Business

Parallels
12:03 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

China's 'Shadow Banking' And How It Threatens The Economy

A woman walks past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, in Beijing.
Jason Lee Reuters/Landov

Last week was a wild one for China's economy.

Interest rates on the loans that banks make to one another soared to alarming levels, and lending began to freeze up. Shanghai stocks nose-dived, taking Asian markets and the Dow, briefly, with them.

Things have calmed down, but the crisis showed how China's new leaders are trying to confront threats to the health of the world's second-largest economy.

Many here see it as the first shot in a long battle to reform a once-successful economic model that is now running out of gas.

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Africa
10:41 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Can Africa Manage Its Own Growth?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
10:19 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Feds Bust Drug Websites Masquerading As Big-Name Chains

Federal authorities seized a bunch of websites belonging to online pharmacies that were allegedly breaking the law.
FDA

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 2:55 pm

If you're looking for a deal on prescription drugs or tired of standing in line at the drugstore counter, maybe you'd be inclined to try an online pharmacy.

Perhaps you'd feel better about that choice if the site carried the name of a well-known chain, say, www.walgreen-store.com or www.c-v-s-pharmacy.com.

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Who Are These 'Bankers' Ecuador Keeps Referencing?

Ecuador is considering an asylum request from Edward Snowden, who reportedly is still holed up at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 11:38 am

If you've paid attention to the case of Edward Snowden, you might have heard Ecuadorean officials refer to some bankers the U.S. is refusing to hand over.

Ecuador, of course, is considering an asylum request from the NSA leaker. The U.S. is pressuring them to abide by an extradition request, while Ecuador is taunting the giant.

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Business
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Anyone who's seen a North Carolina license plate knows the state proudly claims itself as the site of the first airplane flight. But this week, Connecticut said not so fast. The state passed a law declaring it was home to the first flight.

Business
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with new charges against China.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The United States charged a Chinese wind turbine maker, yesterday, with stealing trade secrets from a U.S. company. The Department of Justice says China's Sinovel stole more than $800 million worth of intellectual property from U.S. company AMSC.

AMSC is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Politics
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Agencies Continue To Identify Fallout From Sequestration

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Well, now that summer is officially here, we thought this might be a good time to check in with some of our colleagues to find out how the federal budget cuts known as sequestration are playing out. These cuts went into effect in the spring, and it is becoming clear that some federal agencies and programs are feeling the brunt, while others have largely escaped.

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Business
3:37 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Feds Sue Jon Corzine Over MF Global Collapse

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Federal regulators have filed civil charges against former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in connection with the failure of his commodities firm, MF Global. The government says Corzine failed to stop the firm from dipping into customer funds during a financial crisis in October 2011.

Business
3:35 am
Fri June 28, 2013

China's Leaders Beginning To Confront Its Economic Problems

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And last week was a wild one for China's economy. First, interest rates on the loans that banks give each other spiked. As the banks struggled to get money, stock markets dropped - not only in China - but throughout Asia - and briefly in New York.

Things have calmed down since then. But the crisis showed how China's new leaders are just beginning to confront some fundamental problems in the world's second largest economy.

We're going to NPR's Frank Langfitt in Shanghai to tell us what they're doing.

And good morning.

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Planet Money
1:46 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Economists Have A One-Page Solution To Climate Change

CX Matiash AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 8:45 am

Climate change seems like this complicated problem with a million pieces. But Henry Jacoby, an economist at MIT's business school, says there's really just one thing you need to do to solve the problem: Tax carbon emissions.

"If you let the economists write the legislation," Jacoby says, "it could be quite simple." He says he could fit the whole bill on one page.

Basically, Jacoby would tax fossil fuels in proportion to the amount of carbon they release. That would make coal, oil and natural gas more expensive. That's it; that's the whole plan.

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Education
1:44 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Student Loan Rates Set To Double On July 1

The interest rate on new Stafford loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:00 pm

The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.

Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. Lawmakers say a deal is still possible after the July 4 recess. But if they don't agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill when they start paying the money back.

It has been one of the more heated debates in Washington this year.

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Economy
1:43 am
Fri June 28, 2013

In Phoenix, 'Zombie' Subdivisions Rise From The Dead

Workers frame a home in Gilbert, Ariz., near Phoenix, in July 2012. Developers are buying up half-built and vacated subdivisions amid renewed demand for housing.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 8:57 am

Developers in Phoenix are scrambling to keep up with another frenzied demand for housing. During the Great Recession, homebuilders in the suburbs abandoned neighborhoods that were only half-built. These so-called zombie subdivisions left a ring of unfinished construction around the city.

But now, the zombies are waking up.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Regulators File Charges Against Corzine Over MF Global Debacle

Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.

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The Salt
3:10 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

What The Rise Of Cage-Free Eggs Means For Chickens

Cage-free chickens in Harold Sensenig's barn near Hershey, Pa., get to roam and perch on steel rods, but they don't go outside.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 7:32 pm

The typical life of an egg-laying chicken is beginning to change dramatically.

Ninety percent of the eggs we eat come from chickens that live in long lines of wire cages, about eight birds to a cage. Animal welfare groups have long been campaigning against these cages.

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Planet Money
3:07 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Kid Rock Takes On The Scalpers

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:46 pm

Kid Rock is tired of scalpers taking tickets away from his biggest fans.

One way to stop that: Raise ticket prices. If Kid Rock charged more for his tickets, scalpers wouldn't be able to sell them at such a big markup.

But Kid Rock doesn't want to raise prices.

"I don't want to break you by coming to see me, " he says. "I want to make as much money as I can, but I don't need to drive around in a tinted down Rolls-Royce or Maybach and hide from people because I felt like I ripped them off."

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Around the Nation
2:59 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Farmers Twisting In The Wind Without New Farm Bill

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Farmers work at the mercy of three forces that are largely outside their control: weather, markets, and government. The weather has been good in many parts of the country and the markets are up. But government remains the wild card. Congress failed to pass the Farm Bill, the huge package of legislation that lays out years of food policy. And that leaves farmers in limbo.

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Law
2:59 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Former N.J. Governor Corzine Faces Federal Civil Charges

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:44 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

He was a governor, a senator and a Wall Street success story. Now, Jon Corzine faces federal civil charges. Regulators filed them today in connection with the collapse of Corzine's commodities firm, MF Global. The government says he failed to stop the firm from misusing customer funds during the financial crisis in October 2011.

NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us more.

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Parallels
2:45 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

In Symbolic Move, U.S. Cuts Trade Privileges For Bangladesh

Garment factory workers come out from a building during a lunch break in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in June. Many Bangladeshi garment factories are considered to be poorly constructed.
A.M. Ahad AP

The U.S. suspended some trade benefits to Bangladesh on Thursday, citing unsafe working conditions. But in the near term it appears unlikely to have a major impact on the country's crucial garment industry.

Here's why: Bangladesh was suspended from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, so U.S. duties will rise on a range of items from tobacco to plastic. But this program doesn't cover garments — Bangladesh's main export to America.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

What You Suggested For Our Tech Blog Reboot

An old innovation: the printing press.
Flickr: Mattack

In case you missed it Monday, we're rebooting our technology blog to focus on the intersection of innovation and culture. The updated approach both widens our view of technology — for example, two-ply toilet paper was innovative at one point — and sharpens our gaze. You won't find general tech business news in this space anymore.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Thu June 27, 2013

U.S. Businessman Trapped By Chinese Workers Is Freed

American Chip Starnes, co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, spoke to the media Tuesday from a window at a factory on the outskirts of Beijing.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:49 pm

American businessman Chip Starnes finally left his factory in China on Thursday after he and a union negotiator worked out severance payments for Chinese employees.

Starnes had been stuck inside his medical supply parts factory since last Friday. That's when workers, fearing they were all going to be laid off and that the company wasn't going to compensate them fairly, blocked all of the exits out of the plant. Starnes couldn't get out.

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The Salt
11:07 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Moonshine As Moneymaker? Eastern Tennessee Will Drink To That

Ole Smoky has helped revitalize the local economy in Gatlinburg, Tenn. The distillery sources its corn, jars and other packaging locally, and employs more than 150 people.
Van Gallik Courtesy of Ole Smoky

Moonshine is trendy these days, with distillers large and small throughout the country offering up their own variety. But in eastern Tennessee, locals will tell you they've got the real "white lightning." Everyone seems to boast a family connection, and everyone has his or her own recipe.

"It's a local point of pride, a big part of eastern Tennessee family tradition," says Robert Cremins, a college student from Knoxville. Many in the region identify themselves with moonshine, Cremins tells The Salt. "I grew up hearing stories about moonshine."

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Shots - Health News
7:24 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Test-Driving The Obamacare Software

Hit return for health coverage.
iStockphoto.com

All the outreach in the world won't count for much if the Obamacare ticket counter doesn't work.

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The Salt
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Coffee Futures: The Highs And Lows Of A Cup Of Joe

Want to invest in coffee futures? One roaster says when it comes to the price of coffee, it "is like a roller coaster."
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:49 am

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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Business
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Delta Airlines Fined For The Way It Bumps Passengers

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Bumped.

Yesterday, we told you about Delta Airlines CEO Richard Anderson. He gave up his seat on a flight to a woman desperately trying to get to Atlanta to pick up her daughter.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:49 am

New York City became the most populous place in the United States to require businesses to give employees paid sick leave. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had previously vetoed this requirement, but has now been overruled by the City Council.

Business
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Racial Slur Puts Paula Deen's Empire At Risk

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:15 am

The world's largest retailer Wal-Mart is joining the list of companies severing ties with southern food star Paula Deen. The Savannah, Georgia-based cook and restaurateur has been on the front burner since an admission she used a racial slur in the past.

Business
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

$99 Game Console Ouya Aims To Take Down Barriers To Fans

The Ouya game console and controller. Games are sold through something like an app store, allowing customers to sample them before buying.
Courtesy of Ouya

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:37 am

Sony and Microsoft are preparing to launch their latest gaming consoles this fall with price tags from $400 for the PlayStation 4 and $500 for the Xbox One. But this week, a $99 game console went on sale and sold out at Target and Amazon.

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Business
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Walgreens Cashes In On Department Stores' Pain

Customers check out at the new flagship Walgreens in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown.
Brenda Salinas NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 11:21 am

At the turn of the 20th century, drugstores were little more than a pharmacist and a soda fountain. If you wanted to go shopping, you went to a department store.

Now, that trend is reversing. Department stores are suffering and drugstores are booming.

So much so that Walgreens — one of the industry's leaders — is experimenting with expanding its goods and services.

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The Two-Way
10:03 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

As People Head Into Space, PayPal Says It Will Follow Them

No Free Doughnuts, Even In Space: PayPal is announcing a project with SETI, aiming to solve issues around taking regular people — and commerce — into space. Here, an artist's rendering of a space hotel, from the Space Tourism Society.
John Spencer Space Tourism Society

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:48 am

Many people know how to buy things in cyberspace. But what about doing business in outer space? That's the question PayPal says it wants to answer. Citing the looming era of space tourism, the company is creating the PayPal Galactic project along with the SETI Institute, "to help make universal space payments a reality."

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The Salt
12:59 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Rosie The Robot Won't Serve Your Food, But She'll Pick It

A lettuce thinner manufactured by Ramsay Highlander removes excess seedlings from the field so that others have room to grow. Just one worker is required to operate the machine.
Rachel Estabrook

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 1:59 pm

From manufacturing to cupcake sales, companies are finding that machines can often do the job just as well, or better, than humans. But some tasks – like picking and tending to fruit and vegetable crops – have remained the territory of low-wage laborers.

But labor-starved growers are now eying machines with increasing interest.

Some 90 percent of the strawberries and 80 percent of the salad greens grown in the U.S. come from California. These crops and a lot of others have always been picked by hand because they don't ripen all at once and can bruise easily.

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