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Every weekday, host Kai Ryssdal helps you make sense of the day’s business and economic news — no econ degree or finance background required. “Marketplace” takes you beyond the numbers, bringing you context. Our team of reporters all over the world speak with CEOs, policymakers and regular people just trying to get by.

2125 - Can we break out of the mortgage lock-in effect?
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  • 2125 - Can we break out of the mortgage lock-in effect?

    It’s a tough time to be a first-time buyer in the housing market. But it’s also tricky if you own a home and are looking to buy a new one, because your mortgage rate could roughly double. That “lock-in effect” is keeping housing inventory low and pushing prices higher. Then, we’ll examine why shipping costs are falling despite global disruptions and hear how steakhouses are trying to rebrand themselves.

    Mon, 19 Feb 2024 - 28min
  • 2124 - Vacant office buildings are making city budgets vulnerable

    Vacant offices have been tough on the commercial real estate industry, and more recently lenders that have built a big business on those property loans. But the biggest losers are cities that depend on commercial property taxes. In this episode, some municipalities face big revenue shortfalls. Also: another blow to ESG investing, the cost of big-name credit cards and our excess stuff is feeding the booming storage space industry.

    Fri, 16 Feb 2024 - 26min
  • 2123 - Why so many layoffs in a hot labor market?

    Cisco, the communications infrastructure giant, is planning to cut lots of jobs. It’s the latest high-profile company to do so. Meanwhile, we keep getting positive indicators about the labor market, like today’s data on falling jobless claims. We’ll explain the disconnect on today’s show. Also: What rising import prices mean, tracking shipments on freight trains and why a bank created to integrate emancipated Black Americans into the economy matters today.

    Thu, 15 Feb 2024 - 26min
  • 2122 - Walmart wants Vizio, but not for the TVs

    Walmart is looking to buy TV manufacturer Vizio, according to The Wall Street Journal, even though it sells its own brand of TVs. That’s because these days, a TV’s worth is tied to its streaming platform, and acquiring Vizio’s SmartCast could help the big-box retailer grow into another kind of company. Plus, split surveys on small business optimism, a map of all the country’s zoning laws, and the falling number of small farmers.

    Thu, 15 Feb 2024 - 27min
  • 2121 - A so-so CPI

    The January consumer price index just came out and inflation was up 3.1% year over year. That’s not awesome. But it’s not awful either. We’ll dig into the data, from lagging shelter costs to a still-hot labor market. Plus, monetary policy goes up against fiscal policy, the romance novel market flourishes, and rising prices for “inelastic” goods mean some consumers are gonna suffer.

    Tue, 13 Feb 2024 - 27min
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