Business

The Two-Way
5:32 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Book News: Is Amazon Building A CIA Cloud?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils new Kindle reading devices at a press conference in 2012.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 11:44 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Business
3:30 am
Thu March 21, 2013

In China, Treasury's Lew Discusses Cybersecurity, Yuan

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:23 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Richard McGregor of the Financial Times about Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's trip to China. He bought a long list of economic agenda items to his meetings with top officials, ranging from cyberwarfare to China's currency controls.

Business
3:10 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Shareholders Re-Elect Hewlett-Packard Board Members

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:23 am

HP will celebrate its 75th birthday next year. The company was once a technology giant. But with old products, a lack of vision and a revolving door at the top, the company has been having trouble.

Business
3:10 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're tracking a cyber attack at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: South Korea was hit by a cyber attack yesterday, that took out the systems at the country's banks and television networks. More than 30,000 computers went down. Now South Korea says the initial investigation shows that a Chinese Internet address was the source of the attack. It is still too early to assign blame though, because Internet address can be easily manipulated. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
3:10 am
Thu March 21, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:23 am

Marmageddon is the term coined by the media to describe the shortage of Marmite in New Zealand, which resulted after the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch damaged the country's only Marmite factory. After many delays, the factory has reopened. Love it or hate it, the dark brown spread made from yeast extract is back on store shelves.

Politics
3:10 am
Thu March 21, 2013

House, Senate Budget Plans Offer Different Future

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a copy of his budget plan during a news conference last week. On Thursday, the Republican-controlled House narrowly passed the measure. The Senate is not expected to follow suit.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 11:36 am

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's House GOP budget balances in a decade and re-shapes Medicare. That is, it would if the measure passed by the House on Thursday ever became law — which it won't.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray's Democratic budget raises almost $1 trillion in taxes by closing loopholes and adds $100 billion in new spending on infrastructure. But it won't become a reality, either.

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Planet Money
1:03 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Why Cyprus Matters

People wait in line to use the ATM at a bank in the Cypriot capital Nicosia.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 8:25 am

Banks on Cyprus remain closed today. The Cypriot Parliament has rejected the terms of a bailout from the European Union. The finance minister is in Moscow looking for financial help from the Russians.

Cyprus has about as many residents as the Bronx. When you add up all the country's banks, they don't even match the 30th largest bank in the U.S. But people all over the world have good reason to be freaked out over what's happened there this week.

All Tech Considered
12:58 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Samsung's On A Roll, But Can It Beat Apple?

The new Samsung Galaxy S4 has been the subject of buzz in the tech media.
UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:32 am

Samsung has been on a roll. The hype surrounding its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S4, created a buzz in the tech media — and chatter that Samsung was poised to eat Apple's lunch. But Samsung's long-term position in the smartphone market is more complicated.

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Business
2:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Lululemon's Too-Sheer Yoga Pants Reveal Problems In Company's Supply Chain

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:43 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The retailer Lululemon has turned pricey yoga clothes into fashion. But now, some of its yoga pants have revealed problems for the company. As NPR's Wendy Kaufman explains, the pants are, well, see-through.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Inhale all the way over to your left wrist.

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Business
2:58 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

JCPenney Hopes Joe Fresh Partnership Will Reboot Sales With New Customers

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:40 am

J.C. Penney's latest turnaround idea is an old one — the store within a store. But signing a deal is the easy part. Making it work for both parties is the hard part.

The Two-Way
11:34 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Ahead Of Federal Reserve Statement, Stocks Are Up

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:27 pm

Update at 2:03 p.m. ET. Rates Unchanged:

Following a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve said in a policy statement today that it is continuing with its "highly accommodative stance of monetary policy."

That means that it will stay the course with its aggressive stimulus, buying $85 billion of bonds a month.

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Monkey See
9:48 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Men Are From Mars, Women ... Love Cup Holders?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:37 am

When you read the words of Clotaire Rapaille, a "French-born psychiatrist-turned-marketer" quoted in yesterday's interesting Slate article about the marketing of cars to women, it's hard not to read them in a voice that's sultry and French and not entirely serious, as if he's some kind of sales expert crossed with Pepe Le Pew (despite the fact that this doubtless has no basis in reality).

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Chinese Solar Panel Maker Suntech Goes Bankrupt

Workers at a Suntech plant in Wuxi last month.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:25 pm

The future doesn't look so bright for China-based Suntech, one of the world's largest makers of solar panels: On Wednesday, it was forced into bankruptcy after missing a $541 million payment to bondholders.

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Planet Money
7:52 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Is It Legal To Sell Your Old MP3s?

Brenda Chase Newsmakers

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:12 pm

Say you buy a textbook in another country, where textbooks are cheap. Then you bring the book back to the U.S. and sell it at a profit. Did you break the law?

No, you didn't. In a ruling that came down yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who had his friends and relatives buy textbooks in Thailand which he later re-sold in the U.S. on eBay.

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Cyprus Scrambles For 'Plan B' Bailout

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures as she leaves a parliamentary session on Wednesday in Berlin.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:48 am

Cypriot politicians are busy trying to come up with an alternative plan to raise the cash needed to stave off a collapse of its banking sector after they unanimously rejected an international bailout package that would have imposed a levy on the nation's savings accounts.

Here's a quick look at some of Wednesday's developments:

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Law
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Court:Reselling Books Bought Abroad Isn't A Copyright Violation

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some books for resale.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Start reading now. The Supreme Court has ruled that buying books overseas and reselling them in the United States does not violate copyright law. Yesterday's six/three decision comes as a relief to companies like eBay and Costco that resell all sorts of foreign goods.

NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.

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Economy
5:11 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Analyzing The Housing Industry

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:16 am

For more on the housing industry, Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

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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