Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:45 pm
After going a year without a permanent executive in charge of its retail division, Apple said Tuesday morning that it is hiring Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as a senior vice president. She will be the first woman on Apple's team of senior executives.
A veteran of the fashion industry, Ahrendts, 53, is a native of New Palestine, Ind., who has headed Britain's Burberry since 2006. On Tuesday, the company reported total revenue of more than $1.64 billion in the six-month period that ended Sept. 30. Her tenure included a successful revamping of the company's online store.
The calendar says October, but retailers and economists are already analyzing the holiday shopping season. With budget battles gripping Washington and an economy that's still recovering, there are mixed feelings about how far shoppers will open their wallets.
Steve Inskeep talks to Jonathan Chait, a commentator for New York magazine about how liberals are viewing the current budget negotiations in Congress, and if they might be willing to compromise on a deal.
With the debt ceiling deadline looming just two days away, Senate leaders say they're close to a deal that would reopen the government and avert default. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been leading bipartisan talks on a way out of the deadlock. Even if a bipartisan agreement clears the Senate, it will likely be a hard sell to House Republicans.
Angela Ahrendts will oversee the expansion of Apple retail and online stores. It's a newly created position for Ahrendts, who will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Since taking over Burberry in 2006, Ahrendts has nearly tripled revenue for the company — known for its distinctive tartan patterns.
A street vendor outside New York's Central Park sold eight prints by the mysterious British street artist who goes by the name Banksy. Some of Banksy's most recognizable works sold for just $60. Many of the pieces are estimated to be worth more than $30,000. It was part of a social experiment.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 3:36 am
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Now, here's a reality about farming. From the earliest days of this country, it's been an uncertain business, and for many decades, national policies have been designed to smooth out that risk. But, of course, the risk never entirely goes away. You can never control the rain, for example, and lately the uncertainty has been growing. Corn prices are down. The farm bill is stalled in Congress and there's a sense that good times may be fading.
From Nebraska, Grant Gerlock of NET News brings us his report.
For many online and other small businesses, getting a loan or a big cash advance is tough. Banks and other traditional lenders are often leery of those without years of financial statements and solid credit scores.
But some lenders and other financial services companies are beginning to assess credit risk differently — using criteria you might not expect.
Jeffrey Grossman is an acupuncturist in Bellingham, Wash. He's also a small businessman. He creates media marketing materials for other acupuncturists hoping to expand their practice.
Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 10:49 pm
Monday marks the last day of newsstand sales of the International Herald Tribune, the newspaper that was once instrumental in keeping American expatriates up to date on their homeland. On Tuesday, the paper will bear a new name: The International New York Times.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics went to three American professors today. In announcing the honor, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the men all contribute to our understanding of how markets price things like stocks and homes. But as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports, that doesn't mean the three economists always agree.
Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 7:12 am
Three American professors have won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Economics for their work in identifying long-term trends in the prices of stocks and bonds, based in part on analyzing the role of risk.
Professors Robert J. Shiller of Yale University and Eugene F. Fama and Lars Peter Hansen, both of the University of Chicago, won "for their empirical analysis of asset prices," the Royal Swedish Academy said in announcing the honor Monday.
OK, the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics was awarded today to three American men - Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, Robert Shiller. The Nobel committee cited their research in the predictability of stock prices, as well as other asset prices. We're going to find out more now from Zoe Chace of NPR's Planet Money team. She's on the line. Hi, Zoe.
ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: Each of these guy's names is a little familiar, I think to the layman, especially maybe Shiller. Who are they?
The world's top financial officials were in Washington, D.C. over the weekend for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The partial government shutdown and the debt ceiling standoff were hot topics among the visiting world financial leaders.
Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 2:53 am
Social science research shows movie goers are less receptive to ads if they're munching on popcorn. When we watch an ad on the screen, we subconsciously mouth the name we're hearing. And this "inner speech" makes an imprint on our brain. But if you're chewing your way through the ads, your mouth and brain don't go through those motions, and the message may not stay with you.
The International Herald Tribune is about to change its name. In these difficult days for print journalism, fans of the Paris-based English newspaper are grateful that it's still being published. But the change is prompting a good bit of nostalgia.
Later this morning, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics will be announced in Sweden. Unlike some other Nobel Prizes we've heard about in recent days, this one comes with an asterisk. And NPR's Robert Smith is covering the story. He's in New York. Hi, Robert.
ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Hey, it's good to be here.
INSKEEP: Why is there an asterisk over the Nobel Prize in Economics?
Two Iranian textile merchants wait for customers in Tehran's main bazaar. President Hassan Rouhani has raised hopes by reaching out to the West and promising to work for an end to sanctions. But his team has cautioned that the country's economic problems have deep roots.
The U.S. and its Western allies have not been able to win the nuclear concessions they have sought from Iran. But they have been able to inflict considerable economic pain through sanctions.
But now, Iran's call for a nuclear agreement and an end to sanctions has raised hopes among Iranians that better economic times may be ahead. The Iranian currency has stabilized somewhat since the election of President Hassan Rouhani, although inflation and unemployment remain high.
So far, the tobacco industry has paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of a settlement. While smoking is down among young people and even adults in some areas, it's still unclear where much of that money has gone.
Fifteen years after tobacco companies agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines in what is still the largest civil litigation settlement in U.S. history, it's unclear how state governments are using much of that money.
So far tobacco companies have paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of the 25-year, $246 billion settlement.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
Let's talk chili peppers. It's harvest time in New Mexico where the iconic crop has been grown for centuries. New Mexico still produces more chili peppers than any other American state. But production in the U.S. is a fraction of what's produced in India and China, countries with large pools of labor.
NPR's Ted Robbins reports that farmers in New Mexico could increase their harvest if they had the people to do it.
Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:27 pm
While a few gamblers bet real money on potential Nobel Prize winners, at Planet Money we're content to merely speculate. We're particularly interested in who might win the economics prize, which will be announced Monday morning.
Zanny Minton Beddoes, the economics editor for The Economist, argues that the stalled budget negotiations and the government shutdown have already harmed U.S. standing in the world. She explains her position to host Arun Rath.
The handling of an oil spill in North Dakota is raising questions, after a state agency waited to tell the public it had taken place. A wheat farmer was the first to recognize the spill had happened; it became public knowledge nearly two weeks later.
Here's how the AP describes the spill's discovery:
"Farmer Steve Jensen says he smelled the crude for days before the tires on his combines were coated in it. At the apparent break in the Tesoro Corp.'s underground pipeline, the oil was 'spewing and bubbling 6 inches high,' he said in a telephone interview Thursday."
The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank began Thursday in Washington amid a partial government shutdown. Many delegates are concerned that the U.S. budget impasse may threaten global economic stability.
Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:19 am
When you invite guests over, you probably straighten up the house to make a good impression.
This week, the nation's capital is welcoming guests from all over the world. Thousands of finance ministers, central bankers, scholars and industry leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.