Business

Television
11:56 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Hardcore Job Program Helps Unlikely 'Get To Work'

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we get the cross-cultural flavor of New Orleans music with writer and radio host, Gwen Thompkins. She talks to songwriters, musicians and producers in Louisiana for her program, Music Inside Out, and she shares their stories with us in just a few more minutes.

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Economy
11:56 am
Mon August 13, 2012

A New Kind Of Segregation, Income Segregation?

More Americans are segregated by income today, than they were 30 years ago. That's according to a new Pew Research Center study looking at U.S. neighborhoods. Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg says income segregation is a direct result of a shrinking middle class. He speaks with guest host Jacki Lyden about these changes.

Business
4:23 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Consumer Bureau Targets Improper Floreclosures

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:53 pm

Transcript

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Now Florida is among the states that were hardest-hit by the housing crisis, and foreclosures remain a big problem there and in several other parts of the country.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

One thing the government has been struggling with is how to stop banks from foreclosing on people improperly. The government is also trying to figure out more quickly help homeowners who qualify for reduced interest rates.

A federal regulator has released new rules aimed at doing both, and NPR's Chris Arnold has more.

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Europe
3:29 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Poland Watches Warily As Euro Crisis Spreads

One of the latest additions to Poland's growing luxury goods market, the Wolf Bracka department store, beckons shoppers in the heart of the Polish capital, Warsaw. The country's economy continues to grow, but Poles are anxiously watching the crisis in the eurozone.
Czarek Sokolowski AP

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:51 pm

One factor that has kept Poland somewhat insulated from the eurozone crisis is domestic consumer spending. Poland had more than 4 percent growth last year while the rest of the continent was mired in negative or flat growth. Poles have more discretionary income than ever before, and they're using it to buy things in swank malls cropping up all over the country.

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Your Money
5:51 am
Sun August 12, 2012

Some Small Investors Still Wary Of Betting On Wall St.

Traders prepare for the start of early trading at the New York Stock Exchange. Some say there's been a loss of faith in the stock market's return on investment over the last 15 years.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:55 pm

Ten years ago, Andres Cortez, a chauffeur in Los Angeles, might have been part of the hordes of people dabbling in day trading or haunting the online stock forums. He might have been bragging to his friends about the money he made in tech stocks, or learning how to margin trade at a night school.

Instead, he keeps his distance from stocks.

As he stands by his car and waits for a passenger downtown, Cortez says he has a little money he's put aside and is keeping it in a savings account, where it earns virtually nothing.

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Economy
5:51 am
Sun August 12, 2012

Taking A 'Doomy' Look At The Economy

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 9:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And now another gloomy financial message. Nouriel Roubini is a New York University professor and former economic advisor to the Clinton administration. And he has the nickname Dr. Doom. Roubini is next in our series of conversations with topnotch economists. But unlike some of his colleagues, he does not claim to have a crystal ball; he makes warnings, not predictions. Nouriel Roubini joins us from New York.

Welcome. So why do they call you Dr. Doom?

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Economy
5:54 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Georgia Town Ranks As City With Worst U.S. Job Loss

Rolls of carpet
iStockphoto.com

For decades, Dalton, Ga., had been known as the carpet capital of the world. But recently, it was named something else: the town with the past year's worst job loss.

The U.S. Labor Department says Dalton lost 4,600 jobs from June 2011 to June 2012. That's because some carpet mills that once employed thousands have closed down or cut back.

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Planet Money
2:05 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

How A Pasta Factory Got People To Show Up For Work

Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:06 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This story is about the unofficial border within one country — the border that divides northern and southern Italy. This is the fourth story in a four-part series.

A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.

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Business
3:23 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Why Evading U.S. Rules May 'Tempt' Foreign Banks

Police leave the Standard Chartered Bank's offices Tuesday in London. The bank has been accused of making billions of dollars' worth of transactions with the Iranian regime.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:42 pm

The allegations this week against London-based Standard Chartered Bank raise questions, not just about the bank's viability but also about the efficacy of U.S. laws when it comes to foreign banks. Standard Chartered allegedly violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, and regulators said the bank's executives lied to investigators as part of a cover-up.

The case serves as yet another reminder that U.S. regulations, which have strengthened since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, apparently did not deter foreign banks from laundering money through their U.S. operations.

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First And Main
3:20 am
Fri August 10, 2012

An Undecided Florida Voter Faces Emotional Decision

Wanda Kos is undecided this election year, but voted for Barack Obama in 2008. She is concerned for the future of her daughter Sofia, 6, and her two older children, including one son who just joined the military
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 12:25 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

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Planet Money
2:59 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Why Don't More Unemployed Spaniards Get Jobs In Germany?

Jobs ahead.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 11:22 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This is the third story in a four-part series.

The eurozone was supposed to create one big labor market by making it easy to cross borders for work.

But Gerhard Wiegelmann, a CEO in Stuttgart, Germany, can't find enough workers to staff his company — even with unemployment in Spain over 20 percent. He's had to turn down projects because he can't hire enough people.

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Latin America
1:46 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

What The Future Holds For Cuba's Economy

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 2:08 pm

In Cuba, President Raul Castro has plans to reform the economy, but many challenges lie ahead before the country can move forward. Many of the changes are being implemented slowly because of resistance from within the Communist Party.

Planet Money
10:51 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Paying For College: Financial Aid In America, In 2 Graphics

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 7:40 pm

For more, see our posts The Price Of College Tuition and What America Owes In Student Loans.

Tuition has gone through the roof in the past decade. But so has financial aid.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week; Still In Range They've Been In All Year

There were 361,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration says. That's down 6,000 from the week before (that previous week's total was revised up by 2,000).

Claims have stayed in a range between 350,000 and 400,000 all year. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, has also varied little: it's low this year has been 8.1 percent and the high has been 8.3 percent.

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NPR Story
7:56 am
Thu August 9, 2012

How Other Networks Compete Against Olympic Games

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:51 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NBC's coverage of the London Olympics is a ratings hit - which can present a problem for other networks looking to lure viewers, especially those dedicated to broadcasting sports. John Ourand is a media reporter for Sports Business Daily, and he's been checking to see what else is on.

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Business
5:58 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Tax Evaders Beware! Money's Getting Harder To Hide

The U.S. government has been working for years to crack down on Americans dodging taxes overseas. In 2009, under intense pressure, the Swiss bank UBS released the names of its American customers.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 3:51 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has acknowledged that he had money in a Swiss bank account until 2010. Romney says he wasn't trying to hide the money, since he reported the account to the government.

Even so, he closed the account at a time when the federal government was in the middle of a major crackdown on offshore tax havens — a crackdown that has made it harder for Americans to hide their money overseas.

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All Tech Considered
2:36 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

As Starbucks Adopts 'Square' Payments, Will Other Merchants Follow?

Square allows merchants to accept payments automatically from recognized registered customers.
Square screen grab

You could soon pay for a latte at Starbucks simply by walking into the store with a smartphone in your pocket and giving the cashier your name.

Square, a San Francisco-based payments startup unveiled a deal Wednesday with the world's largest coffee chain that will move its mobile payments products into Starbucks stores around the U.S. starting this fall.

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Business
3:19 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Natural Gas Giant Tries To Shift Gears

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa., in 2010.
Ralph Wilson AP

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 3:54 pm

A drop in natural gas prices is hurting balance sheets across the petroleum industry. The second-largest natural gas producer in the United States — Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy — has been hit especially hard.

After 23 consecutive years of touting its increasing natural gas production, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon told investors during a conference call Tuesday that the company projects its gas output will drop about 7 percent in 2013.

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National Security
2:03 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Is There A Role For Government In Cybersecurity?

The Cyber Security Act of 2012 failed in the Senate, despite growing alarm in the intelligence community about the vulnerabilities of the nation's infrastructure. The episode highlights a unique problem for politicians concerned about the balance between national security and federal regulation.

Business
5:29 am
Tue August 7, 2012

How Internet Browser Roles Are Changing

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As more people around the world get online using an increasing variety of devices, like smart phones and tablets, the browser wars are back and hotter than ever.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Google Chrome are battling to be the world's most popular browser. No matter what browser one may use, it's still the primary way through which many people still enter the Internet.

So, to browse the latest in browsers, we're joined by Rich Jaroslovsky. He's a technology columnist with Bloomberg News.

Good morning.

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World
3:27 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Growing Pains: Nations Balance Growth, Power Needs

Muslim girls study by candlelight inside a religious school in Noida, near New Delhi, on July 31. The collapse of three regional power grids last week caused a massive power outage that blacked out more than half of India.
Parivatran Sharma Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 pm

It may take some time to pinpoint the exact cause of India's massive blackouts last week, but the underlying issue for India and many other parts of the developing world is that supply is struggling to keep up with the growing demand for power — an imbalance that can affect the reliability of electric grids.

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Business
5:34 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Car Insurers Eye Driving Skills To Set Prices

For years, car insurance companies have set rates based on where a driver lives. But new in-car tracking devices may soon transform how drivers are charged for insurance.
Mark Wilson Gettty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 2:37 pm

To the average consumer, car insurance can seem pretty arbitrary. What you get charged often depends more on where you drive than how you drive.

John Egan of InsuranceQuotes.com says it's very often about location, location, location. Two people, he says, can live in two different zip codes in the same city "and pay a substantially different amount of money, depending on exactly where [they] live in your community."

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Asia
5:40 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Myanmar's Workers Exercise Rights To Organize

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:50 pm

Political and economic changes in Myanmar have fueled a wave of labor unrest in the country also known as Burma. Myanmar is in the very early stages of industrial development and has some of the lowest wages in the world. Wages are unlikely to reach levels seen elsewhere in the region anytime soon.

Author Interviews
3:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

'American Dream,' Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:33 am

A lot is at stake in the current election, but no matter who wins, the victor will stay committed to policies that cripple the middle class. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele, who've been covering the middle class for decades.

In their new book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, Barlett and Steele criticize a government obsessed with free trade and indifferent toward companies that outsource jobs.

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Economy
7:34 am
Sun August 5, 2012

A Peek Into The Republican Economic Tool Kit

Weekend Edition Sunday is beginning a series of conversations with economists, asking them to explain their positions and what they think ought to be done to improve the economy. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks to Greg Mankiw, former chairman of the Council of Economic advisers under President George W. Bush. He's also an informal adviser to the Romney campaign.

Around the Nation
6:06 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

How America's Losing The War On Poverty

Members of the Dolan family walk home with bags of food from the Southern Tier Mobile Food Pantry in Oswego, N.Y., in June. Food banks across the nation are reporting giant spikes in demand.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:53 pm

While President Obama and Gov. Romney battle for the hearts and minds of the middle class this election season, there's a huge swath of Americans that are largely ignored. It's the poor, and their ranks are growing.

According to a recent survey by The Associated Press, the number of Americans living at or below the poverty line will reach its highest point since President Johnson made his famous declaration of war on poverty in 1964.

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Economy
7:32 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Economists Cautiously Applaud Jobs Report

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Susan Stamberg in for Scott Simon. In an encouraging sign for the U.S. economy, the Labor Department told us yesterday that the country gained 163,000 jobs in July. That was better than expected but not all signs are pointing up. In a separate government survey, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.3 percent. NPR's Chris Arnold is at a gathering of economists in northern Maine. He sent this report.

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Presidential Race
5:52 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Obama, Romney Each Read Jobs Numbers Differently

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

The stock market rallied on Friday's jobs report, with the Dow Jones industrial average jumping more than 200 points. But what do the numbers mean for the political stocks of President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney? That's harder to measure.

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Planet Money
6:21 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Episode 392: Keeping The Biggest Secret In The U.S. Economy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps monthly unemployment figures very safe.
Don Goldberg (DoGoLaCa) flickr.com

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 3:01 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

The monthly jobs numbers are important — really important. They tell everyone from manufacturers to stock traders how the economy is doing. Billions of dollars ride on the jobs numbers.

Get them early, and you'd have everything you need to make a quick fortune. And once — just once, as far as anyone knows — someone did get them early.

On today's show, we talk to the guy who got the numbers before everyone else. And we learn the crazy lengths the government now goes to in order to keep those numbers secret until it's time to release them.

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Economy
4:42 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Despite Jobs Added, U.S. Unemployment Rose In July

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The job market is finally showing signs of improvement after months of disappointing numbers. The Labor Department said today that employers added 163,000 jobs to their payroll in July. That's the best performance since February. Of course, it wasn't all good news. With the jobs increase also came an uptick in the overall unemployment rate to 8.3 percent. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, that underscores just how tenuous the recovery remains.

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