Business

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/.

Transcript

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/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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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/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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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/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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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/.

Politics
9:15 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Obama's Trouble Articulating The State Of The Economy

President Obama used the word "crisis" 11 times when he addressed a joint session of Congress in 2009. Since then, he's had a hard time hitting the right note when talking about the economy.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:05 am

When you're president of the United States, what you say about the economy matters, because it isn't just about numbers and widgets; It's about people's lives and hopes. The health of the economy is intertwined with the national psyche.

On Tuesday, when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, he will talk about the economy, something that in the past he's struggled to describe in a way that resonated with the American people.

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Economy
7:41 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Falling Oil Prices: Good For Drivers, Bad For Banks

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 11:57 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

JOSEPH JEAN-BAPTISTE: I'm Joseph Jean-Baptiste from Miami, Florida. Gas prices have been beautiful. I've been putting Supreme - 93 - because prices are so low.

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Business
5:37 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Lower Gas Prices, Faster Economy Float Boating Industry

Larry Coleman, a salesman with Trudeau's Marine, talks to Bill Floren and Kimberly Abramski at the 55th Annual Portland Boat Show on Jan. 7 in Oregon. Lower fuel costs are projected to boost boat sales this year.
Kristyna Wentz-Graff The Oregonian/Landov

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 11:57 am

The Great Recession and high oil prices hit the boat industry hard, knocking down sales. Now, with hiring up and fuel prices down, the boat industry is expecting a rebound. And enthusiasts are crowding into boat shows around the country.

Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, says that any extra money in boaters' pockets is good for business. In fact, his organization is forecasting up to 5 percent higher sales for new powerboats this year.

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Politics
6:19 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Obama Urges Congress To Make Paid Sick Leave Mandatory

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:59 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Leaders and thinkers in both major parties are starting a political bidding war. It's a competition to tackle inequality.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Democrats often label the problem income inequality.

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Business
6:17 am
Fri January 16, 2015

White House Begins Implementing Changes In U.S.-Cuban Relations

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:59 am

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

Business
5:16 am
Fri January 16, 2015

How Cars Evolved Over The Last Decade

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 12:33 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If you go for a drive this morning, look around at the other cars. The average car on American streets is more than a decade old. A lot of people put off new purchases during the recession and are just now getting back to buying.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Obama Shifts Federal Sick-Leave Rules, Urges Congress To Follow

President Obama discussed the need for paid sick leave with women at Charmington's Cafe in Baltimore Thursday. With him are Vika Jordan (from left), Amanda Rothschild and Mary Stein.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 4:57 pm

Federal workers with a pressing need can take an advance of up to six weeks of sick leave under a new policy unveiled by President Obama on Thursday. The White House is urging Congress to make paid sick leave mandatory in the U.S.

The president signed a memorandum today instructing federal agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave to workers who need the time to care for a new child, a family member or for similar uses.

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Shots - Health News
9:15 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Health Insurance Prices: Highest In Alaska, Lowest In Sun Belt

Alaska: home to Denali National Park and Preserve, grizzly bears and some very pricey health insurance.
Universal Images Group UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 8:56 am

In health insurance prices, as in the weather, Alaska and the Sun Belt are extremes. This year Alaska is the most expensive health insurance market for people who do not get coverage through their employers, while Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M., and Tucson, Ariz., are among the very cheapest.

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Business
3:21 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Businesses Try To Stave Off Brain Drain As Boomers Retire

Dave Tobelmann worked for 33 years at General Mills before retiring five years ago. Not long after, he returned to the company, this time through a staffing firm specializing in retiree placement.
Courtesy of Dave Tobelmann

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 8:02 pm

In the U.S., roughly 10,000 people reach retirement age every day. And though not everyone who turns 62 or 65 retires right away, enough do that some companies are trying to head off the problem.

Dave Tobelmann, who for 33 years developed new products for General Mills, retired five years ago at age 57 — around the same time as a number of other colleagues. "Yeah, I went to a lot of retirement parties," Tobelmann says.

Losing veteran workers is a challenge, even for big companies like General Mills.

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Business
6:48 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Dollar's Rise Is Good News For The U.S., For Now

A pedestrian passes a currency exchange in London Jan. 5. The value of the U.S. dollar has risen about 15 percent against the euro since last summer.
Andy Rain EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 8:17 pm

If you've traveled outside the U.S. recently, or sent your U.S.-made products abroad, you've probably noticed that the dollar is getting stronger. The stronger dollar is the sign of a healthier U.S. economy, but its strength has the potential to erode growth.

There are a number of factors behind the dollar's rise, says economist Jens Nordvig, a currency expert at Nomura Securities. The main one is the health of the U.S. economy.

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Sweetness And Light
3:15 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Not So Wicked Smaht: Boston's Olympic Hopes

Boston is in the running to host the 2024 Olympics.
walknboston Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:04 am

Oh, poor Boston. Where is Paul Revere when we need him to alert the citizenry? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is coming! The International Olympic Committee is coming!

Boston, lock up your municipal bonds and pension funds.

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Parallels
3:14 am
Wed January 14, 2015

In Brazil, A Once-High-Flying Economy Takes A Tumble

Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Volkswagen workers block the Anchieta highway in Sao Bernardo do Campo. Thousands of metalworkers marched to protest layoffs by carmakers expecting little or no rebound from a sharp 2014 downturn.
Adonis Guerra Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:45 am

It was a terrible Christmas season for stores in Brazil. For the first time in more than a decade — since 2003 — sales went down.

Roberta Pimenta owns a small shop selling children's clothes at the Butanta mall in Sao Paulo, which is aimed squarely at the middle-class shoppers who live in the area.

"It was the worst drop in sales since I've had this store," Pimenta says. "In seven years it was the worst year I had. And every year you have a 10 percent increase of employees' salary, 10 percent increase in the rent, 10 percent in everything, so it is horrible."

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Business
6:45 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Winning The Truck Battle Isn't Just About Smack Talk. It's Everything

Ford's F-150 truck beat the Chevrolet Colorado and Lincoln MKC as the Detroit auto show's 2015 North American Truck of the Year.
He Xianfeng Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:25 am

For the Detroit automakers, there's likely no bigger prize than being the No. 1 truck. Pickups represent the lion's share of profits and the industry's recent growth.

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Shots - Health News
9:20 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Tax Time Gets New Ritual: Proof Of Health Insurance

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:32 am

In addition to the normal thrills and chills of the income tax filing season, this year people will have the added excitement of figuring out how the health law figures in their 2014 taxes.

The good news is that for most folks the only change to their filing routine will be to check the box on their Form 1040 that says they had health insurance all year.

"Someone who had employer-based coverage or Medicaid or Medicare, that's all they have to do," says Tricia Brooks, a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families.

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