Business

It's All Politics
7:42 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Ryan's Speech Revives The Spirit Of Jack Kemp, War Over Reaganomics

Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee, became a speech writer for the conservative Republican politician Jack Kemp after graduating from college in 1992.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 8:47 am

The second night of the Republican convention was an orchestrated buildup for Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan.

Ryan emerged at the evening's end to deliver the payoff speech and introduce himself to a national audience. He did a rousing job of it, delivering the session's most memorable material with stark intensity.

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Business
5:56 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Samsung Licks Its Wounds After Losing Patent Suit

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 8:17 am

David Greene talks to Ina Fried, a senior editor at the website All Things Digital, about the next steps for Samsung after it lost a patent lawsuit to Apple.

Around the Nation
3:15 am
Thu August 30, 2012

In Drought, Should Corn Be Food Or Fuel?

Drought has taken a toll on corn this year, and as a result, a growing number of ethanol plants have closed.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 5:56 am

Standing outside the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-Op in Little Falls, Minn., there's not a lot going on. The pungent smell of fermentation that typically hangs in the air here is absent. And trucks piled high with corn are nowhere to be seen.

They're idled in part because of high corn prices. And it's unclear when that will change.

"Most of the industry is just breaking even in terms of profitability or actually running at slightly negative margins," says Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Wed August 29, 2012

U.S. Economy Grew At 1.7 Percent Annual Rate In Second Quarter

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its GDP numbers today, saying that during the second quarter of this year, the United States economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate.

That's up from its original estimate of 1.5 percent.

The BEA reports:

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Around the Nation
6:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Calif. Leaders Agree To Overhaul Pension System

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

California's governor, Jerry Brown, has announced a set of long-awaited reforms to his state's underfunded public pension system. The Democratic governor says the package will save the state about $30 billion in the future. More details of the cost savings are expected later today.

Brown is hoping the reforms will pave the way for another of his policy goals, as NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.

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Africa
3:12 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Somaliland: A Pocket Of Stability In A Chaotic Region

Bundles of Somaliland's own currency bills are laid out by a money-changer on a street in Hargeisa, capital of the unrecognized breakaway republic of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia. Investors are beginning to move into the untapped market in Somaliland, a stable island in a turbulent region.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 9:32 am

Somalia is synonymous with failed states, pirates and Islamist militants. But in the nation's northwest lies a peaceful, stable territory with an elected government known as Somaliland. The enclave broke away from the fractious Horn of Africa nation in 1991 and has been going it alone ever since.

To the disappointment of its residents, Somaliland has not been recognized as an independent nation, but its stability is attracting investors that other parts of Somalia can only dream of.

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The Impact of War
2:11 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Helping Recent Vets Find Meaning In New Jobs

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

When former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens returned to civilian life, he heard his fellow veterans asked the same question over and over: What do I do now? Part of the problem is the economy. Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq face unemployment rates even higher than that in the general population. Part of it's mutual incomprehension. Vets say employers don't understand how the skills they learned in the military can translate.

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Economy
11:48 am
Mon August 27, 2012

How Has The Economy Changed Since 2008 Elections?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the NFL is in the middle of another lockout, but it's not the players. We'll get more from Sports Illustrated's Pablo Torre in just a few minutes.

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Business
10:04 am
Mon August 27, 2012

As Conventions Begin, Where Is The U.S. Economy?

Sales of new homes, like this one in Palo Alto, Calif., rose 3.6 percent in July.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 2:52 pm

In late August of 2008, just as delegates were coming together for their political-party conventions, the U.S. economy was falling apart. Home sales were shutting down, employers were slashing payrolls, and financial institutions were lurching toward chaos.

Subsequent weeks saw political leaders and regulators fighting through one gut-wrenching day after another, trying to avert a complete collapse of global markets. On Sept. 24, Republican presidential candidate John McCain temporarily suspended his campaign to help Congress develop financial bailout plans.

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Business
5:18 am
Mon August 27, 2012

New Hampshire, A Low-Cost Massachusetts?

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 10:56 am

New Hampshire's economy is comparatively strong these days, but that strength varies depending on where you are in the small state. The closer you get to its border with Massachusetts, the more robust the economic activity. The state has been aggressive about marketing the so-called "New Hampshire Advantage."

Economy
6:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Looking At The Economy On The Campaign Trail

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 12:32 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Once the Republican convention gets underway, we can expect to hear a lot of talk about jobs and the economy. That is the ground where Mr. Romney wants this fight to happen. Just this past week, the Congressional Budget Office said the country would see a significant recession if Congress fails to resolve differences over a series of automatic tax increases and budget cuts, scheduled to happen in January. With so much at stake, just how constructive is the level of economic discourse in this presidential campaign?

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Economy
11:15 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Will Dreamers Help Or Hurt The Economy?

There's a debate going on about whether President Obama's deferred action program for undocumented workers will help boost the economy, or hurt it. Guest host Viviana Hurtado hears two opposing views from Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute, and Vanderbilt University law professor Carol Swain.

All Tech Considered
3:18 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Is The Cloud In Gamers' Future?

Nintendo's Wii U is the only new game system on the horizon as console makers are having a hard time figuring out how to improve on what they've got.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 11:56 am

Last year, consumers spent $17 billion on video games. That sounds like a lot, but it was nearly $1.5 billion lower than the previous year. One reason: there haven't been any new game consoles out to excite buyers.

Only Nintendo's Wii U might be on shelves for the holiday season.

The console makers are having a hard time figuring out how to improve on what they've got.

Try asking a gamer like Ryan Block what would entice him to drop a few hundred bucks on a new console.

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Business
4:28 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Bank of America To Donate Some Foreclosed Homes

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:47 pm

Bank of America announced this week it will give away 2,500 distressed homes to military vets and to other charities for people who are in need.

The Two-Way
8:41 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week

There were an estimated 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Another way of measuring, to show the recent trend, also rose: "The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250."

Overall, what we've said the past two weeks still applies:

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Business
4:52 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Federal Reserve May Move To Boost Economy

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:14 am

Fed policymakers appeared to move closer to a decision to add more stimulus to the economy. That's according to minutes released of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting. The minutes didn't say what the Fed is likely to do next, but indicated many officials supported keeping the federal funds rate at "exceptionally low levels" at least through late 2014.

Digital Life
3:18 am
Thu August 23, 2012

In Japan, Mobile Startups Take Gaming To Next Level

According to consultant Serkan Toto, the anonymity of mobile gaming is tailor-made for the Japanese.
Koji Sasahara AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:47 pm

On the subway, in doctor's waiting rooms and during college lectures, millions of Japanese can be found glued to their smartphones. But they're not texting or making phone calls — they're playing video games.

In the U.S., video games are usually played on computers and consoles, like the PlayStation or Wii, but in Japan, gaming has migrated to smartphones.

With an ice coffee in one hand and an iPhone in the other, grad student Yoshiro Hinoki is fixated on slaying tiny cartoon monsters.

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Fed Hints At More Action To Boost Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talks to educators Aug. 7 in Washington, D.C. At their most recent meeting, many Fed members backed action to boost the economy.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

The Federal Reserve could take more steps to boost the struggling U.S. economy. That's according to minutes released Wednesday of the Federal Open Market Committee's July 31-Aug. 1 meeting.

"Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery," the minutes said. [PDF]

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In July, Another Sign Of Stronger Market

More of these sorts of signs are popping up (November 2011 file photo from San Rafael, Calif.).
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A 2.3 percent increase in sales of previously owned homes in July from June is the latest sign that the housing market is on the mend, Reuters reports.

The National Association of Realtors said this morning that sales of existing homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Deficit To Be $1.1 Trillion, Unemployment To Stay Above 8 Percent, CBO Says

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 10:33 am

Expect to hear about this from the campaign of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney as he continues to take aim at President Obama's record on the budget and the economy:

The Congressional Budget Office reports this morning that "for fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion ... marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion."

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Business
7:03 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Video Game Sales Fall, While Downloads Increase

Video games are getting better in terms of quality, so why are sales falling month after month? David Greene talks to Chris Kohler, who writes about video games for Wired Magazine. The two examine the trends and new technologies reshaping this big, and growing industry.

Your Money
11:36 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Refinancing: How To Wade Through The Choppy Waters

Interest rates on mortgages are at an all-time low. But refinancing can be a daunting process. Financial guru and author Louis Barajas speaks with guest host Viviana Hurtado about the ins and outs of refinancing, and what consumers can do to make the process go more smoothly.

Business
4:48 am
Tue August 21, 2012

UCLA's MBA Program Wants To Give Up State Funds

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 9:01 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The business school at UCLA wants to go into business for itself. The Anderson School of Management is part of a public university. Of course, it's in California and the school's leaders find that being part of public education in California right now is a little maddening. Budget battles and state budget cuts have become normal.

Will Stone reports on what the school wants to do instead.

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Latin America
4:39 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Cuba Views China, Vietnam As Economic Hope

People, one holding an image of Cuba's President Raul Castro and his brother Fidel Castro, wait in line at a bus stop in Havana last month.
Franklin Reyes AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 9:01 am

Cuba is one of the world's last remaining communist states. Cuba's allies in China and Vietnam also maintain firm one-party rule, but have prospered by introducing market principles to their economic models. With Cuban President Raul Castro easing government controls on property rights and private enterprise, many are wondering if the struggling island is looking to Asia for a way forward.

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Economy
4:30 am
Mon August 20, 2012

The Latest On The Global Economy

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:43 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Exports of goods and services have been one of the bright spots in the lackluster U.S. economy lately. Exports have been growing much faster than almost anything else. But, economies around the world are now slowing.

And to find out what that means for U.S. exports and jobs, we turn, as we often do, to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Good morning, David.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning.

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The Salt
6:41 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Shop Owners Hope Yogurt Smooths A Path Out Of Greek Recession

Dimitris Plassas and Georgia Ladopoulou work the yogurt bar at Fresko, which specializes in several varieties of Greek-style yogurt.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:23 am

Greeks used to take their yogurt for granted. This year, at anti-austerity protests, they even threw it at their politicians. But Greeks are finally realizing yogurt might actually help the country during its worst recession in half a century.

In Athens, dozens of entrepreneurs have opened yogurt bars. The first one, called Fresko, opened last year on a pedestrian street near the Acropolis. It features four types of rich, strained yogurt kept cool in traditional ceramic pots.

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Business
6:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

She's No Man; She's A Lobsterman

Lobsterman Genevieve Kurilec holds a lobster caught while fishing along Deer Isle, Maine. Kurilec says more women are beginning to captain their own lobster boats.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:46 pm

In New England, more women are breaking through the glass gangway. That's the ramp you use to walk down onto a dock to hop onboard your own fishing boat. For generations lobstermen in Maine have been predominantly, well, men — but that's starting to change.

At a small gas dock in a rock-lined cove on Deer Isle, Maine, there's a new captain fueling up. Genevieve Kurilec, 29, wears a tank-top, orange fishing overalls and lobster buoy earrings.

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Your Money
6:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Stores Banking On Personalized Loyalty Programs

A customer using Safeway's personalized deals gets this loaf of bread for 99 cents instead of the original $4.29.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 6:56 pm

Loyalty cards have long given discounts to shoppers who sign up, but stores are increasingly offering personalized discounts tailored to each customer's shopping patterns.

Those tailored discounts mean someone standing in front of you at the supermarket checkout line might get a lower price on the exact same gallon of milk that you're buying.

A 'Secret Deal'

Heather Kulper is one of those people who really wants to get a good deal. She's a mom in a suburb north of Seattle who writes a blog about coupon clipping and saving money.

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Economy
5:01 pm
Sat August 18, 2012

In Weak Economy, College Grads 'Surge' Into Military

When his parents Tuy (center) and Mydung (right) Lam lost their jobs, electrical engineering major Louis Lam enlisted in the Navy.
Michael Tomsic NPR

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 7:14 pm

The weak economy is helping to drive thousands more college graduates into the U.S. military.

Since the recession began in 2007, there's been a steady increase in the number of college graduates joining the armed forces. The Navy and Army have seen the biggest jumps. About 60 percent more college grads joined the Navy last year than in 2007.

For some of them, it's a job some would never have imagined for themselves just a few years ago.

Not 'What I Thought I'd Be Doing'

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Economy
4:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

New Terms Set For Frannie And Freddie

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Treasury Department today changed the terms of its bailout agreement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As NPR's Chris Arnold reports, those terms were proving hopeless for the companies to keep up with.

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