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.
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?
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.
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.
Today, a rare quarterly loss for the nation's biggest bank, JP Morgan Chase. As NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports, the bank is spending billions of dollars on litigation.
DAN BOBKOFF, BYLINE: It's not in JP Morgan Chase's nature to lose money. They made profits all through the financial crisis, bolstering both the reputations of the bank and its CEO Jamie Dimon. So a $380 million loss last quarter is noteworthy.
JAMES DIMON: It's very painful, OK, for me personally.
Dawn at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park is a favorite moment for photographers from all over the world. They'll soon be able to return to the park, given Utah's deal with the Interior Department to fund park operations.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:16 pm
"This is a godsend!" exclaimed Utah Gov. Gary Herbert late Thursday night, as he signed an agreement with the Department of the Interior to use state funds to reopen eight national park areas in his state for at least 10 days.
The Republican governor wasted no time in wiring $1.67 million to Washington overnight so that some of the areas can open as early as today. Rangers and other National Park Service employees will staff the parks as usual.
According to a recent study, more than half of the Mississippians who file for bankruptcy do so because they cannot pay their medical bills. Clarion Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell tells host Michel Martin what's causing such devastating costs.
David Schuemann says he wrote 99 Bottles of Wine as a "how to" for label makers. What's one of his favorites? Sea Smoke's pinot noir, which beautifully illustrates how a simple logo against a white background makes a wine look sophisticated and first class.
When a label goes for something whimsical, it must be clever, too — like these chemical reactions, which actually occur during fermentation. (Full disclosure: I have personally bought the wine on the left because I'm a sucker for chemistry that's correct.) At right: The label for Slingshot looks like someone actually used it for target practice.
Hip and modern: The skull and bicycle gears on the Bone Shaker label speak to the hipster in all of us, while the clean, bold design of the BEX riesling sets it apart from other stodgy European labels and evokes the precision of German auto engineering.
Left: A hand-drawn typeface on Bluebird wines conveys a youthful, innovative feeling, while the puffy, raised lettering makes the $12.99 bottle appear more expensive. Right: When the Hahn family switched their cabernet sauvignon to this label, the wine started flying off the shelves — and its image of a naked lady helped get it banned in Alabama.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:34 pm
We're all guilty of it. Even if we don't want to admit it, we've all been suckered into grabbing a bottle of wine off the grocery store shelf just because of what's on the label. Seriously, who can resist the "see no evil" monkeys on a bottle of Pinot Evil?
But the tricks that get us to buy a $9 bottle of chardonnay — or splurge on a $40 pinot noir — are way more sophisticated than putting a clever monkey on the front.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:05 am
Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. It's the 11th day of the partial federal government shutdown, 2013 edition.
President Obama and House Republicans at least opened a line of communications before the second week of the shutdown ended, so that was good news.
Less positive was that it came only a week before the Oct. 17 expiration date Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave for when he would run out of tricks to keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its obligations.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Let's check in now on some people and places affected by the large-scale federal government shutdown. We go first to Boulder, Colorado. Its home to hundreds of federal research laboratory employees and thousands more university and contract workers, all locked out of federal buildings and labs during the budget impasse.
And here's something a little easier to understand. At least one national industrial park has remained open throughout the partial government shutdown. Our last word in business today is: Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Now in theory, this park should be closed, like other parks, but the National Park Service has not completed the deal to acquire the land yet, so it remains open under local care of the city of Paterson, New Jersey.
JEFFREY HESS, BYLINE: I'm Jeffrey Hess in Jackson, Mississippi which is one of the 34 states letting the federal government take the lead in establishing a health insurance exchange. Heavy web traffic and software problems have made it nearly impossible to use the new web site since it opened last week.
MEREDITH STARK: Why I keep trying is because this is something we need.
Let's hear, next, about investors who try to diversify their portfolios but may have only enriched their advisers. Some brokers and firms have been encouraging customers to invest in managed futures. Those are basically investments in futures contracts, such as gold, or global currencies or pork bellies. They are sold as a way to minimize risk.
David Evans of Bloomberg says, in reality, they've been a bad deal.