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Marketplace

Back to the budget brink

Jul 18, 2019

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Kai Ryssdal

Host and senior editor

SHORT BIO

I speak my native tongue into a microphone.

What was your first job?

Lifeguard. (Well, that and mowing lawns.)

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

Staying calm.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

Don't think — just talk.

In your next life, what would your career be?

Helicopter pilot.

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The IPO that went south

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Internet phone provider Vonage's initial public offering hasn't done so well. How bad is it? So bad that customers who bought the stock are suing. Kai speaks with James Granelli of the Los Angeles Times.

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New Fed chief Ben Bernanke has been getting some heat lately for sending Wall Street on a wild ride. Down, mostly. Host Kai Ryssdal talks to James Grant of Grant's Interest Rate Observer to put it in perspective.

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GM shareholders approved two reform proposals today — a first — but the company isn't obligated to listen. So what do the votes mean? Host Kai Ryssdal asks around.

Corn ethanol better for politicians than environment

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Detroit has been bragging about its adoption of ethanol as an alternative fuel. But, as Los Angeles Times auto critic Dan Neil tells host Kai Ryssdal, corn-based fuel isn't all that efficient.

Rents on the rise

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What you need to know today about rising rents.

The Plan: We each get $10,000 a year

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Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid funding adds up to 9% of the US gross domestic product. More than <nobr>$1 trillion</nobr> a year. Some economists say that'll rise to 30% by 2050. Author Charles Murray says he has a better plan…

Can Chavez pump up OPEC support?

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Venezuela's outspoken President Hugo Chavez wants to cut back on oil production and send prices even higher. Will he get what he wants from OPEC ministers in Caracas? Host Kai Ryssdal talks to professor Carol Wise.