Business

The Two-Way
9:37 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Bernanke Hints That The Economy Still Needs Help

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his Capitol Hill testimony Wednesday before the Joint Economic Committee.
Alex Wong Getty Images

In the nearly impenetrable language that comes with his job, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that even though the economy is doing better, the central bank needs to keep giving it a boost.

The key passage from his prepared testimony:

Read more
Business
5:12 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Qantas Airlines To Offer In-Flight Books

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business on this Wednesday is: Mile High Book Club.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're talking about an in-flight library offered by the Australian airline Qantas.

GREENE: They will still have movies on the plane, that right, Linda?

WERTHEIMER: Yes, David. But Qantas is telling passengers who want to read that they can ditch their Kindles and settle in with a paperback.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more
Business
5:08 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Earning News Sends Home Depot Stock Higher

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Home Depot raising the roof.

Home Depot got a boost from the housing recovery in its first-quarter net income. It rose 18 percent; that exceeds expectations. The company acknowledged yesterday that while cool and wet spring weather had a negative impact on some of Home Depot's seasonal business, its core business stayed strong.

Home Depot's stock price rose by 2.5 percent with the news. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:47 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Microsoft Unveils Its new Xbox One

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 9:04 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The wait is over for many Xbox fans. Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled its next generation Xbox gaming console. It's called Xbox One. It's the first major revamp of the gaming system since 2005. In our business bottom line, NPR's Laura Sydell reports the new Xbox is designed to be an all-in-one system, an entertainment hub for movies, TV and games that should appeal as much to grandparents as it does to children.

Read more
Business
4:39 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Parking Industry Tries To Make Your Life Easier

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Finding a parking space, probably not at the top of the list of things you like to do. Well, experts in parking think they might be able to change that. One key, they say, is for developers to think about the parking experience when they're designing malls or apartment complexes, instead of just treating it as an afterthought.

This came up in Florida this week, at the International Parking Institute's annual conference. Reporter Kenny Malone, from member station WLRN, was there.

Read more
Business
4:32 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Court Rules Vacation Rental Site Illegal In New York

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's some news for travelers. If you can't afford - or don't want to pay the price for - a hotel room, maybe you've used the cheap lodging site Airbnb. If so, you have to take New York City off your list. The popular website has suffered a major setback in court. A judge in New York ruled that an Airbnb user in Manhattan violated local laws when he rented a room to an out-of-towner.

From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz reports.

Read more
Politics
4:32 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Battle Lines Harden In Debate Over Blame For IRS Controversy

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Lawmakers are demanding to know what went wrong and who is to blame at the IRS. Two Senate committees held hearings yesterday on the agency's aggressive handling of applications from conservative groups who were seeking tax-exemption. A top IRS official facing a House committee, today, intends to invoke her Fifth Amendment right not to testify. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

Read more
Planet Money
1:07 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Why Apple (And Lots Of Other Companies) Wound Up In Ireland

Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 7:35 am

Apple was criticized in a Senate committee hearing Tuesday for using complex accounting to minimize the corporate taxes it pays. One key piece of the company's tax strategy: It funnels lots of its profits through subsidiaries in Ireland.

Offering low corporate tax rates has been a fundamental part of Ireland's economic strategy for decades — a way to get foreign companies to set up operations in the country.

Read more
Research News
1:03 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Quantum Or Not, New Supercomputer Is Certainly Something Else

Google and NASA are betting that quantum forces are at work inside D-Wave's 512-bit chip.
Courtesy of D-Wave

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 9:33 am

It's exactly the sort of futuristic thinking you'd expect from Google and NASA: Late last week, the organizations announced a partnership to build a Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab at NASA's Ames Research Center.

Read more
Your Money
1:01 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Instead Of Snoozing In Savings, Let's Put $5,000 To Work

Robyn Mackenzie iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 1:40 pm

If you have a savings account you probably already know this: Your money there is losing value to inflation. Yields are so low that returns are not even keeping up with the cost of living.

I've been watching some of my own savings dwindle. And that prompted me to take up a challenge: I'm taking $5,000 from personal savings and putting it to work. I'm not a financial whiz, pundit or any kind of guru.

Read more
Monkey See
2:44 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

'Arrested Development' Leads The Charge For Old Brands In New Media

David Cross and Portia de Rossi in a scene from Arrested Development, which returns on Netflix on May 26.
Sam Urdank AP

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Arrested Development returning via Netflix? Just another old-media brand reviving itself on new media.

The TV show, which originally ran on Fox from 2003 to 2006 and unveils new episodes on Netflix next weekend, finds itself in splendid company. Radiohead, Louis C.K., Veronica Mars — all found their audiences with promotion and distribution from big studios and networks. Radiohead was signed to a major music label. Louis C.K. enjoyed HBO specials and TV shows. And Veronica Mars ran on two TV networks for three years.

Read more
Business
2:41 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Apple CEO Defends Tax Practices At Senate Hearing

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The top executives of Apple faced tough questions today on Capitol Hill. They came at a hearing about Apple's alleged avoidance of billions of dollars in U.S. income taxes. Yesterday, Senate investigators released a study describing how the maker of the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers used subsidiaries based in Ireland to avoid income taxes on a big chunk of its global profits.

Read more
Business
2:41 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

JPMorgan Chase CEO Spared By Shareholders

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, has beaten back the most significant challenge to his leadership since he took charge. Company shareholders turned down a proposal that would have taken away one of his titles.

But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, shareholders made clear they are unhappy about the performance of some board members.

Read more
Business
2:41 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Tech Companies Have A Lot At Stake With Immigration Bill

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The immigration bill that's working its way through the Senate gives the tech industry something it has long asked for: more visas for skilled workers from overseas. But the original bill also came with something the tech industry didn't like: rules to keep those foreign workers from taking the jobs of Americans. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, key senators agreed to loosen those rules.

Read more
Business
2:41 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

'Reinventing The Register' May Take Time For Square

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 4:43 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, the cash register re-imagined. Paying for things online with your mobile phone can be as easy as paying with cash but digital payment companies, like PayPal and Square, think the big money for them is still at the register. So they're rushing head-long into brick-and-mortar retail, eager for new ways to make old-fashioned money.

From member station WHYY, Zack Seward has the story.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:38 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

A Catch For Insurers That Cut Deductibles For Healthy People

How much is my deductible?
iStockphoto.com

Health insurance deductibles typically only go one direction: up.

It's not unusual for people these days to be responsible for paying thousands of dollars in medical claims before most plan benefits kick in.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Microsoft Reveals New Xbox One Game System

The new Xbox One entertainment and gaming system was unveiled Tuesday by Microsoft. The console includes live TV and advanced voice commands.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:51 am

Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox One Tuesday, displaying a device that takes new steps in game consoles' journey to becoming all-purpose entertainment and communication devices. The new console replaces the Xbox 360, which has been on the market for nearly eight years.

Read more
Business
12:07 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Apple, Tech Giants And An Industrial-Age Tax Code

Apple CEO Timothy Cook made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, testifying after congressional investigators revealed that Apple avoided billions in taxes. Reporter Charles Duhigg of The New York Times and guest host Jennifer Ludden talk about how, as Duhigg writes, "technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age."

Read more
The Two-Way
10:55 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Airbnb Stays Are Illegal In New York, Court Rules

A search for places to stay in New York City via Airbnb returns plenty of results, despite the practice of short-term rentals being found to be illegal under city and state law.
Airbnb

People who use Airbnb, the web company that pairs travelers with residents who rent out their homes on a short-term basis, are breaking New York City's laws, according to an administrative law judge. The vacation rental business was found to run afoul of the city's occupancy code; it also doesn't conform with a state law.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:47 am
Tue May 21, 2013

JPMorgan Shareholders Vote To Keep Dimon As Chairman, CEO

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon during testimony on Capitol Hill.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase shareholders voted on Tuesday to allow Jamie Dimon to continue being their chairman and CEO.

The AP reports:

"At the bank's annual meeting, 32 percent of shareholders voted for a measure that would have required the bank to split the roles. Had the measure succeeded, Dimon would have had to relinquish the role of chairman.

Read more
Business
3:52 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We'll NPR's business news with Boeing still dreaming.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

GREENE: Boeing's Dreamliner took off yesterday - it was a United Airlines flight from Houston to Chicago. This was the first time the fuel-friendly jet was back in U.S. skies in nearly five months. The 787 planes had been grounded since January because of battery problems, which cost United roughly $11 million in revenue.

Read more
Business
3:52 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Tumblr Users Urge New Owner Yahoo To Keep The Site Weird

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yahoo's purchase of the blogging site Tumblr sent shockwaves through the Tumblrverse. Is that actually a word now?

WNYC's Ilya Marritz reports that the site's users want to keep Tumblr out of the mainstream.

Read more
Business
3:52 am
Tue May 21, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tumblrese.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: almost millionaires.

INSKEEP: Warren Buffett took time yesterday to listen to kids pitching potential new enterprises. These are kids who competed through Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club, a Web and cable series featuring a cartoon.

(SOUNDBITE OF WEB CARTOON, "SECRET MILLIONAIRES CLUB")

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WARREN BUFFETT: Hey, kids, Warren Buffett here. A successful business is always trying new things.

Read more
Business
2:24 am
Tue May 21, 2013

CEO Cook To Defend Apple Before Senate Committee Hearing

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an introduction of the iPhone 5 in San Francisco on Sept. 12. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations says Apple is paying billions of dollars less than it should in taxes each year, taking advantage of technicalities in U.S. and Irish tax laws.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 9:13 am

Giant technology firm Apple is paying billions of dollars less than it should in U.S. taxes each year, according to a report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. In a hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Apple CEO Tim Cook will defend the company.

The subcommittee's report says Apple avoids the tax payments mainly by shifting profits to three subsidiary companies in Ireland. The investigation found Apple is taking advantage of technicalities in U.S. and Irish tax laws to avoid paying any tax on a huge portion of its profits.

Read more
Business
2:14 am
Tue May 21, 2013

JPMorgan Shareholders Consider Splitting CEO, Chairman Jobs

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

JPMorgan Chase holds its annual shareholder meeting today in Tampa, Florida, and the shareholders will vote on a key measure: a proposal to strip the CEO, Jamie Dimon, of his other title, chairman of the board. A growing number of companies have split the CEO and chairman roles.

Shareholder activists and corporate governance experts say having a balance of power at the top helps to reduce risk. The bank and its supporters disagree. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:28 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

With New Xbox, Microsoft Makes A Bigger Play For Living Room

An Xbox 360 video presentation at the E3 Media and Business Summit in Los Angeles in 2008. Microsoft is scheduled to introduce its newest Xbox on Tuesday.
Ric Francis AP

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 7:00 pm

Microsoft hasn't exactly had a great couple of years.

Its new Windows 8 operating system was held responsible for the drop in PC sales last quarter. Sales of its Windows Phones lag far behind both the iPhone and Google's Android phones.

The light in the darkness for Microsoft has been the Xbox 360, which has been the top-selling game console for over two years — beating out both the Nintendo Wii and Sony's PlayStation. On Tuesday, Microsoft is expected to announce a new version of the Xbox.

Read more
Business
3:28 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Boeing's Dreamliner Returns To U.S. Skies After Grounding

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 7:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Boeing's 787 jetliners are returning to the skies. Four months ago, the entire fleet was grounded following serious battery problems on two jets, but the batteries have now been redesigned. Planes have been retrofitted, and airlines are beginning to put them back into service. Today, United Airlines, the only U.S. carrier flying the 787, put two of them back into service. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

Read more
Business
3:28 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

What Makes Start-Up Tumblr Worth $1.1 Billion?

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 6:54 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. Some big numbers are being thrown around in Silicon Valley today. This morning, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced that Yahoo is buying Tumblr, a social media and blogging startup. The price, $1.1 billion and that for a site which last year earned a tiny fraction of that amount in revenue.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:29 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Yahoo's Other Billion Dollar Bets: Where Are They Now?

GeoCities employees pose for a picture in 1999 after the Yahoo acquisition was announced. Yahoo quietly shut down GeoCities a decade later.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 3:57 pm

Yahoo's $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr could be considered a bargain compared with its other big-dollar bets. The company's history is dotted with pricey purchases of once-hot Web properties that had more promise than eventual purpose. A look back:

GeoCities, 1999: $3.7 Billion

Read more
The Salt
1:27 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Washington State Butcher Spikes Pig Feed With Weed

William von Schneidau, who owns the BB Ranch butcher shop at Pike Place Market in Seattle, has made prosciutto from pigs fed marijuana.
Courtesy of BB Ranch

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 8:25 am

William von Schneidau, an intrepid butcher in Seattle, is giving a whole new meaning to "potbelly pig." Lately, he's been feeding marijuana refuse to the pigs he turns into prosciutto for BB Ranch, his butcher shop in the city's famous Pike Place Marke

Read more

Pages