Marketplace for Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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Episode Description 
Apple announces its first quarter earnings for 2013. We consider whether Congress really needs to pass a budget at all. The number of unionized workers decreased again last year. McDonald's reported a $1.4 billion profit today, for which it can thank its dollar menu. The global economy’s biggest names are converging in Davos, Switzerland, for a week to talk big ideas, but some argue the conference is meaningless. Freakonomics Radio's Steven Levitt has a novel idea for helping people make tough decisions. And in the last of our author series on 'hope,' Margaret Atwood says hope is what keeps us going.

Apple ships 47 million iPhones; investors hang up

Apple made $55 billion in revenue in the final three months of 2012, making it one of the most profitable companies on the planet. But investors were hoping for more, and the company's stock price has slipped in after-hours trading.
Posted In: apple

$1.7 trillion in 'foreign' corporate cash held in U.S. banks

A report in the Wall Street Journal reveals that $1.7 trillion in "foreign" cash is being held in U.S. banks.
Posted In: reserve currency

Literary voices: Why we need 'hope'

Author Margaret Atwood reflects on the word 'hope,' and its importance since Barack Obama's campaign message four years ago.
Posted In: writing, hope

Introducing 'Freakonomics Experiments'

Steve Levitt has a novel idea for helping people make tough decisions.
Posted In: freakonomics, decision

What good is the federal budget anyway?

Congress hasn't always had a hand in crafting federal spending plans.
Posted In: budget

Davos Economic Forum draws powerful and skeptical

As the world's political and business elite gather for the annual economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, some skeptics question the value of the event.
Posted In: World Economic Forum, Davos

Labor union membership falls to 1930s level

Political attacks on unions have hurt. But the economy is also replacing old manufacturing jobs, often unionized, with jobs that haven't been union.
Posted In: union

Is the dollar menu good for McDonald's bottom line?

Cheap food draws customers, but also cuts into profits.
Posted In: fast food, McDonald's, Arby's

Defense Secretary Panetta lifts ban on women in combat

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced today that he was lifting a military ban on women in combat, opening up thousands of positions on the front lines.
Posted In: women, military

Music from this show

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It Gets Dark
Holy Ghost!
Numbers
French Wives
Electric Feel
Mgmt
Harps
The Sea and Cake
Pyramids [Explicit]
Frank Ocean
Afro Surf
Shawn Lee'S Ping Pong Orchestra
Funky 24hrs a Day (Instrumental)
Anwarrior