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Marketplace Morning Report

America's many thirty-somethings

Jun 20, 2019

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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Ben Bradford

Reporter

SHORT BIO

I cover breaking business news as well as big public works projects and the government-funded stuff that we all use (like roads and water pipes) as our infrastructure reporter — although I try not to use that word on air.

What was your first job?

I spent one summer in high school sorting a warehouse full of shoes — digging through boxes, finding pairs that matched and tying their laces together — for the San Francisco Opera's costume shop. I thought I would never see the sun again.

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

You have less than three hours to find and interview multiple sources on a topic you know nothing about. You finally get one of them on the phone. Uh-oh, it’s a cellphone, and the quality is not great. You ask if they have a landline. They do! You ask if they also have an iPhone. They do! You ask if they can talk to you on the landline and simultaneously record themselves on the iPhone using a specific app and then send you the audio from the app. You talk them through, step by step, how to do this, depending on their level of technological sophistication. They generously oblige, but you worry they secretly think you are crazy. You do this with nearly every person you speak with remotely for a story.

Fill in the blank: Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ______.

Opportunities that increase the possibility of happiness.

What’s the favorite item in your workspace and why?

I don't usually go in for motivational aphorisms, but I have John Barlow's 25 principles of adult behavior pinned to my cubicle wall, and I really like them! One of my favorites is "tolerate ambiguity," which I think is just key for reporting (and life). Next up: "Laugh at yourself frequently."

 

Latest Stories from Benjamin (99)

Canada legalized marijuana, but still less than half of sales are from legal sources

by Ben Bradford Jun 19, 2019
Canada legalized production, sale and consumption of recreational cannabis last fall, the second nation in the world to do so after Uruguay.
A Canadian flag with a weed leaf on it is waved at a celebration of National Marijuana Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada.
Chris Roussakis/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. housing market is in a weird place

by Ben Bradford Jun 18, 2019
There is demand for new homes, but a lot of it is among first-time home buyers who can’t afford them.
Real estate agents leave a home for sale during a broker open house on April 16, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Credit card companies will lower your interest rates — if you ask them

by Ben Bradford Jun 14, 2019
A new survey finds 81% of people who asked for a better rate got one.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Despite a strong economy, the federal deficit continues to grow

by Ben Bradford Jun 13, 2019
This is despite a revenue boost from President Trump’s tariffs on imports.
An October 18, 2018 photo shows the seal of the US Treasury in Washington, DC.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Finding a new CEO for a troubled company isn't easy

by Ben Bradford Jun 11, 2019
Wells Fargo, in trouble with regulators and lawmakers, is having trouble finding a new boss.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Vietnam cracks down on fake "Made in Vietnam" labels

by Ben Bradford Jun 11, 2019
The Vietnamese government has promised a crackdown on fake labels and certificates of origin.
This photograph taken on May 24, 2019 shows a Ted Baker brand men's shirt labeled "Made in Vietnam" in a factory in Hanoi.
MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. household wealth hits record high

by Ben Bradford Jun 7, 2019
A new report from the Federal Reserve finds the net worth of American households and nonprofits reached almost $109 trillion.
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VA expands veteran access to private sector medicine

by Ben Bradford Jun 6, 2019
The New York Times called it “the biggest shift in the American health care system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.”
A man walks by the Department of Veterans Affairs, July 27, 2017, in Washington, DC.
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration restricts U.S. travel to Cuba

by Ben Bradford Jun 5, 2019
The Trump administration has announced new restrictions for travel to Cuba, making a visit to the island challenging, once again.
An old American car passes in front of a cruise docked at Havana's Harbour, on June 5, 2019.
ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images

FTD files for bankruptcy, will break apart business to survive

by Ben Bradford Jun 4, 2019
FTD declares bankruptcy, but will still deliver flowers.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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