Business

Business
3:21 am
Mon July 22, 2013

London Bookseller Forgoes Big Profit On J.K. Rowling Book

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 5:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Speaking of pouring a drink, how about raising a glass to this bookseller. Today's last word in business is one generous retailer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We learned last week that J.K. Rowling - of Harry Potter fame - was also the hidden author of the crime novel "The Cuckoo's Calling." She had released it under the nom de plume, Robert Galbraith.

GREENE: After that was revealed, the price of a signed first edition immediately jumped to more than $1,500 on sites like eBay.

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Business
3:21 am
Mon July 22, 2013

GlaxoSmithKline Says Executives May Have Broken Chinese Laws

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 5:30 am

GlaxoSmithKline says that some of its executives appear to have violated Chinese laws. In response, the company is pledging changes in the way it operates — which would bring down the prices of some of its drugs in China. Chinese authorities accuse the company of bribing doctors and officials to boost sales and raise the price of medicines.

The Salt
1:33 am
Mon July 22, 2013

New York Toasts Long-Awaited Revival Of Its Distilleries

Tuthilltown Spirits in New York makes a clear corn whiskey, and the first legal aged whiskey in the state since Prohibition, among other products.
Joel Rose/NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:30 am

A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.

Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.

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All Tech Considered
4:21 am
Sun July 21, 2013

High-End Stores Use Facial Recognition Tools To Spot VIPs

Hey, isn't that ...? New facial recognition software is designed to help store employees recognize celebrities like Mindy Kaling — and other bold-faced names.
Chelsea Lauren Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 1:33 pm

When a young Indian-American woman walked into the funky L.A. jewelry boutique Tarina Tarantino, store manager Lauren Twisselman thought she was just like any other customer. She didn't realize the woman was actress and writer Mindy Kaling.

"I hadn't watched The Office," Twisselman says. Kaling both wrote and appeared in the NBC hit.

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Business
3:34 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

What A Bankrupt Detroit Means For The Auto Industry

Detroit this week became the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy. Host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR business reporter Sonari Glinton about what Detroit's fiscal woes means for the nation's auto industry, which is famously linked to the city.

The Two-Way
7:58 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Helen Thomas, Former Dean Of White House Press, Dies At 92

Helen Thomas reads the newspaper while sitting in her chair in the White House press room in 2006. She died on Saturday at age 92.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 6:51 am

Long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who covered every president from Eisenhower to Obama, has died at age 92, according to The Gridiron Club & Foundation.

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News
2:57 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Detroit Businesses See Opportunity In Bankruptcy

The Detroit skyline gleams from Grand River Ave., a major thoroughfare into some of the city's blighted neighborhoods.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Few Detroiters think the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is great news.

But plenty see it as an opportunity. Many Detroit business owners hope the bankruptcy will mean more stability and certainty, in a city that has had little of either in recent years.

Sandy Baruah, head of the Detroit Regional Chamber, says the bankruptcy filing did not come as a surprise to him, nor should it surprise anybody else.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Billionaire Steven Cohen

Steven A. Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, is interviewed in Las Vegas in 2011.
Steve Marcus Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:52 pm

The SEC on Friday filed civil charges against Steven A. Cohen, the founder of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, accusing the billionaire of failing to prevent insider trading.

The Securities and Exchange Commission in a statement Friday afternoon said:

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Business
2:51 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

New Smartphone Upgrade Plans Can Be Costly In The Long Run

Nearly 60 percent of Americans have smartphones, up from just 8 percent five years ago.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:12 pm

Three of the four major wireless companies are out with new plans for those who want the latest smartphone sooner. The plans, with names like Verizon Edge and AT&T Next, essentially let you rent a phone for six months or a year and then trade it in for a new one — but there's a catch.

"You're paying essentially twice," says Avi Greengart, who is research director for consumer devices at Current Analysis and does some consulting for the industry.

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Business
2:51 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Accused Of Failing To Supervise

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:12 pm

Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen of failing to supervise two of his employees who have been charged with insider trading. Cohen is the founder of SAC Captial Advisors. Audie Cornish speaks with NPR's Chris Arnold.

Planet Money
2:51 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

What Actually Happens At The End Of 'Trading Places'?

Feeling good.
Paramount The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 8:41 am

It's been 30 years since Trading Places came out. And, to be honest, I never really understood what happened at the end of that movie. Sure, Louis Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) and Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) get rich, and the Duke brothers lose all their money. But what actually happens? How does it work?

I recently talked to Tom Peronis, a guy who has spent years trading OJ options. He walked me through every step of Winthorpe and Valentine's plan.

1. Give The Duke Brothers Bad Information

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All Tech Considered
10:30 am
Fri July 19, 2013

The Tech Week That Was: Phone Upgrade Plans And TV's Future

Cord-cutting was among the top tech topics this week.
Pennuja via Flickr

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 11:25 am

So much fascinating tech and culture news, so little time. But we certainly think you should see the journalism that's catching our curiosity each week, so each Friday we'll round up the week that was — the work that appeared in this blog, and from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.

ICYMI

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Economy
10:24 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Can Bankruptcy Boost Broke Detroit?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later we'll head into the barbershop as we do just about every Friday. We'll hear from the guys on why financial planning advice from McDonald's to its employees fell flat and other news of the week, that's later. But first, we turn to Detroit. The city declared bankruptcy yesterday, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in this country's history. It all comes after decades of decline from the city's bloom years as the center of the nation's auto industry.

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The Picture Show
9:33 am
Fri July 19, 2013

How Do You Photograph A City's Bankruptcy?

Kirk Crippens

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:09 pm

Photographer Kirk Crippens says you can't. But that hasn't stopped him from trying. Since 2009, he has been documenting the city of Stockton, Calif., which last year became the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy — until Detroit filed yesterday. Before bankruptcy, Stockton was the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. But before that, Crippens says, it "was an all-American city — Boomtown, USA — housing going up everywhere."

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Economy
9:30 am
Fri July 19, 2013

With Home Prices Soaring, Has Success Spoiled San Francisco?

Real estate agent Katie Hayes (right) answers questions about a home for sale during an open house in San Francisco in May. With the median home price now in excess of $1 million, many longtime residents feel squeezed out.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Joe Kelso and John Winter probably waited too long. The couple has been together for a dozen years but only got serious recently about buying a house in San Francisco.

They saved enough to be able to afford anything under $500,000, but houses at such prices are now few and far between.

This spring, the median home price in San Francisco topped $1 million, up by a third from last year.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Fri July 19, 2013

China Scraps Some Controls On Lending Interest Rates

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:00 am

China's central bank announced that it was removing some controls on the interest rates charged by banks for the loans it issues clients.

Reuters explains that the People's Bank of China said in a statement that it was removing the floor "on lending rates for commercial banks, meaning that banks will now be able to cut rates as much as they see fit to attract borrowers."

Reuters adds:

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Now That Detroit's Filed For Bankruptcy, What Happens Next?

A portion of downtown Detroit along the Detroit river.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:59 am

With its bankruptcy filing Thursday, Detroit became the largest municipality in the United States to seek Chapter 9 protection.

As Scott reported, the city is saddled with $18.5 billion in debt.

Today, we ask, what happens next?

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Around the Nation
3:42 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Detroit Files Nation's Largest-Ever Municipal Bankruptcy

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

Detroit has become the biggest American city ever to file for bankruptcy, seeking Chapter 9 protection from creditors and unions owed some $18.5 billion in debt and liabilities. What's ahead for debt-ridden Detroit? Quinn Klinefelter WDET.

Business
3:12 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Federal Judge Green Lights Suit Against Private Equity Firms

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

The investor lawsuit claims the companies, including Blackstone, Carlyle and Bain Capital, colluded to drive down prices on hundreds of billions of dollars in takeovers.

Business
3:12 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Moody's Investors Service Upgrades U.S. Debt

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:45 am

Moody's lifted the rating from "negative" to "stable" and affirmed the country's AAA rating. In a statement, it said the U.S. economy has demonstrated resilience in the face of major cuts to government spending. The country is on track to report its lowest annual deficit in five years.

Business
3:12 am
Fri July 19, 2013

In Dubai, Weight Loss Is Worth Gold

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 5:06 am

If you want people to slim down, why not reward them with gold? That's the tack being taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For every kilogram lost, the government will pay out a gram of gold.

U.S.
2:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Pa. City Tries Wild West Auction To Rope In Cash

A Harrisburg Wild West artifact sits inside of a warehouse building owned by the city, seen here in 2011.
Craig Layne WITF

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:43 am

Leaders in Harrisburg, Pa., hope the legends of the Wild West will ride to the rescue of the cash-strapped state capital. Thanks to a former mayor's eccentric, failed museum project, the city has an extensive collection of Wild West artifacts — some said to have ties to people like Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and Buffalo Bill.

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Europe
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Investigators Take Action Following Heathrow Fire

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Nearly one week ago, a fire erupted inside a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at London's Heathrow Airport. Thursday, the British Air Investigation Branch issued a bulletin urging the deactivation of an emergency transmitter on all 787s. The British investigators stopped just short of blaming the Emergency Locator Transmitter for the fire. But they did recommend that the Federal Aviation Administration order the deactivation of beacons on 787s under FAA authority. Melissa Block talks with NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

All Tech Considered
10:36 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Tech Companies Issue Loud Call For Surveillance Transparency

A Ukrainian activist protests the NSA Internet surveillance program.
Sergei Supinsky Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 10:44 am

Apple, Google, Microsoft and a broad coalition of major tech companies are making a loud call for greater government disclosure of digital communications monitoring.

In a letter out today, an alliance of 63 companies and groups are calling for dramatically increased transparency around U.S. government surveillance efforts. This comes as the companies — and individual Americans — continue to grapple with recent revelations of a sweeping surveillance program led by the National Security Agency.

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Economy
6:29 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Part-Time Workers Say Schedules Are Getting More Erratic

Part-time jobs have been proliferating this year as employers hold back on hiring.
iStockphoto.com

In the 1980s, a popular fast-food commercial touted chicken-breast sandwiches — and mocked chicken nuggets sold by competitors.

In the ad, a competitor's doofus clerk explains nuggets. "All the parts are crammed into one big part," he said. "And parts is parts."

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Business
3:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Game Over For NCAA And Electronic Arts

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, for financial analysts, the Fed chairman's voice is certainly a familiar one. For sports nuts, football fans, video game players, there's this voice.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: EA Sports. It's in the game.

GREENE: But that stamp might not be part of one game for much longer.

The NCAA announced Wednesday it is not renewing their contract with EA or Electronic Arts, the maker of the hugely popular college football video game series.

Here's NPR's Nathan Rott.

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Business
3:20 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Wall Street Poised For Bernanke's Senate Panel Testimony

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues his two-day monetary policy testimony on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, the chairman appeared before the House Financial Services Committee.

Business
3:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Nike Apologizes For Carolina Mix-Up

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

OK. Let's stick with the sports theme. Nike put out a new T-shirt for fans of North Carolina's pro-football team, the Carolina Panthers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

But there was a bit of a problem, which brings us to our last word in business: A map mishap.

MONTAGNE: The shirt design featured the Panthers logo with the letters NC - all framed by the outline of that other Carolina, South Carolina.

GREENE: Nike has apologized for this error and pulled the remaining shirts.

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Business
3:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Intel's Earnings Are Down For 4th Straight Quarter

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 8:29 am

The computer chip maker is facing a tough reality with its latest earnings report. Intel's second quarter profit was down 29 percent compared to last year. One reason is that more and more consumers and businesses are switching from traditional computers to smart phones and tablets.

Television
3:07 am
Thu July 18, 2013

'House of Cards' Picks Up 9 Emmy Nominations

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 8:55 am

The Netflix series is the first digitally distributed show to get nominated for a major category. For best drama, "House of Cards" joins nominees "Homeland," "Game of Thrones," "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey" and "Mad Men." Jon Weisman of Variety talks about the nominations, announced Thursday.

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