Business

The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Keeping Sandy's Economic Impact In Perspective

A truck drives through a flooded street caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City's Financial District on Tuesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 10:32 am

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast on Monday, the fragile U.S. economy was just sitting there, stuck in a sluggish-growth mode.

Now, as the massive cleanup begins, business owners, workers and investors are wondering what impact the megastorm ultimately will have on their wallets. Did Sandy weigh down economic activity enough to drown the recovery? Or will the rebuilding efforts boost growth over the longer term?

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Business
1:23 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

New York Stock Exchange To Reopen Wednesday

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was empty of traders Monday, as New York's financial district braced for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.
Richard Drew AP

The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading Wednesday after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy.

The exchange said in a statement Tuesday that its building and trading floor are fully operational.

Tuesday marks the first time since 1888 that the NYSE remained closed for two consecutive days due to weather. The last time was due to a massive snow storm.

Sections of Manhattan were inundated with water and power was shut off to thousands of people and businesses.

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Your Money
11:39 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Why One Extreme Couponer Gave Up Clipping

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now for our conversation about personal finance. Especially in these lean times, savvy shoppers have been told never to leave the house without their coupons. Those who take it to another level call themselves extreme couponers. These big savers can load shopping carts with hundreds of dollars of merchandise and pay just a fraction of that for it. That's because they spend hours online writing companies and even dumpster diving to get as many coupons as they can.

Here's a clip from TLC's reality show "Extreme Couponing".

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
6:03 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Are The Rich Taxed Enough?

Panelists Glenn Hubbard (left) and Arthur Laffer argue for the motion "The Rich Are Taxed Enough."
Samuel LaHoz

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 7:07 am

Tax policy has been a divisive theme throughout the presidential campaign. At the core of the debate are divergent philosophies about what the economy needs β€” and how to get it.

In this Oxford-style debate from Intelligence Squared U.S., a panel of experts dissects the motion "The Rich Are Taxed Enough." The term "enough," in this case, is determined by three factors: fairness, sufficiency and efficiency.

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Business
5:33 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Travel At A Near Standstill Along The East Coast

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 1:20 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The transportation industry is also taking a hard hit. Travel is at a virtual standstill along the East Coast because of Sandy. Up to 15,000 flights have been canceled. Amtrak service in the Northeast is shut down again today. And crews are just beginning to assess the extensive cleanup work needed to clear tracks and roads.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Travelers across the Northeast have been going nowhere fast. Some who thought they were getting lucky, got half way home before hitting the end of the road.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy's Economic Impact Likely To Be Immense

Waves crash over a road as Hurricane Sandy comes up the coast Monday in Winthrop, Mass. Economists are predicting the storm will cost tens of billions of dollars.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:12 pm

Economists will need many days β€” maybe weeks or months β€” to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.

More than 60 million Americans are feeling the impact of the weather monster slamming New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and many other states. The howling mix of wind, rain and snow is causing massive direct losses, i.e., the destruction of private homes, stores, boats and cars.

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Around the Nation
4:38 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Want To Be Rich? Be Lucky, Know The Right People

Michael and Amy Tiemann estimate their personal wealth at about $25 million β€” and say luck played no small part in their financial success.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:42 am

As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, dependency and the role of government.

And while it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? And what do we think explains our prosperity β€” or lack thereof?

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Election 2012
5:14 am
Mon October 29, 2012

What Type Of Economy Will Next President Inherit?

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama debate on Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 1:29 pm

Later this week we'll get another snapshot of the U.S. job market: the last unemployment report before next week's presidential election.

Forecasters expect another sign of slow but steady job growth. Whoever is in the Oval Office next year will have to cope with a sluggish U.S. economy and confront some urgent policy decisions.

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Economy
6:51 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Bust To Boom: Why Housing Matters, Economically

A construction worker finishes a roof in Chicago on Oct. 12. Signs of recovery in the housing market are springing up nationwide, but there's still a ways to go.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 7:45 pm

The economy has peppered political speeches for much of the presidential campaign. But talk of creating jobs has stolen thunder from the housing market.

The epic housing collapse four years ago was a key ingredient in creating the Great Recession in the first place. Plus, boosting the housing market can be a boon for overall economic recovery.

Beginning A 'Long-Term Cycle'

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Law
4:43 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Time Is Running Out To File Suits Over 2008 Crisis

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Justice Department filed a $1 billion mortgage fraud case this week against Bank of America. To be clear, it is a civil case; the only thing at stake is money.

And as NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, this may be the most accountability tax payers ever see from the 2008 financial crisis. That's because the statute of limitations to bring a criminal case is expiring, and no major Wall Street bank executive has been convicted of a crime.

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It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Why The Economy Won't Help Obama β€” Or Romney

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:37 pm

The U.S. economy remains in a gray area, so it's no wonder that the presidential race is essentially tied.

Gross domestic product grew at a 2 percent annual rate between June and September, according to figures out Friday. The White House says this means the economy has been growing for 13 straight quarters.

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It's All Politics
4:20 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Economists: Romney's 12 Million Jobs Target Realistic, Even If He Loses

Alan Shull attends a job fair in Portland, Ore., on April 24.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:57 pm

As the election draws closer, the economy and jobs remain top issues in the presidential race.

President Obama points to the improvement in the labor market since he took office in the midst of a downward spiral.

Both he and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have five-point plans for improving the economy, although their strategies differ.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Economic Growth Picked Up Slightly In Third Quarter

A GM assembly line in Lansing, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 10:31 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

That follows growth (at annual rates) of 1.3 percent in the second quarter and 2 percent in the first.

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Planet Money
4:19 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Energy Independence Wouldn't Make Gasoline Any Cheaper

Friedemann Vogel Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:05 pm

Just about every president since Richard Nixon has set energy independence as a goal, and both major candidates have brought it up the current campaign.

As it turns out, there is a place, not so far from here, that has achieved energy independence: Canada.

Canada produces far more oil than it consumes. They're not dependent on the Middle East! They've got all the oil they need!

I called Stephen Gordon, a professor of economics at UniversitΓ© Laval in Quebec City, to ask him about what energy independence means for his nation.

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Around the Nation
4:52 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Niagara Falls In Danger Of Losing City Status, Aid

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 6:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The 2010 census brought some bad news for Niagara Falls, New York. Once one of the biggest cities in the Northeast, it has lost more than half its population since the 1950s. As Daniel Robison reports, Niagara Falls is now at risk of losing its city status, as well as million of dollars in federal aid.

DANIEL ROBISON, BYLINE: Niagara Falls residents shuffle into a town hall meeting. It's standing-room only in this small space.

SETH PICCIRILLO: How's everybody doing? Can you hear me in the back?

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Planet Money
3:36 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

It's 10 P.M. In Frankfurt. Do You Know Where Your Gold Is?

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

At a hearing last year, Ron Paul asked Ben Bernanke if gold is money. Answer: No. So why do central banks hold it as a reserve? Answer: Tradition.

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Europe
3:15 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

While Spain Struggles, The Basque Region Shines

The Basque region has a long and rich industrial tradition. Here is a CAF factory in Beasain, Spain.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 6:51 pm

For decades, most of the news out of Basque country was horrible. Since the late 1960s, this region in northern Spain has been infamous as home to the ETA separatist group, which killed more than 800 people while fighting for Basque independence from Madrid.

But two years ago, the separatist group declared a final cease-fire and the attacks have stopped. Now the country is becoming known for something else: its booming economy.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Unclaimed Jobless Benefits Far Exceed Fraudulent Claims, Study Says

Two people check job listings at a New York State Department of Labor Employment Services office in Brooklyn. (March 2011 file photo.)
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Taxpayer-funded jobless benefits that shouldn't have been paid because of errors or fraudulent claims totaled about $11 billion in 2009, according to a new study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

But the total amount of unclaimed benefits was nearly 10 times larger, economists estimate: $108 billion. They estimate that during the 2007-2009 recession, only about half of those eligible for them were collecting the benefits.

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Election 2012
11:56 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Can A President Control Prices At The Pump?

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 12:11 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program comedian DL Hughley stops by and gives us his - how shall we say it - unique take on politics. That's coming up later. But before we get to the laughs we're going to take a serious look at energy prices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that the average price at the pump for this year will be $3.65.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell By 23,000 Last Week; Durable Goods Orders Rose

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the company's factory in Everett, Wash. Orders for aircraft drove the increase in demand for durable goods last month.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 9:07 am

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 23,000 last week from the week before, to 369,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Claims have bounced around in recent weeks, in part because of some changes in the way at least one state reports its figures.

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Your Money
7:05 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Buying A New Car: Is Cash, Lease Or Financing Best?

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 9:22 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here in the U.S., auto sales are up, and fall is traditionally a big time for car buying. Question is, what's the best way these days to pay for that car - financed through the automaker or through your bank or simply leased?

To think through the choices, we called Michele Krebs. She's the senior analyst for the auto information site Edmunds.com, and she joined us from Detroit.

Good morning.

MICHELE KREBS: Good morning.

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All Tech Considered
4:39 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Watching TV Online Often Exposes Slow Bandwidth

In much of America, the availability of online video is often frustrated by slow broadband speeds. In this 2011 photo, Valerie Houde waits for a dial-up Internet connection in East Burke, Vt.
Andy Duback AP

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 11:20 am

There are more ways than ever to watch TV programs on the Internet, from Netflix and Amazon to Hulu. But many viewers discover that watching TV on the Web can be frustrating. Their favorite show might suddenly stop, stutter and be replaced by a note that reads "buffering." The problem is lack of bandwidth: The data that is the video just can't squeeze through the wires and onto the screen.

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Energy
5:58 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Could U.S. Produce Enough Oil To Rival Saudi Arabia?

Austin Mitchell walks away from an oil derrick outside Williston, N.D., in July 2011. North Dakota is now the No. 2 producer of oil in the U.S. behind Texas.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 2:21 pm

An oil boom is under way in the United States. Since 2008 domestic oil production has increased dramatically, reversing what was a nearly three-decade decline. That has some predicting the U.S. could overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's largest petroleum producer in coming years.

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Economy
5:21 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

New Home Sales At Highest Level In Over Two Years

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 2:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

While federal prosecutors sue Bank of America for its alleged role in the housing crisis, things are looking up for the housing industry. Government numbers out today show that new home sales rose almost 6 percent in September, and that comes on the heels of other promising data out last week on construction activity.

Joining me now to discuss what appears to be a housing recovery is NPR's Yuki Noguchi.

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Business
1:36 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Mortgage Interest Deduction Could Be In Play

About 34 million taxpayers take the mortgage interest deduction, for a typical savings of approximately $600 a year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:23 pm

In coming months, Congress will begin an epic struggle to get the federal budget deficit under control. One tax break almost certain to come into play is the mortgage interest deduction.

Both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, have suggested ways to scale back the deduction's value for wealthy taxpayers. And many economists are cheering them on, saying that now β€” when interest rates are low β€” would be a great time to reduce or even phase out the deduction.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Equal Pay For Equal Work: Not Even College Helps Women

Barnard College graduates listen to President Barack Obama at commencement ceremonies on May 14, 2012.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 9:55 am

A startling new report finds freshly graduated college women will likely face this hurdle when entering the work world: they're worth less than equally educated men.

The American Association of University Women is releasing a new study that shows when men and women attend the same kind of college, pick the same major and accept the same kind of job, on average, the woman will still earn 82 cents to every dollar that a man earns.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Sales Of New Homes Hit Fastest Pace In 2 1/2 years

A sign of the times at a building site in Ohio earlier this year.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer /Landov

Sales of new single-family homes rose 5.7 percent in September from August and at an annual rate of 389,000 hit the fastest pace since April 2010, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

Sales were up 27.1 percent from September 2011.

Reuters calls the news "further evidence the housing market recovery is gaining steam."

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Business
7:30 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Resorts Try To Lure Skiers Back After Last Year's Bust

There's a palpable anxiety in mountain resort towns this fall. After last season's abysmal skiing and snowboarding revenues, these towns are counting on heavy snow this year to make up for the loss. Now, analysts say without early snow, resorts may suffer a "hangover" from last year's disappointment. Luke Runyon reports for Aspen Public Radio.

All Tech Considered
6:01 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Google's Street View Goes Into The Wild

Before Steve Silverman helped Google build its new Trekker, he built cameras for NASA to photograph the surface of Mars. Silverman says the Trekker is built to survive in intense conditions. It will boot up at 10 below zero Celsius or at 110 Fahrenheit. It will even work after being fully submerged in water.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 9:23 pm

Google's Street View maps are headed into the backcountry. Earlier this week, two teams from Google strapped on sophisticated backpacks jammed with cameras, gyroscopes and other gadgets, and descended to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. But this is just the first step in the search giant's plan to digitally map and photograph the world's wild places.

Luc Vincent β€” who runs Google's Street View β€” met up with a small group of reporters on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon this week.

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The Salt
2:26 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Buying Food Past Its Sell-By Date Tough To Swallow For Greeks

Bargain-hunting Greek shoppers may soon have more options at the grocery store. The government is asking retailers to discount expired nonperishable products in response to rising food prices.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:00 am

Austerity measures continue in Greece as the country sinks deeper into a recession. Incomes have dropped nearly 50 percent in some cases, but food prices are at record highs. The Greek newspaper Ekathimerini recently reported that the country has some of the most expensive food and the costliest dairy products in the entire European Union.

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