When the economic history of the decade is written someday, there very well may be a chapter about the spring and summer of 2013, when money that had been pouring into emerging market countries shifted the other way. Recently, the economies of emerging markets are looking dismal with both currencies plummeting in value against the dollar.
Capital flowed into emerging markets when interest rates dropped in the U.S. and Europe during the 2008 financial crisis, but as those economies rebound, investors are turning the other way.
"Investors are seeing the prospect of reduced Federal Reserve intervention in the U.S. -- which will tend to raise long-term interest rates in the markets -- and they want to get some of those better returns," says Andrew Walker, the BBC's economics correspondent. "In the process, they are selling money in emerging financial markets, and that has been driving the currencies down and the interest rates up."
The White House is expected to soon release more of the evidence it says it has to support the case that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people. Despite the news that Britain won't be joining in any military action, the Obama administration seems determined to go ahead.
For two hours yesterday, service on the New York subway's B and Q lines was stopped in Brooklyn as transit employees searched for two kittens that got down near the third rail. Kittens are now safe. Now you may be prompted to do some kind of cost-benefit analysis about kittens versus lost productivity of stranded train riders. Before you do, consider the photo The New York Post took of one of the little guys, peering out w ith his fluffy face and green eyes, his little nose obscured by the track. Where's that fit into your ruthless spreadsheet?
Called by some the best Irish poet since Yeats, Heaney was 74. He was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Heaney once told NPR that poems are "stepping stones in one's own sense of oneself. ... You have to conjure the next stepping stone because the stream, we hope, keeps flowing."
It's quiz time on Marketplace Tech. 306,000 tweets per minute, 2 (think gaming), 11,000 requests, and 74 percent: Can you guess what these numbers mean?
We put Amanda Wixted, owner of Meteor Grove, the company behind some of the most popular mobile video games around -- like Farmville and Mafia Wars -- to the test for our latest edition of Silicon Tally. Click on the audio player above to play along.
How to pay for college is one of the big financial issues that families face. That leaves a lot of parents and students wondering why college costs are rising, and whether a college degree is worth the cost.
Has the cost of college gone up that much?
The cost of college has been rising, but not as much as people think, according to David Leonhardt, the Washington Bureau Chief for the New York Times.
“It’s gone up faster than inflation, but when you take financial aid into account, it’s gone up only modestly faster than inflation,” said Leonhardt.
A lot of people, he said, are confused because they're looking at the "sticker price" for college, not realizing that many students get financial aid that reduces what they have to pay.
He compared that aid to a progressive tax system, where high-income students pay a higher rate than low-income students.
"I'm not sure we should be that concerned about that," said Leonhardt. "The rich have done so well over the last couple decades, getting enormous raises, that they can afford a higher college bill than they could 20 years ago.”
Is paying for college still worth it?
According to the Federal Reserve, the average amount of student loan debt for a 2013 graduate was around $28,000, while the average salary for new grads in 2013 was $44,928.
Leonhardt says graduates need to look beyond their first year salaries when they think about paying off debt.
“Compare $28,000 not to what you make your first year out of college. Compare it to the difference over 5 or 10 or 20 or 40 years, between what a college graduate earns and what someone who doesn’t graduate from college earns,” said Leonhardt. “Then the amount of debt we have, while not great, seems to look less bad.”
Will there be pressure on universities to lower education costs?
Leonhardt identified two forces that could drive college costs down.
The first is technology. If online colleges prove they are effective, he said, traditional schools will have to adjust their prices.
The second is the cost of social security for retiring baby boomers. The pressure on the federal budget, said Leonhardt, will push the government to make colleges more accountable for how they spend federal dollars.
This month, President Obama proposed measures to make colleges more accountable, by tying aid to student success.
That could make a difference, said Leonhardt. “We don’t say ‘Hey, if you actually do a good job and your students learn something, or if you do good job and they graduate, we will give you more money than a school that is enrolling tons and tons of students and having many of them fail and drop out,’" he said.