Twenty years ago, you would not have been allowed to set up your own little kiosk in the accessories department at Walmart selling the same sunglasses at slightly lower prices. Yet that’s exactly what e-commerce sites let third-party sellers do, and it usually works smoothly for everyone. Unless you’re a seller on Barnes & Noble’s Marketplace site, which shut down with no warning more than a week ago. Sellers are still locked out. [More]
Amazon is gunning for businesses – connecting them with sellers of everything from lab equipment to food service supplies. The online retail giant launched its latest marketplace Tuesday, aiming to provide businesses with the same shopping service the company offers everyday customers. [More]
The one joy of WSJ’s otherwise mirthless interactive graph showing bank failures across the country from Jan ’08 to present is that when you slide the time scroller back and forth, it looks like, as Marketplace’s Paddy Hirsch just tweeted, looks like a series of nuclear impact zones.
Tyler says that on four different occasions now, the Xbox Live points and subscription cards he’s bought have been invalid when he redeems them. He had a friend at Gamestop help him out with the invalid subscription card, but he’s stuck with useless paper when it comes to the points cards.
I was on Marketplace on public radio this morning, chiming in about Huntington Bank’s new 24-hour grace period they’re giving customers who overdraft. If you deposit the funds you’re lacking within a day, no fee, but if you don’t, you’ll get a $23 charge. This program is automatic, you don’t need to be enrolled in overdraft protection. Sounds nice and innovative, but I’d rather the bank deny the charge and get no fee instead. Here’s the audio:
Fiverr is a website where people post gigs they’re willing to do for five dollars. Does it work? I dunno, but it’s a lot of fun to read through the offers: someone will burn a small paper effigy of your enemy, or send you a sock puppet, or turn a photo into a cross-stitch pattern for you. My favorite is, “I will give you $10 if you find two people to give me $5 for $5.”
Owning guns is fun! Bartering is fun! Trading your two-year-old for a gun, however, is just gonna land you in jail. And if that kid ever finds out what you did, she’s gonna be pretty angry with you when she grows up. And really, lady, a toddler can cause just as much damage if you just give it time.
“Woman allegedly tries to trade 2-year-old daughter for gun”
Does the phrase “hostile takeover” give you a mental picture of Vikings swarming into an office building and taking over by brute force? The term is in the news due to proposed takeovers of Cadbury and Barnes & Noble, but that’s not quite what the term means. Marketplace’s Paddy Hirsch and his trusty whiteboard explain.
The business and financial news are full of something called “derivatives.” But, okay, what is that? You’re not the only one who’s wondering. That’s why Paddy Hirsch from the public radio program Marketplace put together a whiteboard, some stick figures, and a bunch of metaphorical turkeys to explain it all to us.
Should children have credit cards? Let’s ask ’em!
Hey, remember the TARP program? If banks are now paying back TARP funds, then what happened to those toxic assets? Are they sitting in a canyon in Wyoming for the next 10,000 years? Not exactly.
A few months ago, we reminded you that your credit card company is building a psychological profile of you. But what about a short, convenient list of things that get credit card companies‘ notice? Marketplace has you covered.
Yesterday, four U.S. Senators sent a letter to FCC acting chairman Michael Copps requesting an investigation into whether exclusivity deals between handset makers and national carriers are ultimately good for consumers, and they plan to hold a hearing on the issue on Wednesday, June 16th. They join a growing number of people and organizations, including the Rural Cellular Association (RCA), who say exclusivity deals benefit no one but the carriers and manufacturers.
It doesn’t involve ninjas, but the “shadow” banking system is an important part of the US economy, it’s the companies that loan money but aren’t themselves banks. The loans they make aren’t kept on the companies books, they’re securitized and resold as bonds. White whiteboard and magic marker, Marketplace Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch argues this shadow banking system deserves it own bailout.
So the latest solution to the problem of these toxic assets on the banks’ books is a “public-private partnership” between the government and the private sector…yawn what is he going on about, I wish I had a pancake…oh wait! Here’s Paddy Hirsch from marketplace drawing stick figures on a whiteboard and explaining it all. Now we’re talking.
One buzzphrase going around about the financial crisis is “mark to market.” Some think banks are being overly punished by being forced to “mark to market” the investments they own, or price them according to current market value. As you can probably figure out, those assets have plummeted. Marketplace’s Paddy Hirsch explains with his trusty whiteboard and stick figures what “mark to market” means, and what it means for the economy.
Marketplace’s Paddy “Sexycakes” Hirsch whips out the whiteboard to explain the how and why of the latest gimmick the Fed is deploying to ease the financial crisis. Now they’re making “bad banks” which will go buy the toxic assets from the banks so they can clean up their books. Hopefully over time these assets will mature past their heavily discounted value and the taxpayers can make money on the deal. But if the situation deteriorates and too many of the assets go to zero, as some indeed may, then we’ll be sitting on a big fat goose egg, again. Video inside.