Business

The Two-Way
10:28 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Economy Is Poised For More Growth, But 'Fiscal Cliff' Looms, Bernanke Says

A word cloud of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's prepared testimony to the congressional Joint Economic Committee.
wordle.net

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 12:37 pm

"Economic growth appears poised to continue at a moderate pace over coming quarters," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is telling Congress this hour, and will be supported in part by additional "accommodative monetary policy" from the central bank.

While there's been a slowing in job growth, Bernanke says that Fed policymakers believe household spending has been "relatively well sustained" and are encouraged by "consumer spentiment [that is] ... up noticeably from its levels late last year."

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Greek Unemployment Hits Record High, Is Nearly Double Eurozone Average

An elderly man walked by riot policemen guarding the Interior Ministry in Athens on Wednesday.
Kostas Tsironis AP

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 3:14 pm

  • Joanna Kakissis, reporting for NPR

(From Athens, correspondent Joanna Kakissis tells us about the latest news regarding the troubled Greek economy.)

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week

There were 377,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 12,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

But in yet another mixed signal about how the economy's doing, that welcome dip is tempered by the fact that the "4-week moving average was 377,750, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 376,000." Economists watch that average because it offers a slightly larger look at the trend.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Thu June 7, 2012

After Big Gain, Markets Look To Rise Again; All Eyes On Bernanke

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 10:21 am

Following up on one of the best rallies in months on Wednesday, stock index futures are pointing to a higher start today on Wall Street, Dow Jones Newswires says.

The Associated Press says there are "hopes that Europe is preparing to take action to tackle the region's financial crisis and that the Federal Reserve will consider additional support for the U.S. economy."

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Business
5:18 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Big Data May Create Thousands Of Industry Jobs

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:24 am

The need to store digital information is growing. Tens of thousands of new jobs are expected to be created over the next six years to take full advantage of that ocean of information known as big data.

Education
5:18 am
Thu June 7, 2012

How The Housing Industry Affects Students' Future

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're going to hear now about some surprising consequences of the weak housing market in this country. It turns out that the value - even on a paper - of a home can affect the college choices that a family makes.

NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam regularly joins us to discuss social science research. He's here this morning to talk about those new findings. And good morning.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

MONTAGNE: This new research, describe it for us.

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Economy
4:48 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Young Adults Without Degrees Struggle To Find Work

Columbia High School graduates walk to their commencement ceremony in Nampa, Idaho. A new Rutgers University study says nearly half of recent high school graduates are still looking for full-time work.
Charlie Litchfield AP

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 4:41 pm

The job market is still bleak for young people with only high school diplomas. Nearly half of high school graduates are still looking for full-time work, according to a new report by Rutgers University's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.

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The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Economy Grew At 'Moderate Pace' In April And May, Federal Reserve Says

Anecdotal reports from across the nation "suggest overall economic activity expanded at a moderate pace" from early April through late May, the Federal Reserve just reported.

In its "beige book" review of conditions around the country, the Fed said the only one of its 12 bank districts to report slower growth was Philadelphia.

The report also adds that:

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Economy
11:54 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Can Extending Retirement Age Help Social Security?

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 1:54 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, we'd like to talk about a question that is both political and personal. It's when to retire. On a personal level, this can be an emotional and complicated question, but on a policy level, it is, too. And the questions before us, in part, because in April, trustees of the Social Security system reported that, if economic trends hold, the system would exhaust its funds in the year 2033.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Drop In Productivity Paints 'Mixed Picture'

The Associated Press takes a traditional view of the news that American workers' productivity fell more than first thought in the first quarter.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Wed June 6, 2012

'Little Worry' At Federal Reserve About Another Recession, 'WSJ' Says

Job seekers lined up at a jobs fair in Portland, Ore., earlier this year.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 8:39 am

Midway through a Wall Street Journal story today about whether the Federal Reserve will do something in coming weeks to give the economy a boost is this eye-catching line:

"There is little worry at the Fed of a new recession."

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Economy
4:29 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Europe's Debt Crisis Contributes To Lower U.S. Exports

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn to the issue that is front and center this election year - the economy. Austerity measures aimed at curing Europe's debt crisis have thrown a number of eurozone countries into recession. The threat of defaults in Greece and even larger countries like Spain have rattled U.S. financial markets, and President Obama recently said that Europe's troubles are casting a shadow over the U.S. economy.

To better understand what the president is talking about, we brought in NPR economics correspondent John Ydstie.

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NPR Story
4:29 am
Wed June 6, 2012

States End Extended Benefits Despite Dismal Economic Outlook

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:07 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So far this year, 25 states have ended the Extended Benefits program. That program made sure people out of work for long periods of time continued receiving financial assistance. But there was a catch: if a state's unemployment rate improved, the money would stop flowing. The fact that some states are seeing lower unemployment may seem like a good sign for the economy. It's no comfort to the people who are still out of work.

Susie An from WBEZ in Chicago has that story.

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Planet Money
2:56 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Why Does The Mortgage-Interest Tax Deduction Still Exist?

Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:07 pm

This is the latest story in our series on money in politics.

If you have a mortgage on your home, you can deduct the interest from your taxes. It's a popular, well-entrenched policy. But according to one policy adviser to a U.S. senator, "the mortgage-interest deduction, from a purely policy perspective ... makes no sense."

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It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

How Accurate Is Obama's Attack On Romney's Jobs Record?

Mitt Romney talks about his plan for creating jobs at a 2011 campaign speech in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 7:53 pm

A new Obama campaign ad says the Massachusetts economy actually fared poorly during Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's four years as governor, challenging the notion that Romney knows how to fix the nation's ailing economy.

The ad says that between 2003 and 2007, Massachusetts had one of the worst economic records in the country, lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs at "a rate twice the national average, and fell to 47th in job creation."

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Europe
5:03 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

What Will Happen If Greece Leaves The Eurozone?

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 7:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish.

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Energy
5:03 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

What's Driving Down U.S. Oil Prices?

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 5:09 pm

A slowing global economy has sent oil prices down sharply. The price for benchmark West Texas Intermediate has fallen from over $100 a barrel to about $84 a barrel in the space of a month. Audie Cornish talks to John Ydstie for more.

Economy
12:37 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Growing Economic Inequality 'Endangers Our Future'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:45 pm

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz grew up in Gary, Ind. — a city that has weathered many economic storms over the past half-century.

Stiglitz went on to study at Amherst College and MIT, where he received a Ph.D. in economics. He later served on and chaired President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and became the chief economist at the World Bank. But even as a child, Stiglitz says, he noticed ways in which the markets weren't working.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
6:20 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Baby Boom Money Squeeze Is Set To Get Tighter

Maryland resident Ida Christian, 89, began showing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in 2009. Her daughter, Geneva Hunter, and granddaughter, Yolanda, decided to take a hands-on approach to Ida's care. Ida lives with Geneva, and Yolanda quit her job to become Ida's daytime caregiver.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 7:55 am

Part of the Family Matters series

Some financial problems have obvious solutions.

For example, colleges aren't graduating enough engineers. But as more students become wary of fat loans and slim job prospects, many may shift majors. Change is possible.

But that's not the case with this problem: The number of elderly Americans in need of expensive care is about to surge, and there's no stopping the calendar.

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Business
5:18 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Heralded Facebook Shares Fail To Impress

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 5:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Facebook's stock has fallen more than 25 percent since the company went public less than a month ago. What was hyped as the biggest technology IPO in history has quickly become a black eye for both Wall Street banks and Facebook itself.

But that does not necessarily mean that the company will move quickly to appease investors, as NPR's Steve Henn explains.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Nelly Sia-Palm(ph) bought $1,000 dollars in Facebook stock on its very first day of trading.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
3:01 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Caring For Aging Relative: 'To Give Her A Good Life'

Geneva Hunter (left), who runs the secretarial operations for a Washington, D.C., law firm, decided to take a hands-on approach to her mother's care and moved Ida Christian, 89, into her Maryland home.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 8:32 pm

Part of the Family Matters series

Over the last two months, NPR's Morning Edition has been following three families who make up the growing number of multigenerational households in this country. All became multigenerational unexpectedly, when elderly relatives could no longer live independently and the families took them in.

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The Record
5:55 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

There's No Such Thing As A Sold Out Concert (Even For Justin Bieber)

Over the weekend, Justin Bieber's 45-city fall tour sold out in an hour.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:44 pm

This weekend, as Billboard has reported, tickets for Justin Bieber's tour of the United States and Canada sold out in an hour. Not just one venue. The whole tour. All of the tickets. Completely.

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Europe
4:50 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Economic Crisis Looms Larger In Spain Than Greece

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

With Greece set to elect a new parliament in a couple of weeks and opt either to stick with the euro under tough conditions or revert to its own national currency, attention turns to Spain. Spanish banks are under stress, lack of confidence has driven up the government's borrowing costs, unemployment there is huge. What's the difference between Greece and Spain? Well, a flippant answer might be a few months, but in fact, there are differences of scale and how they fell into economic crisis.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
3:54 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

After The Housing Bust, Revisiting Homeownership

Nationwide, home sales are up, mortgage rates are down and in many places, owning a home is as attractive as renting for the first time in years.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

For generations, owning a home has been a key part of the lifestyle most Americans aspire to. But when the mortgage crisis exploded in 2007, it brought down the U.S. housing market — and the entire economy along with it.

The ensuing recession was an assault on the American dream of homeownership itself. The tidal wave of foreclosures, the crash in home prices and tighter lending standards have left some Americans unable or simply too nervous to buy a house.

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Wisconsin Recall: What's At Stake For Unions?

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 4:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Making Summer Jobs Work For Teens

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 3:20 pm

A report by Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies finds that less than 30 percent of U.S. teens had jobs in the summers of 2010 and 2011. Though the employment outlook is bleak, there are some strategies for navigating the summer job market.

The Two-Way
11:54 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Latest Sign Of Slowing: Factory Orders Fell In April

The word from the Census Bureau that orders for manufactured goods fell 0.6 percent in April from March — the second straight monthly decline — is in line with other reports that signal the economy "may suffer a swoon yet not slip into a recession," Bloomberg News writes.

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Business
5:26 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Unemployment Followup

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 11:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

From jobseekers in Spain, we turn to those here in the U.S. The latest employment numbers revealed that there are still many more Americans looking for work than there are our jobs that need filling. The May jobs report showed the economy added an anemic 69,000 jobs - about half the number that were added in April. Yet, here's the paradox: Despite the high number of people seeking jobs, many employers insist they can't find the right person for the exact positions they have open.

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Mon June 4, 2012

EU Officials Try Keep Eurozone From Going Down The Tubes

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 11:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We have just come from a week when officials of the European Union openly warned of the possible downfall of the euro. Billionaire investor George Soros has gone even further. He says the euro crisis could bring down the entire E.U. Teri Schultz reports from Brussels.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
2:45 am
Mon June 4, 2012

A Waiting Game For Homeowners Trying To Sell Short

Cathy Yamauchi has been waiting since Thanksgiving to hear from her mortgage lender regarding a short sale of her home in Ramsey, Minn. She is planning to move to a townhome, but is mostly living out of boxes while waiting on the short sale.
Jennifer Simonson MPR

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 11:10 am

Banks are often accused of dragging their feet when a homeowner wants to sell for less than the balance on the mortgage. A lot of those "short sales" might be better dubbed "really long and drawn out" sales. New federal guidelines, though, could now push lenders to approve short sales faster.

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