Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 10:11 am
It wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to the country.
If President Obama and Congress can't come to agreement on new tax and spending policies by the end of year, the U.S. could slip into recession, defense and domestic programs will see damaging cuts, and the American people may become convinced that Washington can't govern the nation.
On the other hand, the lack of a deal would do a lot to help erase the federal deficit.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:41 am
Oil development in North Dakota and Montana has caused ridership to increase dramatically on the only Amtrak line running through those states. Nationally, the railroad company costs the federal government more than $400 million every year, so rail enthusiasts thought the oil boom might turn around the losing rail proposition in certain regions. But the Empire Builder Line is still not making money.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:08 am
Ever wonder why you have to turn off your e-reader or tablet before a plane takes off and lands? The Hill newspaper obtained a letter written by the head of the Federal Communications Commission to the Federal Aviation Administration. Julius Genachowski has asked for the FAA to loosen the rules on those devices.
The drop is another sign that after several weeks of spikes because many people were thrown out of work due to damage related to late October's Superstorm Sandy, claims have now settled back into the range where they've been for most of the past year.
A month after Hurricane Sandy pounded the New Jersey Shore, Atlantic City is back in business. Even though most of the casinos and restaurants sustained very little damage in the storm, they're now suffering from a lack of visitors. But the city has launched an effort to change that.
As three young boys roll their skateboards down the "World Famous Atlantic City Boardwalk," it's proof that it is still here, fully in tact, and that rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated.
And our last word in business today is Trump versus Forbes. The Forbes we're talking about is a Scotsman named Michael Forbes. He has the misfortune of living right next to Donald Trump's new golf course in Scotland. Forbes has refused to sell his property to Trump; and what has ensued is the war of words that you probably would expect between the property magnet, and anyone who gets in his way.
We begin NPR's business news with possible bank settlements.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: One of Britain's largest banks, Standard Chartered, says it expects to pay around $330 million to the United States. This would settle a case with regulators here who accused the bank of failing to comply with sanctions against Iran. Standard Chartered has already paid out $340 million to the state of New York on the same claims.
As President Obama and Capitol Hill lawmakers assess the need for spending cuts and tax increases against the risk of triggering a new recession, they might look across the Atlantic for insights from those who have already grappled with those budgetary questions.
The problem of excessive government debt has swamped economies across Europe and forced countries to take severe measures to cut their deficits. The first lesson from their "fiscal consolidation" experiences: It will hurt.
The president and House Republicans continued to snipe at each other Wednesday over the impending set of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. They traded accusations and blame during another day with plenty of talk, but — until late in the day, at least — no negotiations.
Tax increases are only a part of what lies ahead if Congress can't come to an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff by the new year. Massive spending cuts will also kick in — and those cuts will be felt throughout the economy.
The current stalemate got under way two years ago when Congress, locked in a bitter partisan battle over whether to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, passed what was known as the Budget Control Act of 2011.
In her new series for TheNew York Times called "The United States of Subsidies," investigative reporter Louise Story examines how states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year in tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure companies or persuade them to stay put.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, for years now we've been talking about ways to close the achievement gap. Now some states are asking to set standards based on race. You can imagine why this is controversial. So we'll try to learn more about this in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:48 pm
Saying it needs to "further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company," Citigroup announced today that it is eliminating about 11,000 jobs — 4 percent of its global workforce.
The banking giant also said it is expects to take "pre-tax charges of approximately $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and approximately $100 million of related charges in the first half of 2013."
Professional hockey is getting close to the moment when it will have to cancel its entire season for the second time in eight years. So far, a lockout that began last September has forced games to be cancelled through the middle of December. The two sides in the National Hockey League labor dispute are expected to meet again today, after nearly 10 hours of talks yesterday.
We begin NPR's business news today with a Facebook status update.
Facebook will join the Nasdaq 100 Index next week. It's replacing Indian tech company Infosys. It used to be that companies had to be listed on the Nasdaq for two years before they could become part of this elite index. Facebook only had to wait three months, thanks to some rule changes Nasdaq made back when the social network decided to go public. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.