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Marketplace Morning Report

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 (115)

Oil prices aren’t reacting drastically to supply and demand changes

by Ben Bradford Aug 9, 2019
Amid Middle East tensions and the U.S.-China trade war, the price of oil is not wildly different from 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Oil wells at sunset in Moorpark, California as seen in 2009.
David McNew/Getty Images

Companies lay off workers even in the best economic times

by Ben Bradford Aug 1, 2019
The unemployment rate is hovering around a 50-year low, but some companies are still shedding jobs.
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Does a dip in construction spending indicate an economic slowdown?

by Ben Bradford Aug 1, 2019
Construction spending fell more than a percentage point in June, the second drop in two months.
A worker builds a new home in Phoenix, Arizona in 2013.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A slow housing market picked up in June

by Ben Bradford Jul 30, 2019
Demand for homes is strong in this economy. The problem is there just aren’t enough of them to go around.
A home for sale in Batavia, Illinois, a suburb outside of Chicago.
Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

A subway project is uncovering thousands of ice age fossils

by Ben Bradford Jul 25, 2019
Construction projects are the main way paleontologists find fossils in California.
A partial bison skull rests in a plaster jacket. Paleontologists discovered the skull in construction of the Los Angeles subway extension.
Ben Bradford/Marketplace

Congress considers allowing banks to accept more marijuana money

by Ben Bradford Jul 22, 2019
Many marijuana dispensaries “have a mountain of cash” and no place to take it.
A cannabis tour member rolls a joint as the tour group makes a stop to smoke marijuana, on a cannabis tour organized by L.A.-based Green Tours, January 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Climate change means planning for further suffocating heat waves

by Ben Bradford Jul 18, 2019
In Washington, D.C. "high heat days" are expected to more than double in the next 50 years.
A woman cools off in the fountain at Washington Square Park during the heat wave on July 17, 2019 in New York City.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Can batteries help get the U.S. off the natural gas “bridge?”

by Ben Bradford Jul 17, 2019
The bridge keeps getting longer, with utilities and energy companies adding hundreds of gas plants around the country.
Energy company AES is putting the finishing touches on a new natural gas unit in Long Beach, California.
Ben Bradford/Marketplace

In China, Cadillac is not your grandma’s luxury car

by Ben Bradford Jul 5, 2019
While it’s been on a decades-long slide in the U.S., Cadillac sales are booming in China.
A luxury Cadillac XLR on display at a ceremony in Beijing, China in 2004.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon's 1994 launch offered "proof of concept" for e-commerce

by Ben Bradford Jul 5, 2019
Amazon opened as an online bookstore. But chief executive Jeff Bezos always wanted to sell more than books.
An Amazon company timeline starts with the founding in 1994 at the Amazon Fulfillment Center on August 1, 2017 in Robbinsville, New Jersey.
Mark Makela/Getty Images