Business

Asia
3:21 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Americans In China Feel Pinch Of Shifting Economies

China has welcomed U.S. business expertise for many years as its economy has advanced rapidly. Jim Rogers, a prominent U.S. investor, is shown here in China at the 2nd Hunan Finance Expo in 2011. However, the Chinese are becoming more confident in their own business skills and more critical of American practices in recent years, according to U.S. business executives working in China.
ChinaFotoPress Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 12:00 pm

In recent years, China's status — like its economy — has continued to rise as the economies in America and Europe have struggled.

That shift isn't just reflected in economic numbers, and some American business people in China say they don't feel as respected or as valued as before.

Not long after Michael Fagle arrived in Shanghai in 2005 with DuPont, he went to visit a Chinese customer. Back then, Fagle says, he was treated as a sage from the West.

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Around the Nation
2:10 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

U.S. Pensions In Crisis, But Not In Rhode Island

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Here are two really ugly words: unfunded liability. Across the country, states and cities are struggling to put enough money aside to pay for the pensions they've promised to past, present and future workers: cops, firefighters, teachers and all the rest.

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Africa
12:37 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Fighting Global Poverty With Business Strategies

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 1:57 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, many parents encourage - some say pressure - their kids to become high achievers, but what if a child just says no? David Yoo discusses his memoir, "The Choke Artist: Confessions of a Chronic Underachiever." That's just ahead.

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Election 2012
4:54 am
Mon September 24, 2012

'60 Minutes' Airs Obama, Romney Interviews

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. So, all those political ads are on the air. Last night, the candidates themselves were on the air. They did interviews on the same CBS program, "60 Minutes." NPR's David Schaper was watching.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: After a week in which his campaign was on the defensive, Romney told "60 Minutes" he remains confident.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "60 MINUTES")

MITT ROMNEY: I'm going to win this thing.

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All Tech Considered
3:23 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Employee Shopping: 'Acqui-Hire' Is The New Normal In Silicon Valley

A Google logo is seen through windows of Moscone Center in San Francisco during Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, in June. Google is one of several major tech companies known for the "acqui-hire."
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:08 am

Tech companies like Google, Facebook and Zynga are on a shopping spree. They're buying small startups with innovative products and apps. But, many times, the tech giants don't care about what the small companies were producing. They just want the engineers.

There's a new name for these deals: the "acqui-hire," and it could mean the end to your favorite app.

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Around the Nation
7:21 am
Sat September 22, 2012

U.S. Border Industry Grows As Immigration Slows

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's been more than a quarter century since the federal government enacted any immigration legislation which wasn't about enforcement and over that time, the government has spend hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircrafts, detention centers and agents. NPR's Ted Robbins looks at what taxpayer money has bought and why it's not likely to go away, even as budgets shrink and illegal immigration lessens.

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Business
6:04 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Trulia's IPO Tests Appetite For Tech Start-Ups

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:47 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The real estate website Trulia is successfully riding the housing recovery, and has just gone public. After one day of trading, the San Francisco-based company is valued at well over half-a-billion dollars.

From our member station KQED, Aarti Shahani reports this is seen as a boost for the tech sector after Facebook's shaky plunge into the stock market.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR DOOR SLAMMING)

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Economy
6:04 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Despite Economic Jitters, Stock Market Climbs

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:47 am

unemployment is still above 8 percent and some companies are warning of lower profits. Yet the stock market keeps climbing. Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about why markets are at their highest levels since the financial crisis four years ago.

All Tech Considered
3:15 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Electronic Pull-Tab Gambling Hits The iPad In Minnesota Bars

Booths that sell paper pull-tab games like this one have new competition in Minnesota: electronic pull-tab games played on iPads. The games are meant to help pay for a new football stadium in Minneapolis.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Minnesota gamblers no longer have to rip paper pull-tabs to see if they've won cash: As of this week, they can use iPads to play, and play again, at the click of a button. The venture was sparked by the need to help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium, which will cost an estimated $975 million.

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Author Interviews
2:30 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print'

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 2:20 pm

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

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U.S.
11:14 am
Thu September 20, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Scenarios Leave Economists On Edge

Economists hope lawmakers can avert a "fiscal cliff" after November's election, but what if Congress runs out of time?
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:46 pm

Members of Congress are about to flee Capitol Hill, and they'll be gone until Nov. 13, one week after Election Day.

As they shift to full-time campaigning, lawmakers are leaving behind many questions about the "fiscal cliff," a massive cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax-break expirations that come together around year's end.

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Planet Money
11:04 am
Thu September 20, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff, In Three And A Half Graphics

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 11:50 am

For more, see this story from NPR's Marilyn Geewax on how Congress might pass some stopgap measures to blunt the effect of the fiscal cliff.

A bunch of federal tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to kick in around Jan. 1, 2013. This is what people are talking about when they talk about the "fiscal cliff."

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Jobless Claims Changed Little Last Week

There were 382,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, down by just 3,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Meanwhile, "the 4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750." That figure offers a slightly better look at the trend.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Census: In 2011, Number Of Poor Americans Increased

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 9:21 am

  • Richard Gonzales on 'Morning Edition'
(We retopped this post at 8 a.m. ET.)

Though fresh data from the Census Bureau show that the number of Americans living in poverty edged higher in 2011, its latest American Community Survey also signals that after a Great Recession and a painfully slow recovery the U.S. economy may finally be bottoming out.

The Associated Press leads its report on the news this way:

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Business
5:09 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Samsung Keeps Up Patent Fight Against Apple

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:14 am

Apple and Samsung remained locked in their high stakes patent dispute. A Silicon Valley jury last month ordered Samsung to pay Apple more than $1 billion for infringing on its patents. Samsung is fighting in court and with a new aggressive marketing campaign for its Galaxy smartphones.

Around the Nation
5:09 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Census Survey: Poor Americans Increased In 2011

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:14 am

The Census Bureau has released the results of the American Community Survey. The bad news is that poverty is up. Nearly 16 percent of Americans live below the poverty line. Median household income is down too. The good news is that declines are not as steep as the depths of the recession.

The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Housing Starts Rose Again In August, Pace Remains Well Above Previous Years

Construction that was underway this summer in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 10:30 am

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

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The Salt
3:05 am
Wed September 19, 2012

So What Happens If The Farm Bill Expires? Not Much, Right Away

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talk to reporters about the farm bill at the U.S. Capitol in June.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:53 pm

Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.

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Education
3:01 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Do Scores Go Up When Teachers Return Bonuses?

An incentive system that gave bonuses to teachers upfront, with the threat of having to give the money back if student performance didn't improve, proved effective in one study.
David Franklin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:47 pm

In Chicago, parents were fuming over a weeklong strike by teachers. Around the rest of the country, in the face of growing evidence that many U.S. students are falling behind, administrators have tried to devise different ways to motivate teachers.

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The Salt
3:33 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Japanese Sake Makers Shake Off Tradition, Try Brewing Craft Beer

Kiuchi Brewery vice president Youichi Kiuchi holds a bottle of his company's Hitachino Nest beer. To make beer, the brewery is using equipment that once was used for sake.
Lucy Craft NPR

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:25 am

Until recently, if you ordered Japanese beer, there weren't many to choose from. Before the industry was deregulated in the 1990s, four major brewers — Asahi, Suntory, Sapporo and Kirin – controlled the manufacture of Japanese beer.

But the major brands' domination is ebbing, for reasons that have as much to do with Japan's ancient history as with its evolving palates. And now some traditional sake brewers are ditching the tradition and trying their hand at craft beer brewing.

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The Salt
3:44 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Shriveled Mich. Apple Harvest Means Fewer Jobs, Tough Year Ahead

A lonely Michigan apple.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:42 pm

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.

Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.

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Economy
11:34 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Is The 'Fiscal Cliff' As Bad As It Sounds?

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:29 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, last year the Occupy Wall Street movement dominated headlines for weeks and added terms like the 99 percent to our political vocabularies. But a year after the protests started we wanted to know where the movement stands now. We're going to call writer and activist Debra Dickerson about this. She's at the heart of the anniversary protest. That's later in the program.

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Africa
6:20 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Rwanda's Economy: An Unlikely Success Story

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame at the International Fund for Agricultural Development headquarters in Rome in February. Changes in agriculture have been part of the country's economic growth.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 am

East Africa is a tough place to do business. Want to open shop in Kenya? Prepare for a month of paper work, surly officials and bribes. To the west, in Rwanda, it's a different story.

"Registering a business takes just a matter of hours. It no longer takes months, weeks, as it used to be," says Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

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Economy
4:58 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Fed's Latest Stimulus Lacked Unanimous Support

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 5:48 pm

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, was the lone dissenting vote in a 12-member body that authorized a new, open-ended round of quantitative easing this week designed to tackle the persistently high unemployment rate. Lacker talks with weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about his vote and the stimulus.

Planet Money
2:50 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Even If You're All-Powerful, It's Hard To Fix The Economy

This guy lives in a computer. Can you get him a job?
Walt Disney Pictures The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:43 pm

The world inside Mark Zandi's computer model feels pretty familiar. It's full of people who are worried about the economy. Their homes are being foreclosed on. They're paying more for gas. Something like 13 million of them can't find jobs.

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U.S.
4:24 am
Fri September 14, 2012

California Online Sales Tax Faces Enforcement Hurdle

An Amazon worker sorts packages at a fulfillment center in Goodyear, Ariz.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:43 am

It's not hard to find online shoppers these days. Take the hipster cafe in San Francisco's Mission District where Shirin Oskooi opens her laptop and ticks off her latest Amazon purchases.

Next to her is Craig Sumner. He opens an Amazon invoice to see how much sales tax he was charged on his latest pair of Levis: none.

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Economy
4:24 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Discouraged In Hunt For A Job, Many Stop Looking

A job fair was held at the The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., last month. The U.S. unemployment rate declined in August in part because the number of "discouraged workers" climbed.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:43 am

The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.

The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.

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Economy
4:57 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Fed Unveils New Programs To Stimulate Economy

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 11:19 pm

The Federal Reserve expanded its list of stimulus programs Thursday with a new one aimed squarely at the housing market. The Fed will begin buying $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities every month, and will continue doing so until it sees the labor market improve.

The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Ben Bernanke: Fed Is Looking For 'Sustained Improvement' Of Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 3:55 pm

Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke said the new monetary policy announced today is aimed at getting the U.S. economy moving for good.

After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed announced that it would spend $40 billion a month on mortgage-backed securities in an effort to stimulate the economy and drive the the unemployment rate down.

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Planet Money
2:57 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

The Fed Goes Big

Any questions?
Jim Watson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 6:06 pm

What people think is going to happen to the economy has a huge influence over what actually happens. If you can change peoples' expectations, you can change the world.

The Federal Reserve knows this. And, as Robert Smith pointed out this morning, Ben Bernanke and the Fed have been using the power of expectations more and more in recent years.

This afternoon, the Fed took another huge step in this direction.

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