Business

Your Money
4:46 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Will You Be Chained To A Smaller Check In Retirement?

Opponents of President Obama's expected proposed changes to Social Security rallied at the White House on Tuesday. Among them were lawmakers like Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan.
J. David Ake AP

When President Obama on Wednesday unveils his blueprint for the government's 2014 budget, he'll offer lots of ideas for changes in taxes and spending.

But the proposal likely to grab the most attention will be the one dealing with cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients. Many economists would applaud a change in the way Social Security officials measure inflation, but many older Americans may hiss, fearing a new formula will cut their benefits.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Bitcoin Surpasses $200 Mark, Continuing 'Epic' Rise

A chart shows the sharp rise of bitcoin against the U.S. dollar in the past five days. Only two months after exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20, it surpassed $200 Tuesday.
Bitcoin Charts

Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt.Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be "epic."

Bitcoin's rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20.

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All Tech Considered
3:34 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Austin Is Latest Testbed For Google's High-Speed Experiment

Matthew Marcus works at his desk in the basement of Kansas City Startup Village in Kansas City, Kan., in January. The village houses several startup companies and takes advantage of the high-speed Internet. Google announced on Tuesday it would be installing its Google Fiber network in Austin, Texas, next.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 5:34 pm

Google announced Tuesday that its Google Fiber project would be hitting Austin, Texas, next. The company says Austin, famous for its South by Southwest festival, is a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities."

Google Fiber is the tech giant's blazing fast Internet service, with current rates at 1 Gpbs, about 100 times faster than your typical cable broadband Internet service. It debuted in Kansas City in 2012.

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Business
3:34 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

After Missteps, Does J.C. Penney Stand Another Chance?

After an unsuccessful face-lift attempt by Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney will be led by former CEO Myron Ullman. Some analysts say this might be it for the retailer; others say it must "embrace" its customers to recuperate.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 5:34 pm

A year and a half ago, J.C. Penney's then-brand new CEO Ron Johnson undertook what was supposed to be a transformation of the 110-year-old department store. Yesterday, the retailer cut his tenure short.

J.C. Penney lost nearly $1 billion last year as customer traffic dropped off.

Now, it's bringing back former Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman to try to stanch the bleeding.

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Environment
2:38 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Keystone XL Pipeline Could Be Huge Boon For Canada

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 5:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Technology
2:38 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Kansas City Slow To Connect With Google's Super Fast Internet

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 5:34 pm

Google has already rolled out an experimental broadband network in parts of Kansas City.

The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

KPMG Partner May Have Traded Inside Information

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 1:20 pm

KPMG has withdrawn as auditor of Herbalife and Skechers USA after the accounting firm revealed that one of its partners may have sold inside information on the companies to a third-party stock trader.

Nutrient-supplement seller Herbalife briefly halted activity in its shares after the revelation, only reopening trading Tuesday afternoon. The company's stock was down 21 cents at $38.18 Tuesday. The broader market was mixed.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
10:31 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Should We Abolish The Minimum Wage?

Jared Bernstein and Karen Kornbluh, who argued for keeping the minimum wage, celebrate their win in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Adelaide Mandeville Intelligence Squared U.S.
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

In the 75 years since it was introduced, Americans have been arguing over the minimum wage.

Some say government intervention to artificially raise wages lowers demand for workers and interferes with economic freedom — preventing people who would be willing to work for less from getting jobs at all. They argue that the minimum wage especially hurts teenagers and young adults with few or no skills.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Tue April 9, 2013

New Data Show Ford Doing Well In Overseas Markets

A Ford Focus ST was on display at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 11:27 am

Which Japanese-manufactured car is the world's most popular vehicle? Maybe none of them. It might just be the Ford Focus.

More than a million Focus models were sold worldwide last year, with Toyota's Corolla coming in second. Next was Ford's top-selling F-Series pickup, sold almost exclusively in the U.S. and Canada, according to the marketing firm R.L. Polk.

Still, there's one caveat. As The Wall Street Journal points out:

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Politics
9:49 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Social Security Will 'Lose Credibility' If We Do Nothing

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 10:26 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Louisville Cardinals capped off a dramatic journey through March Madness to take the NCAA men's crown last night. We'll look back on the men's college basketball tournament. We'll look ahead to the women's final. That conversation is just ahead.

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Business
3:18 am
Tue April 9, 2013

BP Begins Its Defense Of 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In a courtroom in New Orleans, the oil giant BP has begun presenting its defense in a case connected to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Plaintiffs include individuals and businesses hurt by the spill, as well as and state and federal governments. And they've argued BP was grossly negligent in drilling the deep water well.

But now it's BP's turn. The company argues that contractors who helped it drill should share the blame for the accident, which killed 11 workers and spilled more than four million barrels of oil.

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Business
2:34 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Mexico's Magnificent Mangoes

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. If you happen to be listening to this program while having a mango for breakfast, there is a good chance that mango is grown in Mexico. Our neighbor to the south says it is now the world's largest exporter of fresh mangos.

India still reigns king in exports of mango products, but as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, Mexican mangos are now grown at an astonishing rate and the American market is the main target.

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Economy
2:34 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Margaret Thatcher's Economy

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. Steve Inskeep is in Venezuela, reporting this week on that country's presidential election, and he'll be on the program tomorrow. I'm David Greene.

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Business
2:34 am
Tue April 9, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: Money may not buy you everything.

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NPR Story
2:29 am
Tue April 9, 2013

J.C. Penney CEO Johnson Is Forced Out

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with J.C. Penney's revolving door.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: J.C. Penney has ousted its high-profile CEO, Ron Johnson. The retailer recruited Johnson from Apple, to revitalize the company. But since his arrival less than 18 months ago, things at J.C. Penney have only gotten worse.

Here's NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

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Research News
12:56 am
Tue April 9, 2013

To Find Insider Trading, Follow The Kids' Money

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:14 am

In New York and Washington, government regulators are cracking down on insider trading, the illegal practice in which people with internal information about important company events make stock market trades before ordinary investors find out what's happening.

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Reporter's Notebook
4:15 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Iowa Town Braces For New Reality In Factory Closure's Wake

Main Street in Webster City, Iowa, has so far survived the 2011 closure of an Electrolux factory. But retraining funds and unemployment are running out for former workers, leaving businesses worried that a serious downturn is ahead.
Andrea Hsu NPR

What becomes of a city of 8,000 people when its main employer leaves town? What does it look like, and what does it feel like? I set out to answer those questions on a trip to Webster City, Iowa, last month, as part of my report on the Swedish appliance maker Electrolux.

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Business
3:59 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

One Manufacturing Giant Creates Winners And Losers

Electrolux's new plant in Memphis, Tenn., is the Swedish appliance company's most modern and high-tech facility. The factory will open this summer while an Electrolux plant in Quebec, Canada, is being shuttered.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 7:59 pm

The United States lost close to 6 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2009. Now, slowly, some of those jobs are coming back. Over the past three years, the U.S. economy has gained a half-million manufacturing jobs.

But even with the manufacturing recovery, there are both winners and losers — and sometimes they're created by the same company.

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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Climate Change Could Equal Teeth-Rattling Flights

Fly the bumpier skies?
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:23 pm

Buckle up — climate change could make this a bumpy flight.

That's according to a newly published study by two British scientists who say increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will make "clear air turbulence" — which can't be easily spotted by pilots or satellites — more common over the North Atlantic. That means the potential for gut-wrenching flights between the U.S., Europe and points east.

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Author Interviews
12:12 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

The 'Alchemists' Who Control The Purse Strings Of The Economy

Cover of The Alchemists

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 1:03 pm

As the U.S. economy struggles to recover from the financial crash, and Europe is buffeted by a series of banking crises, attention has focused on the presidents and prime ministers who've tried to cope with it all. Journalist Neil Irwin, an economics writer for The Washington Post, says there's an elite group of policymakers who can make enormously important decisions on their own, often deliberating in secret, and in many ways unaccountable to voters.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Complaints Soar, But Airlines' Quality Rating Stays High

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:07 am

In what would seem to be a contradiction, a respected study says that the quality of service provided by U.S. airlines remained near an all-time high last year even as passengers' complaints soared 22 percent.

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Race
9:54 am
Mon April 8, 2013

From Dishwashers To Head Chefs

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we'll hear the latest installment in our tweet poetry series, Muses and Metaphor, but first, we'd like to talk about an effort to add some flavor to the top ranks of restaurant kitchens in America's spiciest city.

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Business
5:31 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Target Apologizes For Poor Choice Of Words

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Target has apologized for a poor choice of words. Susan Clemens was looking at a gray dress on the company's website, when she noticed how the color was described. Regular sizes were dark heather gray. Plus sizes - in the exact, same color - became manatee gray.

Manatees are walrus-like animals. They're also known as sea cows. Clemens tweeted her disgust, and it went viral. The company says from now on, they're just going to go with gray.

Business
4:26 am
Mon April 8, 2013

South Sudan Resumes Oil Production

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

After a 15-month hiatus, the world's newest nation is pumping oil again. It's a key step toward mending relations with Sudan, its former civil war foe. And it's a crucial step if South Sudan is to avoid economic collapse.

Business
3:01 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Earlier this year, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded after overheating issues caused by its batteries led to electrical failures in two separate incidents. Boeing is analyzing flight data and submitting materials to the Federal Aviation Administration.

NPR Story
2:48 am
Mon April 8, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

Lilly Pulitzer married into the famous Pulitzer media family but her own fame came from her line of screaming pink, lime and fluorescent yellow shift dresses.

The Salt
1:20 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Vermont Finds High-Tech Ways To Sap More Money From Maple Trees

John Silloway fixes maple sap lines in Randolph, Vt., in February 2011.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:35 pm

In Vermont, maple syrup is growing jobs and allowing farmers to make a profit.

When most people imagine maple syrup production, they think of buckets hanging from trees collecting sap. But these days, most of that sap is collected by pipeline and vacuum pumps.

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Business
1:19 am
Mon April 8, 2013

What Drives Us? Car Sharing Reflects Cultural Shift

Car2Go vehicles lined up in Washington, D.C., as the company prepared to launch service there last year. The car sharing service is also in Europe and other American cities, including Seattle; Austin, Texas; Miami; and Portland, Ore.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:09 am

As car sharing continues to gain traction among American drivers, Car2Go is one company benefiting from the changing way we use cars.

Seattleite David Stewart doesn't own a car. Instead, the managing partner of a small social media company relies on Car2Go for getting around.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Broadcasters Struggle To Tap Into The 'Zero TV' Crowd

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 6:39 am

Broadcasters will convene this week in Las Vegas to discuss how to win back the "Zero TV Crowd": a rapidly growing demographic of people who don't subscribe to cable or satellite TV services.

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Business
4:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

What Does Amazon's Purchase Of Goodreads Mean For Book Industry?

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Late last week, Amazon, which features reader reviews on its sales website, announced that it's buying Goodreads, a hugely popular reader review site. Now, the announcement jarred a lot of Goodreads fans and upset lots of reader-reviewers and authors too. Greg Bensinger has been covering the story for the Wall Street Journal. He joins us from KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.

GREG BENSINGER: My pleasure, hello.

SIMON: Why did Amazon want to inhale Goodreads so much?

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