Pro-fracking lawmakers on Capitol Hill see the Ukraine-Russian conflict as a chance to introduce legislation to fast-track U.S. natural gas exports. They argue that Ukraine and Europe depend heavily on Russian natural gas, which allows Russia to bully the region. Lessening their dependence on Russian energy could help weaken Vladimir Putin’s hand.
Over the years, Russia has effectively used natural gas as a political weapon. “We don’t like what you’re doing politically so we’re going to cut off your gas supplies,” says Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group. “We don’t like what you’re doing so we’re going to double your prices.”
It wasn’t that long ago that America believed it was running out of natural gas. During the Bush administration, officials were actively engaged in a push to create LNG import facilities. Now the U.S. is poised to overtake Russia as the top natural gas producer.
But energy analysts warn that LNG exports aren’t a quick fix for the crisis in Ukraine. After all, it would take several years to build the export infrastructure here in the U.S.
Researchers say a small number of people appear to lack the brain circuitry to get pleasure from music.
From the Marketplace Datebook, here’s a look at what’s coming up Friday:
- In Washington, the Labor Department reports on unemployment for February.
- The Federal Reserve is scheduled to issue consumer credit data for January.
- And if snakes are your thing, and why wouldn’t they be, Sweetwater, Texas hosts its annual Rattlesnake Roundup. Billed as the world’s largest.
The Buddhist spiritual leader delivered the U.S. Senate's opening prayer on Thursday. If the politicians heed his words, "happiness will follow," he says.
The park's bears have developed a taste for humans' food, and that's gotten them in big trouble. But efforts to teach campers to lock up food are helping solve the problem, a bear hair analysis shows.
The world is "well beyond the days when borders can be withdrawn over the heads of democratic leaders," the president said Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, facing court-martial on charges he sexually assaulted a female captain, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of an extramarital affair.
A lot of people think that wealth is money.
But that's only half the story. In fact, in most cases, it's only a tiny fraction of the story.
You see, wealth is about more than money: It's about assets. Assets being the stuff that you own: your car, your house, your collection of Rembrandt paintings, your Cartier watch. Cash money is an asset too – so include your bank account on the asset side of the equation.
But even if you've got lots of assets, that doesn't necessarily mean you're wealthy. Here's the equation:
Your wealth = The stuff you own (your assets) - the stuff that you owe (your debt)
A lot of the time, people who look wealthy because they drive around in limousines and throw lavish parties aren't wealthy at all. Why? Because they owe lots of money. Sometimes more than the value of everything they own.
The classic story illustrating this is Donald Trump, who always looks as though he's one of the richest men in the world. Even when he isn't. His daughter, Ivanka, has a memory of the Donald pointing at a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk outside Trump Tower. "That guy has $8 billion more than me," Donald Trump said.
How could this be? Because the homeless man may not have owned a home or a car, but he probably owned everything that he wore and carried, and he probably had zero debt. The Donald, on the other hand, owned plenty of things, including a hefty chunk of Trump Tower. But he was also many billions of dollars in debt at the time.
The same goes for a great many Americans. Remember Stanley Johnson, with his great family, great house, new car, and golf club membership? Boy, he kept up a good appearance, but he was in debt up to his eyeballs. Compare with the man who's alleged to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. He's supposed to own hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of bitcoin, yet he lives in a modest suburban home in Southern California and drives a Toyota Corolla.
In short, wealth isn't always what, or where, it seems to be.
Saadi Gadhafi, who is accused in connection with crackdowns on anti-regime protesters in the lead up to his father's 2011 ouster, had been under house arrest in the West African country.
Getty Images is the motherlode of photos for the web and for print, with more than 80 million pictures, and the company has been rigorous about charging for the use of those pictures. Until now.
The company has announced that it is making 35 million of those images available for free.
Letting everyone use photos for free may not sound like a great business plan. But it beats the status quo.
"If you have content that gets used by somebody else, and it gets used for free, then your only option is to sue them, and that’s a really terrible option," says Michael Mandel, chief economist for the Progressive Policy Institute.
Getty says that’s exactly where it’s been up to now. By allowing users to embed the photos, the company gets some upgrades:
Getty’s branding comes with the embed, and so does a link back to the company's site, where users can pay to license photos, including the millions of images that are not part of this giveaway.
Getty can also collect data on who looks at the free photos. The company's terms of service say it can even include ads, which it may do that down the road.
That sounds pretty good to Joshua Benton, who runs the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard.
"If this takes off, they would have an enormous amount of data about what kinds of photos people were looking at," he says. "And what kind of sites they were looking at. And that could really power a targeted-advertising business that you can imagine could generate a lot of revenue."
Which sounds a lot like the way YouTube operates these days.
"Exactly," says Benton. "Think how much value YouTube has gotten by allowing its videos to be embedded everywhere. It's essentially built out another advertising platform for Google."
Meanwhile, Getty says photographers will not receive additional payments when their photos appear embedded in blogs and Tweets through the giveaway program. The company says its existing contracts with photographers allow Getty to use their images for promotional purposes, and it says that language covers this giveaway.
The company doesn't expect the program to cut much into its existing sales: The strings attached to the embedded photos, like Getty's branding, will limit their appeal to larger publishers. And the free embeds remain off-limits for strictly commercial uses, like advertisements.
Did the agency spy on Senate staffers? Did those Senate aides take classified documents from the CIA's headquarters? Investigators are sorting through the accusations.
Michael Dell, the 49-year old founder and CEO of the world's No. 3 computer maker, isn't shy about the corporate battle he waged against activist investors to wrest control of his company back into private hands: his hands. "We won. It's great to be a private company again," Dell told Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.
April may be the cruelest month, but February may be the most baffling when it comes to counting how many people have jobs in America. The government's official tally is released tomorrow. Today, investors have been left guessing with forecasts ranging to the point of meaninglessness. When it comes to counting employed and unemployed, February can be an odd, little month.
It's spring break for tech geeks as an estimated 30,000 take part in the SXSW Interactive Festival. The director, Hugh Forrest, expects surveillance, privacy and wearable devices to be hot topics.
One of the big arguments for cigarettes is that they are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. But an analysis of teens finds that the rise of vaping hasn't led to a big drop in tobacco use.
As the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference gets underway, one of the major questions hanging over the event is this: how much clout does the Tea Party still have?
American host Liz Wahl said she had no interest in being part of the Kremlin-backed Russia Today channel because it "whitewashes the actions of Putin."
More than a dozen states are considering bills that would criminalize the online posting of sexually explicit photos or videos without the subject's consent. But First Amendment experts urge caution.
The California convicts overcame the extreme isolation of their imprisonment to organize a 30,000-prisoner-strong movement. Their goal? To end long-term incarceration in solitary confinement.
Some farmers have long sworn by mellow tunes to boost Bessie's milk production. The science is hardly conclusive. But a study hints at what might top the barnyard playlist. (Psst: They liked R.E.M.)
Also: George Saunders wins the Story Prize; and the murder trial continues for "blade runner" Oscar Pistorius.