Business

The Two-Way
5:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in June.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:39 am

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.

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Economy
5:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Transcript: Sen. Warren's Full NPR Interview On Financial Regulation

"Who does Washington work for?" asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., after her bill that would let people refinance student debt was shot down in June. It was a question she came back to repeatedly in an NPR interview on the Goldman Sachs bailout and federal regulation of the financial sector.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 9:17 am

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed Sen. Elizabeth Warren about the audio tapes made by Carmen Segarra, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York investigator who was examining Goldman Sachs. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: You described what you learned from this report as disturbing. What's disturbing about it?

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

New York Boosts Pay For Thousands With Hourly Wage Hike

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs an executive order raising the city's living wage law Tuesday. The move will require some employers to pay their employees between $11.50 and $13.13 an hour, depending on whether the employee receives benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday that effectively raises the hourly wage for thousands of workers in New York City. The city says its expansion of the Living Wage provisions will boost yearly earnings for the lowest-paid workers from $16,640 to $27,310.

From New York, NPR's Joel Rose reports:

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Law
5:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

U.S. Judge Holds Argentina In Contempt After Debt Default

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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The Salt
3:38 am
Tue September 30, 2014

European Activists Say They Don't Want Any U.S. 'Chlorine Chicken'

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

Mute Schimpf doesn't want to eat American chicken. That's because most U.S. poultry is chilled in antimicrobial baths that can include chlorine to keep salmonella and other bacteria in check. In Europe, chlorine treatment was banned in the 1990s out of fear that it could cause cancer.

"In Europe there is definitely a disgust about chlorinated chicken," says Schimpf, a food activist with Friends of the Earth Europe, an environmental group.

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
3:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Rochester Focuses On A New Picture Of American Manufacturing

Tom Worden works on a fixed-abrasive grinding table at Exelis Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. Exelis is an aerospace and defense company, and employs numerous former Kodak workers in its facility.
Mike Bradley for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 7:17 am

Rochester, N.Y., was once the imaging capital of the world, home to Kodak, Xerox and the eye care company, Bausch + Lomb.

Led by these companies, the manufacturing sector once employed 60 percent of Rochester's workforce. Now, that's less than 10 percent. And so, like many cities in this country, Rochester is trying to build something new from its manufacturing heritage.

If you want to understand the story of Rochester, says historian Carolyn Vacca, you need to come to High Falls, where from a bridge visitors see a waterfall and a panoramic view of downtown.

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Goats and Soda
11:29 am
Fri September 26, 2014

And The Million Dollar Hult Prize Goes To A Doc In A Box

It's being called the million dollar faint.

Ram Lakshmanan and his team were onstage at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York on Tuesday evening. They were finalists for the Hult Prize, which each year awards $1 million to the best plan for addressing global problems. They were making their pitch for a better healthcare plan that would include something they're calling "Doc-in-a-Box."

And then the 30-year-old entrepreneur collapsed.

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Politics
8:27 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Despite A Bumpy Tenure, Holder Had A Broad Impact

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Eric Holder's arrival in early February 2009 had all the hallmarks of a homecoming. Justice Department employees fatigued by scandals in President Bush's second term greeted Holder with sustained applause.

The Senate was receptive too, confirming him on a 75-21 vote and officially making him the first African-American attorney general in U.S. history.

But soon after he took the helm at Justice, Holder ran into headwinds — at times generated by his own words.

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The Salt
3:33 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Sayonara To 'Super-Size Me'? Food Companies Cut Calories, So Do We

Wouldn't this salad make a healthful addition to your pizza for dinner?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 12:26 pm

It just might be the dawn of a new era in American eating. Two-thirds of us are now more likely to go for foods marketed as lower-calorie and "better for you," and that means we're finally eating fewer calories.

But all this calorie-cutting from our cookies and cupcakes isn't just benevolent behavior on the part of the big food and beverage companies. It's also good for their bottom line.

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Politics
5:11 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Shifting Stance, Some GOP Candidates Back State Minimum Wage Hikes

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says under certain conditions, he would support a higher minimum wage in his state.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 6:15 pm

Here's another entry in the strange bedfellows political show, 2014 edition: As Election Day gets closer, some Republicans in battleground races seem to be moving to the center on a number of issues. Their latest sea change is the minimum wage.

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Research News
5:05 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Why Some Federal Agencies Panic This Time Of Year

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Goats and Soda
5:03 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Nobelist Muhammad Yunus: Be A Go-Getter, Not A Job Getter

Nobel Peace Prize winner and microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus is a champion of big ideas and small loans.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:01 pm

Muhammad Yunus, the founding father of "microcredit" and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, is in New York City this week to take part in the annual Clinton Global Initiative meetings.

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Business
4:22 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Move To Curb U.S. Corporate Tax Dodges Could Delay Reform

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has announced rules aimed at discouraging U.S. companies from moving their headquarters overseas to cut their tax bills.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:48 pm

The Obama administration's effort to curb corporate inversions — the strategy of moving company headquarters overseas to dodge U.S. taxes — drew boos from business on Tuesday, and cheers from consumer and labor groups.

No surprise there. But the Treasury Department's rule tweaks to discourage tax-avoidance deals also united everyone on one point: The country needs comprehensive tax-reform legislation.

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Business
5:07 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Treasury Announces Steps To Reduce Corporate Tax Dodges

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:20 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Goats and Soda
5:04 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Ebola's Toll: Farmers Aren't Farming, Traders Aren't Trading

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:20 pm

The Ebola outbreak is having a devastating effect on the economies of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, crippling major industries and forcing people out of work.

The three nations hardest hit by the virus are among the poorest on the African continent. Combined, their GDP is less than 3 percent of Nigeria's, the regional economic powerhouse.

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Around the Nation
5:04 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Seattle Plan To Ease Public Housing Waitlist Is Met With Criticism

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:20 pm

Copyright 2014 KPLU-FM. To see more, visit http://www.kplu.org.

Transcript

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The Two-Way
6:28 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Treasury Announces New Steps To Reduce Corporate Tax Dodges

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 7:17 pm

The U.S. Treasury announced steps on Monday to reduce the number of American companies who are dodging taxes by moving their parent companies overseas.

"These transactions erode the U.S. tax base, unfairly placing a larger burden on all other taxpayers, including small businesses and hardworking Americans," Treasury said in a statement.

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Planet Money
3:28 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Why Jewelry Stores Hide The Price Tags

How much for the blue one?
Stacey Vanek Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:12 am

When Tara Silberberg was a little girl, she helped out at her parents' jewelry store and wrote the prices on the tiny price tags.

"I had such good handwriting, too," said Silberberg. "Just teeny tiny, minuscule little handwriting."

Not that customers would see it: The price tags were turned upside down or tucked away. Even now, when Silberberg runs the store, she still hides the prices.

Customers have to ask Silberberg what the price is, or guess it. It's like playing a jewelry store version of The Price Is Right.

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All Tech Considered
5:11 am
Sat September 20, 2014

With Alibaba IPO, Yahoo Reaps A Big Reward From Risky Bet

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Yahoo will gain nearly $8 billion from the Alibaba IPO because of its $1 billion investment in Alibaba 2005.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 4:58 pm

Yahoo has made a number of bad bets in its up-and-down history. But the decision to buy a $1 billion stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba was hands down a winner.

Alibaba's successful IPO — its stock shot up 38 percent on the first day of trading Friday — will give Yahoo around $8 billion in return. But it was a masterful move, almost a decade ago, that made this mega-payday possible.

Yahoo Was A Pawn

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Business
9:47 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
4:37 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How NASA's New Spaceships Stack Up

The new capsules are being built by Boeing and SpaceX. They look similar, but there are differences.
SpaceX, The Boeing Company

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 10:24 pm

Earlier this week NASA announced that two private companies will build spaceships to take astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA hopes that both models will eventually be used by space tourists to get into orbit. Which got us wondering, which one would we rather fly in?

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Planet Money
4:58 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Alibaba Found Success By Acting Like A Dating Site

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 6:49 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Business
7:50 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Vermont Nonprofit Successfully Helps Homeowners Weatherize

Copyright 2014 Vermont Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.vpr.net.

Economy
7:50 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Wilderness Area Accused Of Inhibiting Idaho Town's Economy

Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.boisestatepublicradio.org.

Economy
5:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Fed Pledges To Keep Interest Rates Low For A While

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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NPR Ed
9:14 am
Wed September 17, 2014

These People Can Make Student Loans Disappear

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:54 pm

It was an ordinary Friday. Courtney Brown, 24, of Kalamazoo, Mich., was busy looking for a job. "I've applied all kinds of places," she says. "Wal-Mart, Target, Verizon Wireless."

Then she got a strange letter in the mail. " 'We are writing you with good news,' " she reads to me over the phone. " 'We got rid of some of your Everest College debt. ... No one should be forced to mortgage their future for an education.' "

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Energy
5:02 am
Wed September 17, 2014

When The Power's Out, Solar Panels May Not Keep The Lights On

In Del Norte, Colo., Public Works Supervisor Kevin Larimore shows off solar panels that provide electricity for the town's water supply. Despite generating its own solar energy, the town is still at risk of a blackout if its main power line goes down.
Dan Boyce Inside Energy

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 7:50 pm

The cost of solar panels is falling rapidly in the United States. And as the panels become more affordable, they're popping up on rooftops around the country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is trying to find better ways to back up its power system against blackouts. And while it may seem counterintuitive, more solar power does not mean fewer blackouts — at least not yet.

The tiny town of Del Norte, in southwestern Colorado, is a perfect example. Despite being covered in solar panels, Del Norte is still at risk of losing power if its main power line goes down.

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Economy
5:22 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

A 'Circle' Of Support Helps Families Stay Out Of Poverty

Cara Russo of Gettysburg, Pa., here with 9-year-old Shayla, one of her two daughters, has found success in a program geared to help struggling families navigate past some of the day-to-day obstacles that keep many poor.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:14 pm

Go around the country and you'll hear lots of frustration about just how difficult it is to get out of poverty — and more importantly, how to stay out. The official U.S. poverty rate may have gone down to 14.5 percent in 2013 according to new numbers out Tuesday, but still more than 45 million were poor.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Marriott's New Envelope For Room Tips Stirs Debate

Marriott is putting envelopes like this one in thousands of rooms at its hotels, hoping to boost the number of guests who tip the housekeeping staff.
Marriott

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:07 pm

A new program to encourage guests to tip the housekeeping staff at Marriott hotels is meant to make it easier for people to show their gratitude to workers. But the plan, part of an initiative from Maria Shriver's group A Woman's Nation, is raising questions over how the company pays its staff — and whether guests should be expected to tip.

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Parallels
10:37 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Like It Or Not, Scotland's Drama May Hit Your Wallet

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, flies near the Union Jack in Gretna in Scotland. Some economists say Thursday's vote on Scotland's independence could have wide-ranging economic impacts.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Does news of Scotland's independence vote make your eyelids feel heavy?

Americans may feel a yawn coming on when told of a political squabble playing out in a distant land less populated than metro Atlanta.

But economists say this Thursday's vote is no snoozer. You may wake up to find its outcome has triggered another global financial upheaval.

To understand the risks to your economic health, let's first review a couple of basics:

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