Business

Goats and Soda
3:20 am
Fri October 17, 2014

World Bank Head On Ebola: Put The Fire Out Where It's Raging

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim wants the international community to step up its response to Ebola.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 5:38 pm

To stop the raging Ebola epidemic in West Africa, "we need to pay attention to where the fire is burning."

That means there is no "magic solution," Jim Yong Kim, the head of the World Bank, told NPR's Steve Inskeep during an interview on Morning Edition. So appointing an Ebola czar to monitor the international response isn't going to suddenly stop the outbreak.

Neither will closing the borders between U.S. and the three hardest-hit countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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All Tech Considered
2:21 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Your Car Won't Start. Did You Make The Loan Payment?

A borrower enters a code into a starter interrupt device installed in a car in Limerick, Pa.
Rick Smith AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 1:10 pm

For borrowers in default, the repo man is no longer the one to fear — it's Big Brother. Growing numbers of lenders are getting tech savvy, remotely disabling debtors' cars and tracking customer data to ensure timely payment of subprime auto loans. The practice has created problems for consumers and raises privacy concerns.

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Planet Money
1:05 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

The Most Common Jobs For The Rich, Middle Class And Poor

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 4:38 pm

We've written a lot about how income has changed (or not) for the rich, middle class and poor in the U.S. We've written much less about what the rich, middle class and poor actually do for work.

To remedy that, we made this graph. It shows the 10 most popular jobs in each income bracket. Click on each job to see where it appears in different income brackets.

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Parallels
12:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

As Oil Prices Fall, Who Wins And Who Loses?

Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, shown in Kuwait last month, has played down the drop in oil prices. The country continues to pump oil at high levels, saying it wants to preserve its market share. But this has also contributed to a 25 percent drop in oil prices since June.
Yasser Al-Zayyat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 2:47 pm

With oil around $85 a barrel and tumbling to its lowest levels in several years, here's the upside: Gasoline prices are down, the U.S. is feeling less dependent on foreign crude, and serious economic pressure is growing on oil producers such as Iran and Russia.

Here's the downside: The low demand for oil reflects a fragile global economy that's vulnerable to additional shocks, like falling stock markets around the world.

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Business
5:34 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Crude Oil Prices Drop As Saudis Refuse To Cut Production

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 12:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The price of oil is plunging. Earlier this week, we told you it hit $89 a barrel.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Today we can tell you it's down below $85 - the lowest price in years and down 25 percent in recent months.

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Planet Money
5:34 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Strong U.S. Dollar Pushes Oil Prices Lower

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 12:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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American Made: The New Manufacturing Landscape
3:32 am
Thu October 16, 2014

W.Va. Pottery Company Keeps Popular Fiesta Line Thriving

Fiesta settings are displayed at the Homer Laughlin China Co. showroom at the company's headquarters in Newell, W.Va. The line currently has 15 colors.
Ross Mantle for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 11:20 am

You may not know the name Homer Laughlin, a china factory in Newell, W.Va., but you'll likely recognize — or have eaten off of — its most famous product: brightly colored, informal pottery called Fiesta.

While most of America's china factories have closed, unable to compete with "made in China" or Japan or Mexico, Homer Laughlin, which set up shop on the banks of the Ohio River in 1873, is still going strong. It employs about 1,000 people.

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New Boom
3:32 am
Thu October 16, 2014

For More Millennials, It's Kids First, Marriage Maybe

Phillip Underwood and Michelle Sheridan and their children, Logan and Lilliana, gather in their living room in Frederick, Md., after a long day of work and school. The couple had delayed marriage, in part for financial reasons.
James Clark NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 9:09 am

Decades ago, an "oops" pregnancy might have meant a rush to the altar. But when Michelle Sheridan got pregnant three years ago, the topic of marriage never came up with her boyfriend, Phillip Underwood, whom she lives with in Frederick, Md.

If anything, it was the opposite.

"It changes the dynamic of the household," she says. "I had a friend who put off her marriage. Got pregnant, and she's like, 'Let's just wait, 'cause we don't know if we're going to be able to make it through this.' "

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The Two-Way
2:29 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Amazon To Hire 80,000 Holiday Workers

Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:44 am

An increase in customer demand is spurring Amazon.com to create 80,000 seasonal positions at its network of distribution centers across the U.S.

That's a 14 percent increase over the number of temporary workers it hired last year at this time.

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Economy
4:23 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Turmoil Continues In Financial Markets As Dow Plunges

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Stocks took a beating, with key indexes falling more than 2 percent before bouncing back slightly.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 7:54 pm

It was another stomach-churning day on Wall Street. At one point, the Dow industrials were down 460 points — a huge drop that followed four consecutive days of stock market losses.

The decline more than wiped out the year's gains. But then late in the trading day, tocks started to recover. And by the close, the Dow's loss was a little more than 1 percent.

Investors are worried about a global economic slowdown, the Federal Reserve's next move and even the Ebola virus.

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Goats and Soda
3:41 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Should You Stock Up On Chocolate Bars Because Of Ebola?

Farmer Issiaka Ouedraogo lays cocoa beans out to dry on reed mats, on a farm outside the village of Fangolo, Ivory Coast.
Rebecca Blackwell AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 10:16 am

Jack Scoville was buying himself a chocolate bar a few weeks ago — Hershey's, milk — at a corner store in Chicago. And he noticed the price was just a bit higher than he's used to paying: 5 or 10 cents more. His first thought was not to blame a greedy store owner or the executives in Hershey, Pa.

He blamed Ebola.

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Economy
6:52 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Economists Theorize Eurozone May Experience Triple-Dip Recession

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 1:52 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Energy
6:46 am
Tue October 14, 2014

As Oil Prices Slide, Speculation Rises On Shale Boom's Sustainability

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 8:00 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Story
5:09 am
Tue October 14, 2014

School Facilities Strained By Boom In Petroleum Engineering

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 8:00 am

Copyright 2014 KUNC-FM. To see more, visit http://kunc.org.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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World
4:31 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Economics Nobel Awarded For Work On Regulating Big Businesses

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 4:58 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
9:19 am
Mon October 13, 2014

French Economist Wins Nobel For Work On Regulating Big Business

French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel prize for economics Monday for research on market power and regulation in industries dominated by a few powerful companies. The undated photo was provided by the Toulouse School of Economics.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 1:15 pm

Saying that he "clarified how to understand and regulate industries with a few powerful firms," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in economic sciences to Jean Tirole, who teaches at the Toulouse School of Economics. He studies oligopolies, markets that are controlled by a handful of powerful (and interdependent) companies.

"I was very surprised, I was incredibly surprised," Tirole said shortly after he received the phone call informing him of the win. "The honor... it took me half an hour to recoup from the call. I still haven't recouped yet."

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Economy
7:56 am
Mon October 13, 2014

French Economist Wins Nobel For Market Power And Regulation Research

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 9:42 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Business
5:11 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Speculation Abounds Over Who Will Win Economics Nobel

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 9:42 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Your Money
12:36 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

The Holidays Bring A New Season For Credit Card Breaches

By this time next year, U.S consumer are likely to be using credit cards with electronic chips, like these in Germany. But such cards are expected to stop only 60 percent of fraud, prompting a retailers' spokesman to call them the "not-so-smart card."
Martin Meissner AP

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 8:00 pm

The holiday season is approaching, a time for sales and Santa and, now, credit card data breaches.

Though cyberthieves have stolen millions of card numbers this year, shoppers are heading into the heavy-spending season with no new credit safeguards in place.

When you hear about a data breach, Bryan Sartin is one of the guys who go in to investigate.

"I've seen my own personal information in those lots of stolen data many, many, many, many, many times," Sartin says.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Sat October 11, 2014

Kmart Says Its Store Registers Were Hacked, Exposing Credit Cards

Kmart says it has removed malware that had infected its checkout registers in stores. The company believes the malware may have been in place for about a month before it was detected.
Rachel Murray Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 11, 2014 2:09 pm

For about a month, Kmart says, its stores' checkout registers were "compromised by malicious software that stole customer credit and debit card information."

The company, owned by Sears, says it removed the malware from its system after it was discovered Thursday. It announced the exposure late Friday, saying that no personal data or PIN numbers were lost.

While some important customer information seems to have been protected, the breach could still allow criminals to make counterfeit versions of the exposed credit cards.

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Energy
4:05 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

U.S. Gas Prices Continue To Slide Downward

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 6:43 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If you are driving anywhere this three-day weekend, you may do a little happy dance at the gas station, or at least you'll take notice gas prices are falling. And that's happening because oil prices have been falling. NPR's Chris Arnold tells us why.

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Art & Design
4:53 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Reviving A Southern Industry, From Cotton Field To Clothing Rack

Fashion designer Natalie Chanin stands in front of in-progress garments at the Alabama Chanin Factory. Chanin and Billy Reid, internationally acclaimed designers, have teamed up to test the concept of organic, sustainable cotton farming and garment-making.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 3:31 pm

You've probably heard of "farm to table," but how about "field to garment"? In Alabama, acclaimed fashion houses Alabama Chanin and Billy Reid have a new line of organic cotton clothing made from their own cotton field.

It's not just an experiment in keeping production local; it's an attempt to revive the long tradition of apparel-making in the Deep South. North Alabama was once a hub for textile manufacturing, with readily available cotton and access to cheap labor. But the industry all but disappeared after NAFTA became law, as operations moved overseas.

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Business
4:44 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Stock Market Has Wild Week Of Ups And Downs

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 6:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Planet Money
3:58 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

How College Students Battled Textbook Publishers To A Draw, In 3 Graphs

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 1:18 pm

College textbooks are expensive. You probably already know this. A new biology or economics book can cost $300.

And prices have been soaring, doubling over the past decade, growing faster than the price of housing, cars, even health care.

But, surprisingly, the amount students actually spend on textbooks has not been rising. In fact, the best data we could find on this shows students have been spending a bit less over time.

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Author Interviews
2:23 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

'Bad Paper' Explores The Underworld Of Debt Collection

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Business
5:12 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Feds Monitor LA's Fashion District After Money Laundering Raid

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 8:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
2:42 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

World Bank Says Ebola Could Inflict Enormous Economic Losses

A market area sat empty last month in Freetown, Sierra Leone, as the country's government enforced a three-day lockdown in an attempt to halt the spread of the Ebola virus.
Michael Duff AP

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 6:43 am

West Africa is a poor region, struggling to improve its economic growth.

It had been succeeding. Last year, Sierra Leone and Liberia ranked second and sixth among countries with the highest growth in gross domestic product in the world.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Spanish Nurse Says She Reported Her Ebola Symptoms Several Times

Spanish police block animal rights activists protesting Wednesday outside the apartment building of the Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola in the city of Alcorcon, outside Madrid.
Susana Vera Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 11:16 am

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Here's a roundup of the latest developments on Ebola. We'll update this post as news happens.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed that the U.S. will conduct additional screenings of passengers arriving from the Ebola-infected region of West Africa. JFK, Newark, Chicago O'Hare, Dulles and Atlanta's Hartsfield airports will implement measures that would affect about 150 passengers a day.

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The Salt
3:19 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Restaurants Shave Calories Off New Menu Items

A sign displaying calorie counts is seen in a Subway restaurant in New York City in 2008. A yet-to-be-finalized federal rule requiring big chain restaurants to post calorie counts has likely led eateries to tweak their menus.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:22 pm

Last month we reported that big food retailers have eliminated billions of calories from the packaged foods they sell in supermarkets.

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Goats and Soda
5:51 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

So A Global Economist Walks Into A Comedy Club ...

Yoram Bauman jokes about "hyperinflation in hell" and on earth. Case in point: the Zimbabwe hundred-trillion-dollar note.
Lejia Lombardi Courtesy of Inter-American Development Bank

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 8:49 am

Sitting in the empty auditorium, 10 minutes before Yoram Bauman's set begins, I start feeling bad. Low turnout is hard on a stand-up comedian, but what was he expecting for a comedy gig at 6 p.m. on a Monday ... at the Inter-American Development Bank, of all places?

When the event coordinator comes in to make an announcement to the six of us in the audience, I worry she's going to cancel the event.

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