And today's last word in business is something many equate to being as fun as doing taxes - dental work. A dentist in Sweden is offering $45 gift cards. It's an effort to entice 20-somethings who've stopped coming in for cleanings now that they're living on their own. That gift may go over as well as Hermey the elf's ambitions in the 1964 TV special, "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer."
CARL BANAS: (as Head Elf) What? You don't like to make toys?
This is, of course, the season of giving and the time for last-minute cash donations. They have to be made by December 31st if you want to deduct the amount on your 2012 tax form. The charitable deduction is the next kink of tax break in our series, the 12 Days of Tax Deductions.
That is something nearly everyone agrees on. If the fiscal cliff is not avoided, it could do some serious harm to the U.S. economy. So let's talk further about whether Congress and the White House are close to some kind of agreement. We'll bring in NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, good morning.
Suppose you run a business, you want to open a store but local zoning laws make your preferred location off limits? If you're the Mexican branch of Wal-Mart, according to The New York Times, you just bribe an official to alter the zoning map.
David Barstow is one of the reporters of the latest Times investigation of Wal-Mart and bribery in Mexico.
The White House is promising to veto a new tax proposal from House Speaker John Boehner. But who's bluffing and what's believable when it comes to fiscal negotiations? And what happens if talks break down? For Tell Me More's 'Why Not?' series, host Michel Martin takes a look at what might be on the other side of the fiscal cliff.
Swiss banking giant UBS AG has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to regulators in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland for its part in a scheme to manipulate the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), which is used to set rates on contracts around the world.
Companies that make firearms are facing some tough choices, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Yesterday, the private equity group Cerberus Capital Management said it's getting out of the gun business. And one of the largest outlets for firearms, Dick's Sporting Goods, said it is suspending sales of certain kinds of rifles. Wal-Mart has removed a website listing for a rifle similar to the one used by the gunman in Connecticut.
NPR's Sonari Glinton looks at what the gun debate could mean for big business and big retail.
Greece got a rare bit of good news late yesterday. Standard and Poor's upgraded the country's credit rating six notches to a B minus. I mean, not the worst grade on your report card, but in the financial world this is junk bond status.
Still, Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens that there is a more stable outlook.
NPR's business news begins with a global bank settlement.
It's the big Swiss bank, UBS. It announced this morning that it will pay a total of $1.5 billion in fines for its role in rigging the interbank lending rate known as LIBOR. The settlement will be paid to Swiss, British and American regulators.
The change — which was posted in dense legalese on its website Monday — sparked users to vow to stop posting their color-filtered, tilt-shifted photos to Instagram.
It's a nervous time for companies that make and sell guns.
On Tuesday, Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, announced it was selling its stake in Freedom Group, maker of the American Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which was used in the Newtown killings last Friday, along with other brands such as Remington.
China and India are projected to propel coal's challenge of oil as the world's top energy source within the next five years, according to a new study. Here, a man rides a bicycle toward a coal-fired power station in China's Guangdong province last year.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:49 pm
Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:12 am
The issue of gun control appears to have moved into business and finance. One of the largest private equity companies in the country is terminating its relationship with a firearms corporation associated with one of the weapons used in the Newtown school shooting.
As the "fiscal cliff" nears, Morning Edition evaluates some of the deductions and credits that are in the tax code. As part of our 12 Days of Tax Deductions, David Greene examines the Adoption Tax Credit, which supports families who adopt children from foster care, as well as infant and international adoptions.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:00 am
McKenna Pope, 13, of New Jersey wanted to get an Easy Bake Oven for her little brother, but didn't want him thinking the purple and pink toy was just for girls. Forty-thousand signatures later, Hasbro has now shown McKenna a prototype of a new silver, blue and black oven. The company says the gender-neutral toy will be on shelves next summer.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:40 am
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met in person again Monday to discuss a budget deal that would undo the massive tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1. The Republican leader has offered to increase tax rates on people who make over $1 million. The president has responded with a counteroffer.
Cyndy Aafedt (left) owns the El Rancho hotel in Williston, N.D. Jobs in town have been hard to fill. Her employee, Mary Joy Hardt (right), who is from the Philippines, is one of many people with J-1 visas helping to fill retail, hotel and restaurant job openings here.
Credit Meg Luther Lindholm for NPR
Kyle Pfifer works at a McDonald's in Williston, a job he got the same day he applied. He says he turned in his application, got lunch, "and I had a call before I was done eating, and I had a job."
The population boom in Williston, N.D., has been a blessing and a curse for many local businesses. Williston, the fastest growing small city in America, is enjoying an oil boom and has seen its population double in the past two years.
At the city's brand new McDonald's, manager Vern Brekhus struggles every day to maintain his staff of nearly 100 workers.
As a part of the series, "Why Not," Tell Me More is looking at policies that were once untouchable but now may be on the table. Today, NPR Correspondent Tamara Keith and Emory Law Professor Dorothy Brown dig into the pros-and-cons of raising taxes on capital gains and dividends.