NPR business news begins with television the day after tomorrow.
All those political ads on TV and radio, billions of dollars worth, are about to come to an end. Which, if you're a TV station, raises the question of what will take their place?
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: This year, Political spending will reach an all-time high. The Center for Responsive Politics puts the figure at about six billion dollars. More than half of that has gone into TV ads for president and everything else.
Estimates of the economic cost of the storm damage caused by Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast, are as high as $50 billion. A lot of that is physical damage. Just under half of those losses, though, are from things people didn't, or couldn't, do during the storm; like eat in restaurants, go to the theater, or just work. Reporter Tracey Samuelson brings us this look at the blows Sandy has dealt a pair of small-business owners in New York City.
In August last year, as Hurricane Irene threatened the East Coast, New Jersey's governor issued an evacuation order for Atlantic City. And WEEKEND EDITION was introduced to one restaurant owner who wasn't having any of it.
JOHN EXADAKTILOS: Choppy seas, little wind, little hazy. This is a bull (bleep) storm. Nothing's going to happen.
Superstorm Sandy capped what's been a pretty impressive couple of years for U.S. natural disasters. There have been wildfires, tornadoes, floods and derechos. And insurance companies are on the hook to pay billions in related claims.
"We're seeing more of everything, and what we're doing is trying to factor that in going forward as we work with others to have a better sense of what the future holds," says State Farm spokesman David Beigie.
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 5:20 pm
Each month, the Labor Department issues an employment report. On Friday, that report showed job creation rose in October — and it revealed something more.
With its latest unemployment assessment, the government in effect took a BEFORE snapshot of the U.S. economy. It collected all of the data before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and before the election outcome could be known. Each of those two events has the potential to change the AFTER outlook.
Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:40 pm
In the U.S., Thanksgiving marks the unofficial start of the race to Christmas (unless you happen to decorate department stores, then it starts in October). But in Denmark, the Christmas race starts tonight.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, Superstorm Sandy might've turned out the lights along the East Coast, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. We want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly that Sandy brought out on social media. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. It's a busy Friday morning before the election. Around 8:30 Eastern Time the government releases the final monthly snapshot of the job market before the election.
MONTAGNE: Last month the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest in years. This month analysts expect the number may tic up again, though a separate survey may show another net gain in total people employed.
MONTAGNE: Chrysler is again in the news. Today it's not for political reasons, but because the Detroit automaker is selling cars, a lot of them. Chrysler had it best October sales in five years. And Automotive magazine has named Chrysler's CEO its man of the year.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: When auto industry people talk about Chrysler's CEO Sergio Marchionne, they tend to gush.
The produce aisle may not yet be restocked at the Stop & Shop in Toms River, N.J., and other perishables may still be hard to come by. But rest assured, the local pizza joint is hopping.
"We've been busy, very busy," says Marissa Henderson, granddaughter of the proprietor of Geno D's pizzeria in Toms River. It was one of the few restaurants open in the area in the wake of the hurricane that rolled through earlier this week.
Lower Manhattan continues to slog through another day without electricity, and it's taking a toll on businesses that have been shuttered since the storm hit. No electricity means no lights, no credit card machines, no heating and no refrigerators to keep food fresh, so local shops and restaurants are waiting desperately for the power to turn back on.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy wrapped up a post Hurricane Sandy news briefing earlier this week by talking about sewage discharges into Long Island Sound. "Suffice to say in the immediate time being, no one should eat the clams or oysters," he said.
That's right. Because of water quality issues, the state put a temporary stop to oyster farming, but that's usually a short-term thing and it happens fairly regularly after a big storm.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 7:02 am
Three closely watched employment indicators are out this morning:
-- Unemployment Benefits. There were 363,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down from 372,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. So, as they have all year, claims remain in a range between 350,000 and 400,000.
Sandy is likely to go down as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. The initial estimates of the losses are anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion. But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, the impact on the economy is more complicated than it may appear. Some companies will even make money.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Economist Greg Daco has been tallying the potential costs of Hurricane Sandy and he says there's no question it's going to hurt the economy more than it will help it.
Japanese TV maker Sharp on Thursday doubled its expected net loss for the year to more than $5 billion. The company also raised concerns about its ability to survive on its own. The news comes a day after another Japanese tech giant, Panasonic, forecast a nearly $10 billion loss for the year.
Note: This story was originally published on Oct. 30. It was updated on Nov. 1 to include a radio version of the story.
The stock market, according to a popular narrative, is now just computers making superfast trades with other computers. Those pictures of traders getting emotional on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange are an anachronism. The real action flashes through fiber-optic cables headed for servers in places like Kansas City. It's algorithms all the way down.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:59 am
Federal regulators have announced the results of a September inspection blitz targeting 13 coal mines in seven states "previously cited for violations regarding respirable dust sampling ... inadequate dust control ... and hazard complaints" involving excessive coal dust.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:06 pm
As the presidential race zeroes in on Ohio, and the auto industry gets renewed focus in the all-important swing state, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting the backing of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the company's former president, Hal Sperlich.
"In our opinion, Mitt Romney is the leader we need to help turn our economy around and ensure that the American auto industry is once again a dominant force in the world," Iacocca and Sperlich write on Romney's website.
Now let's report on a different kind of horror. Tonight, of course, is Halloween, and Americans are expected to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 billion on decorations candy, costumes and other stuff.
From Seattle, NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on the business behind this ghoulish night.
Oh my gosh. You create the social equivalent of nuclear fusion when you combine the people who are obsessed with Star Wars and the people obsessed with Disney. The Walt Disney Company is apparently willing to take that risk. In a move that surprised industry observers, Disney announced, yesterday, it is buying Lucasfilm, the studio founded by George Lucas and home to the Star Wars franchise. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports there are already plans for a new "Star Wars" movie.
The National Hockey League has now canceled all games through the end of November, as team owners lock out players in a labor dispute. In the meantime, there are many businesses and workers who count on hockey games to help make ends meet. But they are now trying to make due without.