At a hearing in Washington on March 6, Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to senators why it has been hard to go after big bank executives:
"It does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large."
People of all ages have been passing the time playing Angry Birds on their mobile devices. Now Rovio, the company that created the best-selling app, is offering fans a new cartoon series based on the game, which has so far been downloaded 1.7 billion times.
The concept behind Angry Birds is extremely simple: There are these colorful cartoon birds that are angry because some green pigs are after their eggs. Players of the digital game use slingshots to catapult the birds — who don't fly — to destroy structures hiding the pigs.
The new boom in natural gas from shale has changed the energy economy of the United States. But there's another giant reservoir of natural gas that lies under the ocean floor that, theoretically, could dwarf the shale boom.
No one had tapped this gas from the seabed until this week, when Japanese engineers pulled some up through a well from under the Pacific. The gas at issue here is called methane hydrate. Methane is natural gas; hydrate means there's water in it. In this case, the molecules of gas are trapped inside a sort of cage of water molecules.
Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 8:37 am
A bunch of private colleges have been in a financial aid arms race for years now, offering bigger and bigger merit scholarships to lure the best students.
This is nice for the students who get big merit scholarships. But it's not so nice for everybody else. Colleges have to come up with the money for those merit scholarships somehow — and they've done it in part, by jacking up tuition. (We did a story on this last year.)
The veteran reporter has recently moved from ABC News to CNN where he now hosts his own show and serves as Chief Washington Correspondent. In Part II of this interview, Tapper talks about fact-checking the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and blow back from the White House after asking tough questions.
NPR's business news starts with Samsung's new star.
At least the company hopes it is a star. Samsung is planning to unveil its new Galaxy S4 smartphone tonight in New York City, throwing down a new challenge to Apple's iPhone. The new Galaxy will be the flagship device on Google's Android platform, which dominates the smartphone market.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Samsung is now the sales leader for the industry, selling almost 385,000,000 cell phones last year.
Let's consider a company, now, that's had lots of ups and downs - General Motors. Most of GM's history is in the form of cars, and that history is housed in a nondescript warehouse in a suburb of Detroit. It's called the GM Heritage Center. Not open to the public, it's an automotive archive.
NPR's Sonari Glinton got a tour.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There's probably no better job for a car nut than to be in charge of a vast auto archive for one of the biggest and oldest car companies.
And today's last word in business is: Life on Mars.
The TV show "Veronica Mars" starred Kristen Bell as a teenage detective. Critics loved it. It gained a lot of devoted fans, but the show was canceled in 2007 after three seasons.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Yesterday, the show's creator took to Kickstarter to raise money to make a movie version of the show. And in less than 12 hours, those devoted fans pledged more than $2 million, smashing the site's records along the way.
Google employees play chess at the company's Russian headquarters in Moscow. Experts say tech companies are using "serendipitous interaction" in their workplace design to promote idea sharing and communication between employees.
When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer decided to end full-time work-from-home arrangements at her company, a cultural firestorm ignited. But it was just the latest step in Mayer's effort to transform Yahoo's culture.
When the company was founded in the 1990s, it was one of the most exciting places to work in Silicon Valley. Those days are over; Yahoo has fallen woefully behind in the talent wars and now is trying to catch up.
American Apparel boasts that all of its products are made in the USA, primarily at its Los Angeles headquarters. Selling garments produced largely by machine, rather than by hand, has helped the company remain profitable.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, we want to take some time to talk about retirement. Later this hour, we will hear from someone who decided to retire at the advanced age of 32 and - no, his last name is not Buffett or Rockefeller or Gates. We'll ask him why and, equally important, how he managed to do this. That's coming up later this hour.
We want to turn now to someone who is thinking about retirement in a very different way. Carl Seidman is in his early 30s, but just a few weeks ago, he quit his job as a consultant in Chicago and hopped on a plane to Chile. He's calling it his first retirement and he says you don't have to wait until you're 65 to retire either, and he's going to tell us more about that.
Retail sales rose an estimated 1.1 percent in February from January and were up 4.6 percent from February 2012, the Census Bureau says.
Kathy Bostjancic director of macroeconomic analysis at the The Conference Board research group, says in an analysis sent to reporters that the report's a sign that "consumer spending remains relatively robust." And since consumers buy about 70 percent of all goods and services, their willingness to spend is a key economic driver.
One American airport already has that wow factor, which brings us to today's last word in business, which is: First Class.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The Indianapolis International Airport was named the Best Airport in North America by the Airports Council International. They're right. It's nice. The annual Airport Service Quality awards are determined by year-round passenger satisfaction surveys.
In China, property prices continue to spiral upwards, despite government efforts to cool off the hot real estate market there. In recent weeks, there have been warnings that the Chinese housing bubble will burst, with dire effects on the broader economy and the entire world. Some don't see that happening, and one skeptic is Leta Hong Fincher. She is a sociology researcher who studies real estate in China. We reached her in Beijing.
Thank you for joining us.
LETA HONG FINCHER: Thank you for having me, Renee.
Now let's come back to the United States for this next story, because over the past few years, more than a dozen American airports - big and small - have renovated or added new terminals. The latest in Birmingham, Alabama opens today.
NPR's Russell Lewis reports on why so many airports are sprucing up.
RUSSELL LEWIS, BYLINE: With just hours before the new $200 million terminal was to open, it was a mad dash...
(SOUNDBITE OF DRILLING)
LEWIS: ...as workers drilled signs above the restaurants,
The Chinese solar company Suntech announced yesterday it will shut down its only factory here in the U.S.
As Peter O'Dowd reports from member station KJZZ, recent U.S. tariffs played a role in the plant's failure.
PETER O'DOWD, BYLINE: Suntech had been making solar panels in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear for two years. But in that time, GTM Research analyst Shyam Mehta says the global price of solar panels had fallen by more than 60 percent.
Dunkin' Donuts plans to go green by committing to purchasing all of its palm oil from sustainable sources.
Credit Andrew Huff/via Flickr
This palm oil mill uses energy produced by palm oil waste. It sits in one of the concession areas run by palm oil giant PT SMART (Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology) in Indonesia's West Kalimantan province, on the island of Borneo.
Dunkin' Donuts is changing its recipes — though you may not notice much difference the next time you bite into a cruller. In response to pressure from one of New York's top elected officials, the company recently announced that it will set a goal of using only 100 percent sustainable palm oil in making its donuts.
If the cruise industry is smarting from some recent PR disasters, it's not letting on. Executives are gathered in Florida this week for Cruise Shipping Miami, a big conference. It's been a month since an engine fire on the Carnival Triumph knocked out the ship's power, leaving it stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Cable networks seem to carry every moment of the drama, as the ship and more than 3,000 passengers were towed slowly to port.
He's the richest man you've never heard of: Amancio Ortega, founder of the Spanish clothing chain Zara. He's a notorious recluse who is rumored to wear the same plain shirt every day, but his Zara empire has come to define the concept of fast fashion.
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:37 pm
Google has agreed to pay a $7 million fine to settle claims from 37 states and the District of Columbia that the search giant improperly collected data from unsecured wireless networks across the United States using its "Street View" vehicles.