Business

Planet Money
11:53 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Rigging LIBOR: Banking Scandal Hits Home (Literally)

Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:20 pm

The biggest scandal in the world right now has nothing to do with sex or celebrities. It's about an interest rate called LIBOR, or the London Interbank Offered Rate.

Most Americans probably never heard of LIBOR. When I first moved to New York, I hadn't. Back then, I could barely afford my apartment and got an adjustable rate mortgage. And so I wondered: When my rate adjusts, how will I know how much I'll be paying?

I searched through all the documents and it was right there — LIBOR. I would be paying a few percentage points above whatever LIBOR was.

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Election 2012
11:34 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Is The Jobs Report A 'Kick In the Gut'?

Presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney calls the June employment report that showed 80,000 jobs created "another kick in the gut to middle class families." Host Michel Martin speaks with two of Tell Me More's regular politicos, Democrat Corey Ealons and Republican Ron Christie, about how these figures could affect the race for the White House.

Planet Money
10:08 am
Fri July 6, 2012

How Unemployment Has Dragged On, In Three Charts

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 11:06 pm

Losing your job is rarely good. Not being able to find one for months can be disastrous for individuals, and bad for society as well. Yet during the recent recession and the current anemic recovery, more people in the U.S. have been unemployed for longer than at any time since 1948.

Of all Americans who were unemployed in June, almost half had been without a job for 27 weeks or longer. In other words, 5.4 million people have been jobless for more than half a year.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Just 80,000 Jobs Added In June; Unemployment Rate Stays At 8.2 Percent

The line at a job fair in New York City last month.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 11:43 am

Job growth was even weaker than economists feared in June as public and private employers added just 80,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning. They had been expecting BLS would say there were closer to 100,000 more jobs in June than in May.

A separate BLS survey showed the nation's jobless rate remained stuck at 8.2 percent. It's been above 8 percent since February 2009.

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Politics
6:21 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Obama Boards A Bus To Promote His Economic Vision

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 12:10 pm

President Obama's campaign bus rolls from Ohio into Pennsylvania Friday. He is trying to make the case that the U.S. economy is slowly but surely on the mend. While touring Ohio's manufacturing belt Thursday, he highlighted the rebound of the auto industry.

Business
6:10 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Data Show It Was A Gloomy June For Many Retailers

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 12:10 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a retail's lousy summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: It's been sunny in much of the country, but inside many stores, the attitude is gloomy - or at least it was during the month of June. The latest sales figures are in, and they show many consumers were not in a buying mood last month. NPR's Wade Goodwyn has more.

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Economy
6:10 am
Fri July 6, 2012

June Brought 80,000 Jobs, 8.2 Percent Unemployment

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:20 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer with Steve Inskeep. The U.S. economy gained 80,000 jobs in June, that's the latest word from the Labor Department and it is another disappointing month of job growth. The number was slightly below expectations. The employment report is closely followed by economists. Job growth, of course, is front and center in the presidential election.

Joining us are NPR's political reporter Tamara Keith and economics correspondent, Chris Arnold.

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Around the Nation
3:19 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Despite Delays, Chair Lifts Coming To Public Pools

New government regulations require public pools to have chair lifts, like this one in Savannah, Ga., for people with disabilities. The compliance deadline has been extended for a second time.
Russ Bynum AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:20 pm

Pools open to the public were supposed to have chair lifts installed for people with disabilities in time for this summer, but after a wave of protests, the federal order was delayed until January.

Still, some of the country's 300,000 or so pools at hotels, parks and gyms continue to fight the requirement.

Vestavia Hills pool near Birmingham, Ala., is one of thousands of pools that scrambled to get a chair lift installed by May.

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Business
3:02 am
Fri July 6, 2012

For Some Businesses, Daily Deals Have A Dark Side

Creative Hands is a therapy center in Washington, D.C., that used daily deals when it opened last year. Instead of bolstering revenue, the deals left Creative Hands' owner in the red.
Ebony Bailey NPR

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:20 pm

Groupon and Living Social have sold tens of millions of daily deals and are now a major force in retail. But they rely heavily on getting businesses to offer their goods and services at deep discounts. In exchange, businesses hope for payoff in the form of return customers.

Sometimes, though, the flood of extra business causes more problems than it solves.

Deal-Hungry Crowd

Ailie Ham had just opened Creative Hands Massage in Washington, D.C., when she decided to offer deals through Living Social and Groupon last year.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
5:06 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

A Company Town Reinvents Itself In South Bend, Ind.

Pete Buttigieg, 30, is the first mayor of South Bend, Ind., born after car manufacturer Studebaker left town.
Peter Hoffman for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 1:55 pm

There are two truths about South Bend, Ind. No. 1: You can't escape the influence of the University of Notre Dame. No. 2: You can't escape the ghost of Studebaker.

South Bend may be best known as the home of the Fighting Irish, but it was once the home of Studebaker automobiles. When Studebaker closed in 1963, it left a gaping hole in the town, where unemployment is at 10.4 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, the city is working hard to create a second act for the commercial life of South Bend.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Employers Added 176,000 Jobs In June, Survey Says

There were 176,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in June, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. The gain was larger than May's 136,000, ADP says.

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Business
4:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Limited Supply Of Hotel Rooms Forces Prices Higher

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The hotel industry is making a comeback after being badly hit by the economic downturn. Turn find out what to expect the next time we check in, we called Barbara DeLollis, she reports on the hotels for USA Today. She told us that hotel construction deals canceled or postponed because of the credit crisis has now created a room crunch.

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Planet Money
3:06 am
Thu July 5, 2012

The Farmer And The Commerce Clause

The U.S. Supreme Court, 70 years after rejecting Roscoe Filburn's bid to limit the federal government's power to regulate commerce.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

Last week's Supreme Court ruling on the health care law might have made Roscoe Filburn a little happier.

Filburn was an Ohio dairy farmer who had a beef with the federal government, one he took to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1942. He lost.

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Business
3:37 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Ex-CEO: Barclays Isn't The Only Bank At Fault

Former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond leaves Parliament amid a crowd of reporters in London on Wednesday. Diamond, who resigned Tuesday, was questioned about a growing interest-rate manipulation scandal.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 5:35 pm

The fallen leader of Barclays Bank got on the hot seat before members of the British Parliament on Wednesday. Robert Diamond, an American, resigned Tuesday as CEO of the bank — the latest executive to lose his job over an interest-rate manipulation scandal.

The scandal has not only consumed Barclays, it also threatens to engulf other international banks — and high-ranking government officials, too.

Diamond started his career at Barclays on Independence Day, exactly 16 years ago. On Wednesday in London, he set off some fireworks all his own.

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Business
3:31 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Office Stress Dogging You? Try Punching In With Fido

Ginger, an English bulldog, comes to work each day with Will Pisnieski. She's one of several dogs who are regular fixtures at dog-friendly Authentic Entertainment in Burbank, Calif.
Grant Hindsley AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:11 pm

Most dog lovers will insist a canine friend makes for a happier home. A number of studies back that up, too, touting the health benefits of four-legged companions.

But there's new evidence that dogs can make for a better workplace as well, making employees happier and more productive.

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Planet Money
2:16 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Storm Stimulus Unlikely As Communities Recover

A fallen tree crushes a truck in Falls Church, Va., outside Washington. Storms across the Midwest and East downed trees and power lines and left millions without power.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 4:40 pm

Once major storms pass, hard-hit communities sometimes discover an unexpected silver lining: a miniature economic boom, as insurance checks pay for homeowners to rebuild and businesses to restock.

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Economy
11:05 am
Tue July 3, 2012

States Go To Casinos, But Does The Gamble Pay Off?

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll meet a couple who didn't just worry when their daughters started coming home making disparaging comments about their own looks. They decided to surround the girls with positive messages that they, too, are beautiful. We'll meet them and hear what they did in just a few minutes.

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Business
4:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Airbus: 'The Time Is Right' To Open Alabama Plant

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Jobs and the economy are big issues in this election. And from Alabama, we have a story of jobs coming from overseas to the U.S. European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is making a bold move into North America to compete in the largest market in the world for passenger jets.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The firm will build its first U.S. assembly plant on the Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports the region has been working for years to attract Airbus.

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NPR Story
4:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Daycare Needs Stretch Around The Clock

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:29 am

Copyright 2014 Milwaukee Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wuwm.com/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Election 2012
5:29 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Obama's 'Clean Coal' Fighting Words To W.Va. Dems

A sign outside the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce in Williamson, W.Va., welcomes visitors to "Hatfield McCoy Country," referring to a legendary family feud that played out in the Appalachians.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:34 am

Mingo County, deep in the southwest corner of West Virginia, has sent a "protest vote" to the attention of President Obama. In the May 8 Democratic primary, voters chose a man named Keith Judd to run for president. He got 61 percent of the vote.

Judd won't be available. He's serving a 17-year sentence for extortion. From prison in Texas, he managed to file the papers, pay the fee and get on the West Virginia ballot.

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Economy
4:33 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Factories Scaling Back Amid Economic Slide

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 6:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In what could be a troubling sign for the U.S. economy, manufacturing activity started contracting last month. U.S. manufacturing has been a much-needed bright spot, with companies adding jobs and selling more products.

But today, as NPR's Chris Arnold tells us, we got evidence that things might be changing.

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Business
4:33 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

As Strikes Wane, Caterpillar Workers Hold The Line

Striking workers picket outside a Caterpillar plant in Joliet, Ill. The work stoppage is now entering its third month.
Joseph P. Meier Sun-Times Media Photo

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 6:35 pm

Whenever a car or truck turns off busy Channahon Road onto the long drive to the Caterpillar plant in Joliet, Ill., a handful of union workers on a picket line scream, "Scab! Scab!!"

As strikers try shaming the few workers and managers who cross the line, even a clearly marked sandwich delivery car gets shouted down.

Approximately 800 workers at this plant, which makes hydraulic systems for Caterpillar's heavy construction and mining equipment, are about to enter their third month on strike.

Negotiations Fail

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Opinion
12:24 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

The Weekly Standard: The Economy And The Courts

A Supreme Court Police officer stands outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Irwin M. Stelzer is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, director of economic policy studies at the Hudson Institute, and a columnist for the Sunday Times.

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Business
5:09 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Samsung's Galaxy S3 Sets A Marker For iPhones

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 7:23 am

In the world of smartphones, Apple and Samsung have been going head to head. And the competition could get rougher. Samsung has launched the Galaxy S3 in the U.S., and it could be a serious threat to the iPhone. Linda Wertheimer talks to Bloomberg technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky about the latest in the smartphone battle between Samsung and Apple.

American Dreams: Then And Now
5:51 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Buried In Debt, Young People Find Dreams Elusive

Michelle Holshue racked up $140,000 in student loan debt while training to become a public health nurse. She's living her dream of helping others, she says, but never expected it "to be so hard."
Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 7:32 am

Growing up near Philadelphia, Michelle Holshue's dream was to serve those in need. Applying to nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania seemed like a smart move — in 2007.

Nursing jobs were plentiful. The students' running joke was that hospital executives would soon be stopping them in the street, begging them to come to work.

Then the economy tanked. For a time, Holshue was an Ivy League grad on unemployment and food stamps.

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Around the Nation
10:47 am
Fri June 29, 2012

How To Avoid Bankruptcy (If You're A City)

A headline in The Record newspaper in Stockton, Cailf., tells the story of the city's plan for operating under Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection following failed talks with bondholders and labor unions.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The city of Stockton, Calif., filed for federal bankruptcy protection Thursday, becoming the largest city in U.S. history to do so.

Some worry it's part of a wave. Six other municipalities have filed for bankruptcy protection this year. That's roughly on track with last year's pace, which saw 13 bankruptcies — the most in two decades.

A wave of municipal bankruptcies could be the country's next big financial crisis, several Wall Street analysts have warned.

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Planet Money
9:46 am
Fri June 29, 2012

A Baby Step Toward A United States Of Europe

Spot the metaphor.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:20 am

If the euro is to survive, the eurozone needs to be more like one country, and less like a bunch of different countries that happen to sit on the same continent.

European leaders just took a baby step in that direction. They agreed to create a banking union. Like many things in global finance, this sounds boring but is actually a pretty big deal.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Europe's New Deal Has Markets Cheering

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (left) and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (right) during the summit of European leaders in Brussels.
Bertrand Langlois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 4:25 pm

"European stocks rallied after policy makers eased repayment rules for Spanish banks, relaxed conditions for possible aid to Italy and unveiled a $149 billion growth plan for the region's economy," Bloomberg News reports this morning. "U.S. index futures and Asian shares also rose."

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Economy
5:00 am
Fri June 29, 2012

European Union Summit Convenes For Second Day

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 1:30 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And European leaders worked through the night last night, at a summit in Brussels aimed at tackling the eurozone's worsening debt crisis.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: NPR's Philip Reeves is there and says they've reached an agreement on at least some issues.

Spain and Italy are among the largest economies in Europe. Their borrowing costs have been spiraling towards unsustainable levels. Spain has warned that it can't afford to pay them for much longer.

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Judging The Health Care Law
1:48 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Business Owners Mixed On Health Care Ruling

Protesters stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday. The court's ruling upholding the federal health care law is expected to have wide-reaching implications for businesses.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 4:13 pm

Depending on whom you ask, the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the federal health care law will either help businesses grow or it will make them more hesitant to hire.

Thursday's decision to uphold the law, including the provision requiring individuals to buy insurance, has some far-reaching implications in the business world.

Dan Danner, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, a business lobby that helped bankroll the suit seeking to strike down the law, said the 5-4 decision was unambiguously bad for business.

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