Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:42 pm
If you've earned a paycheck in recent years, you'll probably want want to know about this:
The Equifax credit reporting agency, NBC News reports, has collected 190 million employment and salary records on about one-third of U.S. adults and has sold some of the information "to debt collectors, financial service companies and other entities."
OK. In the next few days, cable companies announce how they did financially in 2012. Most industry watchers expect some negative trends to continue. More people are canceling their cable subscriptions. They are called cord cutters, because they are getting TV from the Internet and over the air, not their cable cords. But they're not the only problem the cable industry needs to worry about. NPR's Neda Ulaby reports.
And there was a time only a few years ago when the BlackBerry was the undisputed champion of the smartphone market - a title now held by Apple's iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy. After years of falling sales and strategic blunders, the company that many have already written off, is unveiling a new device today. It's called the BlackBerry Z10.
And to talk about whether it can save the company, we called Rich Jaroslovsky. He's technology commentator for Bloomberg News.
The Ford Motor Company also announced its earnings yesterday, saying it had a pre-tax profit of $8 billion for 2012. And that gives union employees a reason to celebrate. They will each get a profit sharing check of $8,300 - a record high amount.
There's also some good news coming for General Motors workers, as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Home prices were either up or down, depending on how you read the latest Case-Shiller survey, which was released this morning. Prices were down a bit in November from the previous month, but up sharply compared to the previous year. Taken together, most analysts say the housing recovery is still on track. And joining us now to discuss the housing market is NPR's Yuki Noguchi. Hi there, Yuki.
For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?
On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. A bulldozer smooths out pyramids of sand, and on the horizon, a large, black hopper dredge appears with another load.
Over the past several years, Democrats and Republicans have disagreed on how address the problems of deficit and debt, but there's broad consensus that we need to reduce both by significant numbers, and soon. In his columns in New York Times and in a book called "End this Depression Now!" Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman defies the conventional wisdom. He argues for more spending, not less, says the deficit's not too bad, and that a little inflation might be a good thing.
Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:03 pm
A federal judge has approved a guilty plea by BP to manslaughter charges in connection with the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
The approved deal includes a record $4 billion in criminal penalties.
Eleven workers on the Deep Water Horizon rig died in the April 2010 explosion. BP pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges for those deaths and to lying to Congress about the amount of the oil spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Haiti used to be a tourist hot spot in the Caribbean. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton regularly recounts how he and Hillary honeymooned in Haiti in 1975. There used to be a hopping Club Med just outside Port-au-Prince, but it closed in the '90s.
Now, the Haitian government is trying to revive some of its former allure, launching an aggressive campaign to market the poorest country in the hemisphere as a vacation hub.
President Michel Martelly says tourism could be a major driver of economic growth and could help lift Haitians out of poverty.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we have the latest installment in our series Social Me. We'll talk about how educators could use their students' social media habits to figure out how they learn.
But first, to matters of personal finance: We want to talk about retirement. While earlier generations might have had a pension, now millions of Americans, if they have any savings, probably have some kind of retirement account like a 401K.
Take a look at this remarkable graph — is it the stock market? Home sales?
Nope. Click on the blue box in the lower right-hand corner and you'll see that the blue line tracks the number of chicken wings that Americans bought at grocery stores over the last year. See that mighty surge of wing-buying in early February? Apparently, you just cannot have a Super Bowl party without chicken wings — millions and millions of chicken wings.
Chris Hughes, 29, is the co-founder of Facebook, a former adviser to the Obama campaign, and now the publisher of the 98-year-old magazine The New Republic.
He's facing the same challenges other print media owners do: how to marry in-depth news articles with screens that seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Hughes tells NPR's Steve Inskeep it's a task he's prepared to tackle.
While CEO Marissa Mayer is getting praise, it's unclear which part of Yahoo's business, if any, will turn the once-flagging company around. Yahoo is making more money from users clicking ads while searching but less money on display ads.
The nickel — with Lady Liberty on the front and the Roman numeral V on the reverse — shows the date 1913. The problem is the liberty head was replaced by the buffalo head in 1912. Making this nickel a bootleg — one of five allegedly cast at the Philadelphia Mint by a crooked employee. One nickel is expected to sell for more than $2 million at an auction this spring.
When all Boeing 787 Dreamliners were grounded for electrical issues, it sent the stock of the company that makes the plane's batteries into a tailspin. Now that company, GS Yuasa, is seeing its stock bounce back. The Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau cleared the company of all responsibility for Boeing's electrical issues.
Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.
Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."
After seeing its sales take a hit in 2011 because production was hurt by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early that year, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to retake the No. 1 spot as the world's top automaker.
The company sold 9.75 million vehicles, to No. 2 General Motors' 9.3 million. Volkswagen was No. 3, with 9.1 million vehicles sold.
And today's last word in business is, fly like an eagle. Maybe you've seen this viral video. It's of a golden eagle swooping down and snatching up a baby in a park. The bird carries the kid a few feet before dropping him and flying away.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
It caused quite a stir online - horrifying many, many viewers before it was revealed as a hoax. The video was a project made by students at a 3-D animation and design school in Montreal.
The Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has incubated many important technologies over the decades in computer networking and other areas. The Energy Department wants to make similar strides with an agency called ARPA-E. Over three years now in operation, ARPA-E has spent nearly $800 million on 285 experimental projects.
We invited the agency's deputy director, Cheryl Martin, into our studio so we can find out more about these projects. Good morning.
The car market in the U.S. is at its most competitive. Not only are big companies like General Motors and Toyota slugging it out, but in order to survive, small-niche players like Subaru also are trying to push into the mainstream.
The Japanese carmaker is popular in Denver, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast. Now Subaru has its sights on Texas and Tennessee.
Many big food companies are caught in a dilemma these days. They want to rebrand themselves as merchants of health — Coca-Cola's new anti-obesity ads are just the latest example — but many of their profits still come from products that make nutritionists scowl.
If there's one person who symbolizes this tension, it's Derek Yach.