If you've applied for a mortgage recently, you know how hard it can be. The bank demands all kinds of obscure documents and wants proof of almost every asset you own. But an innovative mortgage program halfway around the world will evaluate your application without any extra documentation — and if you're approved, it will give you a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. There's just one catch: The mortgages are only for low-income people in Cambodia. The program is a throwback to the days when bankers got to know their customers — and trusted them.
OK. So Frommer's guidebooks will stay the same. "The Tonight Show" is changing. This is a long-running television network drama - the saga of NBC easing Jay Leno out of the chair. As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, Leno will be replaced next year by Jimmy Fallon, in a show based in New York City.
Bank foreclosures often force people out of their homes. Some houses re-sell, and new people move in. Five years ago, NPR's Emily Harris bought a house that sold in foreclosure. An evening ring at her doorbell led her to meet the person who had lived there before.
And today's last word in business is space memorabilia.
Heritage Auction house is selling items that have gone to the moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin's toothbrush could be yours with the right offer.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
OK. The bidding for this toothbrush - I hope they disinfect it - it's a light blue, Lactona tooth tip brush. The bidding starting at $9,000. The auction house is actually hoping that buyers will offer more than that.
After buying the company last year, Google decided to stop printing Frommer's travel guides. The founder of the brand now says Google has agreed to sell the company back to him. Arthur Frommer says he will continue to print the travel guides — in addition to publishing them electronically.
Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, for a preview of what Friday's jobs report is likely to say about the U.S. economy. The stock market is setting records and though profits are up, wages are stagnant.
Lawyer Meredith Watts (left) visits client/patient Shirley Kimbrough at her apartment in north Akron, Ohio. Kimbrough is being helped by a program under which lawyers partner up with health providers to supply patients with legal advice.
The middle-income housing projects Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village sit on an 80-acre patch of Lower Manhattan. In 2006, they came to epitomize the lunatic excess of the housing boom when their 11,232 apartments sold for $5.4 billion. They were bought at a competitive auction by Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty.
There's been increasing support for the number of H-1B visas, for highly skilled workers. Large tech companies are leading the push for the increase, but many of the visas go to workers at large consulting firms.
The tech industry wants more skilled workers — from overseas. Companies are lobbying hard for Congress to raise the limit on H-1B visas — visas for people with specialized skills — researchers, for instance, or software engineers.
Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, recently told NPR that more H-1B visas can't help but be good for the country.
Manufacturing in the U.S. still uses the most energy. But its share has been decreasing. That's partly because we've moved from energy-intensive manufacturing to a more service-based economy. And also partly because of a slowing population growth and improving energy efficiency.
Legal troubles keep mounting for hedge fund manager Steven Cohen and his firm SAC Capital. Today, an appeals court judge in New York reinstated a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, accusing Cohen of fraud. Last week, one of his top lieutenants was charged with insider trading and he was the fifth person with the firm to face arrest.
Still, as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, U.S. officials have so far failed to bring charges against Cohen himself.
Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 12:58 pm
The Obama administration is delaying the start of a key piece of the Affordable Care Act. Workers in small businesses will have to wait an additional year to be able to choose from more than one plan in the marketplaces that start next January.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the New York African Film Festival is getting under way. The festival is in its 20th year now, so we're going to talk about the stories being told by a new generation of African filmmakers. That's coming up.
If you travel a lot you're probably doing a lot of meals in airports, maybe fast-food by Gate C31 or the chain coffee place nearby. Well, one of the busiest airports in the country is now bringing in local restaurants.
As Peter O'Dowd reports from member station KJZZ in Phoenix, these small businesses are taking a risk for a shot at a big reward.
Let's look now at a vital part of the Japanese economy: the auto industry. While vehicle sales in the United States last month were at the highest level since August of 2007, Japanese auto sales decreased by nearly 16 percent. That is just the latest in a six-month slide for auto sales in Japan. In today's business bottom line, NPR's Sonari Glinton looks at Japan's faltering domestic auto sector.
For Florida Atlantic University, a recent decision to sell the naming rights of its new football stadium to the GEO Group, turned from being a cash windfall to a PR disaster. When FAU's president announced the deal, she called GEO, a private prison corporation, a wonderful company. Not everyone agreed. Students, troubled by allegations of abuse at some facilities, held protests and now the deal has been called off.
NPR's business news starts with a record high in Europe.
The jobless rate in the eurozone hit 12 percent for the first two months of the year. That's the highest unemployment has been in the eurozone since the euro currency was introduced in 1999. Analysts say rising unemployment is partly due to budget cuts and tax hikes aimed at reducing heavy levels of government debt. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
For all of last year, Fannie Mae posted net income of $17.2 billion. Just a year earlier, it had lost nearly the same amount. The company that finances home mortgages is still under government conservatorship.
Hey Siri, can I take a shower on the Trans-Siberian Railway?
(SOUNDBITE OF BEEPING)
SIRI: I found 15 places matching the trend, southern of Denmark. They're pretty far from Railroad, Pennsylvania.
GREENE: Mm-hmm. OK. Not that accurate, Siri. Well, you know, what might work better than an iPhone? A travel guidebook, the good old fashion kind. Let me see I'm looking to see what it says in "Trans-Siberian Railway Guide" from Lonely Planet: There are no showers on passenger carriages except for a few top-quality trains.
The demand from American companies for high-skilled immigrants seems to be up this year. And that could mean something is about to change for the overall economy.
There is a cap on the number of visas the government gives out for these kind of workers every year. Lately, that cap has been 85,000. Demand always outstrips supply, but for the past couple of years, it has taken at least a few months to hit the quota. But this year, the H-1B visas might be gone by the end of the week.