Business

Business
8:31 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Economists To G-8: Want Growth? Try This

A 2013 Accord is ready to come off the line at the Honda automobile plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 2012. Accords built at the 4,400-employee plant are shipped to South Korea — an example of the importance of trade to manufacturing jobs.
Paul Vernon Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:13 am

If economists were cheerleaders, their favorite shout-out might be: "What do we want? Growth! When do we want it? Now!"

They won't actually shout those words, but they may be thinking them as global leaders meet this week for a G-8 summit. Economists are hoping that at the gathering in Northern Ireland, leaders of eight major economies will discuss expanding global trade and investment to spur job creation.

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Business
3:26 am
Mon June 17, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:13 am

Boring TV is such a hit in the Scandinavian nation of Norway that broadcasters are scrambling to produce even more shows to satisfy the appetites of viewers. One idea being considered is a live show with knitting experts, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Economy
3:26 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Long-Term Interest Rates Start Moving Higher

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, Scott just made clear economic issues have some competition for top billing at the G 8 Summit in Northern Ireland. We do, though, want to drill down into one economic question this morning, and that's why interest rates here at home are going up. The bond market has pushed them to the highest levels in 15 months, and that includes mortgage rates.

Let's turn, as we often do, to David Wessel. He's economics editor of The Wall Street Journal. David, good morning.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning.

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Health Care
3:26 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Smartphones Help Bridge Gaps In Electronic Medical Records

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's look now at another change in health care, and this one has to do with paperwork. Hospitals and clinics are slowly replacing paper files with sophisticated electronic health records. But with a variety of systems in use, they often can't easily share medical information with each other, and this can be a pretty serious problem in the case of an emergency.

As Elizabeth Stawicki reports, smartphones might be one way to bridge this electronic gap.

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Business
3:26 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Lowe's Looks To Acquire Hardware Stores

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an acquisition for Lowe's.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The home-improvement retailer Lowe's has reportedly agreed to buy Orchard Supply Hardware Stores. The sale price is expected to top $200 million. Now, Orchard is a California-based hardware and garden chain. It was once owned by Sears, and it's now about $230 million in debt.

Economy
3:26 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Poor Economy Encourages Scientists To Leave Spain

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

More than 40,000 scientists in Spain have signed a petition calling on the government to end cuts to their budget. They're blaming austerity for an exodus of the country's best and brightest researchers.

Lauren Frayer has more from Madrid.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Spanish spoken)

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: Hundreds of lab-coated scientists delivered their petition to Spain's Economy Ministry. They marched there last week because the Science Ministry, itself, was closed in budget cuts.

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U.S.
12:56 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Visa Exchange Program Draws Scrutiny Under Immigration Bill

Australian counselors at the French Woods camp in upstate New York celebrate their culture on July 4, 2012. All of French Woods' foreign employees work in the United States through the J-1 visa program.
Courtesy of French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:33 am

Landing a job at a summer camp or at an amusement park is a rite of passage for many young Americans. Those jobs also appeal to foreigners participating in a cultural exchange using J-1 visas. But with U.S. youth unemployment at 25 percent, Congress is now taking a close look at the J-1 visa exchange program.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Sun June 16, 2013

World's Shortest Business Brief: The Smoffice

The World's Smallest Office competition is over. But will the Smoffice create jobs?

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Google's 'Looney' Internet Balloons Invade New Zealand

A Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand, on Monday.
Jon Shenk AP

Google has launched — quite literally — a new idea to bring the Internet to some of the world's remotest places.

The tech giant's engineering hothouse, Google X, is testing the use of 12-mile-high helium balloons to get coverage in areas where it's impractical to put in conventional infrastructure.

Google said Saturday that it has 30 of the balloons, or "high-altitude platforms" (HAPS), flying over New Zealand as part of something called Project Loon. They will hover at about twice the altitude of a passenger jet.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Facebook, Microsoft Reveal Requests For User Data

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests from government agencies during the last six months of 2012.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 12:08 pm

Facebook and Microsoft Corp. say the government has given them permission to reveal orders they've received to hand over user data, but that they are still prevented from giving anything other than very broad figures.

Facebook says it received 9,000 to 10,000 requests during the last six months of 2012, while Microsoft says it got 6,000 to 7,000 requests, affecting as many as 32,000 accounts.

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The Record
3:28 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters' Group Calls It A 'Stunt'

Blake Morgan's songs were played some 28,000 times over a 90-day period on Pandora, earning $1.62 in royalties.
Jim Herrington Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 2:40 pm

This week, the Internet radio broadcaster Pandora made what seems like a backward move — technologically speaking. Pandora purchased a local radio station in Rapid City, S.D. The company says it's aiming to get the more favorable royalty rates given to terrestrial broadcasters, but the move has songwriters and composers up in arms.

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It's All Politics
3:24 am
Sat June 15, 2013

How Rock 'N' Roll Can Explain The U.S. Economy

Bruce Springsteen performs during halftime of the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., in 2009. In music, and increasingly in other industries, a relative handful of top performers take more and more of the spoils, says White House chief economist Alan Krueger.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 6:10 pm

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger took some ribbing from his boss this week. President Obama noted that Krueger will soon be leaving Washington to go back to his old job, teaching economics at Princeton.

"And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his: 'Rockanomics,' the economics of rock and roll," the president said. "This is something that Alan actually cares about."

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Planet Money
1:15 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

When People Make Their Own Banks

Harlem funeral directors Tamara Bullock and Patricia Hamilton are going to spend their next savings-club payout on a sky-diving trip (unless Bullock can get out of it).
Marianne McCune NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:12 pm

Miguelo Rada doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd have extra cash. He just spent 32 years in prison, he lives in a halfway house in West Harlem, and his current income comes only from public assistance.

He uses food stamps for food, wears hand-me-down clothes and buys almost nothing. He is also an unofficial bank.

"If somebody asks me, 'Can I borrow $20?' If I have it I'll say, 'Here!' " he says.

This kind of borrowing is one way people do what economists call "consumption smoothing" – basically making spending more regular, even when income is not.

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The Salt
11:24 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Nudging Detroit: Program Doubles Food Stamp Bucks In Grocery Stores

A customer in the produce section at Metro Foodland, one of the Detroit grocery stores participating in a healthy food incentive program for people with SNAP benefits. The store will add a section of specially marked local produce as part of the program.
Courtesy of the Fair Food Network

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:35 pm

In recent years, programs that double the value of food stamp dollars spent at farmers markets have generated a lot of attention. The basic idea: Spend, say, $10 in food stamps and get an extra $10 credit for purchases at the market.

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Around the Nation
3:22 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Detroit's Emergency Manager Meets With Creditors

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:49 am

Kevyn Orr will ask unions, retirees and banks to take big losses on debt the city just can't afford to pay. But Orr is walking a fine line trying to convince those parties to accept a bankruptcy-style settlement, without actually going to bankruptcy court — at least, not yet.

Business
3:22 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Bidding War Breaks Out For 2 Boston Parking Spaces

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 5:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And that brings us to our last word in business, which is luxury pavement.

In Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, real estate is expensive, and space is tight.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And so it was that a bidding war broke out there yesterday. According to the Boston Globe, the price for the item in question started at $42,000.

MONTAGNE: And was bid up to a final price $560,000 - which got the winners two parking spots on crumbling asphalt in an alleyway.

Business
3:22 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a man, a plan, a canal.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Not Panama this time. This canal is in Nicaragua. Yesterday, the Nicaraguan congress granted a Chinese tycoon the exclusive right to develop a multi-billion dollar rival to the Panama Canal. The bill grants the investor 50 years of control over the potential shipping route - pending a study of its viability. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Planet Money
1:19 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Why More People Are Renting Tires

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 11:44 am

"Oh, I checked every place in town, and they were outrageous," says Shannon Kelly. "It would be anywhere from $4[00] to $500, and I just don't have that right now."

Kelly had just walked into Rent N Roll, a rent-to-own tire store in Ocala, Fla. She was looking to rent a set of tires for her truck. Tire rental stores like this one have been around for a while, but until recently, most of their customers rented fancy rims. These days, it's becoming more common for the stores to rent simple tires to people who don't have the cash to buy tires outright.

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Middle East
1:18 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Can Captain Sunshine Save The Israeli Electric Car Dream?

American-Israeli solar entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, aka Captain Sunshine, speaks during a rally of electric car owners in Israel.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 6:19 am

Captain Sunshine wears a yellow yarmulke, yellow T-shirt and a bright-yellow cape held around his shoulders with a silky red ribbon. At a recent rally of about 200 electric-car owners in Israel, he called out questions to the crowd.

"We're saying to the government and to the army," he shouted through a squawky mic, "20 percent of your fleets should be electric cars. Do you agree?"

The crowd cheered yes.

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All Tech Considered
3:28 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Under The Radar: Some Pilots Of Small Drones Skirt FAA Rules

Pablo Lema shows off his quadcopter.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 9:17 am

Unmanned drones aren't just a tool for governments anymore. By as early as this year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects to propose regulations opening up the use of small, unmanned airborne vehicles — or drones — for commercial use.

Tens of thousands of these little, civilian drones are sold and piloted by hobbyists in the United States every year. Right now these drones are flown almost exclusively for non-commercial uses by enthusiast like Pablo Lema. Lema spends weekends flying his quardracopter around the San Francisco Bay.

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Business
3:28 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Companies Paying To Get Ahead With Economic Indicators

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:35 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

What if you could know tomorrow's news before anybody else? And if your first thought is, hey, I could get really, really rich, then we have a job for you. You are probably a good candidate for one of the many trading firms that have found a way to do just that. They pay money to get an advanced peek at crucial economic data before anybody else does.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

American Airlines To Add More Seats To 737s, MD-80s

Room for a few more seats? An American Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

If you thought your coach-class seat lacked legroom now, American Airlines has some bad news: It's probably going to get worse.

American plans to add seats to its Boeing 737s and McDonnell Douglas MD-80s, which account for about two-thirds of the airline's entire fleet of jetliners. The move was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Here's American vice president of flight service Laurie Curtis quoted in the Airline Biz Blog.

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The Salt
2:00 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Why Bill Gates Is Investing In Chicken-Less Eggs

At left: Beyond Eggs' egg-substitute product, a powder made of pulverized plant-based compounds. Right: Mother Nature's version.
Cody Pickens Beyond Eggs

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:34 am

The egg of the future may not involve a chicken at all. In fact, in the high-tech food lab at Hampton Creek Foods in San Francisco, the chicken-less egg substitute has already been hatched.

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The Salt
10:18 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Old McDonald Might Be A Lady: More Women Take Up Farming

Lisa Steketee restocks strawberries during the Laramie Farmers Market in Wyoming, in 2009.
Ben Woloszyn AP

More women are getting into farming, according to a recent analysis from the U.S Department of Agriculture.

The agency crunched numbers from the Agriculture Census and found that the number of U.S. farms operated by women nearly tripled over the past three decades, from 5 percent in 1978 to 14 percent by 2007.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Gannett To Buy TV Station Owner Belo For $2.2 Billion

Gannett headquarters in McLean, Va.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 10:05 am

Gannett Co. plans to buy TV station owner Belo for $1.5 billion in cash and $715 million in debt in a deal that will make it one of the nation's largest owners of network television affiliates.

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Business
3:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:48 am

The museum in Paris has unveiled new, sophisticated LED lighting for the painting. They want to bring out her colors — the way Leonardo da Vinci might have seen them.

Business
3:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Will A Kill Switch Stop Cellphones From Being Stolen?

People use cellphones in downtown San Francisco. The city's district attorney and New York's attorney general plan to meet with major cellphone manufacturers, as they push the industry to do more to protect consumers from violent street crimes connected to cellphone thefts.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:05 pm

Cellphone thefts are now the single biggest source of property crime in many American cities. A recent study found that lost and stolen phones cost consumers close to $30 billion a year. And 10 percent of smartphone owners say they've had a phone stolen.

Almost everyone has a story about losing their phone; even tech reporters are not immune.

NPR's Laura Sydell lost her phone and spent over three hours skulking around San Francisco using an app and an iPad to track her phone thief.

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Business
3:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:43 am

Just three weeks ago, Japanese stocks were at a multi-year high — raising hopes for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to revitalize the world's third-largest economy. Since then, the market has dropped more than 20 percent.

Race
3:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Economic Improvement Remains Stagnant For Poor Blacks

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:52 am

In 1965, sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who would later become a U.S. senator from New York, authored a controversial report. It concluded the decline of the black nuclear family was a major component to black poverty. Nearly 50 years later, the Urban Institute has released a follow-up to Moynihan's study that looks at the current barriers poor black families continue to face, and compares those findings to the country's other ethnic groups.

Business
3:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Gamers Converge On L.A. For Electronic Entertainment Expo

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The biggest players in the video gaming are gathered here in Los Angeles this week for E3, the industry's annual trade show. Gamers have been anticipating the unveiling of new products from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and other companies.

NPR's Laura Sydell has spent the past few days with zombies, assassins and one little plumber. Good morning.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Good morning.

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