Our flagship program, helmed by Kai Ryssdal, examines what the day in money delivered, through stories, conversations, newsworthy numbers and more. Updated Monday through Friday at about 3:30 p.m. PT.
MON-FRI 4pm-4:30pm, MON-WED 6:30pm-7pm
Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan for the economy
We’re pretty much at the tipping point between the Trump and Biden economies. President-elect Joe Biden, set to officially take office Wednesday of next week, released his “American Rescue Plan” Thursday night. The $1.9 trillion proposal calls for ramped-up COVID-19 vaccine distribution and aid for Americans still struggling during the pandemic-caused recession. On today’s show: how the plan could impact the economic recovery. Plus, big banks are doing well and a conversation with outgoing FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
Economic recovery: one step forward, several steps back
In positive economic news, President-elect Joe Biden announced his “American Rescue Plan” Thursday — a $1.9 trillion proposal to stabilize the economy and get COVID-19 under control. But pandemic unemployment continues to be a tale of two economies. The unemployment rate among the highest-paid workers is around 5%, while the rate among low-wage employees is as high as 20%. Sustained unemployment could lead to increased homelessness, with one study predicting homelessness could be twice as high as it was after the Great Recession. On today’s show: Economic recovery depends on your wage bracket. Plus, the economic significance of last week’s insurrection and a look at China one year after the first COVID-19 lockdown.
How those $600 checks are being spent
It’s been a few weeks since the second round of COVID-19 relief started going out. Americans are spending those $600 checks on everything from tattoos and nice dinners to paying rent and electricity bills. The checks were meant to stimulate the economy, but also to provide economic relief to those seriously hurting during the pandemic. On today’s show: We check in with how a few people are using the money. Plus, how baby bonds could help close the racial wealth gap and why Netflix plans to release a new movie every week this year.
Businesses big and small aren’t feeling great about the state of things
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest American business lobbying group and a typically reliable supporter of conservative and Republican politicians, said Tuesday that President Donald Trump “undermined our democratic institutions and ideals” last week. A chamber leader also said some members of Congress “will have forfeited the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Period. Full stop.” Small business owners aren’t feeling great about things either, with optimism at a seven-month low. On today’s show: the business world outlook. Plus, a look at systemic racism in farming and the pandemic’s continued impact on working mothers.
Corporate America is standing up to Trump
Following last week’s armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, corporations are starting to pull financial support from President Donald Trump and certain Republicans. JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are suspending political donations in general for at least six months. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Marriott are suspending donations specifically to Republicans who objected to the certification of the presidential election. And PGA of America pulled a championship tournament from a Trump golf course. On today’s show: the continuing economic fallout of a failed insurrection. Plus, how economic recovery might look now that COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out and the success of TV reboots.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
The U.S. economy lost jobs for the first time since April, shedding 140,000 positions, the December jobs report showed. And long-term unemployment ticked up to 37% — quadruple what it was before the pandemic. It’s unclear if businesses will start hiring again anytime soon, as the COVID-19 rages across the United States. On today’s show: The worsening pandemic will continue to slow jobs recovery. Plus, how the vaccine rollout is going in rural America, and restaurant workers in Washington, D.C., can get vaccinated starting Feb. 1.
A series of disconnects
The stock market is not the economy; this we know. But the market seems completely disconnected from events happening in the United States. After Wednesday’s pro-Trump insurrection, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high. And again Thursday, after 787,000 Americans filed first-time unemployment claims, markets closed at record highs. On today’s show: A look at the disconnects between the markets, the economy and our democracy. Plus, social media platforms are putting greater restrictions on the president, and parents are still navigating working from home with their kids.
The ramifications of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol
Extreme supporters of President Donald Trump gathered for protests at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, which turned violent as hoards of people broke into the U.S. Capitol Building. Lawmakers, in session to certify the 2020 presidential election, were forced into hiding and tear gas was deployed in the Capitol Rotunda. On today’s show: What this unprecedented day means for the U.S. economy going forward. Plus, more PPP loans are on the way and colleges are slow to reopen.