Make the economy boring again

Some things might change with the American economy because of the midterms, but we can always count on the good ol’ Federal Reserve. The Fed has been meeting this week to discuss interest rates and the state of the economy. While interest rates held steady this month, an increase is anticipated in December. But what about housing interest rates? The average rate on a 30-year mortgage hit 4.94 percent this week, a near seven-year high. Now, the housing market is cooling off — new data is showing a further decline in mortgage applications. We talk to experts about what that means for the economy. Also, the deficit hawks are about to get louder. Talk of the federal deficit was rather quiet during the midterm elections, but with Democrats as the majority of the House, we’re going to hear a lot more about it. Plus: a check-in on Big Scooter. Yes, we said it. Big Scooter. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry. 

Midterms are over. What happens now?

On today’s show we’ll look at the big-picture economic affects of the election results. New House, same deficit, so what can Democrats change? We talk to senior reporter Kimberly Adams about how the budget deficit will play out with the new Democratic majority. Voters in Idaho, Utah and Nebraska approved Medicaid expansion, meaning nearly 300,000 Americans could get coverage. A look at the future of Medicaid funding in these traditionally red states. And, in nonelection news, Puerto Rico has been approved for a $4 billion deal to assist its debt crisis. Plus, the latest installment of Corner Office. This time, we talk to Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson about the challenges of the health care industry.

What happens when you promise jobs but there’s no one to hire?

Chinese tech company Foxconn planned to bring a lot of new manufacturing jobs to the people of Wisconsin, until those plans changed. Turns out there aren’t a lot of engineers for hire in Wisconsin. Now Foxconn is asking engineers in China to raise their hands and come on over to Wisconsin. We talk to the Wall Street Journal’s Shayndi Raice about Foxconn’s labor troubles. Also on today’s show: Americans spend billions of dollars on their pets every year, with a large portion of that spent on food, and companies are taking note. Plus, in our latest installment of #HowWeChanged, we hear the story of a Wells Fargo loan officer who became a whistleblower in a case alleging the bank unfairly targeted African-Americans with subprime loans. 

The process of tariff exemptions

How does the Commerce Department decide which companies are exempt from tariffs and which ones aren’t?  We obtained some documents that offer a glimpse behind the curtain. And speaking of tariffs, amidst trade tensions, China is hoping to rebrand itself as a top import country. But can the world’s leading exporter easily change tack? Plus, a look at how some of the largest American companies are trying to get people to the polls tomorrow, and how training, the new tax law and outdated tech are leaving IRS workers feeling behind the curve … as tax season approaches.

The business of closing a business

Sears is shutting down more than 100 stores, which is good news for people in the liquidation business. What’s it like when your job is help shut down other businesses? We’ll look into it, but first: Fed Chair Powell said yesterday that the U.S. won’t be able to sustain economic growth without immigration. We’ll look at why. Plus, what you need to know about bullet journaling.

Phones are cheap, but iPhones keep getting more expensive

At the turn of the century, only about 2 percent of people in India had internet access. Thanks to cheaper and cheaper tech, you can get online in just a few minutes for maybe $100, and that’s transformed the country. We’ll look at how, and turn stateside, where iPhones are getting pricier than ever. But first: Ahead of the most-expensive midterm election ever, we’ll look at spending strategies in the final days. Plus, what you need to know about the walkout at Google.

Are you feeling the price hike?

Inflation is (slowly) creeping back up, and major companies are starting to raise prices on essentials like diapers and paper towels. On today’s show, we’ll look at whether consumers are feeling the effects and ask all of you about your price-hike breaking point. Then: With midterms less than a week away, both parties are trying to win over Hispanic voters with more Spanish-language TV ads. But the messages are different from commercials in English. Plus, a conversation with Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger. 

When office politics meet national politics

It’s felt harder than ever to avoid political conversations since the 2016 election, even (maybe especially) in the workplace. We’ll look at how employers are handling tough conversations. But first, an unintended consequence of Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox: It has to give up 22 regional sports networks, which could be a business opportunity for team owners and new tech players. Plus, HBO has a new job on its sets: intimacy coordinator. 

When the family business is the Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are more than just a basketball team. They are also a company worth $3.3 billion, one of the most successful franchises in the NBA. Fundamentally, the Lakers are an entertainment company with outsized influence. Today we’ll talk with Jeanie Buss, CEO and co-owner of the team, who took over for her father in 2013. But first: consumer spending is up for the seventh straight month, but income doesn’t seem to be keeping up. What does that say about the economy? Plus, gaming out a global economy without German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

The internet is backed up on tape

Economic growth was strong last quarter, but trade tensions did not go unnoticed. We’ll take apart the gross domestic product and see what it can tell us about the economy’s push and pull. Then, a look at tech news both big — falling user numbers that threaten Snapchat and Twitter — and small: Why do movies on your Netflix account look different from your friend’s? Plus, the old school tech and legal drama behind cloud storage and the magnetic tape that powers it.