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It's sign up season for the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment starts on Wednesday. Government numbers out today show that almost half of the population live in places where they can only choose from three or fewer insurers. Not much competition, so you’d expect premiums to be high. But in other places, there’s seven, eight or even 10 insurers in the market, and premiums have still gone up considerably. Why exactly? Seems this year insurers aren’t necessarily looking at each other to set premium prices.  

The decision about the new Federal Reserve chair is coming soon

Oct 30, 2017

President Donald Trump is expected to announce a new Federal Reserve chair this Thursday. Jerome "Jay" Powell, a member of the Federal Reserve's board, is seen by many as the leading candidate for the job. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Victoria Guida from Politico about the incumbent chair, Janet Yellen, her record and her possible successor. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

World Meteorological Organization

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2016. The concentration of the heat-trapping gas is higher than it’s been in at least 800,000 years, including all of human history.

That's the word from the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization.

The WMO says last year's CO2 spike was 50 percent greater than the average increase over the past decade, which Petteri Taalas, the organization’s secretary-general, says is very bad news.

Here are some of the stories RT says it promoted on Twitter

Oct 30, 2017
Regis Duvignau/Reuters 

Days after being banned from advertising on Twitter, Kremlin-backed media outlet RT has shared details about the content of its advertisements in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.

Robert Mueller’s special counsel was tasked with “a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election,” including any links or coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.  And yet, the indictments announced today against former campaign chair Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates don’t seem to have much to do with that at all. In fact, they’re mostly financial crimes.

On a sultry summer morning, Central American migrants huddled together in the courtyard of the Hermanos en el Camino migrant shelter in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, discussing the complexities of checkers.

The National Association of Home Builders opposes the Republican tax bill

Oct 30, 2017

The big debate over the Republican tax bill is looming. According to Republican leaders in the House, the tax bill will be released Wednesday. Once it's out things are going to get interesting because we'll learn whose interests are on the line, who is for and who is against. But some opinions are already being voiced. The National Association of Home Builders has said it will "actively oppose" this bill. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Jerry Howard, the group's CEO, about the NAHB's thoughts on the tax bill. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

How much money is there in the world?

Oct 30, 2017

This is just one of the stories from our "I've Always Wondered" series, where we tackle all of your questions about the world of business, no matter how big or small. Ever wondered if recycling is worth it? Or how store brands stack up against name brands? What do you wonder?

Why accountants can't wait for the new tax bill

Oct 30, 2017

Last year, when Hollywood released a big-budget thriller starring Ben Affleck as an accountant turned ruthless killer, Kim Dula was all over it.

"I actually watched it twice," she said. First she watched with her husband, then she made her kids watch it. "And I said, 'See — your mom really isn't just a dorky CPA.'"

Uber, United Airlines, Chick-fil-A, American Airlines. These companies and many, many more have been scrutinized and criticized by consumers and consumer advocates, boycotted or reprimanded for various misdeeds or sociopolitical disagreements.

In the age of the internet, a viral Twitter complaint, a news report or a well placed critique from a notable voice can land a business in hot water, scrambling to figure out a way not to let bad press hurt it's bottom line. Sometimes that means a public apology, other times a sale, or an attempt to ride out negative publicity.