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Where Things Stand Between the U.S. and China Over Trade

President Donald Trump has stymied hopes of a trade deal by raising tariffs on Chinese goods. In retaliation, China put additional tariffs on U.S. goods, causing the stock market to plunge that day. The Trump administration responded to that by taking steps to implement tariffs on even more Chinese products. So, who’s winning the trade war? Trump’s approach could signal a historic shift in U.S. policy which has largely encouraged free trade around the globe. The casualties of this fight...


Hey, Big Spender: Presidential Candidates And The Race to Raise Money

Recent financial reports filed by the 2020 presidential candidates show vastly different amounts of money raised in varying amounts from many different sources. Some candidates are focusing on small donors, others are turning to high-dollar bundlers and some are dipping into their own bank accounts. For example, Senator Elizabeth Warren raised raised $6 million in three months for her campaign, while Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke each raised that much in just a day. Yet with more than a...


Field of Presidential Dreams

After months and months of speculation, former Vice President Joe Biden announced he’d be running for president in 2020. Already an early frontrunner, Biden joins a crowded field of potential Democratic nominees. There are now more than 20 candidates running, from policy wonk Elizabeth Warren to newcomer Pete Buttigieg to 2016 veteran Bernie Sanders. The Iowa caucuses are nine months away and if everyone stays in the race, it could challenging for voters to keep track of where the...


The Marvelization of Hollywood

"Avengers: Endgame" is officially opened at movie theaters across the country. It’s the most highly-anticipated movie event of the year and is expected to set a new box office record. Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and the whole Avengers crew are back to do battle with super villain Thanos after he wiped away half of the universe’s population with a single snap of his fingers in last year’s "Avengers: Infinity War." The movie is the culmination of a groundbreaking superhero movie...


Uber Maps Out Its Future

Uber has taken its first steps to becoming a publicly traded company, following rival Lyft’s debut on the stock market last month. The initial filing from Uber reveals even more extensive details about the company's revenue, ridership and potential roadblocks. The good? Ridership is up and Uber is expanding its food delivery service. The bad? The rid-hailing company is losing huge sums of money and faces steep competition. This week on WNYC’s Money Talking, Charlie Herman talks to Aaron...


Uncovering The Secrets of the Consulting Firm McKinsey

Much of the way influential consulting firm McKinsey & Co. operates is shrouded in secrecy. But recent reporting by the New York Times has revealed some of the company’s secrets, including its involvement with controversial companies like Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, as well as foreign leaders and governments in Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Additional stories have focused on the firm’s hedge fund MIO and alleged failures to make required financial disclosures. McKinsey has...


Paying to Drive in Manhattan

New York City just became the first city in the country to implement congestion pricing. As part of the effort to ease traffic and raise money to fix public transportation, drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street could pay between $10 and $15 per day for cars and possibly double for trucks. But how the system will work technologically, who might be exempted from paying the fees and how much they will actually raise are details that have yet to be decided. Cities like London and...


Google's Advertising Monopoly

Advertising has become a big business for Big Tech—and it keeps getting bigger. Google now controls a whopping 91 percent of the search advertising market. The tech giant’s monopoly means it’s almost impossible for businesses not to advertise with Google. That’s especially true if you’re a company that exists entirely online, like the ride-sharing app Lyft, or mattress brand Tuft & Needle. Lyft, for example, spent 92 million dollars on ads placed with Google last year. As a recent article...


Deal or No Deal, Time’s Running Out for Brexit

It’s been nearly three years since a majority of people in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. One of the arguments made by many Brexit supporters was to “take back control.” Lately, however, the opposite has been true as the process spirals out of control. Britain was on track to leave the E.U. one week from today, but a last minute reprieve has given British Prime Minister Theresa May a new deadline of April 12, to come up with deal. No matter when or exactly how...


Extreme Makeover: Hudson Yards Edition

Hudson Yards is officially open to the public. What was once the site of warehouses, tenements, and rail yards is now home to the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. From the initial idea to the opening this week, it’s taken nearly 20 years— and $25 billion — to create the sprawling 28-acre megaproject on the west side of Manhattan. The new neighborhood features supertall glass towers, luxury apartments, a high-end retail and restaurant hub, and a climbable...


Trump and Tariffs: Was it Worth The Fight?

It’s been about eight months since President Trump launched a trade war with China, and it looks like we might be approaching an agreement between the two nations. Trump says that trade relationship with China has been unfair to the U.S. To force a change, he’s put in place punishing tariffs on Chinese goods to gain leverage. But that’s also punishing some in the U.S., like farmers, automakers manufacturers and even some consumers. If the deal is made, the big question will be, was it...


Tax Season Shocker

If you're depending on a tax refund this year to pay loans, make a down payment on a car or take a vacation, you might be out of luck. According to the IRS, average refunds have been lower compared last year. If the trend continues, many Americans will end up with a smaller refund or worse — they may owe the government. Residents in high-tax states, like New York and New Jersey could see a bigger swing because President Trump's tax code overhaul capped deductions for state and local...


Foreign Policy, Private Profits and Nuclear Technology in Saudi Arabia

This week, a report from the House Oversight Committee revealed that officials in the Trump administration pursued a plan to export nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in order to build nuclear power plants. The report from House Democrats says the deal gained momentum during President Trump’s first days in office with help from then-national security adviser Michael Flynn. The efforts continued, despite warnings from ethics officials and staff at the National Security Council. Behind the...


The Fight for 5G

Imagine sitting down to watch a movie and downloading the file not in minutes, but mere seconds. 5G, short for "new fifth generation cellular networks" promises lightning-fast wireless service. That kind of connectivity is expected to open the floodgates for innovations beyond the home and possibly lead to a new technological and economic boom. For instance, it could make self-driving cars an everyday reality in cities around the country. The network has already been launched in several...


What’s in Store for Sears

Sears was once an iconic American retailer, selling everything from jewelry, to power tools, to ready-to-assemble houses. The 126-year-old company made its name through mail order catalogs eventually expanding to thousands of physical stores. In 2005, when Sears merged with department store Kmart, the combined retailer had over 300,000 employees and almost 3,500 stores. But the company has proved unable to keep up in the 21st century and has been losing money for years. In October, the...


The Future of (We)Work

In just nine years, WeWork has gone from a company that offers shared office space for startups and freelancers to a global company valued at $47 billion that provides offices to the likes of IBM, GE and NASDAQ. Not only that, it has added to its core business a handful of other — sometimes puzzling — companies, including WeLive, WeGrow and Made by We. With over 300 locations around the world, WeWork has ambitions to be a lot more than a co-working space, but can it make good on its...


No Soft Landing for a 'Hard Brexit'

In a historic vote, the House of Commons in the United Kingdom decided decisively against a plan for exiting the European Union. Members of Parliament voted 432 to 202 to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, marking one of the largest margins of defeat in recent British history, with even many of her own Conservative party members voting against her plan. The following day, May faced, and survived, a challenge to her leadership in a no-confidence vote. For more than two...


One Man’s $100 Billion Vision for the Future

Tech companies are rapidly shaping our lives — often in ways we do not even realize. Artificial intelligence and automation are transforming sectors from manufacturing to transportation to real estate. One of the people creating that future is Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. In 2016, through the company, Son launched the $100 billion Vision Fund. According to a report from Bloomberg, that was greater than the entire US venture capital industry in...


Wall Street’s Automated Turmoil

After reaching records highs last year, the stock market went south in the final months of 2018. In the end, it was the worst year for markets since the 2008 crisis and the worst December since 1931. And the tumult is carrying over into the first week of trading in 2019. What exactly is causing the turmoil? The government shutdown, rising interest rates, and unresolved trade tensions are all contributing to the ups and downs, but one reason for the triple point drops might have to do...


Malaysian '1MDB' Scandal And Goldman Sachs

On the other side of the globe, a corruption scandal has been rocking Malaysia for years involving a multi-billion government fund from which billions of dollars have gone missing. The fund, known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, was supposed to fund government-backed infrastructure projects, but investigators say it was instead used for the personal benefits of individuals, including the country's previous prime minister, Najib Razak. The money was allegedly used to buy a number...