By The Numbers

Who lives in a money-making pineapple under the sea?

Tony Wagner Feb 9, 2015
54 percent

 The portion of New York City real estate purchases over $5 million that were conducted by shell companies, the New York Times reported. That adds up to more than $4 billion, much of it paid anonymously by LLCs or other corporations with fluid, obscured ownership. A Times investigation, rolling out this week, found that number is on the rise and transparency in the city’s high-end real estate is disappearing, which becomes disconcerting when many of the shell companies trace back to foreign billionaires with checkered pasts.


 The number of states in which truck driving was the most common job in 2014, according to an analysis by NPR. They used census data, and excluded two very broad categories “manager” and “salesperson,” to find truckers have become a more common occupation as other jobs move overseas or become obsolete.

$590 million

 The size of the stake Alibaba is taking in a smartphone maker based in China, according to the New York TimesMeizu Technology Co. will get access to Alibaba’s sales channels in exchange for using Alibaba’s operating system in its devices.


 The number of drunken-driving accidents Uber claims to have “likely prevented” in California since launching there 2½ years ago. But ProPublica notes the relationship between the ride-sharing service and drunken driving may not be so clear-cut. Indeed, communities with the lower-cost  UberX saw a larger drop in drunken-driving accidents among the under-30 set than those cities that didn’t have UberX. But it’s a leap to credit Uber: “We don’ really know, and neither does Uber,” ProPublica says.

$56 million

 Are you ready kids? The SpongeBob Squarepants movie won the weekend box office with a $56 million opening. As reported by the WSJ, the yellow sponge dethroned previous top-spot holder, “American Sniper.”

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.