Illinois Economy

Business and economic news

Congress is not the only place National Parks get their money

Oct 25, 2017

The National Parks Service has its own fundraising arm, tasked with raising private money to keep the parks open and maintained. The National Park Foundation was established by Congress in 1967 in part through the efforts of Lady Bird Johnson and Laurance Rockefeller. CEO Will Shafroth has held the job since 2015. The National Park Foundation gave $126 million to the parks last year, boosting their annual budget of about $3 billion. 

 As teenagers in high school, Luis Tinoco and Dulce Garcia rolled in different circles. Tinoco was the loud guy in the hallways, always cracking jokes.

“And I was the opposite,” Garcia said. “Really quiet, really shy, really serious.”

“That’s why I never talked to her, because she was always with that mean face,” Tinoco said jokingly.

Garcia said she wasn’t mean, just focused. She was a steadfast 16-year-old with a 20-year plan.

New laws ban employers from using salary history in hiring

Oct 25, 2017

Multiple cities and states have passed laws recently banning employers from asking a job candidate for their salary history during the employment screening and interviewing process. The goal, advocates said, is to redress the persistent gender pay gap in America.

The Senate passed a 2018 budget last week, paving the way for a tax overhaul. The House of Representatives is expected to approve it this week, and then the real show begins.

The House is expected to release its tax plan next week. Somewhere on Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee are hammering out a tax plan. And if they aren't sleep deprived now, they're going to be.

(Markets Edition) Congress has quashed a federal rule to stop banks from making consumers go into arbitration when they want to resolve a financial dispute. On today's show, we'll look at the future of the watchdog agency — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — that was behind this regulation. Afterwards, Susan Schmidt from Westwood Holdings Group joins us to chat about the 10-year Treasury yield's rise. And finally, we'll look at why female entrepreneurs get less funding than men, with an eye on the language differences venture capitalists use when speaking to them.


How in the world is Twitter still not making any money?

Oct 25, 2017

Over four years ago, in September 2013, Twitter announced that it was going public. While some had expected the news, others were left wondering: How the @### is Twitter going to make money?

This year for the first time, consumers say they’ll spend more shopping online than in physical stores. That’s according to an annual consumer holiday shopping survey by Deloitte. It’s one more data point documenting the march of e-commerce to capture ever more of America’s retail spending. Deloitte’s online survey of more than 5,000 Americans found consumers plan to spend 51 percent of their holiday dollars online this year.

10/25/2017: A key win for the banking industry

Oct 25, 2017

(U.S. Edition) The U.S. Senate has voted to kill a federal rule that banned banks from forcing customers into arbitration, which would then make it easier for consumers to sue their banks in class-action lawsuits.We'll look at what the process of arbitration entails and why Republicans came out strongly against the rule. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new survey that shows Americans, for the first time, will spend more shopping online than in stores. Then, we'll talk to one unauthorized immigrant in Houston about how she's dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. 

Senate GOP votes to repeal consumer rule

Oct 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a further rollback of Obama-era regulations, the Republican-led Senate voted narrowly to repeal a banking rule that would have allowed consumers to join together to sue their bank or credit card company to resolve financial disputes.

Getting your life together after a major disaster is tough, no matter what. It’s especially hard without one of the major lifelines after disaster in the United States — direct cash assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Unauthorized immigrants don’t qualify. Houston, struck in August by Hurricane Harvey, is home to about 500,000 unauthorized immigrants. 

Can you really make money while doing good?

Oct 25, 2017

We usually assume that investors in the tech industry have one thing on their minds: money. But that's not the only goal of every venture capital firm out there.

10/25/2017: Giving minority entrepreneurs a chance

Oct 25, 2017

There’s a group of venture capital firms that want to change the world for the better and make money. This is called impact investing. One of the firms working in this space is Impact America Fund, which invests in companies with diverse missions – for instance, a startup that helps African-American stylists sell their own hair extensions. Marketplace Tech host Molly Woods talks with Impact America Fund founder Kesha Cash about the sometimes complex collision of money and mission in venture capital.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service…U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he wants to strengthen cooperation and trade between America and India, but there are still some disagreements to be worked out. Afterwards, we’ll tell you about a law firm specializing in offshore accounts that said it suffered a hack last year, potentially revealing details on some of Britain’s wealthiest people. Then, Britain’s economy grew slightly more than expected in the third quarter but it’s still one of the slowest growing advanced nations.

Why female entrepreneurs get less funding than men

Oct 25, 2017

When entrepreneur Kim Taylor began pitching her online education startup to investors, just like the fictional character Alice, she felt like she'd fallen down a rabbit hole where the normal rules of logic no longer applied.  She didn’t just have to prove her idea was solid. She also endured questions about whether the online education market itself was even real.

“And you know, this is a market that has several multibillion-dollar companies in it," she said. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks in Saudi Arabia today at the launch of what’s being called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center. Mnuchin’s leading a weeklong delegation to the Middle East to meet with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel and Qatar to talk about ways to combat terrorist financing. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Here's what you don't know about regulations

Oct 25, 2017

Can you name a federal regulation off the top of your head?

You come into contact with dozens before you leave the house in the morning (and plenty while you're asleep), but regulations are often invisible to us.

“I know laws really get all the attention — they are sexy," Sean Moulton with the Project on Government Oversight told us earlier this year. "Everyone wants to cheer about a law getting signed by the president, but the reality is regulations are where the rubber meets the road.”

10/24/2017: The Uber of office space

Oct 24, 2017

Out with the old and in with the new: New York's iconic Lord & Taylor building will become the headquarters of WeWork, a co-working startup that transformed the office leasing business to become the largest leaser of new office space. They're on the up for now, hurtling toward a future as a full-on millenial lifestyle brand with more than 150,000 members worldwide. In other HQ news, we tell a tale of two Dallases, one before and one and after it failed to woo Boeing's corporate headquarters. And there's an uptick in enrollment in historically black colleges and universities.

37.5: Hold on for one more day...

Oct 24, 2017

No podcast today, but there will be one Wednesday. Until then, we've got a little preview of our continuing discussion of moral capitalism to whet your appetite ... or make you run for the hills. You decide. Talk with you soon.

NPR Illinois

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

After 13 years of teaching, illustrator and graphic designer goes freelance

Oct 24, 2017

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Ron Hill is an illustrator and graphic designer in Cleveland. He is now part of the creative design company Act 3. But his career has taken him down different paths, from teaching to freelancing. 

Hollywood is dealing with a history of sexual harassment

Oct 24, 2017

Bill O'Reilly, celebrity chef Jonathan Besh in New Orleans, Hollywood director James Toback, and, of course, Harvey Weinstein. Dozens and dozens of women have come forward, alleging those four men harassed and or assaulted them. Millions have been paid in settlements and nondisclosure agreements. The issue of sexual harassment and assault is one that's become especially focused on Hollywood and the entertainment industry. Janice Min knows that subject well; she used to be the editor and is now a part owner of The Hollywood Reporter.

A new study out today finds that the children of immigrants, especially immigrants of color, face persistent challenges to educational and economic success. The study is from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a philanthropic organization devoted to at-risk children.

The country's oldest luxury retailer, Lord & Taylor, said today that it's selling its iconic Manhattan headquarters for $850 million. After Christmas next year, the building will become the headquarters for WeWork, a 7-year-old office space company. WeWork is valued at $20 billion, making it the fourth most valuable private U.S. startup — behind Airbnb, Uber, and SpaceX.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 


10/24/2017: A better way to detect marijuana

Oct 24, 2017

(Markets Edition) The head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade association that represents tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter, will testify before Congress today. CEO Randall Rothenberg has already released a prepared testimony about the rules that govern digital ads, which we'll examine on today's show. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation that looks at the challenges that children of immigrants of color face. Then, we'll talk about the race to get a breathalyzer that can detect marijuana. 


The proposals for Amazon’s second headquarters are now in. Dallas, along with a long list of cities across the country, is trying to win the bid. More than sixteen years ago, North Texas almost won the headquarters of another Seattle-based giant contemplating a move: Boeing. Although Dallas ultimately lost to Chicago, the story didn’t end there. 

On the 150-year-old campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore, the band warmed up a crowd before a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $90 million student services building. Then President David Wilson stepped to the podium to welcome the mayor and dozens of other dignitaries and alums.

“Growth is essential to the vibrancy and to the relevancy of a modern university,” Wilson told the crowd. “Morgan must never, ever cease to grow.”

Congress looks at capping your annual 401(k) contribution

Oct 24, 2017

First, there were trial balloons about Republicans paying for a tax cut in part by scaling down the 401(k), tax-free retirement savings system, where you save on taxes now but pay them later at retirement when you may be in a lower tax bracket. (The proposed annual contribution limit: $2,400.) 

President Trump is heading to Capitol Hill today. He's scheduled to speak at a lunch for Senate Republicans and lay out his priorities for the rest of the legislative session. With roughly 30 working days left on the calendar, Congress is going to be in a mad dash to get things done. 

Click the audio player to hear the full story.

(U.S. Edition) On Trump's plate when he heads to Capitol Hill today: the legislative agenda. There's a lot for Congress to do in just 30 days. On today's show, we'll look at some of the issues they'll need to tackle. Afterwards, we'll discuss the EU's investigation into the possible collusion of various German car companies, and then visit Houston to find out how one family is coping post-Harvey.

Legal marijuana creates an industry for new breathalyzers

Oct 24, 2017

Starting in January, anyone over the age of 21 will be able to buy recreational marijuana in California. That’s already the case in states like Oregon and Washington. And while buyers will be able to choose from a cornucopia of cannabis products, law enforcement still won’t have a fast, reliable test for intoxication. Standard breathalyzers can’t detect marijuana, and blood and urine tests aren’t sensitive enough to show whether someone consumed marijuana five minutes ago or last week.