Business

NPR Story
4:54 am
Wed March 20, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs will go to a pair of private equity firms. Wonder Bread will be sold to snack food maker Flowers Food. The Beefsteak brand of bread will go to a Mexican company.

Shots - Health News
1:09 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Law Says Insurers Should Pay For Breast Pumps, But Which Ones?

Some insurers prefer to pay for manual breast pumps, but some working moms prefer more expensive, electric models.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

Pediatricians and health officials are eager to encourage breast-feeding as one of the best and most economical ways to protect a baby's health.

To that end, the federal Affordable Care Act requires that health insurance plans provide new mothers with equipment and services to help make those feedings easier.

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Economy
1:07 am
Wed March 20, 2013

For Some Ready To Buy, A Good Home Is Hard To Find

Bove gets text alerts of new homes coming on the market.
Lauren Rock for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:30 am

The first day of spring typically signals the high season for open houses and home sales.

The season seems to have arrived early in some places where homebuying is already frenzied, and in many markets, the pendulum has swung from an excess of homes on the market a few years ago to a shortage.

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Financial Basics For Baby Boomers
1:06 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Annuities Explained: The Choices And Red Flags

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 7:32 am

Companies are licking their chops at the prospect of a wave of baby boomers leaving their jobs with trillions of dollars in 401(k)s and other savings accounts, so older Americans may find themselves bombarded with ads for annuities. And younger boomers, too, may be targeted, since many are helping their parents with investment decisions.

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Business
4:21 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Odd Political Bedfellows Agree: Banks Still Too Big To Fail

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., questions Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke during a Senate hearing last month. Senators from both ends of the political spectrum argue that financial reforms are insufficient to protect taxpayers from potential risks posed by large banks.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

Amid Washington's dysfunction, one issue has united some liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans: a common concern that "too big to fail" is alive and well.

Despite the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, these lawmakers believe the nation's largest banks still pose a threat to the economy and that the government will step in to bail them out if they get in trouble.

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The Salt
2:46 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Cash Back on Broccoli: Health Insurers Nudge Shoppers To Be Well

A shopper at a branch of South African retailer Pick n Pay in Johannesburg. Health insurer Discovery offers rebates on health food at the chain to its members who enroll in a health promotion program.
SIPHIWE SIBEKO Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 2:49 pm

At $2.50 a pound, broccoli may seem too expensive. But cut the price by 25 percent, and our thinking about whether we should buy it may change.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that rebates on healthy food purchases lead to significant changes in what people put in their grocery carts.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Supreme Court OKs Discounted Resale Of 'Gray Market' Goods

People stand in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 5:51 pm

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that U.S. companies that make and sell products abroad cannot prevent those items from being resold in the U.S.

The 6-3 decision — likely worth billions, even trillions of dollars — could have repercussions that extend from U.S. trade policy to local yard sales.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Flush With Oil, Abu Dhabi Opens World's Largest Solar Plant

Rows of parabolic mirrors at the Shams 1 plant in Abu Dhabi.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 12:34 pm

Abu Dhabi, the most oil-rich of the United Arab Emirates, is now home to the world's single-largest concentrated solar power plant.

The 100-megawatt Shams 1 plant cost an estimated $750 million and is expected to provide electricity to 20,000 homes, according to the BBC.

Why, you might ask?

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Lululemon Vows To Get To The Bottom Of Its See-Through Pants Problem

Perhaps not the moment when you want "increased sheerness."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:51 am

The buns ... er, puns ... seem endless:

Lululemon, the yoga and running clothier, concedes in a letter to its customers that some of the black "luon women's bottoms" it has been selling since early March aren't quite covering their "guests" the way they should.

As Lululemon puts it, there's been some "increased sheerness."

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Europe
7:38 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Cyprus Proposes Exempting Smaller Deposits From Tax

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Lawmakers in Cyprus are trying to ease rage over a proposed tax on all bank deposits by exempting people who have relatively small accounts. It's part of a bailout plan for that Mediterranean country negotiated with the E.U. and IMF over the weekend, but the compromise on taxes may not be enough for Cyprus' parliament to pass the plan.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Cyprus Lawmakers Reject Unpopular Bailout Plan

A Cypriot woman holds a sign during a protest against an EU bailout deal outside the Parliament in Nicosia on Monday.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:55 pm

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET: Deal Turned Down:

Cyprus lawmakers have rejected the bank tax bill, with zero votes in favor, 36 against and 19 abstentions, after a two-hour debate, The Associated Press and Reuters news agencies report. The bill's rejection throws into doubt the $13 billion international bailout package needed to forestall a default.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Housing Rebound Continues: Starts Rose 0.8 Percent In February

A home under construction in Atlanta late last year. The housing sector is now one of the economy's bright spots.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /LANDOV

Construction was begun on 0.8 percent more homes in February than in January, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say. Their report is another in a series of signs in recent months that the housing sector's rebound continues.

The number of "housing starts" was up 27.7 percent from February 2012.

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Business
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

2 Former CalPERS Officials Inicted For Fraud

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with charges of pension fraud.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: A federal grand jury has indicted the former CEO of the California Public Employees' Retirement System.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has more on the bribery and influence-peddling case.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Let's start with the characters. There's Calpers - or the California Public Employees Retirement Systems. As pensions systems, go you can't get bigger.

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Business
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business today is filial piety.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's the ancient Chinese ethic of young people showing care and respect to their parents and older relatives. Now it's the law in China. Starting this summer, if kids don't pay enough attention to their folks, mom and dad can sue.

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Business
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

E.U. Tax Proposal On Cypriot Bank Deposits Riles Russia

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expressing outrage over a possible new tax in Cyprus. That Mediterranean island is far Moscow but holds billions in Russian money. It's the topic of today's Bottom-line in Business. At the heart of the uproar is a bailout of the banking system in Cyprus. In a first, the European Union is proposing to partly pay for the bailout with a tax on depositors' money.

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Business
2:43 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Visual Effects Firms Miss Out On A Film's Success

Guillaume Rocheron, Bill Westenhofer, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott at the 85th Annual Academy Awards in February. Rhythm & Hues Studios, the company that produced the effects for winning film Life of Pi, recently declared bankruptcy.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 3:20 pm

Hollywood studios are demanding more and more visual effects to make blockbuster films. But the artists who create this movie magic are protesting that they and their entire industry are in deep financial trouble. Even the most celebrated visual-effects companies face the risk of going under, and there are calls to revamp the way they do business.

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All Tech Considered
5:14 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

CEO Of Electronic Arts, World's Third-Largest Gaming Company, Resigns

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello, seen here speaking at the E3 Expo in 2010, is stepping down, the company announced Monday.
Michal Czerwonka Getty Images

Electronic Arts, the world's third-largest video game company, announced Monday that CEO John Riccitiello would be stepping down.

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Business
2:15 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Why The Crisis In Cyprus May End Up Hurting You Too

Cypriots protest an EU bailout deal outside the parliament in Nicosia on Monday. A proposed bailout deal would slap a levy on all Cypriot bank savings.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:28 am

Ask Americans to point out Cyprus, and most would have to spin a globe several times before noticing the small island nation, east of Greece and south of Turkey.

But whether or not you have ever given a thought to the 1.1 million people living there under the warm Mediterranean sun, Cyprus might send a chill up your spine this week.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
2:00 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Does America Need A Strong Dollar Policy?

(From left) John Taylor, Frederic Mishkin, James Grant and Steve Forbes traded arguments during the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 2:34 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

Is a strong U.S. dollar a good thing, or is it overrated as a policy goal?

Some argue that a policy aimed at keeping the dollar strong would hurt U.S. economic growth because it would make American goods and services more expensive, lessening global demand for them. Others say having a weak and unstable unit as the basis of the economy makes commerce harder and creates financial bubbles that then burst disastrously.

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Media
12:21 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

As Consumers Jump Ship, News Outlets Shift Priorities

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:44 pm

Americans are abandoning their long-trusted news outlets in high numbers. According to a Pew Research Center report, 31 percent of Americans say they have deserted a particular news outlet because it no longer provides the information they want.

Planet Money
10:35 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Where The Bank Really Keeps Your Money

People queue to use an ATM outside of a Laiki Bank branch in Larnaca, Cyprus, on Saturday. Many rushed to cooperative banks after learning that the terms of a bailout deal with international lenders includes a one-time levy on bank deposits.
Petros Karadjias AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 8:37 am

Cyprus has about as many residents as the Bronx. All Cypriot banks combined are smaller than the 30th-largest U.S. bank. So why is the country's financial system front-page news today?

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Cyprus Bailout To Hit Depositors, Sends Shivers Through Markets

Take the money and run: An ATM in the Cypriot capital Nicosia on Sunday.
Hasan Mroue AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 4:08 pm

A vote in Cyprus on whether to approve a controversial bailout plan has been postponed after the prospect of the deal caused bank customers to rush to withdraw their savings and drew the ire of overseas depositors.

As NPR's Krishnadev Calamur wrote in a post over the weekend: "The money [is] needed because Cyprus' banks lost 4.5 billion euros on their Greek bond holdings, which were written down last year after Greece's second bailout."

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Business
2:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Court To Sentence AT&T Hacker Andrew Auernheimer

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a hacking sentence.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: This morning, a federal court in New Jersey is scheduled to sentence Andrew for his much-publicized exposure of a security flaw on AT&T's iPad service. That was back in 2010.

As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the sentencing of Andrew Auernheimer will be closely watched by those who believe federal prosecutors have become overly zealous about punishing certain kinds of hackers.

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Business
2:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

If some of your co-workers seem distracted today - well, it's not any old Monday - huh, Steve?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

I'm sorry, Renee. We're you saying something? I was busy filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket here. Our last word in business, as a matter of fact, is about that. It's lost productivity.

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Business
2:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

EU Bailout Tax Sparks Bank Run In Cyprus

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 8:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
1:21 am
Mon March 18, 2013

U.S. Probes Abuse Allegations Under Worker Visa Program

Workers and labor organizers in New York City protest the alleged exploitation of students on J-1 summer work travel visas who worked at a Pennsylvania McDonald's, on Thursday.
Jess Jiang NPR

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:38 am

A group of foreign college students who came to the U.S. on cultural work exchange visas in December have been protesting their working conditions at a McDonald's in Harrisburg, Pa. In the process, they've wading into a debate about guest workers in the U.S.

The students include Jorge Rios, who says three months ago he eagerly did the legwork necessary to get a J-1 visa, used for student work exchange.

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Business
4:21 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Craft Brews Slowly Chipping Away At Big Beer's Dominance

Craft beers for sale in Chicago. Craft beer has about a 6 percent market share in the U.S. beer market, which is dominated by Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:36 am

America loves beer.

In the U.S., we drink $200 billion worth of the hops-brewed libation annually. What many Americans might not know is that most domestic beer, 90 percent in fact, is dominated by just two companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors.

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The Salt
3:55 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Yogurt For Men: A Review

That's pronounced "Man, Go!"
NPR

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:44 am

Last week on Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me, we talked about a new yogurt for men, or brogurt, from a company called Powerful Yogurt. Here's what our panelist, comedian Jessi Klein, had to say about it:

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The Salt
3:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Wine Revolution: As Drinkers And Growers, U.S. Declares Independence

The vineyard at Round Pond Estate in Rutherford, Calif. Napa Valley is just one of wine-growing regions across the country.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 10:46 am

A curious shift has happened in global wine-drinking trends: Americans have overtaken the French and Italians, Europe's traditional lovers of the fruits of the vine, as the world's top wine market.

And it's not just wine drinking that's taken off stateside: U.S. wine production is also on the rise.

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Business
3:39 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Boeing: 787 Dreamliners Could Be Back In Service In Weeks, Not Months

For the first time, Boeing has laid out in detail the changes it plans to make in the Dreamliner 787's lithium ion battery. The company now believes the 787s will be back in service in a "matter of weeks."

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