Marketplace - American Public Media

Subscribe to Marketplace - American Public Media feed
Updated: 13 min 55 sec ago

MARKETPLACE #WATERLOG PICTURE CONTEST

Fri, 2015-01-30 16:12

MARKETPLACE #WATERLOG PICTURE CONTEST  

NO CONTRIBUTION OR PURCHASE IS NECESSARY -- MAKING A CONTRIBUTION WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING THIS CONTEST  

HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST: No contribution or purchase is necessary. To enter: a) become a follower of marketplaceapm on Instagram.com if you haven't already, then b) post your water photo tagging marketplaceapm and include the hashtag: #Waterlog. 

Examples of “water photos” include, but are not limited to, bodies of water, water in daily life (glasses of water), and interpretations of water.  

Entries must be posted during one of the following four time periods (each, an "Entry Period"):  

  • 12:01 pm PT Friday January 30, 2015 and 12:01 pm PT Friday February 6, 2015
  • 12:01 pm PT Friday February 6, 2015 and 12:01 pm PT Friday February 13, 2015
  • 12:01 pm PT Friday February 13, 2015 and 12:01 pm PT Friday February 20, 2015
  • 12:01 pm PT Friday February 20, 2015 and 12:01 pm PT Friday February 27, 2015

Image must publicly viewable. Every eligible entry will be included in the Contest.  

No limit on the number of entries.  Each entry may be entered multiple times in multiple entry periods.  

ELIGIBILITY: Open only to legal residents of any one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. THIS CONTEST IS INTENDED FOR PLAY IN THE UNITED STATES ONLY. DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST UNLESS YOU ARE LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.  

The following persons are not eligible for the Contest:  

  • Persons are employees of Sponsor or its related organizations, including Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media ("Employees').
  • Persons who were employees of Sponsor or its related organizations (including MPR | APM) at any time during the eight (8) months prior to the start of the Contest ('Former Employees").
  • Immediate family, and persons living in the same household as the Employee or Former Employee, and
  • Other persons described in the entry instructions for this Contest.  

Void where prohibited by law.  

IMAGES: To be considered for the Contest, an image submitted as part of the Entry must meet all of the following requirements:  

1) The image must be the original work of the Entrant or by someone acting on behalf of the Entrant, and the Entrant must own all rights to the image. 

2) The image may not depict a minor, violence, nudity, or any other any other subject matter that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, deems inappropriate.  

Any Image that does not meet such image requirements may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Sponsor.  

Sponsor reserves the right to reuse or republish an Entry photo, or to withhold it from publication. By submitting an image, the Entrant is donating it to the Sponsor. There is no direct paid or unpaid compensation for images. The Entrant may be identified in a credited byline on any published images. Sponsor may use the Entry photo in any way, including but not limited to, uses in conjunction with Sponsor's social media sites, The Current web site, or other Sponsor-related web sites, and the image may be retained for future use of any kind.  

PRIZE: One (1) Prize Winner will receive one (1) Marketplace water bottle during each Entry Period, for a total of four (4) Prize Winners for the Contest. Retail Value: $15.00/prize  

Winners are responsible for any costs associated with using the prize. Prize is nontransferable, is not good for cash, and cannot be exchanged for other merchandise. Winner will receive delivery of the prize as arranged by Sponsor.  

SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS: Sponsor may display or publish Entries on Sponsor's website or social media feed; however, any such use of an Entry does not indicate the Entrant will be selected as a Winner.  

Within two (2) hours after the close of each Entry Period, Sponsor will identify the top three (3) entries with the most “likes” on Instagram for that Entry Period.   One (1) Winner and two (2) runners-up will be selected based on “like” counts. Winner will be contacted by Sponsor via direct message and must reply by email within the response time period specified.  

If Sponsor is unable to reach winner or if winner is unable to accept the prize within the response time period specified on the online entry form, then the unawarded prize will go to the first available runner up thereof until the prize is awarded. The rules detailing contest eligibility and method of selecting winners are on file at Sponsor's offices. The chances of winning are dependent upon the number of eligible entries.  

INTERNET AND USE OF TECHNOLOGY: If for any reason this Contest is not capable of running as planned due to an infection by a computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the Entry process. The Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries. The Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or telephone lines, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or Entry to be received by the Sponsor due to technical problems, human error or traffic congestion on the Internet or at the Website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participant's or any other person's computer relating to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading any materials in this Contest. SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INCOMPATIBILITY OF ENTRANT'S HARDWARE, SOFTWARE OR BROWSER TECHNOLOGY WITH SPONSOR'S HARDWARE, SOFTWARE OR BROWSER TECHNOLOGY. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES OR OTHERREMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTEMPT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. In the event of a dispute as to the identity or eligibility of a Winner based on an email address or Twitter account, the winning Entry will be declared made by the "Authorized Account Holder" of the email address or Twitter account at time of Entry. "Authorized Account Holder" is defined as the natural person 18 years of age or older who is assigned to an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, education institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. Sponsor may ask any Entrant or potential Winner to provide Sponsor with proof that such party is the authorized account holder of the email account associated with the Entry.  

Sponsor is not responsible for computer system, phone line, technical, hardware, software or program failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission or network connections that are human or technical in nature. Use of automated devices is not valid for Entry. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate Entry information, whether caused by Internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this Contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the Entries in this Contest. Incomplete, unreadable, inaccurate, unintelligible or late Entries or Entries which otherwise do not comply with these Official Rules will be disqualified. All Entries, upon submission, become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned and the Sponsor has the right to dispose of the Entries at Sponsor's discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, cancel, modify or suspend the online portion of this Contest (or the entire Contest) should any computer virus, bugs or other technical difficulty or other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Contest, at which time, the selection of the Winners will be determined in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received at the time of Contest termination.  

GENERAL: By participating in this Contest, participants agree to be bound by the Official Rules and that Sponsor and related organizations, their agents and employees have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind which result from use of the prize, or by participation in the contest. Sponsor or its related organizations may use winner's name and likeness for advertising, fundraising, promotional or publicity purposes without further compensation. Expenses as a result of winning this prize, including taxes, are the sole responsibility of the winner.  

RESTRICTIONS: By participating in this Contest, a participant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules, and by all decisions of the Sponsor.  

SPONSOR: Minnesota Public Radio, 480 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55101, (651) 290-1500

TurboTax tries to recover from price-hike stumble

Fri, 2015-01-30 13:34

As if paying your taxes isn't penance enough.

TurboTax seems to have made a stumble – a big one. The tax preparation and filing software company raised its prices, but users didn’t realize it until they tried to file their taxes. TurboTax deluxe users weren’t able to file forms like schedules C,D and E unless they paid more for an upgrade. They're making their displeasure known, and the company is scrambling to redeem itself.

“We feel like they’re almost taking us for a ride, by saying 'We have your information. We’re not going to give it to you unless you pay us more money,'" says Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School and author of "Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

For some TurboTax customers, it's as if the Sopranos were preparing their 1040-EZs. 

But Berger notes the problem isn't just about the money.

"This is an issue of expectations. Consumers expected one thing. They thought they were getting a full product, with paying a certain price ,and they were actually only getting a piece of it,” he says.

Luckily for TurboTax, the company has a strong reputation, says Brannon Cashion, global president of Addison Whitney, a brand strategy consulting firm.

"A lot of times people reference online tax preparation or electronic tax preparation as TurboTax," he says. "They’ve got a really strong brand." 

Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, says what TurboTax does now is more important than the mistake it just made.

“The biggest PR crises in history haven’t been a function of what happened but how the company reacted,” he says.

When a company messes up, three things need to happen, Galloway says.

"The first is to acknowledge the issue, to basically admit that you made a mistake," he says. "The second is to have the top guy or gal make that admission – so to get the CEO front and center. And the third is to overcorrect. To offer consumers a better deal than they originally had. Those are the only three things you need to remember, and they are consistently ignored."

TurboTax didn’t respond to a request for a comment. But Galloway says the company is on track to a full recovery. Its CEO has posted an apology on his LinkedIn page and on YouTube, and the company is offering a $25 refund to consumers who paid to upgrade.

Treasure those Roman numerals while you can

Fri, 2015-01-30 13:22

Sunday is Super Bowl XLIX. 

That's 49 ... in the numerology the NFL has followed since 1971 and Super Bowl V.

But next year, the rules go out the window.

As we told you when the announcement was made in summer, Super Bowl 50 will officially be Super Bowl 50 ... not Super Bowl L.

"L" all by itself just wasn't pleasing to the eye, the league says.

 

There's no such thing as nacho cheese

Fri, 2015-01-30 12:55

Bloomberg Businessweek associate editor Venessa Wong was reporting a story on the launch of Old El Paso’s new nacho cheese-flavored taco shells. The marketers bragged about their "big, bold, cheese taste," but when she pressed harder on how, exactly, it tasted, their answer smelled.

“I couldn’t get a straight answer,” she says.

That’s when she began her investigation. What truly is nacho cheese? First she asked the manager of Cheese Education Training at the Wisconsin Marketing Board, “and she tells me, ‘there really is not a nacho cheese, per se,’” Wong says.

She then inquired at the International Food Dairy Association, which told her: “‘There’s no standard definition of nacho cheese.’”

Wong’s sources were failing her. That’s when she researched the history of cheese. She found a 2002 article in the San Antonio Express-News  that said a man named Ignacio Anaya, whose nickname was "Nacho," created it in 1943. His main ingredient? “‘Wisconsin cheese, the round one,’” Wong says.

Old El Paso gave Wong a more philosophical answer. “‘It’s really based on what consumers are used to, and what they believe nacho flavoring is,’” she reports.

Something to mull over on Super Bowl Sunday.

The best, most straight-forward cheese sauce recipe we could find.

Source: Smells Like Home, Illustration by Kelsey Fowler/Marketplace

Homeownership rate dips to lowest level in 20 years

Fri, 2015-01-30 12:35

New statistics from the Commerce Department show that the home-ownership rate has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years.

63.9 percent of U.S. households owned their homes in Q4 2014, down from a rate of 65.1% one year earlier. The last time homeownership was that low was in 1994. "We just have homeownership in our DNA and that's why we're so focused on this figure,” says IHS Economist Patrick Newport.

Given the national obsession with home ownership, this may seem like bad news, but the thinking on the importance of home ownership is changing, as well as what it says about the broader health of the U.S. economy.

Newport points out that previous levels of home-ownership were probably too high, due in part to all of the crazy loans and mortgage deals that banks were offering.  Homeownership is kind of a squishy measure of economic health anyway. "It’s not bad news for the economy,” says Newport, “it’s a matter of who owns the paper, the title to the home that you live in, and what we're seeing now is a trend toward landlords owning that piece of paper, not the homeowner."

Newport says the rate may yet dip even farther, since many foreclosures have yet to work their way through the system.

Another explanation for the dip in home-ownership might be because there are just more households  in the U.S. — and by “household,” we're talking about the government definition, meaning a person, or couple, living on their own. 

"Young people are going off on their own, getting out of their parents basements,” says Washington University Economist Steve Fazzari. More households means people are getting jobs. “So, if we have more households for that reason, that's really a sign of some good economic activity," says Fazzari.

The real concern with housing, he says, should be construction and new housing starts, which are lagging, and have been the key to every economic recovery since World War II.

Wages and benefits see highest bump in six years

Fri, 2015-01-30 12:35

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index says wages, salaries and benefits grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in 2014.

Economists were happy to see improvements in an index regarded as a key reflection of the labor market. “If I were going to pick one measure to look at, it would be this one,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “This is giving us a pretty definitive read on what’s going on in the labor market with regard to wages and compensation.”

Zandi likes the index because it gives a consistent look at compensation over time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys a rotating slate of firms on their employment costs, and unlike another measure of hourly wages, the index doesn’t get skewed as much by shifts in employment into, say, low-wage industries or occupations.

Employer costs are still growing slower than they were before the Great Recession. But the growth rate last year did outpace inflation, which is clocking in around 1.3 percent.

Workers’ compensation is improving as the unemployment rate falls, the available pool of workers shrinks and employers have to start spending more to get new workers in the door. “We're not all the way back to full-employment yet, but we've been for some time moving in that direction, and if we continue to move in that direction we'll see more upward pressure on wages,” says Alan Krueger, Princeton University economist.

The benefits side of the Employment Cost Index grew faster last year than wages and salaries, which breaks with recent trends, Krueger says. “We had seen health care costs growing so slowly – really exceptionally slowly – compared to the history of health care cost growth; benefits were not growing faster than wages [again] until recently,” he says.

Improvements in the benefit side of the equation will matter less to workers in the short-term, says Till von Wachter, a UCLA economist. He says the wage and salary spikes will have more immediate consequences. “Higher wages could lead to higher spending,” he says.

Wages and benefits see highest bump in 6 years

Fri, 2015-01-30 12:35

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index says wages, salaries and benefits grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in 2014.

Economists were happy to see improvements in an index regarded as a key reflection of the labor market. “If I were going to pick one measure to look at, it would be this one,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “This is giving us a pretty definitive read on what’s going on in the labor market with regard to wages and compensation.”

Zandi likes the index because it gives a consistent look at compensation over time. The BLS surveys a rotating slate of firms on their employment costs, and unlike another measure of hourly wages, the index doesn’t get skewed as much by shifts in employment into, say, low-wage industries or occupations.

Employers costs are still growing slower than they were before the Great Recession. But the growth rate last year did outpace inflation, which is clocking in around 1.3 percent.

Workers’ compensation is improving as the unemployment rate falls, the available pool of workers shrinks and employers have to start spending more to get new workers in the door. “We're not all the way back to full-employment yet, but we've been for some time moving in that direction, and if we continue to move in that direction we'll see more upward pressure on wages,” says Princeton University economist Alan Krueger.

Krueger notes that the benefits side of the Employment Cost Index grew faster last year than wages and salaries. Krueger says that breaks with recent trends, “We had seen health care costs growing so slowly — really exceptionally slowly — compared to the history of health care cost growth; benefits were not growing faster than wages [again] until recently,” he says.

Improvements in the benefit side of the equation will matter less to workers in the short-term, says Till von Wachter, an economist at the University of California Los Angeles. He says the wage and salary spikes will have more immediate consequences. “Higher wages could lead to higher spending,” he says.

The accidental origin of the $15 minimum-wage movement

Fri, 2015-01-30 12:02

President Obama wants lawmakers to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.  But Congress hasn't voted to increase the minimum wage since 2007, and there’s little hope it will now.

It’s a different story at the local level.

In just the last year, Seattle and San Francisco both passed measures to gradually increase their minimum wages to $15.  And the Los Angeles City Council is considering a $15.25 wage.

Those cities are following in the footsteps of SeaTac, Washington, a tiny town just outside Seattle, and home to the region’s biggest airport. A year ago, it became the first city in America to have a $15 minimum wage.

“SeaTac will be viewed someday as the vanguard, as the place where the fight started,” union organizer David Rolf, who led SeaTac’s $15 campaign, said in a victory speech in November 2013.

That day is already here, but the funny thing is Rolf never set out to raise SeaTac’s minimum wage, much less start a national movement. His original goal was to unionize workers at Sea-Tac airport.

When employers – led by Alaska Airlines – played hardball, Rolf put a $15 minimum wage proposition on the city ballot as leverage.

It won by just 77 votes.

“Things could have gone very different had the airlines said we’ll bargain a contract,” Rolf says. “Those workers may have had $15, but it might not have been on the ballot. It would have been in the union contract, and it would have just been for those workers.”

As it turns out, because of a court challenge it’s actually those airport workers who are the only ones in SeaTac not making at least $15 an hour. But the $15 minimum wage movement soon spread, to Seattle last June, and to San Francisco in November.

“It was not yet with an eye on being some sort of domino that fell and leveraged similar victories across the country, but I think people are proud that that’s what happening,” Rolf says.

And surprised, says Peter Dreier, a professor of politics at Occidental College.

“A couple years ago the idea of a $15 minimum wage would have been considered outrageous,” Dreier says.

So what changed?

There’s the $15 number itself, nice and round, easy to fit on a bumper sticker. The figure first came to people’s attention in a series of strikes by fast-food workers that started in 2012. The workers didn’t achieve their goal of unionization, but $15 stuck.

There’s also the fact that post-recession, many voters have become more concerned about income inequality, says Paul Sonn, the National Employment Law Project’s general counsel.

“It’s clearly a response to the economy’s tilt to low-wage jobs, which is hitting cities like L.A. hard, which are seeing wages flat or falling but at the same housing and living costs are continuing to rise,” Sonn says.

Unions say they hope the $15 wage can spread to every state, but labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein is skeptical. “I don’t think having high wages in a few cities will mean it will spread to red state America,” Lichtenstein says.

Oklahoma recently banned any city from setting its own minimum wage, joining at least 12 other states with similar laws.

In November, voters in four Republican-leaning states – Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska – did approve higher minimum wages, but they weren’t close to $15.

Having a patchwork of local wage standards is bad for workers, Lichtenstein says.

“One of the laws of labor history is that you can’t a strong movement in one place and have the rest of the country hostile to it,” he says. “Eventually the strength of that labor movement will be drained away as employers do in fact move.”

Whether local minimum wages cause businesses to pack up and move somewhere cheaper is hotly debated among economists.

A University of California, Berkeley study predicts small clothing manufactures could leave L.A. if the minimum wage is hiked. But no one really knows, because the $15 wage movement has just gotten started.

The accidental origin of the $15 minimum wage

Fri, 2015-01-30 12:02

President Obama wants lawmakers to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.  But Congress hasn't voted to increase the minimum wage since 2007, and there’s little hope it will now.

It’s a different story at the local level.

In just the last year, Seattle and San Francisco both passed measures to gradually increase their minimum wages to $15.  And Los Angeles’ city council is considering a $15.25 wage.

Those cities are following in the footsteps of SeaTac, Washington, a tiny town just outside Seattle, and home to the region’s biggest airport. A year ago, it became the first city in America to have a $15 minimum wage.

“SeaTac will be viewed someday as the vanguard, as the place where the fight started,” says union organizer David Rolf, who led SeaTac’s $15 campaign, in a victory speech in November 2013.

That day is already here, but the funny thing is Rolf never set out to raise SeaTac’s minimum wage, much less start a national movement. His original goal was to unionize workers at SeaTac airport.

When employers – led by Alaska Airlines - played hardball, Rolf put a $15 minimum wage proposition on the city ballot as leverage.

It won by just 77 votes.

“Things could have gone very different had the airlines said we’ll bargain a contract,” Rolf says. “Those workers may have had $15, but it might not have been on the ballot. It would have been in the union contract, and it would have just been for those workers.”

As it turns out, because of a court challenge it’s actually those airport workers who are the only ones in SeaTac not making at least $15 an hour. But the $15 minimum wage movement soon spread, to Seattle last June, and to San Francisco in November.

“It was not yet with an eye on being some sort of domino that fell and leveraged similar victories across the country, but I think people are proud that that’s what happening,” Rolf says.

And surprised, says Peter Dreier, a professor of politics at Occidental College.

“A couple years ago the idea of a $15 minimum wage would have been considered outrageous,” Dreier says.

So what changed?

There’s the $15 number itself, nice and round, easy to fit on a bumper sticker. The figure first came to people’s attention in a series of strikes by fast food workers that started in 2012. The workers didn’t achieve their goal of unionization, but fifteen dollars stuck.

There’s also the fact that post-recession, many voters have become more concerned about income inequality, says Paul Sonn, The National Employment Law Project’s General Counsel.

“It’s clearly a response to the economy’s tilt to low-wage jobs which is hitting cities like L.A. hard, which are seeing wages flat or falling but at the same housing and living costs are continuing to rise,” Sonn says.

Unions are hopeful the $15 wage can spread to every state, but labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein is skeptical.

“I don’t think having high wages in a few cities will mean it will spread to red state America,” saysLichtenstein.

Oklahoma recently banned any city from setting its own minimum wage, joining at least 12 other states with similar laws.

In November, voters in four Republican leaning states — Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska  - did approve higher minimum wages, but they weren’t close to fifteen dollars.

Lichtenstein says having a patchwork of local wage standards is bad for workers.

“One of the laws of labor history is that you can’t a strong movement in one place and have the rest of the country hostile to it,” he says. “Eventually the strength of that labor movement will be drained away as employers do in fact move.”

Whether local minimum wages cause businesses to pack up and move somewhere cheaper is hotly debated among economists.

A University of California, Berkeley study predicted small clothing manufactures could leave L.A. if the minimum wage is hiked.  But no one really knows, because the $15 wage movement has just gotten started.

Fun fact Friday: How green are thy Super Bowl advertisers

Fri, 2015-01-30 11:47

Fun fact: Sunday’s Super Bowl commercials include 15 first-time advertisers.

Among the newcomers: Avocados From Mexico, the first fresh produce brand to advertise during the Super Bowl, and Always, a brand of feminine hygiene products.

New brands take a chance with Super Bowl ads

Fun fact: You’ve heard of leap year, but soon you will experience a tinier, shorter, more adorable time-adjustment: the leap second.

On June 30, clocks around the world will add one second to their time.

The leap second, deep space and how we keep time

Fun fact: The Federal Communications Commission is ruling on net neutrality in less than a month.

Marketplace’s Paddy Hirsch breaks down everything you need to know about the formally incomprehensible issue with just a few markers, a whiteboard and a delightful Irish accent.

Net neutrality: Whole lot of drama in those two words

Fun fact: Havard University raised $1.16 billion last year.

Yes, that’s a record.

Schools rake in record donations ... unequally

Fun fact: For the first time, the Sundance Film festival showed a film made with the help of virtual reality technology.

A consumer version may be around the corner, according to Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus VR.

The movie (literally) in my mind

Tech IRL: The trouble with bubbles? They pop.

Fri, 2015-01-30 11:22

Are we in a bubble, or are we not in a bubble? That is the question — at least if we're talking tech stocks. Recently, tech startups are getting valuations of epic proportions, which could cause individual investors to question if his or her 401k and pension funds are safe.

Katie Benner, a tech columnist with Bloomberg View, says that if you're one of those individual investors, you probably shouldn't worry.

"Most of it is not happening in the public stock markets. It's happening in the private company markets," she says.

Companies that are experiencing an influx of money from investors, like Airbnb, Uber and Square, aren't publicly traded.

Here's partial list of recent startup valuations, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:

  • Xiaomi: $46 billion
  • Uber: $41.2 billion
  • Snapchat: $10 billion
  • Airbnb: $10 billion
  • Dropbox: $10 billion
  • Square: $6 billion
  • Pinterest: $5 billion
  • Spotify: $4 billion

Tech IRL: The problem with tech bubbles? They pop

Fri, 2015-01-30 11:22

Are we in a bubble, or are we not in a bubble? That is the question ... at least if we're talking tech stocks. 

Recently, tech startups are getting valuations of epic proportions, which could cause individual investors to question if his of her 401k and pension funds are safe.

Katie Benner, a tech columnist with Bloomberg View, says that if you're one of those individual investors, you probably shouldn't worry.

"Most of it is not happening in the public stock markets. It's happening in the private company markets," she says.

Companies that are experiencing an influx of money from investors, like Airbnb, Uber and Square, aren't publicly traded.

Here's partial list of recent startup valuations, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:

Xiaomi: $46 billion

Uber: $41.2 billion

Snapchat: $10 billion

Airbnb: $10 billion

Dropbox: $10 billion

Square: $6 billion

Pinterest: $5 billion

Spotify: $4 billion

Hidden homeless left out of the economic recovery

Fri, 2015-01-30 09:34

The economy looks like it's rebounding. Stocks are up, corporate earnings are rising, but not everyone feels the effects. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says the most common length of time that someone is homeless is one or two days, and half of the people who enter a homeless shelter will leave within 30 days, never to return. 

Patrick Markee, deputy executive director of advocacy for the Coalition for the Homeless, says while the federal government reports 600,000 people sleep on the streets every night, they know the actual number is bigger than that. "The problem is big and by all accounts getting worse," he says. "Homelessness has always been incredibly difficult to measure accurately, for kind of obvious reasons." 

Darlene Bel Grayson, who was temporarily homeless, says she never expected to find herself in a situation without housing, especially with her careful planning and savings. “I’m not the homeless person you see and think is homeless," she says. 

Click play above to hear more from this story

Hidden homeless left out of the count

Fri, 2015-01-30 09:34

The economy is on the mend: stocks are up, corporate profits are up. But not for everyone.

A number of people have crashed through the safety net, and are out on the streets.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says the most common length of time that someone is homeless is one or two days, and half of the people who enter a homeless shelter will leave within 30 days, never to return. But that impression may not be shared by everyone.

Patrick Markee, deputy executive director of advocacy for the Coalition for the Homeless, says while the federal government reports 600,000 people sleep on the streets every night, they know the actual number is bigger than that.

"The problem is big and by all accounts getting worse," he says. "Homelessness has always been incredibly difficult to measure accurately, for kind of obvious reasons."

Darlene Bel Grayson, who was temporarily homeless, says she never expected to find herself in a situation without housing, especially with her careful planning and savings. 

“I’m not the homeless person you see and think is homeless," she says.

For more on this story, listen to the audio player above.

Who is homeless?

Fri, 2015-01-30 09:34

The economy is clearly on the mend, stocks are up, corporate profits are up. But not for everybody.

If you look around it seems like a number of people have crashed through the safety net and are out on the street

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says the most common length of time that someone is homeless is one or two days,

and half the people who enter the homeless shelter system will leave within 30 days, never to return. But that impression may not be shared by everyone.

To find out more about the state of homelessness in 2015, we turn to Patrick Markee, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy for The Coalition for The Homeless.

Marketplace weekend also speaks with Darlene Bell Grason on what it's like to be temporarily homeless.

Your Wallet: Cheating and Money

Fri, 2015-01-30 09:26

Next week, we're talking about cheating. Have you ever financially cheated? Did you cheat on someone you love? Maybe you cheated yourself in some way. 

We want to hear your stories of cheating and money. How did it change your outlook? 

Tell us your story HERE, on the Marketplace Facebook page, or on Twitter: we're @MarketplaceWKND.

My money story: Boom and bust, at the blackjack table

Fri, 2015-01-30 09:16

Josh Axelrad used to be a professional gambler, (illegally) counting cards. Now, he's a writer and a dad. 

Once he stopped playing blackjack professionally, and started playing poker badly, he lost $50,000.

“I thought it was impossible that the 50 Gs I’d succeeded in vaporizing would ever come my way again,” he says.

This is the story of his crash, and how he was made whole again.

You can listen to Josh's crash story in the audio player above. To hear a longer version, visit The Moth.

Money Story: Crash and recovery at the blackjack table

Fri, 2015-01-30 09:16

Josh Axelrad used to be a professional gambler (a card counter), now he's a writer and dad.

He told Marketplace Weekend about what happened when he stopped playing blackjack professionally and started playing poker badly...he lost $50,000. This is the story of his crash, and how he was made whole again.

You can listen to Josh's crash story in the audio player above. To hear a longer version, visit The Moth.

Global crashes in an interconnected economy

Fri, 2015-01-30 08:59

People crash. So do companies. And stock markets. And, occasionally, entire countries.

We live in an increasingly interconnected world, which means that when one country crashes financially, there's a genuine risk that we could end up with a regional, or even a world-wide pileup.

We wanted to find out how likely a crash of epic proportions is, so we turned Paddy Hirsch, Senior Editor and resident explainer at Marketplace. He spoke with Marketplace Weekend about the global economy. So is it really all that fragile?

Meteorologist Gary Dobbs: Living through a tornado

Fri, 2015-01-30 08:40

A traumatic crash can be a very personal, deeply transformative moment, an event where life's momentum stops and your reality is changed.

How do you move forward? How does it affect the way you look at things? Gary Dobbs dealt with that first hand.

For 31 years, he worked as a meteorologist at ABC's affiliate in Huntsville Alabama.

In April of 2011, Gary had just gotten home after a long day of covering a tornado outbreak.

With storm warnings still in effect, he laid down to take a nap.

Listen to the full story in the audio player above.

Pages