Business

The Salt
3:35 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Fancy Names Can Fool Wine Geeks Into Paying More For A Bottle

New York Winemaker Christopher Tracy and a bottle of his Blaufrankisch. The wine's difficult to pronounce name may attract oenophiles.
Charles Lane NPR

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 1:56 pm

Which costs more, a bottle of Fat Bastard or a Tselepou (TSe-le-po)? What about a Cupcake versus some other name that's difficult for Americans to pronounce? Turns out, when it comes to wine, research suggests that the name alone can affect how much consumers are willing to pay for it. But is it that easy to dupe an oenophile?

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Business
3:05 am
Tue June 26, 2012

What's A Taxi Ride Worth? You Set The Price

Eric Hagen charges people only what they can afford in his Recession Ride Taxi in Burlington, Vt.
Kirk Carapezza for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 1:07 pm

In a recession, watching the meter on a taxi tick higher and higher can be distressing. But in Burlington, Vt., the Recession Ride Taxi lets customers set their own price.

Eric Hagen is a Wall Street banker-turned-cab-driver whose one-man "pay-what-you-want" taxi service has accrued dozens of faithful customers.

'I'd Be Walking'

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The Salt
3:04 am
Tue June 26, 2012

The Making of Meat-Eating America

Men at a slaughterhouse stand near hanging beef carcasses, late 1940s.
Lass Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 12:44 pm

We eat a lot of meat in this country; per person, more than almost anywhere else on Earth. (Here's a helpful map of global meat-eating.)

But why? What makes an American eat ten or twelve times more meat than the average person in Mozambique or Bangladesh?

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Planet Money
3:31 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Video Game Company Hires Economist To Study Virtual Worlds

Inside Team Fortress 2
Valve YouTube

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:28 am

Say you've spent years studying the real economy, with all its messiness and uncertainty. Then you stumble into a world where there's a record of everything everyone has ever done.

This, more or less, is what just happened to Yanis Varoufakis.

"It's like being omniscient," Varoufakis told me. "It's mesmerizing."

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The Salt
11:48 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Struggling Dairy Farmers Find a 'Moo' Business Model

Laura Chase, a member of the MOOMilk dairy cooperative, sweeps her barn in a film still from documentary, Betting The Farm.
Pull-Start Pictures

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 12:08 pm

A year and a half after Aaron Bell lost his contract to sell milk to H.P. Hood LLC from his 45 cow dairy operation in Edmunds, Maine, he found himself leaving a voicemail with his lease agent.

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Sports
5:13 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Weighed Down By Worry, Soccer Distracts Eurozone

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 1:37 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You know, if you're weighed down by worry, you find a distraction. That at least is what Europeans are doing amid their economic trouble. They've been turning to their favorite sport - soccer. This weekend saw the last two Euro 2012 quarterfinals. This is a huge competition viewed in Europe, as second only to the World Cup. NPR's Philip Reeves of course has been following the action. He's on the line from London.

Hi, Phil.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Hi.

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Education
5:13 am
Mon June 25, 2012

N.C. School Districts Fight Online Charter School

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 1:37 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A lot of taxpayer money is at stake in this next story. The number of public charter schools is growing. When they attract students, they also attract public funding - and that is also true when the charter school is an online school.

One dominant force in creating online charter schools is a company called K-12. Now, traditional school districts are fighting the company's efforts to set up a virtual academy.

Here's Dave DeWitt of North Carolina Public Radio.

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Economy
5:13 am
Mon June 25, 2012

European Leaders To Meet To Consider Eurozone Fix

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 1:37 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. And I want to let you know that reporters at the Supreme Court are reading and listening to a decision this morning, on Arizona's immigration law. The Court has thrown our parts of the law, but retained the show your papers provision that allows police to stop and frisk suspected illegal immigrants. We'll bring you more as we learn it.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Politics
6:11 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

As Deadline Nears, Students Worry About Loan Hike

President Barack Obama shakes hands with students after urging Congress to pass legislation that would keep federal student loan rates from doubling in the East Room of the White House June 21 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:26 pm

Congress has a matter of days left to work out a compromise or interest rates on some federal student loans will double. Five years ago, lawmakers offered students a reprieve — by cutting Stafford loan interest rates in half — but that ends July 1.

That's left many students worried that their heavy debt burden is about to get heavier.

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Business
4:18 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

A Week Of Near-Calamities Erodes Confidence

Vanessa Loren shops in Miami. An index of consumer sentiment dropped more than expected in June.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 4:24 pm

When Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of most major U.S. banks on Thursday, you'd have thought Friday would be a tough day for bank stocks.

But bank stocks ticked up — largely because investors were relieved. They had feared the downgrades would be worse. The Dow Jones industrial average was recovering from Thursday's 250-point drop, the second-worst of the year.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Markets Offer Muted Reaction To Bank Ratings Dowgrades

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 10:14 am

UPDATE at 10:10 a.m. EST:

U.S. stocks open up a day after their second-worst showing of the year, apparently shrugging off the concerns over banks.

Here's our original post:

NPR's Chris Arnold reports this morning on the fallout from Moody's announcement yesterday that it was cutting its rating on 15 big banks in the U.S. and Europe.

Speaking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, Arnold called the downgrade "a repositioning of credit worthiness of almost the entire banking industry."

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Economy
4:54 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Calif. Budget Plan Cuts Programs To Trim Deficit

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 7:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a budget deal in California.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: This deal comes just days before the start of the new fiscal year. It cuts social programs and it would knock three weeks off of Californian's school year unless voters approve a proposal for new taxes.

Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports from Sacramento.

BEN ADLER, BYLINE: The Democrats running this year's California budget process say they have one overarching goal: to bring years of festering shortfalls to an end.

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Economy
4:54 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Credit Rating Agency Moody's Downgrades 15 Banks

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 7:17 am

Fifteen major banks were downgraded Thursday in a reflection of the slowing global economy and volatility in financial markets. In a sweeping move, Moody's cut the credit ratings of some of the world's largest financial institutions, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Shots - Health Blog
3:04 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Why Many Young Adults Might Lose Coverage If Health Law Falls

Jackson Cahn, who graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., is one of the 3 million young adults the Obama administration says would have risked going without insurance if the health care law hadn't allowed them to stay on their parents' policies. Because of the law, his mother, June Blender, was able to add him to her insurance.
Courtesy of June Blender

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 9:39 am

When it comes to health care, even the seemingly easy things become hard.

Take coverage for young adults under the Affordable Care Act.

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All Tech Considered
3:02 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Your New Digital Wallet: In The Cloud But Still Tethered To Fees

David Marcus, president of PayPal, unveils PayPal Here in San Francisco in March. The service allows customers to use their smartphones to pay for purchases at retail stores.
Kim White AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:38 pm

Tech companies from Seattle to Silicon Valley, intent on transforming how we shop, have set their sights on the electronic payments industry.

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All Tech Considered
3:01 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Tesla's New Electric Sedan: Five Passengers, 89 MPG, And No Engine

The new Model S from Tesla has a maximum range of 265 miles with a full charge. The car can also reach 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds — a feat the company says may affect overall mileage.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 10:46 am

The Tesla electric car company has high hopes for its new Model S, which it calls "the world's first premium electric sedan." The new car, which is being delivered to customers Friday, is priced at around half the cost of the only other Tesla model, the svelte, two-door Roadster.

The new car's sticker price starts around $57,000; a $7,500 federal tax credit drops the starting price just below $50,000. But like its gas-powered cousins, this electric vehicle has so many options available that its price can soar to near $100,000.

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Economy
4:30 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

California Budget Deal Calls For Deep Cuts

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 5:19 pm

California Governor Jerry Brown has reached the outline of a budget deal with state Democratic leaders. The two sides have been wrangling over deep cuts to social programs. The agreement is just the latest development in the story of California's budget crisis — with negotiations over pension cuts still looming and a November ballot initiative that will ask Californians to raise their own taxes to prevent steeper cuts to the state' schools. Melissa Block talks with Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio in Sacramento.

Planet Money
4:16 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

How Much Does The Government Spend To Send A Kid To Public School?

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:11 am

On average, it costs $10,615 to send a kid to public school for a year. (That's federal, state and local government spending combined.)

As the map above shows, that one number masks a huge variation. Utah spends just over $6,000 per student; New York and the District of Columbia over $18,000.

There's even more variation when you get to the district level. Detailed figures and lots more data (including district-level spending) are available in a report the Census Bureau released today.

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The Salt
2:13 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

California Dairy Farmers Split Over Milk Payments In Farm Bill

A dairy cow peeks out of its stall at Case van Steyn's dairy in Galt, Calif.
Kathleen Masterson NPR

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 5:27 pm

California is known as the land of fruits and nuts, but it also happens to be the country's largest milk-producing state. So it's no surprise that its dairy farmers are front and center in the debate over reforming the milk marketing system, which hasn't really changed much in 30 years.

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Business
12:06 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

The Impossible Juggling Act: Motherhood And Work

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 12:56 pm

For two years, Princeton professor Anne-Marie Slaughter was the director of policy planning at the State Department. It was her "dream job" — the job she imagined herself doing in college.

"I loved the work," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It was work I was so passionate about."

Slaughter commuted to the State Department in Washington, D.C., every week from Princeton, N.J., where her husband and two teenage sons lived.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Commerce Secretary Bryson Resigns; Suffered Seizure Earlier This Month

Commerce Secretary John Bryson.
Rajanish Kakade AP

Just under two weeks after suffering a seizure that led to two car accidents within minutes of each other, Commerce Secretary John Bryson has submitted his resignation.

Our former colleague David Gura (now with Marketplace) has downloaded a copy of Bryson's letter to the president and posted it here.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Jobless Claims Hold Steady; 387,000 Filed Last Week

There were 387,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down just 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The previous week's number, by the way, was revised up slightly — to 389,000 from the initial estimate of 386,000.

The Associated Press writes that:

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Business
5:26 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Spanish Miners Strike Against Government Cuts

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 6:30 am

Spain is in line to get a European bailout of up to $125 billion for its banks. Audits due Thursday will show just how indebted Spanish banks are. But economic uncertainty has already sparked violence.

Your Money
4:05 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Why Your 401(k) May Be Worth Less Than You Think

The Labor Department will mandate that 401(k) plan providers disclose more information about the fees they charge.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 3:26 pm

As Americans watched their nest eggs sink during the Great Recession, many wondered whether they would ever be able to retire. Come this fall, millions of workers who invest in 401(k)s will learn their plans are probably worth even less than they thought.

"Fees take away from the accumulated savings of your lifetime," says Mary Beth Franklin, a contributing editor at InvestmentNews.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:03 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Bidders Get Feisty Over Foreclosed Homes

Daily auctions are held on foreclosed properties in front of the county courthouse in Corona, Calif. About 80 bidders, representing investors, show up to bid on properties.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 6:21 am

For-sale homes in California are sparse, even in areas with high foreclosure rates. It has led to buyers like Jennifer Bryant, who is willing to throw money at just about anyone willing to sell her a house.

Since February, Bryant has made 35 offers on homes in Riverside, only to be elbowed out by other bids. With few houses available and many bidders chasing these properties, she feels she has, at most, an hour to consider each house.

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Economy
5:34 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Federal Reserve Cuts Back U.S. Growth Forecast

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 6:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel in Washington, D.C.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Economy
5:21 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Fed Extends 'Operation Twist'

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 6:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, if like me, you're more than a little mystified by Operation Twist, the Federal Reserve policy that's being extended, join me now for a four-minute tutorial. We've got a very classy tutor, economics professor Alan Blinder of Princeton, who is a former Fed vice chairman. Welcome back to the program.

ALAN BLINDER: Thanks very much, Robert.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

WATCH: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Press Conference

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference on Wednesday in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 3:51 pm

The Federal Reserve is ready to take further action — including the purchase of Treasury bonds — "to provide support for the economy," the Chairman of the Fed Ben Bernanke said during a press conference.

Bernanke also said that the members of the Federal Open Market Committee had "marked down" their outlooks on the economy.

Most expect there to be little change in the unemployment rate through the end of the year. The consensus, said Bernanke, is that the Fed expects "slow progress" on unemployment and most opinions are "weighted toward slower growth" on the GDP.

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Planet Money
1:45 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Why The Fed's Latest Move Isn't Likely To Do Much

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 1:38 pm

The Federal Reserve just said it would extend "Operation Twist."

We talked about Operation Twist earlier this month, when we spoke with Joseph Gagnon, a former Fed economist now at the Peterson institute.

We wrote:

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Will The Fed Take Extra Steps To Stimulate Economy?

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 1:33 pm

Update at 12:33 p.m. ET. Fed Extends 'Operation Twist':

The Federal Reserve said it was extending its "Operation Twist" through the end of year. It will add $267 billion more to the program in which the Fed sells some of its medium-term bonds in order to buy longer-term ones. In theory, that pushes down the interest rate on longer-term loans, especially mortgages.

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