Business

The Picture Show
10:34 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Portraits From Slab City: 'The Last Free Place On Earth'

Neil Mallick. A musician.
Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum

People come to Slab City, a squatter campsite in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California, for many reasons. But one sentiment seems to unite many of them: They want to avoid people like photojournalist Jessica Lum. That is: City people. Taxpayers. Media types.

Which is a tough situation, if you happen to be Lum and you hope to document the people of this community.

"People feel they can determine their level of isolation or engagement," Lum says.

Read more
It's All Politics
7:37 am
Wed October 3, 2012

OMG! A Deb8! What Young People Really Want To Ask Obama And Romney

Students wait in line to vote last Friday on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, a day after the swing state began in-person early voting.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:55 pm

Generation Y is asking why.

Why is it so hard to find a job? Why is health care so expensive? Smart questions from a smart generation. Their inquiries — and the presidential candidate they think can provide the best answers — could be a decisive factor in the 2012 election. If not the Tipping Point, as least a Tilting Point.

For many millennials, economic prospects are murky.

Read more
Election 2012
7:35 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Before The Debate, Brush Up On Buzzwords

The General Motors headquarters in Detroit. The U.S. government bailout of GM and Chrysler has been a key economic issue in the presidential campaign.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:56 am

In their first debate Wednesday night, the two presidential candidates will explain their plans for fixing the U.S. economy.

Good luck.

The problems are complicated and long-standing, so the solutions may not be easy to spell out in the two minutes allowed for each answer under the debate rules.

But President Obama, the Democratic incumbent, and former Gov. Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, will try, and about 60 million people are expected to tune in. This first debate will focus on domestic issues, with the economy topping the list of homefront problems.

Read more
Business
4:20 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Get New Protections

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
The Salt
3:25 am
Wed October 3, 2012

In Washington State, Picker Shortage Threatens Apple Boom

Amilia Magno, 23, of Pasco, Wash., carries a heavy load of buckeye gala apples in Broetje Orchards near Prescott, Wash.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 5:57 pm

In western Michigan, there aren't enough apples to pick because bad weather decimated 85 to 90 percent of the crop. But Washington state has the opposite problem — there's an abundance of apples, but not enough pickers.

This should be the happiest, busiest time of year in Washington apple orchards. But now — just as the peak of apple harvest is coming on — Broetje Orchards manager Roger Bairstow is wincing.

Read more
Your Money
11:40 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Can Saving Money Cost Money?

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, style maven Stacy London tells us about the psychology of fashion and what messages you're sending with your choice of clothing. That's in a few minutes.

Read more
The Salt
10:16 am
Tue October 2, 2012

High Food Prices Forecast More Global Riots Ahead, Researchers Say

A Tunisian protester holds a baguette while taking to riot police in January 2011.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:34 am

When French peasants stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, they weren't just revolting against the monarchy's policies. They were also hungry.

From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, high food prices have been cited as a factor behind mass protest movements. But can food prices actually help predict when social unrest is likely to break out?

Read more
NPR Story
5:05 am
Tue October 2, 2012

2013 Car Models

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

'Tis the season for new car buying. Fall is when automakers roll out their latest models - with new technologies and better fuel efficiency. And to talk about the latest trends, we reached Michelle Krebs in Detroit. She's a senior analyst at the auto information website Edmunds.com.

Good to have you back, Michelle.

MICHELLE KREBS: Glad to be back.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Business
5:05 am
Tue October 2, 2012

JPMorgan Sued Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Read more
Solve This
3:32 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Candidates Say Little On Difficult Issue Of Housing

Despite millions of troubled mortgages around the country, housing hasn't been a major issue in the presidential race so far.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Housing continues to be a big issue for the economy, and for many voters. But so far it hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign. Perhaps that's because both sides agree that there's no easy fix for the problem of millions of troubled mortgages.

The Problem:

Cathy Busby and her husband co-owned a realty office in Denver when they bought their house in 2006. The next year, the market for houses dried up, leaving them with little income as their house lost value.

Now, she says, she considers herself "poverty level."

Read more
The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Report: If Congress Ignores 'Fiscal Cliff,' Most Americans Will Pay More Taxes

In this Nov. 19, 2011 fie photo the U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Unless Congress passes legislation in a lame-duck session, taxes will be higher by a half-trillion dollars next year, costing the average household nearly $3,500 a year, according to a just-released report by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

After studying details of the tax changes now set to take effect for 2013, the researchers were struck by "how big the tax increase is," said Eric Toder, one of those researchers. "It's a huge, huge number."

Read more
Business
5:13 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Maker Faire Celebrates Do-It-Yourself-Culture

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Thousands of people gathered at the New York Hall of Science this weekend for what's called the World Maker Faire. It was the third an annual celebration of 21st century Do-It-Yourself culture, with workshops, speakers and demonstrations.

But, as reporter Stan Alcorn discovered, the main attraction is the makers themselves.

STAN ALCORN, BYLINE: At the center of the World Maker Faire is Katy Perry.

JESSE GREEN: Katy Perry is the unicorn that we made for a friend's wedding.

Read more
Fiscal Cliff Notes
3:31 am
Mon October 1, 2012

For High Earners, Expiring Tax Cuts Would Hit Hard

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:22 pm

This story is part of our occasional series Fiscal Cliff Notes.

If the Bush-era tax cuts are allowed to expire, the majority of Americans will see their taxes rise. Those who will see the largest increase are the wealthy.

Dr. Hamilton Lempert, an emergency room doctor in Cincinnati, works almost exclusively on overnight shifts.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:54 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Income And Spending Both Basically Flat In August

Higher prices at the pump meant the amount of money consumers spent went up last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Americans' personal income grew by just 0.1 percent in August from July and consumer spending would have been basically flat as well if it hadn't been for higher gasoline prices, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning.

Read more
Economy
5:14 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Spain's Budget Cuts Likely To Provoke Protests

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:29 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

European finance ministers have asked Spain if it might need a few bucks to tide it over - in particular, $125 billion to prop up failing banks. The Spanish government is expected to announce today how much of that sum it will need.

Shoring up banks is one step Spain is taking to prevent economic collapse. Another step is to slash more than $50 billion dollars in spending.

Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid on Spain's new budget, unveiled last night.

Read more
Business
4:49 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Hiring Outlook For College Graduates Improves

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:29 am

The report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers says hiring for the upcoming class of graduates will jump 13 percent from a year ago. But the improvement won't get the job market for new grads back to where it was before the recession.

Economy
3:24 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Easy Money May Boost Economy But At What Cost?

Specialist David Pologruto works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 13, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke holds a news conference in Washington. The world's central banks are easing credit, putting more money into the global economy.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:31 pm

The world's central banks are pumping cash into their economies, pushing down interest rates in hopes the ready cash and lower rates will boost borrowing and economic activity. Everyone agrees the action is dramatic and unprecedented, but there's disagreement over whether they will do more harm than good.

Economists know very well the trillions of dollars being added by the central banks to the global economy can be risky.

"These are risks about long-term rises in inflation, housing bubbles potentially building up," says Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute.

Read more
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
5:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Aurora, Colo., Tries To Capitalize On Its Ethnic Riches

Families in a predominantly Latino youth soccer league gather for matches in Aurora. Hispanics make up nearly a third of the city's population, according to the 2010 Census.
Megan Verlee for NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:00 pm

Aurora, Colo., became a familiar name this summer, in the wake of a mass shooting at a local movie theater.

But there's much more to this Denver suburb than the recent tragedy. Just ask Ethiopian immigrant Fekade Balcha. Balcha's apartment, on Aurora's north side, sits in a dense neighborhood of squat brick apartment buildings and tiny homes.

"You see, in our apartment, there are Russians, Mexicans, Africans," Balcha says. "From Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, and something like that."

Read more
Around the Nation
5:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year

With far less than half of their normal corn yield, the Ulrich brothers are relying in part on government-subsidized crop insurance to keep their farm afloat.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:39 pm

After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.

In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read more
Planet Money
2:28 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Surprise! There Are 386,000 More Jobs Than We Thought

We thought the U.S. economy added just under 2 million jobs between March, 2011 and March, 2012. Turns out, the actual number was more like 2.4 million — a big difference!

Read more
Economy
11:43 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Housing Prices Up, But Market Far From Recovered

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 1:54 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Eric LeGrand was a star college football player until a tackle left him paralyzed. We'll speak with him about his new memoir and his new life. That's in a moment.

But, first, let's turn to housing. The Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index is one of the top measures of the U.S. housing market and the latest report just out this week says prices are on the rise.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Orders Plunge, GDP Growth Revised Down

A huge drop in demand for cars, aircraft and other transportation equipment pulled down orders for so-called durable goods in August, the Census Bureau says.

Orders fell 13.2 percent, "the largest decrease since January 2009."

Read more
Business
5:08 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Has Apple's Feud With Google Hurt Its iPhone 5?

The fallout from Apple's controversial decision to drop Google Maps from the iPhone 5 continues. Customers aren't giving Apple Maps any love, and analysts say Apple made an uncharacteristic blunder in dumping Google.

The Salt
3:33 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Greek Credit Crisis Forces Winemakers, Food Canners To Adapt

Winemakers like Stellios Boutaris, shown near his vineyard outside Naoussa, Greece, and other business leaders have been forced to pursue new financial tactics because credit is hard to come by.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

When the economic crisis erupted in Greece and the bottom fell out of the domestic wine market, the Kir-Yianni vineyard outside picturesque Naoussa decided to adapt. Like other wineries in Greece, it has increasingly tapped the export market, successfully marketing and selling wine in Europe, the United States and even China.

"If you ask me, this crisis has been good for us," says Stellios Boutaris, the son of the company's founder. "It's going to make us stronger."

Read more
The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Freddie Mac Didn't Harm Homeowners, Inspector General Says

In January, NPR and ProPublica reported on a potential conflict of interest at Freddie Mac, a mortgage giant sponsored by the federal government. The stories noted that even as Freddie Mac was writing rules making it harder for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, it also was stepping up investments in securities that gain when homeowners remain stuck in high-rate loans.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:23 am
Wed September 26, 2012

New Home Sales Were Flat In August, But Prices Rose Sharply

Model homes at a new development in Millbrae, Calif., earlier this year.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

While the number of new homes sold in August was barely changed from July, the median sales price was up sharply, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report. So the news adds to other recent signs, including Tuesday's report about higher home prices in major cities, of a recovering housing sector.

Read more
Business
5:29 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Lesser-Known IPOs Fare Better Than Facebook's

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Facebook share price have lost almost half of its value since the social networking company had its initial public offering, or IPO, in the spring. Hundreds of millions of followers apparently will not guarantee you success in the stock market - at least not in the short-term.

Many lesser-known companies have also plunged into the stock market this year in the hopes of raising lots of capital, but their prices have not plunged - they're doing better than Facebook.

Read more
Business
5:28 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Economy's Holiday Wish List: Buy Big-Ticket Items

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Warning. It's only September and we have a story about holiday shopping. Large retailers like Wal-Mart and Toys 'R' Us are hiring tens of thousands of people for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

But NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that this seasonal hiring is not the best measure of how well the economy is doing.

Read more
Europe
5:21 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Police Fire Rubber Bullets At Spanish Protesters

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 10:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

People aren't getting much work done in parts of Europe, treading water there. Greek workers called a nationwide strike for today, protesting austerity measures. Last night, there were violent protests in Spain. Demonstrators launched a new movement dubbed Occupy Congress, surrounding the Spanish Parliament with a human chain before clashing with police.

Lauren Frayer was in the crowd in Madrid.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING PROTESTERS)

Read more
The Salt
4:52 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Greek Olive Oil Woes Echo Country's Broader Economic Challenges

A Greek farmer drives home with his fresh pressed olive oil in barrels near Alyki, Greece. The country's pure olive oil is hard to find, expensive and poorly marketed, businessmen say.
Matthias Schrader AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Greece is in the fifth year of a painful recession, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. One big problem the country faces is a shortage of strong companies that know how to compete on the world market. And nowhere is this more painfully apparent than in the challenges faced by the country's olive oil business.

Read more

Pages