Business

All Tech Considered
4:46 am
Thu October 30, 2014

In EU, Google Faces Next Chapter With New Competition Chief

Nearly 20 companies have filed antitrust complaints against Google in Europe since 2009.
Francois Lenoir Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 6:28 am

In Europe, Google has avoided the prospect of steep fines in a long-running antitrust case over several of the company's business practices, but a new commissioner will soon take over the case and that has many wondering what Google could face next.

Nearly 20 companies have filed antitrust complaints against Google in Europe since 2009. The biggest of those by far is Microsoft, which has its own competing search engine, Bing.

"Microsoft has been driving these complaints from the very start," says

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Economy
5:24 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Janet Yellen Brings A Different Leadership Style To The Fed

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 6:16 pm

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

Economy
4:30 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Federal Reserve Votes To End Quantitative Easing

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 6:16 pm

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

Politics
4:30 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Stagnant Wages Could Drive Voters At The Polls Next Week

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 6:16 pm

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Federal Reserve Stays The Course, Ends Most Recent Stimulus Program

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 7:35 pm

When the Great Recession kicked off in 2008, the Federal Reserve announced a stimulus program that bought up bonds by the trillions.

In a symbolic move that underlines the confidence the Fed has in the U.S. economy, today the Federal Open Market Committee said it was staying the course and ending the third round of economic stimulus, known as quantitative easing.

In a statement the FOMC explained:

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All Tech Considered
6:36 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Behind The Scenes, Storyful Exposes Viral Hoaxes For News Outlets

Storyful is making a business out of verifying material on social media for journalists and news organizations.
Storyful

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 9:57 am

At most news organizations, journalists celebrate when they get a story in print, on air or online.

At Storyful, editors high-five when they knock a story down.

"We like to think about [Storyful] as the first social news agency," said Mark Little, the company's buoyant CEO. A former television news anchor and correspondent in his native Ireland, Little conceived the company in 2009 after watching the documentation of mounting protests in Iran posted to Flickr and YouTube.

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Economy
5:00 am
Tue October 28, 2014

What Is Quantitative Easing And Why Is It Likely To End?

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 1:17 pm

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

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
4:39 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Behold The Entrenched — And Reviled — Annual Review

Nearly 90 percent of companies do formal evaluations at least once a year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Zack Blanton iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 3:52 pm

Performance review season is nearing, and if that makes you break out into a cold sweat, you're not alone. Studies show between 60 percent and 90 percent of employees, including managers, dislike the performance evaluation.

Some companies are starting to look at alternatives, but the performance review is pretty entrenched.

"They're fraudulent, bogus and dishonest," says Samuel Culbert, a management professor at UCLA who does research in dysfunctional management practice. "And second, they're indicative of and they support bad management."

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

CVS Pulls Apple Pay, And Many See A Fight Over Mobile Wallets

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 3:25 pm

One week after Apple's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, debuted in CVS stores, CVS has backtracked and barred its use. Rite Aid took the same step, leading many observers to note that the two companies are part of a group of retailers that's developing its own payment system, called CurrentC. Partners include Wal-Mart, Best Buy and 7-Eleven.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Chiquita Fruit Company Is Bought By Two Brazilian Firms

Chiquita, whose bananas are found in markets around the U.S., has agreed to sell itself to a coalition of two Brazilian companies.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 2:47 pm

Chiquita Brands International, the banana and produce firm whose trademark blue stickers have been ubiquitous in American kitchens for decades, is being sold to two Brazilian companies in a deal valued at around $1.3 billion. The Charlotte-based company traces its roots to the 1870s, when American entrepreneurs brought bananas to U.S. consumers from the Caribbean.

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Shots - Health News
4:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

In The Hospital, A Bad Translation Can Destroy A Life

Dr. Angela Alday talks with Isidro Hernandes, via a Spanish-speaking interpreter, Armando Jimenez. Both patient and doctor say they much prefer an in-person interpreter to one on the phone.
Jeff Schilling Courtesy of Tuality Healthcare

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 8:58 am

Translating from one language to another is a tricky business, and when it comes to interpreting between a doctor and patient, the stakes are even higher.

Consider the story of 18-year-old baseball player Willie Ramirez.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Sun October 26, 2014

EU Stress Test Finds 25 Banks Need To Shore Up Reserves

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 2:37 pm

After a comprehensive review of banks in the eurozone, regulators say that 25 banks out of 130 had a capital shortfall that would expose them to severe problems in an economic crisis.

The European Central Bank released the results of its yearlong study Sunday, putting banks on notice to boost their reserves within 9 months. Officials say many banks have begun that process — and some of them have already made up the shortfall that's based on a snapshot of data taken last December.

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Business
7:03 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Tobacco Farmers Lose Longtime Safety Net

Marvin Eaton owns a farm in Belew's Creek, N.C., where he grows 200 acres of tobacco. He bought the farm from his grandfather and plans to pass it down to his son.
Emily McCord WFDD

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 2:31 pm

Tobacco growers are about to face a completely free market. This month, they'll receive their last checks from a government program meant to ease them out of a Depression-era tobacco-price-fixing system.

That has left Stanley Smith, who grows about 60 acres of tobacco on his farm not far from Winston-Salem, N.C., feeling a little unsettled.

"I've farmed all my life," Smith says. "I think the best way to sum it up is our safety net now is gone."

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Economy
10:52 am
Thu October 23, 2014

You're Enjoying Low Gas Prices, But Is It Really A Good Sign?

Macy Gould shared this photo from Lexington, Ky., where the gas prices are under $3.
Macy Gould Instagram

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:40 pm

All around the country, gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, down to an average of about $3 a gallon. Those lower prices are helping restrain inflation across the board.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department said its consumer price index barely inched up 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, the CPI has risen by 1.7 percent, roughly half of its historical average rate of increase.

That sounds great for consumers.

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Business
5:58 am
Thu October 23, 2014

What The New Factory Worker Should Know

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:15 am

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

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
5:53 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas-New-Year Buying Begins

Candice Nelson fits her daughter Arya Kubesh with a Halloween hat at a store at Galleria Mall in Edina, Minn. Retailers are hoping Halloween will give them a good bounce into the peak spending time of the year.
Elizabeth Flores MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:58 am

At any big-box store, you can find the annual holiday mash-up now on garish display: Halloween costumes are stacked next to the decorative turkey napkins and pre-lit Christmas trees.

It's time to celebrate the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas-New-Year season!

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The Changing Lives Of Women
4:30 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Duke Energy CEO: 'I Don't Think Of Myself As A Powerful Woman'

Lynn Good has had many mentors throughout her career — but few of them were women. "So I'm generationally on the early part of the ascent of women into leadership roles," the Duke Energy president and CEO says.
Pat Sullivan AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 7:01 am

The first time I meet Lynn Good, she's tucked behind a set of doors with her bags, calmly waiting for the hotel's fire alarms to stop bleating.

She's at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in California to speak, even though, she says, "I don't think of myself as a powerful woman."

It occurs to me later that the unexpected run-in is a fitting introduction to a woman whose corporate ascent has been marked by some emergency detours.

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Shots - Health News
1:04 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

When The Economy Goes Down, Vasectomies Go Up

Did worries about financial stability get more men to say no to fatherhood?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:27 am

The number of men getting vasectomies spiked during the Great Recession, rising one-third from 2006 to 2010, a study finds.

In 2006, 3.9 percent of men said they had had a vasectomy; in 2010, 4.4 percent reported having the surgery. That means an additional 150,000 to 180,000 men per year had vasectomies in each year of the recession.

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Shots - Health News
10:14 am
Tue October 21, 2014

More Insurers Put Spending Limits On Medical Treatments

The California Public Employees' Retirement System has capped how much it will pay for some common medical procedures and tests.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:29 pm

To clamp down on health care costs, a growing number of employers and insurers are putting limits on how much they'll pay for certain medical services such as knee replacements, lab tests and complex imaging.

A recent study found that savings from such moves may be modest, however, and some analysts question whether "reference pricing," as it's called, is good for consumers.

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Planet Money
9:40 am
Tue October 21, 2014

When Women Stopped Coding

Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 4:41 pm

Modern computer science is dominated by men. But it hasn't always been this way.

A lot of computing pioneers — the people who programmed the first digital computers — were women. And for decades, the number of women studying computer science was growing faster than the number of men. But in 1984, something changed. The percentage of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged, even as the share of women in other technical and professional fields kept rising.

What happened?

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Around the Nation
6:38 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Millennials Continue Urbanization Of America, Leaving Small Towns

The Washington, D.C., suburb of Arlington, Va., was dubbed a top destination for millennials this year.
Arpad Benedek iStockphoto

"Most of the young people that go to college go away, and then they don't come back," says Lee Bianchi, a retired engineer who lived in Clinton, Iowa (pop. 26,647), from 1961 to 2008.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Tue October 21, 2014

U.S. And Japan Hit Snag In Major Trade Pact Negotiations

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:16 am

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

The Changing Lives Of Women
4:23 am
Mon October 20, 2014

The Look Of Power: How Women Have Dressed For Success

A publicity still from the movie Working Girl, which prominently featured the beloved power suit.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:22 am

Remember power suits? At the same time women were entering the corporate workplace in large numbers, the power suit began to pop up. It was usually a long jacket with the kind of big, padded shoulders Joan Crawford made famous, a straight skirt and, often, a floppy silk bow tie that Little Lord Fauntleroy would have been at home in. The 1980s power suit was designed to ignore a woman's shape so it didn't hinder her mobility as she worked her way up the corporate ladder.

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Book Reviews
5:32 am
Sun October 19, 2014

Amid The Chaos Of Debt Collection, 'Bad Paper' Offers A Riveting Roadmap

cover crop
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Outside a corner storefront in Buffalo, six men tumble from a parked Mercedes. Most of them are ex-cons, some of them are armed and one of them — the polygamist — is packing his machete, to be ready, in his words, "when I run out of bullets." Not one of them weighs less than 240 pounds, and they're all keyed up for a confrontation with a suspected crook — which, as it turns out, goes down in a small storage closet. (Don't worry: No one gets injured.)

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Economy
7:46 am
Sat October 18, 2014

European Slowdown Drives Roller-Coaster Week In Markets

Originally published on Sun October 19, 2014 7:33 pm

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Economy
7:46 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Pritzker Travels Europe And Asia On Commercial Diplomacy Tour

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 12:01 pm

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Economy
4:05 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Drop In Unemployment Raises Debate On Optimal Rate

A notice in a store window in New York City announces a retail job opening. Now that unemployment has slipped below 6 percent, there's renewed interest in what the Federal Reserve's target for joblessness should be.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:26 pm

The U.S. unemployment rate has been falling steadily over the years. Down from the recession peak of 10 percent in 2009, it reached 5.9 percent in September.

That's getting close to what economists call the natural unemployment rate — the normal level of joblessness you'd expect in a healthy economy.

But a lot of economists are asking whether the old rules about full employment still apply.

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Business
9:27 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Predictions Of 'Peak Oil' Production Prove Slippery

Workers drill for oil in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, N.D., an area experiencing an oil boom.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 12:52 pm

The dustiest portion of my home library includes the 1980s books — about how Japan's economy would dominate the world.

And then there are the 1990s books — about how the Y2K computer glitch would end the modern era.

Go up one more shelf for the late 2000s books — about oil "peaking." The authors claimed global oil production was reaching a peak and would soon decline, causing economic chaos.

The titles include Peak Oil and the Second Great Depression, Peak Oil Survival and When Oil Peaked.

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Business
6:25 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Sustained Lower Gas Prices Could Drive Economic Growth

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:53 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk next about the economic effects of oil prices. We've been reporting this week on oil prices that seem to drop measurably day by day. Eventually, that translates to cheaper gas. We asked NPR's Chris Arnold just how much that matters.

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NPR Story
5:03 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Why Has There Been So Much Turmoil In Financial Markets Lately?

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:53 am

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

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