Business

The Two-Way
9:39 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Anti-Austerity Leftists Win Greek Election

Alexis Tsipras, center, leader of Greece's Syriza left-wing main opposition waves to his supporters after voting at a polling station in Athens on Sunday.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 8:12 am

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Greece's radical left Syriza party has become the first anti-austerity party to win elections in Europe, throwing into doubt whether the troubled country stays the course on an international austerity plan.

The party fell just short of an absolute majority, NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports for our newscast unit, and will have to work with another party to govern.

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Europe
11:32 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Foe Of 'Fiscal Waterboarding' Leads Going Into Greek Election

The leader of Greece's left-wing Syriza party Alexis Tsipras casts his ballot in Athens on Sunday. His anti-austerity party was ahead in earlier polling.
Aris Messinis Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 4:58 am

Years of austerity have worn down Greeks, who will choose a new government Sunday. Greek voters are expected to elect the first anti-austerity party in the Eurozone.

Maria Tsitoura, one of those voters, is a lively grandmother in her 70s. Like many retirees in Greece, she shares her small pension with her grown children, whose salaries have dropped by more than half in the last four years.

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News
6:18 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Auto Loan Surge Fuels Fears Of Another Subprime Crisis

Auto dealers are extending loans to a growing number of people with weak credit.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 3:41 pm

The number of Americans buying autos approached a record high last year. It's one more sign of how much the economy is improving.

But there's a big potential downside that's evoking comparisons to the subprime mortgage boom. Auto dealers are extending loans to a growing number of people with weak credit, and more of them are having trouble making payments.

When Chris Westervelt moved from Texas to Alaska to take a job, he decided to trade in his Mazda for a car that could handle snow and ice.

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Europe
5:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

European Central Bank To Try Its Hand At Quantitative Easing

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Planet Money
3:35 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

How Much More (Or Less) Would You Make If We Rolled Back Inequality?

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:28 pm

What would incomes look like for U.S. families today if the income distribution were the same as it was in 1979?

Larry Summers recently made this really intriguing calculation in the FT.

His conclusions:

  • Families in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution would be making $11,000 more per year, on average, than they're earning today.
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Economy
12:10 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

European Central Bank Launches Stimulus Plan

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:08 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
5:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Conservatives Disagree With Obama's Social Spending Proposals

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:06 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And here's one short analysis of Obama's State of the Union speech; he gave Congress a list of ideas that will never pass. The president spoke up for his priorities. Republicans in Congress have theirs. He spoke of middle-class economics.

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Politics
5:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Obama Defends His Aggressive Agenda In Boise, Idaho

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Back At Base
4:59 am
Thu January 22, 2015

At The Monterey Presidio, City And Army Partner To Reduce Costs

An aerial view from March, 2014, shows the Presidio of Monterey located in Monterey, Calif. The Army base, which is home to the Defense Language Institute, has partnered with the city in an effort to curb costs.
Natela A. Cutter U.S. Army via Flickr

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:06 pm

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

At a time when the Department of Defense budget is under pressure, some military bases are re-examining how they operate to find ways to save.

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Business
3:34 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Senator 'Astounded' That Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Poorest Patients

Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., is changing its name to Mosaic Life Care. It was the focus of an NPR and ProPublica investigation into its billing practices.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:11 pm

NPR and ProPublica have been reporting about nonprofit hospitals that seize the wages of lower-income and working-class patients. Now, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says hospitals could be breaking the law by suing these patients and docking their pay. And he wants some answers.

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Economy
5:11 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

At Davos, U.S. Economic Recovery Widely Lauded

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
5:11 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Middle Class Economics Dominate Obama's State Of The Union

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Planet Money
5:11 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Tired Of Paying For Checked Baggage? You're Actually Getting A Good Deal

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 7:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Law
5:11 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Standard & Poor's Settles In SEC Ratings Fraud Case

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
5:03 am
Wed January 21, 2015

To Drive Economy Toward Equality, Obama Requests More Spending

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night.
Mandel Ngan AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 12:05 pm

President Obama revved up quickly for his economic victory lap.

"After a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999," President Obama said less than a minute into his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The lap was fueled by cheap gas: "We are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we've been in almost 30 years," he said.

Democrats roared.

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Economy
5:02 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Illinois' Financial Condition Is Dire, Gov. Rauner Warns

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And it's budget time in many states. Most are now projecting strong growth, even surpluses - not, however, the state of Illinois. There, a gaping budget hole appears to be even bigger than previously thought, as NPR's David Schaper reports.

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Shots - Health News
2:59 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Tax Preparers Get Ready To Be Bearers Of Bad News About Health Law

Lou Graham prepares taxes in Connecticut and is ready to answer client questions about the Affordable Care Act.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 4:17 pm

Are you thinking about tax day yet? Your friendly neighborhood tax preparer is. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen declared this tax season one of the most complicated ever, partly because this is the first year that the Affordable Care Act will show up on your tax form.

Tax preparers from coast to coast are trying to get ready. Sue Ellen Smith manages an H&R Block office in San Francisco, and she is expecting things to get busy soon.

"This year taxes and health care intersect in a brand-new way," Smith says.

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Economy
8:07 am
Tue January 20, 2015

State Of The Union Will Tout Progress, But Is The Economy Fixed?

President Obama greets lawmakers as he leaves after delivering the 2014 State of Union address to a joint session of Congress.
Larry Downing AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 12:09 pm

In so many ways, Jan. 20, 2009, was a frightful day to be taking the oath of office.

The U.S. economy was in free fall as Barack Obama rose to deliver his inaugural address. "We are in the midst of crisis," he said. "Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered."

Exactly six years later, Obama is returning to Capitol Hill to deliver a State of the Union address at 9 p.m. EST. He is expected to highlight the economic progress that has been made since that frigid Day One — and call for more changes.

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Politics
5:09 am
Tue January 20, 2015

IRS Budget Cuts May Make For An Unpleasant Tax Filing Season

Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:18 pm

The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday began accepting tax returns electronically, and paper returns will begin to be processed at the same time. In a statement, the IRS reminded taxpayers that filing electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund.

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Why Europe's Economy Threatens Global Growth

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:58 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Tue January 20, 2015

U.S. Should End Its Export Ban On Crude Oil, Study Says

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:58 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
5:06 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Obama To Press For Higher Taxes On Wealthy Taxpayers

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:01 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
4:18 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Working 3 Jobs In A Time Of Recovery

When Ed Neufeldt introduced President Obama in 2009, Elkhart, Ind. had the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate in the country, close to 20 percent. The county's job numbers have recovered, but Neufeldt's now working three part-time jobs.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 1:58 pm

If Elkhart County, Ind. was the symbol of the recession, then Ed Neufeldt became the face of the unemployed worker.

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Business
3:18 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Analysts Watch For Impacts Of European Economic Weakness On U.S.

A new BMW X4 vehicle is unveiled during a March 2014 news conference at the BMW manufacturing plant in Greer, S.C.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:58 am

With the European economy barely growing, leaders there are worried about deflation. To boost growth and stabilize prices, the European Central Bank is expected to take a bold step at its Thursday meeting.

It would start buying up government bonds on a huge scale — just as the Federal Reserve did here beginning in 2007. The hope is that it would pump enough cash into the economy to get it moving.

This effort, known as quantitative easing, would impact the U.S. economy, too — especially in the Southeast.

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Author Interviews
6:24 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Markets May Stumble Or Skyrocket, But This Economist Says Hold On Tight

Burton Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, says investors in broadly based index funds do better in the long run than stock pickers.
Toby Richards AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:55 am

In 1973, Burton Malkiel published a very readable guide to investing called A Random Walk Down Wall Street. He didn't rest with the first edition, though. Over the past 42 years — as we've lived through bubbles and crashes, scandals and fads — Malkiel has returned more than a few times to his seminal Walk.

In fact, this year he plans to release the book's 11th edition.

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Europe
4:09 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

As Elections Approach, Greece Teeters On Austerity Question

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Economy
4:09 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

U.S. Solar Industry Sees Growth, But Also Some Uncertainty

A worker installs solar panels atop a government building in Lakewood, Colo. The industry has added more than 80,000 jobs since 2010, according to The Solar Foundation.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:32 pm

The solar energy business is growing fast, thanks in part to a steep drop in panel prices.

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Politics
5:28 am
Mon January 19, 2015

White House Rolls Out Tax Proposals Before State Of The Union Address

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
5:23 am
Mon January 19, 2015

U.S. District Judge To Calculate BP's Fine For Gulf Oil Spill

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 8:15 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
5:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Private Sector Included In Plan To Finance Infrastructure Repairs

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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