Business

Planet Money
1:52 am
Fri December 21, 2012

When The Doctor Works For The Insurance Company

This won't hurt a bit.
Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:16 am

Some insurance companies are taking a page out of their own history books: running their own doctors' offices and clinics. Though the strategy previously had mixed results, insurers think that by providing primary care for patients, they might reduce costly diseases and hospital stays in the long run.

Dr. Michael Byrne spent eight years working for a Brooklyn hospital and he saw firsthand why the United States spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world.

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Business
1:21 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Not Your Grandma's B&B: Traditional Inns Transform For Young Travelers

Innkeepers are combating old stereotypes about bed and breakfasts. The Abbott Room at the Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield, Vt., was renovated in 2009 to reflect more modern tastes.
Jumping Rocks

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:16 am

There is a war going on. The enemy is an innocuous little piece of ornamental fabric.

When the Professional Association of Innkeepers launched the Death to Doilies Campaign this year, the approach was tongue-in-cheek, but the message of change was serious: The doily has had the run of bed and breakfasts for too long.

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The Salt
1:21 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Drought, Economics And Your Holiday Feast

Think your prime rib holiday dinner is more pricey this year? You're right. But maybe not for the reason you think.
Todd Patterson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:16 am

Nobody really wants to think about economics, the famously dismal science, while sitting down at a table loaded with love and calories. Like it or not, though, supply and demand drive food production and set the price of dinner.

So, in a season of feasts, what are the business stories on your holiday menu?

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Business
3:07 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

NYSE To Change Hands In $8.2 Billion Deal

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 8:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

After more than two centuries as an independent company, the New York Stock Exchange is about to change hands. It's being acquired by Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange, or ICE, as part of a deal valued at $8.2 billion. In recent years, ICE has exploded in growth.

And as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, today's announcement is the latest in a series of rapid-fire changes that have transformed the world of stock trading.

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Shots - Health News
12:59 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Merck: Niacin Drug Mix Fails To Prevent Heart Attacks, Strokes

Niacin, a B vitamin that raises "good" cholesterol, has failed to benefit heart disease patients when taken in tandem with a statin drug that lowers "bad" cholesterol, according to drug maker Merck.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit Three-Year High

San Francisco: A "sold" sign in front of a home earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:04 am

There was a 5.9 percent rise in sales of previously owned homes in November from October, the National Association of Realtors says.

At their 5.04 million annual rate, sales were the highest since November 2009.

"Momentum continues to build," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says in the organization's report.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Thu December 20, 2012

NYSE Being Bought For $8.2B By Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 12:34 pm

The New York Stock Exchange will be acquired by IntercontinentalExchange of Atlanta in a deal valued at about $8.2 billion, the two rivals confirmed Thursday morning.

In matching press releases, they say the sale "combines two leading exchange groups to create a premier global exchange operator diversified across markets including agricultural and energy commodities, credit derivatives, equities and equity derivatives, foreign exchange and interest rates."

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Third Quarter Economic Growth Revised Up Again

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 6:48 am

The best estimate of how quickly the economy was growing in the third quarter has been revised upward again — a sign that as summer turned into fall things were better than first thought.

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Business
3:16 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Examining Charitable Deductions

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is, of course, the season of giving and the time for last-minute cash donations. They have to be made by December 31st if you want to deduct the amount on your 2012 tax form. The charitable deduction is the next kink of tax break in our series, the 12 Days of Tax Deductions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS")

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Economy
3:16 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Where Do 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks Stand?

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That is something nearly everyone agrees on. If the fiscal cliff is not avoided, it could do some serious harm to the U.S. economy. So let's talk further about whether Congress and the White House are close to some kind of agreement. We'll bring in NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Business
3:16 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Persistence, Bribes Got Wal-Mart Into Mexican Town

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Suppose you run a business, you want to open a store but local zoning laws make your preferred location off limits? If you're the Mexican branch of Wal-Mart, according to The New York Times, you just bribe an official to alter the zoning map.

David Barstow is one of the reporters of the latest Times investigation of Wal-Mart and bribery in Mexico.

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Business
3:16 am
Thu December 20, 2012

From Shoes To M&M's, Custom-Made Products Take Off Online

High school student Jon Ledbetter designs his own "NikeiD" sneakers. Ledbetter can post his designs on Nike's website, where other shoppers can also order them.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:53 am

It wasn't long ago that all consumers went to retail stores to buy things. These days, of course, you can get just about anything online. Some companies are now taking that shopping experience to the next level, allowing customers to design almost anything individually — from a trench coat to a batch of M&M's.

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Business
3:16 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR business news starts with a dent in Toyota's safety ratings.

Business
3:16 am
Thu December 20, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is something many equate to being as fun as doing taxes - dental work. A dentist in Sweden is offering $45 gift cards. It's an effort to entice 20-somethings who've stopped coming in for cleanings now that they're living on their own. That gift may go over as well as Hermey the elf's ambitions in the 1964 TV special, "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer."

CARL BANAS: (as Head Elf) What? You don't like to make toys?

PAUL SOLES: (as Hermey) No.

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Planet Money
2:56 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Without Magic, Santa Would Need 12 Million Employees

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 2:31 pm

There are 760 million Christian children in the world, according to the Pew Research Center. Suppose Santa delivers one gift to each child. What kind of delivery workforce would Santa need?

We couldn't get an interview with Santa. But we did get Paul Tronsor from FedEx and Mike Mangeot from UPS. They helped us go through the numbers.

Here are just a few of the positions Santa would need to fill to pull off Christmas. (Note: For the complete list, see the graphic at the bottom.)

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Europe
2:38 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

UBS To Pay $1.5 Billion In Fines Over Libor Scandal

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:43 pm

The Swiss bank UBS has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines in multiple countries to settle allegations of manipulating the London interbank offered rate and other benchmark interest rates.

Economy
9:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Why Not Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?

The White House is promising to veto a new tax proposal from House Speaker John Boehner. But who's bluffing and what's believable when it comes to fiscal negotiations? And what happens if talks break down? For Tell Me More's 'Why Not?' series, host Michel Martin takes a look at what might be on the other side of the fiscal cliff.

The Two-Way
7:37 am
Wed December 19, 2012

U.S. Will Sell Off Its General Motors Stock

General Motors is buying back stock from the U.S. government.
Paul Sancya ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 8:36 am

In a statement early this morning, the Treasury Department says it's going to "exit" its investment in General Motors. The federal government holds just over 500 million shares of GM stock.

The automaker will buy 200 million of those shares, and the government will dispose of the rest "in an orderly fashion" over the next year and a half, depending on market conditions.

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The Two-Way
5:18 am
Wed December 19, 2012

UBS To Pay $1.5 Billion For 'Routine And Widespread' Rate Rigging

The logo of Swiss banking giant UBS in Zurich, Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Swiss banking giant UBS AG has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to regulators in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland for its part in a scheme to manipulate the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), which is used to set rates on contracts around the world.

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Business
3:42 am
Wed December 19, 2012

What Does A Gun Debate Mean For Retailers?

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Companies that make firearms are facing some tough choices, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Yesterday, the private equity group Cerberus Capital Management said it's getting out of the gun business. And one of the largest outlets for firearms, Dick's Sporting Goods, said it is suspending sales of certain kinds of rifles. Wal-Mart has removed a website listing for a rifle similar to the one used by the gunman in Connecticut.

NPR's Sonari Glinton looks at what the gun debate could mean for big business and big retail.

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Economy
3:11 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Boehner Pushes 'Plan B' To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Steve, welcome back. It's good to see you.

INSKEEP: Oh, it's a delight to be here, David. Thanks very much.

GREENE: I can tell you, you did not miss any resolution to the fiscal cliff debate here in Washington.

INSKEEP: I was actually hoping you'd fixed that while I was gone. You didn't?

(LAUGHTER)

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Business
3:08 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Day 8 Of 12 Days Of Tax Deductions

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as we reach the peak of the holidays, let us not forget one of the most significant days of all - New Year's Eve. It's also the end of the tax year.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Many rules are set to expire and other may change as Congress and the president negotiate over tax laws, which is why we are explaining what the rules are in our 12 Days of Tax Deductions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS")

INSKEEP: Today's tax break is a big one, the state and local income tax deduction.

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NPR Story
2:53 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a global bank settlement.

It's the big Swiss bank, UBS. It announced this morning that it will pay a total of $1.5 billion in fines for its role in rigging the interbank lending rate known as LIBOR. The settlement will be paid to Swiss, British and American regulators.

NPR Story
2:53 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Credit Rating Upgrade Is Good News For Greece

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Greece got a rare bit of good news late yesterday. Standard and Poor's upgraded the country's credit rating six notches to a B minus. I mean, not the worst grade on your report card, but in the financial world this is junk bond status.

Still, Joanna Kakissis reports from Athens that there is a more stable outlook.

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All Tech Considered
4:00 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

The Day Instagram Almost Lost Its Innocence

Instagram was the target of a storm of outrage on Twitter and other sites after the company announced a change in its user agreement that hinted that it might use shared photos in ads.
Karly Domb Sadof AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

The wildly popular photo-sharing site Instagram nearly caused a user revolt when it revamped its terms of service and privacy policy to suggest it could allow uploaded photos to be used in ads without users' permission.

The change — which was posted in dense legalese on its website Monday — sparked users to vow to stop posting their color-filtered, tilt-shifted photos to Instagram.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
3:19 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Investors, Retailers Shy Away From Guns; Will It Last?

Rifles are displayed for sale at a gun shop in Aurora, Colo., in July. Gun makers are feeling isolated by changing public attitudes.
Alex Brandon AP

It's a nervous time for companies that make and sell guns.

On Tuesday, Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, announced it was selling its stake in Freedom Group, maker of the American Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which was used in the Newtown killings last Friday, along with other brands such as Remington.

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Around the Nation
2:56 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Private Equity Group Withdraws Stake In Gun Company After Newtown

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Coal May Pass Oil As World's No. 1 Energy Source By 2017, Study Says

China and India are projected to propel coal's challenge of oil as the world's top energy source within the next five years, according to a new study. Here, a man rides a bicycle toward a coal-fired power station in China's Guangdong province last year.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:49 pm

Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Investment Firm Selling Stakes In Gun Makers

Freedom Group

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:12 am

The issue of gun control appears to have moved into business and finance. One of the largest private equity companies in the country is terminating its relationship with a firearms corporation associated with one of the weapons used in the Newtown school shooting.

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Business
3:31 am
Tue December 18, 2012

How Adoption Tax Credit Benefits Families

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:07 am

As the "fiscal cliff" nears, Morning Edition evaluates some of the deductions and credits that are in the tax code. As part of our 12 Days of Tax Deductions, David Greene examines the Adoption Tax Credit, which supports families who adopt children from foster care, as well as infant and international adoptions.

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