Illinois Economy

Business and economic news

(Global edition) From the BBC World Service … The boss of WPP, the world’s biggest advertising firm, quit Saturday amid allegations of personal misconduct. What does his departure signal for the future of the ad business, and is there a chance he could return to the industry? Then, the U.S. is weighing a third round of sanctions against Russia today, targeting companies with links to chemical weapons use in Syria. But is Russia ready to flex its own retaliation muscles – and who will it hurt more?

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear a case that will determine who collects sales tax for online purchases. Right now, many online merchants — such as Overstock and Newegg —don't collect sales tax — which means lots of customers just don’t pay it. Next on Marketplace Tech, a look at the history of why online retailers haven’t collected sales tax — unless they have a physical presence in a state … and how likely that is to change. 

Most people don't pay taxes when shopping online. That could go away.

Apr 16, 2018

Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair, which could determine the future of who collects online sales tax.  

Farm bill calls on more SNAP recipients to work

Apr 13, 2018

House Republicans have unveiled the 2018 farm bill. The legislation doesn’t just deal with agriculture, though. It also includes money for food stamps, now known as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And that funding comes with strict work requirements.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

TPP re-think could boost U.S.-Pacific trade

Apr 13, 2018

The world has had about a day to digest President Donald Trump's 180-degree turn on trade. We are talking about TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Candidate Trump railed against TPP. He pulled the U.S out in his first week as president. Now, he’s told his top economic lieutenants to explore going back in. What do American farmers and companies stand to gain?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Out with the old tax season, in with the new

Apr 13, 2018

It's the last weekend before tax season ends, and a lot of us are already thinking ahead, particularly because the whole tax system is going to change. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in December 2017 will apply to our tax filing for 2018, but accountants are already fielding questions from clients about it. We checked in with accountants around the country about it.

Does the new tax law apply yet?

How to be an umpire

Apr 13, 2018

Everyone has a dream job growing up: doctor, vet, ice cream taste tester. But how do you actually get the gig? Marketplace Weekend is looking into how, with the occasional series, “How to be a ...”

In honor of baseball season, we are looking at how to be an umpire. Let’s get the basics out of the way: Yes, you need good eyesight. Yes, women can be major league umpires, too. And no, you can't have a favorite team

Choose a job you love and you will never have to ... die prematurely?

Apr 13, 2018

As much as we joke around about our jobs killing us, it looks like work really could do us in.

In fact, according to Stanford business professor Jeffery Pfeffer, workplaces account for the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.

In his book, "Dying for a Paycheck," Pfeffer goes in depth on the physical and mental impact of the workplace, and how “work’s killing me” might not just be a figure of speech.

How did we get here?

New Farm Bill proposes changes to food stamps

Apr 13, 2018

Every five years, Congress is expected to display bipartisanship for one major bill - the Farm Bill. This year, amid talk of trade wars that greatly affect farmers and ranchers, the proposed farm bill released April 12 is already dividing the legislature. That's at least in part because it seeks to impose stricter rules on people receiving food stamps, or SNAP. Catherine Boudreau, food and agriculture reporter at Politico, breaks down the different parts of the bill that affect farmers, ranchers, and low-income Americans.

There have been over 8,000 IPOs — initial public offerings — in the U.S. market since 1980. 

What do you need to know about IPOs if you think that you want to invest in the stock of a newly listed company?

Bill Mann, director of Small Cap Research at the financial services company The Motley Fool, shares the five things you need to know before you invest.

1. Don't get swept away by the hullabaloo and pay too much for your investment.

4 things to know about Russian internet usage

Apr 13, 2018

This past week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress about how Cambridge Analytica accessed user data. The hearings also touched on advertising, privacy and false content. Zuckerberg was asked about what role Facebook played in the 2016 elections, specifically Russian advertising and influence.

On Jan. 23, 2017 — the same day that President Donald Trump formally pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked with Keith Alverson to see how he was feeling. He's a corn and soybean farmer in Chester, South Dakota and sits on the National Corn Growers Association board of directors.

Do work requirements for welfare recipients work?

Apr 13, 2018

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump signed a new executive order designed to strengthen work requirements for welfare recipients. That means low-income Americans who receive food assistance, Medicaid and low-income housing subsidies might now be required to join the workforce or lose their access to such benefits.

The ISIS regime you've never seen

Apr 13, 2018

In 2014, ISIS declared a caliphate — a traditional form of Islamic rule. It controlled territory in Syria and Northern Iraq about the size of Great Britain. By the end of 2017, it had basically lost it all. In its retreat, ISIS left behind paperwork — detailed records of how it functioned as a bureaucracy.

(Markets Edition) Every five years or so, the Farm Bill — which sets the country's food and agriculture policy — goes up for renewal. Much of its funding is related to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as food stamps. House Republicans want to add work requirements for SNAP recipients, which would include working or enrolling in job training at least 20 hours a week. We'll talk to the vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee — Glenn Thompson (R-PA) — about why they're pushing for these requirements.

Once a month the Labor Department releases the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary. The report for February will be out later this morning. As the economy has continued to recover from the Great Recession, the number of job openings has increased, now at a record high since the statistics have been gathered — and there's a lack of workers to fill them. And one statistic, the “quits rate,” will indicate whether workers are feeling confident enough to quit their current job for new opportunities and better pay.

Amid tensions with the U.S., Latin American leaders meet in Peru

Apr 13, 2018

The eighth Summit of the Americas gets underway today in Lima, Peru. More than 30 leaders from Latin America will be there. But not President Trump; Vice President Mike Pence will attend instead. So what might be accomplished at the summit, and how are Latin American leaders feeling about the United States right now?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(U.S. Edition) One of President Trump's first acts in office was pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Now he may just re-enter the deal. While talks are still in their early stages, we'll discuss who the potential winners and losers would be if the U.S. were to rejoin the agreement. Afterwards, we'll look at another major free trade announcement: 44 African countries have signed up for the African Continental Free Area, which would create one of the largest free-trade zones in the world. Plus: We talk about the huge reorganization plans happening at VW.

Free trade gets a boost in Africa

Apr 13, 2018

In an effort to create a single continental market for goods and services in Africa, with free movement of products, money and people, 44 out of 55 African countries have agreed to  the African Continental Free Trade Area. The AfCFTA, which came out of a summit in Rwanda in March, would create one of the world’s largest free-trade areas. This pact, if ratified, would be the largest trade agreement since the formation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … A C-suite shakeup overnight at VW: Who’s in, who’s out, and what’s next for the automaker as it turns another page on its 2015 diesel-emissions scandal.  Then, what will President Trump’s absence from the Summit for the Americas in Peru mean for the U.S. relationship with Latin American leaders?  Afterward, if your Friday-night plans involve a stop off at the local bar, you might be surprised to find more and more patrons sipping on non-alcoholic beer and cocktail lookalikes.

The Data Economy: Data-fueled politics

Apr 13, 2018

Recently on Marketplace Tech, we interviewed Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, who said this: “People have been coming to politicians for a long time now saying, ‘I can win your election for you on the internet.’”

04/13/2018: When campaigns figured out the internet

Apr 13, 2018

This week Marketplace Tech has been focused on the data economy, and how the practice of trading our personal information for services evolved. The revelation that Facebook data was harvested by a political data analytics firm kicked off this conversation, but it’s important to note that politics has been involved with social media for a long time. And politicians have been experts at gathering data about us for even longer.

The fundamentals of this economy are strong right now but you wouldn’t always know it from the stock markets lately. Volatility has been the word of recent weeks. But on Friday big banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are expected to show strong profits.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

What taxi ride data reveals about the NY Fed and big banks

Apr 12, 2018

Big data is powerful. A recent analysis of over 500 million New York City taxi rides found evidence of informal communications between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and major financial institutions around the time of Federal Open Market Committee meetings. David Finer, the study’s author, says that increases the probability of information leaks from Federal Reserve officials.

04/12/2018: TPP? TBD

Apr 12, 2018

Much like health care, it seems global trade is a harder nut to crack than the White House thought it might be. In a meeting today, Presdient Donald Trump said he's told his top economic and trade advisers to look at getting the United States back into the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It's not really a surprise. The president hinted at it in Davos, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flat out said it in an interview on this program. That's where we're starting today, plus the latest on bank earnings and Disney's move to streaming. Also: A lot of science fiction tech has become reality.

58: So ... you wanna talk about Facebook?

Apr 12, 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's loooong testimony on Capitol Hill is over, and we have so many thoughts we added an episode to hash them out. So we're back, asking big questions: What problem do lawmakers think they need to solve? Is that even the most pressing problem? And do they know enough about Facebook to tell the difference? Plus, now that he's back in Menlo Park, does Zuckerberg get what a big deal this is?

Congress finally got its chance to grill Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week. The hearings in both the Senate and the House were mainly focused on data collected by Facebook and the apps that live on its platforms, as well as how that data can be used. While lawmakers had a lot of questions, Zuckerberg did not always have an answer ready. Instead, he told lawmakers that his team would “follow up.” This is actually a pretty common practice at hearings for executives, but we thought we’d check if the company would actually follow up.

White Castle is adding a "bloody" veggie burger to its menu

Apr 12, 2018

Fast food chain White Castle is stepping into the plant-base meat game by debuting a new slider from Impossible Foods. The plant-based meat is made from potato protein, coconut oil and wheat protein. Sounds dull? Maybe. But it gets the characteristic texture and bloody look of meat. And for meat lovers, it even smells and tastes like ground beef.

Can science fiction predict our economic future?

Apr 12, 2018

Self-driving cars, 3-D printers and robots are just a few inventions first hinted at in science fiction that later became a reality. That's one reason why companies are visiting the small town of Wetzlar, Germany. Wetzlar is home to what's called the Fantastic Library — a large public collection of fantasy and science fiction literature. From the outside, the Fantastic Library looks fairly ordinary. A  few dragon decorations on its facade are the only clue that this small building houses something unusual.

04/12/2018: A small sigh of relief for the markets

Apr 12, 2018

(Markets Edition) While President Trump tweeted yesterday that missiles "will be coming" to Syria, he's now saying an attack  could happen "very soon or not so soon at all!" That had investors breathing a small sigh of relief. We'll talk to Susan Schmidt, senior vice president at Westwood Holdings Group, about why she thinks the markets are facing a "confused moment." Afterwards, we'll look at how Delta's business is doing ahead of the release of its first-quarter earnings report. Then to cap off today's show, we'll discuss the controversy surrounding the U.K.'s new passport colors.