally, Americans haven’t been big on buying travel insurance. When we travel within the United States, we may assume we’re covered for health needs, thanks to our health insurance, and maybe a credit card membership will take care of a canceled flight or lost bags.

But we may be changing our thinking. The US Travel Insurance Association said Americans spent almost $3 billion on insurance in 2016, up 19 percent from two years earlier.

With sexual harassment allegations dominating the headlines over the last few weeks, companies across the nation are revisiting their workplace training. In addition to reassuring employees that complaints of this nature will be taken seriously, some human resource offices have sent reminders about their sexual harassment policies and even requested that employees retake their training.

In her new book, "The Secret Lives of Color," Kassia St. Clair chronicles the origin stories of a rainbow of colors, dyes and shades. In this occasional series, we'll highlight some of the hues featured in her book and the unusual stories behind them. Today, she tells the story of mauve and how it began not as the dusky shade of purple we know now but as something much more vivid and bright. 

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