National / International News
At 31, Elizabeth Holmes is the youngest female, self-made, multi-billionaire in America, according to Forbes. The company Holmes created, Theranos, developed a home blood testing kit that could challenge the business model of medical labs.
This spring, she was invited by the White House to be a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, where she’ll focus on attracting women to science, tech, engineering and math fields, as well as improving global public health.
Click the media player above to hear Elizabeth Holmes in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.
In the midst of the current Greek financial crisis, some cryptocurrency enthusiasts have pointed to Bitcoin as the panacea for the country's financial woes. The price of the cryptocurrency has steadily risen as the Greek financial crisis has intensified. However, the question remains: can digital money give Greece an out? Spoiler alert: no.
Nathaniel Popper, author of the book, "Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires trying to Reinvent Money," maintains Bitcoin will not save Greece because “at this point, I think Greek citizens are locked into their own system and the bad decisions people have made. I don't think there is an easy way out.”
In theory, Bitcoin seems like just that. However, the logistics of buying bitcoin requires you to move money from your bank account to the bank account of a Bitcoin service. Not so easy when Greeks are unable to withdraw money from the ATM. Sure, you can buy bitcoins from someone in a café with cash from under your bed, but to pull a country out of a financial crisis? Unlikely.
Popper points to Argentina as an example where some “real experimentation is going on” with Bitcoin, but he reminds us that the Bitcoin story “is a very young technology. It’s not ready for the prime time. It’s like expecting to run Netflix on the Internet of 1995.”
As Popper explains it, Bitcoin hopefuls may be expecting too much from the cryptocurrency: “Throughout the Bitcoin story, it's been offered as a utopian solution. But these utopian solutions always need to find some way to get from the current system to the utopian future.”
Ideas anyone? We’re still buffering our 1995 dial-up Netflix.
New York mayor Bill de Blasio has banned "poor doors," or separate entrances to be used by lower-income residents of mixed-income buildings.
De Blasio inserted language into a tax program signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Housing analysts say real estate developers are likely to look for other ways of appealing to market-rate tenants, like the addition of luxury features inside their apartments.
Those who study mixed-income housing say New York's leaders would do best to determine if they simply wants to build more affordable housing, or, additionally, attempt to integrate New Yorkers along income lines. If it's the latter, the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy should probably learn to share buildings.
Click the media player above to hear more.
The U.S. will open an embassy in Havana, Cuba — so said President Barack Obama Tuesday, a significant step showing that efforts to normalize relations with Cuba are ticking along. However, the embargo still stands and only Congress can lift it. Should that happen, many U.S. exporters will stand to benefit, including American rice farmers.
Ray Stoesser grows about 4,000 to 5,000 acres of rice on his Texas farm and would very much like to see some of it head to Cuba.
“We as farmers, we analyze what the market is, what people want to buy and we grow it,” he says. “Right now, we don’t have enough buyers and that’s why the rice price slipped so much.”
Rice prices have dropped significantly this year, but Stoesser thinks if the U.S. could sell to Cuba, the increased demand would help prices recover. Cuba was a major importer of rice before the embargo.
But Louisiana grower Fred Zaunbrecher says margins are so slim right now, growers aren’t investing in new equipment or planning for new potential customers.
“We really can’t bank on it or grow a crop on it or make financial decisions on it until it’s actually opened and our markets are responding to that demand,” says Zaunbrecher.
However, should Congress decide to lift the embargo, the rice industry will be ready, says Terry Harris with Riceland Foods, a large rice miller and marketer.
“We have the abilities, we have the infrastructure,” he says. “We could ship rice to [Cuba] starting next week.”
That's how many U.S. jobs were added in June, with the unemployment rate declining to 5.3 percent, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But as the New York Times reports, economists have pointed out that the unemployment rate fell for the wrong reason: people exiting the workforce.$1.9 billion
That's how much Puerto Rico paid back Wednesday of its $72 billion in debts, narrowly avoiding default. Puerto Rico makes up a small part of the bond market but it's an attractive place for investors, and some are getting worried that the market as a whole could take a hit if the country becomes "America's Greece" and fails to pay back what it owes.$20 billion
That's the sales taken in for ... wait for it ... bubble wrap in 2013. But Sealed Air Corp., the original seller of the packing material, has lately seen its sales deflate (pun-intended). That's why it's starting to sell a revamped version of the product that comes in flat rolls and is inflated by the buyer with a specialized pump. But we'll let the Wall Street Journal burst your bubble on this one: the new wrap doesn't pop like it used to.$2
That's what a monthly subscription to Apple Music costs in India, a fifth of the U.S. price, and it's not the only country where subscriptions are slashed. Quartz points out other local and international music services already enjoy a foothold in these emerging markets. For example Rdio costs a mere $0.60 in India. Apple is uncharacteristically bringing prices down to stay competitive, betraying its latecomer status in the streaming business.$45 million
That's how much Hillary Clinton has raised in her first quarter as an official presidential candidate, breaking the fundraising record sent by President Barack Obama last cycle. Bloomberg notes her dominance could be short lived, as other campaigns and super PACs haven't disclosed their donations yet.
Federal grant money is flowing to skills training programs for ex-offenders. But aid will be successful only if employers are willing to hire them. That's where state re-entry programs show promise.
The Islamic State is a Sunni Muslim group. Yet many Sunnis have abandoned their homes and fled areas where ISIS has taken over in Iraq. But that doesn't mean Shiites welcome them with open arms.