Business

Economy
8:43 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Why A 'Fiscal Cliff' Failure Could Help The Economy

If President Obama and Congress fail to reach a deal on tax and spending changes, the nation would feel a lot of fiscal pain. But it also may benefit from the long-term fiscal restraint that would come from keeping tax hikes and spending cuts in place.
Getty Creative Images

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.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.7 percent, As Economy Adds 146,000 Jobs

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:44 am

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. That's a four-year low.

The economy added 146,000 jobs, beating expectations. Surprisingly the BLS said that Hurricane Sandy "did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November."

The BLS adds that employment increased "in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care."

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Around the Nation
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Amtrak's Empire Builder Line

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.

Economy
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Could Hurt November's Job Report

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Michigan Likely To Become A Right-To-Work State

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 3:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

The Last Word In Business

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.

Planet Money
12:54 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Why The Falling Birthrate Is Bad News For My 2-Year-Old Son

Please don't make me pay for your retirement.
Alex Blumberg NPR

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:26 am

The U.S. birthrate just fell to its lowest point since we've been keeping track. Here's why that may be a problem for my 2-year-old son.

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The Salt
12:50 am
Fri December 7, 2012

In Farmers Market, A Free Market Rises In Cuba

Cuba has relaxed some business rules, allowing street vendors to sell produce and a large wholesale produce market to open at night on the edge of Havana.
Greg Kahn Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 6:30 pm

Cuba has no shortage of fertile farmland, but the country spends $1.5 billion a year importing about 70 percent of its food.

The communist government's chronic struggle to get farmers to produce more is forcing authorities to grudgingly accept a greater role for market principles and the profit motive.

Now authorities seem willing to go another step further, tolerating the rise of what might be described as Cuba's "free-est" market.

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Economy
2:54 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Businesses, Not Consumers, Sour On Economy

Shoppers carry bags during Black Friday sales at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Mass. Right now, consumers are feeling positive, but the mood among businesses is at recession levels.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:40 pm

When it comes to the economy, consumers and business owners have very different takes right now. Consumers are feeling positive, but the mood among businesses is at recession levels.

In a word, business owners are bummed.

"What we've found is that a lot of that optimism is not there right now," says Dennis Jacobe, chief economist for Gallup, which polled these small-business types just after the election.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell Last Week; But Job Growth Was Likely Weak Last Month

Looking for work: There was a long line last month as job seekers waited to get into an employment fair at Kennedy-King College in Chicago.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 11:55 am

There were 370,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 25,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

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.

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Around the Nation
3:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Post Sandy: Atlantic City Wants Its Tourists Back

Atlantic City's boardwalk, with its shops, restaurants, casinos and hotels, was mostly protected during Hurricane Sandy by a dune restoration project. But TV images of one small section that was damaged gave the impression that the whole thing was destroyed.
David Schaper/NPR

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:24 pm

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.

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Business
3:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 3:41 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

U.S. Becomes Less Dependent On Foreign Oil

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 3:22 am

The Department of Energy projects domestic oil production in the U.S. will grow faster than consumption in coming years. That means the country needs to import much less oil in the future.

Business
3:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Citigroup To Cut 11,000 Jobs

Banks have been under increasing pressure to cut costs and eliminate redundancies. The cuts will eliminate about 4 percent of Citi's workforce.

Shots - Health News
1:32 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Why It's Easier To Scam The Elderly

Fraud victims are more likely to have opened official-looking sweepstakes notices and other mailings. A new study says the elderly are more susceptible than the young to being swindled.
Allen Breed AP

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:23 pm

Lots of scams come by phone or by mail, but when the scam artist is right in front of you, researchers say the clues are in the face.

"A smile that is in the mouth but doesn't go up to the eyes, an averted gaze, a backward lean" are some of the ways deception may present itself, says Shelley Taylor, a psychologist at UCLA.

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Economy
1:31 am
Thu December 6, 2012

What Should The U.S. Learn From Europe's Woes?

French President Francois Hollande (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel take part in a bilateral meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Nov. 22 as part of a European budget summit.
Bertrand Langlois AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:21 pm

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.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Obama And House GOP Engage In Fiscal Cliff Talks, Only Briefly With Each Other

President Obama is introduced to the Business Roundtable by Boeing CEO Jim McNerney in Washington on Wednesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 4:30 pm

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.

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It's All Politics
3:52 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Looming Spending Cuts Would Hit Hard All Over

Alan Krueger, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, warns that consumer spending will drop if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deal on spending cuts and tax increases.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 4:09 pm

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.

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The Two-Way
2:52 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

For The Aerospace Industry 'Fiscal Cliff' Represents A Red Alert

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 3:05 pm

It's red alert time for aerospace industry executives, workers and contractors.

As they mingled today at the Aerospace Industries Association's annual Year-End Outlook luncheon at a Washington Grand Hyatt, the bright red electronic digits kept counting down for them.

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Economy
2:44 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

A Thin Line: Economic Growth Or Corporate Welfare?

In her series for The New York Times, reporter Louise Story says that the manufacturing sector — automakers, in particular — benefit the most from incentive packages.
Ricardo Azoury iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 6:59 am

In her new series for The New 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.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Socialism, Capitalism: Merriam-Webster's Odd-Couple Words Of The Year

A demonstrator carries a sign calling people to "resist" President Barack Obama perceived socialist policies during a march of supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement in Washington.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:12 pm

The dictionary Merriam-Webster has declared an incongruous pair their words of the year: Socialism and capitalism.

"There's no surprise there that politics was in people's minds," the dictionary's Editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski told CBS News when making the announcement.

Sokolowski said that the dictionary, which bases its decision on what people are looking up in their online edition, chose two words for the first time because they trended together.

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Economy
10:30 am
Wed December 5, 2012

How Helpful Is Extending Unemployment Benefits?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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The Two-Way
9:09 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Citigroup Cutting 11,000 Jobs, Taking $1.1 Billion In Charges

Chris Hondros Getty Images

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."

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Wed December 5, 2012

118,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls Last Month, Report Signals

A "closed" sign at a coffee shop in New York City, where many businesses had to shut down for at least a few days before, during and after Superstorm Sandy.
Carlo Allegri Reuters /Landov

There were 118,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in November, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

That's slower growth than in October, when ADP's employment measure grew by 157,000 jobs.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Deal Struck To End L.A. Port Strike; Walkout Was Delaying Billions In Goods

Work can start again: This ship, loaded with containers, was sitting beneath idle cranes Tuesday at the Port of Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:58 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Kirk Siegler and Renee Montagne

A week-old strike that "crippled the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach" and kept about $1 billion worth of goods a day from arriving on shore is set to end today.

"We've got a deal and people are going back to work," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced late last night, as our colleagues at Southern California Public Radio report.

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Business
2:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

U.S. food company General Mills, which owns the ice cream brand, complained that a Chinese clothes company's name was to similar to Haagen-Dazs. A judge in Beijing has agreed.

Sports
2:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Talks Resume In Nation Hockey League Dispute

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

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Business
2:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

NPR Story
2:42 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Cooper Union Students Protest Threat To Free Tuition

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a student occupation is entering its third day in New York City. It's happening at Cooper Union. The school of art, architecture and engineering is famous for not charging undergraduates tuition.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, student protesters are unhappy about what they see as threats to that tradition.

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