Economy & Business

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Air travelers frustrated by having very little legroom and narrow seats might finally see some relief under legislation passed Wednesday by the U.S. Senate. A bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration, which passed on a vote of 93-6, includes a provision requiring the FAA to set a minimum size for commercial airplane seats, including a minimum pitch, or distance between seats.

Airlines have been shrinking that distance in recent years in order to cram more seats and passengers onto planes and squeeze more revenue out of each flight.

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Donald Trump has described himself for decades as a self-made billionaire, claiming that he built his fortune using a onetime loan from his father.


For almost a century, General Electric was a powerhouse of the American economy, a byword for progress, innovation, and excellence.

GE did everything, from light bulbs to jet engines to medical devices to banking. And it was that last little venture that turned out to be a bridge too far. GE got into the business just ahead of the financial crisis, and once the dust from that debacle had settled, GE found itself more than a little dinged up. A decade later, the company still hasn't recovered. Today on The Indicator, we find out what brought GE to its knees.

The race to grab a giant slice of the self-driving car market got a little more heated when Honda announced it will invest $750 million in General Motors' autonomous car unit, with an additional $2 billion coming over the next 12 years.

That’s a good chunk of money flowing to a set of products a long way from hitting the market. “This is a really expensive venture,” said Michelle Krebs, auto industry analyst at AutoTrader. “We don’t know when they’ll be ubiquitous and profitable.”

The big banks are seeing an increase in cyberthreats, and these attacks are only becoming more sophisticated.

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Jamie Dimon has been at the helm of JPMorgan Chase since 2005. As the largest bank in the United States, it manages nearly $3 trillion — more than the gross domestic product of several countries. Dimon is also the longest-serving chief executive on Wall Street. “It is a scary place to be,” he told Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal. Ryssdal spoke with Dimon about a wide range of issues, including interest rates, wages and the financial crisis.

Last CEO standing

Oct 3, 2018

Most of today's show is devoted to our conversation with Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase. We talked about what it was like managing the bank and tangling with the government during the financial crisis, and how he sees his role in today's economy. We also asked Dimon what keeps him up at night. President Donald Trump used the term "time value of money" to defend himself against a New York Times report debunking his self-made origin story and implicating him in tax fraud. But what does that actually mean?

If you love football, what could be better than catching a game just a short walk from where you live? If you're a Green Bay Packers fan, this could become a reality. As reported in Bloomberg, the NFL side plans to build more than 200 homes a block from their Lambeau Field site. This is part of a growing trend among sports franchises; developing the real estate around a stadium. But who’s up for living there? 

For decades, the label "Made in Germany" has stood for quality and a guarantee of expensive, precision engineering. Conversely, "Made in China" has long been a marker of substandard, cheap, knockoff products. But this is changing.

Beijing's "Made in China 2025" policy aims to transform its manufacturing sector into an excellence-driven, global leader in high-end technology. While Germany still has the edge in engineering expertise, a steady increase in the number of Chinese firms buying up key German tech firms has triggered angst in Berlin.

Starting next month, Amazon will pay its more than 350,000 U.S. workers $15 an hour. The company is now worth more than a trillion dollars. So what obligations do corporations have when they get this big? 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Cow Dung Soap Is Cleaning Up In India

Oct 3, 2018

The shelves in Umesh Soni's little store in downtown Mumbai are neatly stacked with soaps. There are handmade translucent bars, brightly colored circular soaps in tropical variants and square black bathing bars. It looks like any other soap shop.

Except all the soaps include cow dung and cow urine as ingredients.

Why make soap from this stuff?

Sen. Warren goes after housing affordability

Oct 3, 2018

We keep hearing about an affordability crisis in housing. Home prices and rents are going up, while wages aren't keeping pace. Add to that the shortage of homes for sale because builders aren’t building enough and current homeowners aren’t putting their homes on the market. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) recently introduced legislation to address the dearth of affordable housing. Warren’s bill would pump $50 billion a year into affordable home and apartment construction through local housing agencies and nonprofit developers.