Business

Politics
3:12 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Senate Ushers In New Year With 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the first morning of 2013, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The party went until the morning hours here in Washington. We're talking about the gathering on Capitol Hill. Senators were voting around 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

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Business
3:09 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Can An Algorithm Discover The Key To Laughter?

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Along with decent finances, it takes a lot of talent and practice to play in an orchestra. The same goes for being able to make people laugh. And even some of the most brilliant comedians can have a hard time of it. Let's listen to the usually great Johnny Carson in one of his not-so-great moments on the "Tonight Show."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

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Business
3:08 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Tribune Co. Moves Toward Entertainment, Cable TV

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Chicago-based Tribune Company, the corporate owner of the L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and 23 local TV stations, emerged from bankruptcy yesterday after a messy four-year process.

As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, Tribune's future may look very different from its newsy past.

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Business
3:08 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR business news starts with record prices at the pump.

You may already have a sense of this from your bank statement, but now AAA has confirmed that the average price of a gallon of gasoline hit a record in 2012. The group says the national average for the year was $3.60. That is nine cents higher than the average in 2011, which was the previous record. For 2013, AAA thinks increased domestic oil production will help keep prices lower. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
3:08 am
Tue January 1, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today's last word in business is old news.

The postal service famously vows that neither snow nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will stop its carriers from their appointed rounds. But the postal creed does not say how long that will take.

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NPR Story
2:55 am
Tue January 1, 2013

What Does Senate Budget Deal Mean For You?

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Happy New Year.

Let's start with the upside. Congress has yet to rattle the financial markets so far in 2013.

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Law
1:00 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Justice Wants Banks To Be Quasi Cops

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer announces a nearly $2 billion money laundering settlement with British bank HSBC on Dec. 11 in New York City.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Every year, banks handle tens of millions of transactions. Some of them involve drug money, or deals with companies doing secret business with countries like Iran and Syria, in defiance of trade sanctions.

But if the Justice Department has its way, banks will be forced to change — to spot illegal transactions and blow the whistle before any money changes hands.

Federal prosecutors have already collected more than $4.5 billion from some of the world's biggest financial institutions — banks charged with looking the other way when dirty money passed through their accounts.

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Business
12:57 am
Tue January 1, 2013

New Year Brings Minimum-Wage Hikes In 10 States

Rhode Island's minimum wage will increase from $7.40 to $7.75.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:23 pm

On Tuesday, the minimum wage in 10 states will increase by anywhere from a dime to 35 cents.

For all of the states but one, the pay hikes are part of automatic adjustments designed to keep up with the cost of living.

In Rhode Island, it took a state law to raise the minimum wage for the first time in five years.

Rising Wages Vs. Rising Prices

Cafe Zog in Providence is a cozy, quirky place where you can grab a coffee and bagel to go, or nab a booth then head to the counter to order a hot breakfast.

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Business
12:56 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Rift With China Clouds Solar Industry's Future

Solar panels come off the line at SunPower's solar manufacturing plant near San Jose, Calif.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

It's been a banner year for solar energy. The United States is on track to install a record number of solar power systems — thanks in large part to low-cost solar panels from China. That's been challenging for American manufacturers, and federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese panels.

Things look busy at the SunPower solar manufacturing plant in Silicon Valley. Workers are screwing frames onto shiny, 6-foot solar panels as they come off the line.

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Business
2:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

All Eyes Are On The Fiscal Cliff, But The Dairy Cliff Is Important Too

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Amid all the talk of going over the fiscal cliff, we have a report now on another midnight deadline tonight. Few were paying attention when Congress failed to pass the Farm Bill last fall. But now lawmakers are scrambling to extend the law for a year, to dodge a spike in milk prices. While an agreement is in the works, another vote is necessary, and none is scheduled yet. Peggy Lowe of member station KCUR in Kansas City explains how farmers, processors and consumers ended up at what is being called the dairy cliff.

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Economy
9:50 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Is Our Economy Better Than Theirs?

The countdown is on to a new year — and the fiscal changes that are on the other side of midnight. But what else is on the cards economically for 2013, both here and overseas? Guest host Celeste Headlee puts the question to the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.

Economy
3:46 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Hours Left To 'Fiscal Cliff' Deadline

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the final day of the year, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We still do not know if taxes will be going up as the ball in New York City's Times Square goes down.

INSKEEP: Congressional negotiators are still discussing ways at the White House to avoid the higher tax rates and spending cuts due to take effect after midnight tonight.

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Business
3:42 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Best Car Deals To Be Found This Time Of Year

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are in a great season to buy a car. Automakers and dealers are offering lots of incentives. And those incentives are just one of the factors in what may end up as the best year for the auto industry since 2007, before the height of the financial crisis. So why has it been a good year? Well, when millions of people hold off on their car purchases for years, that pent up demand, along with cheap credit, will eventually drive stronger sales.

Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

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Economy
2:13 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Europe Fails To Stimulate Growth In 2012

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 10:52 am

The U.S. economy grew at a steady though not very strong pace this year. But Europe slipped back into recession because of the ongoing debt crisis. European leaders took steps to stimulate growth, but it wasn't enough to reverse course.

The economic crisis that got under way five years ago was felt all over the world. But Mohammed El-Erian, CEO of the investment firm PIMCO, says different regions have healed at much different rates.

The year "2012 was another multispeed world globally, in the sense that different parts did different things," he says.

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Politics
1:33 am
Mon December 31, 2012

After Fruitless Weekend, Congress Still Seeks Fiscal Deal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, leaves the Senate chamber to caucus in the Capitol on Sunday.
Molly Riley AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

It is almost unimaginable that both the House and Senate would be in session on a Sunday evening on the penultimate day of the year. And yet, they both were, with lawmakers hoping it was not merely a big waste of time and effort.

A bipartisan push by Senate leaders over the weekend has so far failed to forge a deal to spare American wage earners from tax hikes and shield government programs from drastic cutbacks.

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Planet Money
1:32 am
Mon December 31, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff: A Love Story

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

America, if you're scared by all the talk you've been hearing about the fiscal cliff, take heart: There are reasons for people across the political spectrum to love the cliff.

There's a lot for liberals to like in the fiscal cliff, says Matthew Yglesias, who writes wonky articles about economics for Slate.

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Author Interviews
1:28 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Death Of The (Predatory) Salesman: These Days, It's A Buyer's Market

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:46 am

The familiar image of the salesman in American culture hasn't always been a flattering one. Just think of Alec Baldwin as the verbally abusive "motivator" of two real estate salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Daniel H. Pink, author of the new book To Sell is Human, says that this relentless, predator-style approach to selling has become outdated. He believes that the art of sales has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous century.

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Around the Nation
2:58 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

A Tough Year For Unions, With Few Bright Spots Ahead

Despite huge protests at Michigan's state capitol building in Lansing, Republican lawmakers in the state made the union stronghold the 24th right-to-work state in the country.
Rebecca Cook Reuters via Landov

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 3:55 pm

This year was a tough one for organized labor.

In June, Scott Walker — the Wisconsin governor who banned collective bargaining for public employee unions — survived a recall election.

And, despite huge protests in Michigan, the union stronghold became the 24th right-to-work state, banning unions from requiring workers to sign up. That came just 10 months after Indiana passed a similar law.

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It's All Politics
8:57 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Obama 'Modestly Optimistic' On Cliff Deal; 'He Won,' Says Graham

President Obama returned early from his holiday in Hawaii on Thursday for discussions on the "fiscal cliff."
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:48 am

President Obama went on the air to levy pressure on Congress Sunday as Senate leaders worked to negotiate a deal to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."

"I was modestly optimistic yesterday, but we don't yet see an agreement," Obama said in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press taped on Saturday. "Now the pressure's on Congress to produce."

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Business
4:45 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Housing Made A Big Turnaround In 2012

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Business
3:11 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Retail Workers Bear Brunt Of Sluggish Holiday Sales

Pedestrians pass the Dow Jones display ticker in Times Square on Wednesday in New York. U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers that slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 2:51 pm

Several large retailers took a leap of faith on what they thought would be a gangbuster holiday season, hiring more seasonal workers this year than last.

Sales during the two months before Christmas weren't all that stunning, however, and that's meant fewer opportunities for seasonal workers.

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Business
3:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Hollywood Writer's Gongs Still Going Strong

Comedy writer Andrew Borakove left California for Lincoln, Neb., to sell gongs.
Guy Raz

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:33 pm

Andrew Borakove was a television comedy writer in Hollywood when he realized he had to make a life change.

"A vision of a gong appeared before me, and I said a gong? I've never thought of that," he says. "And I started doing research and I said, 'Yep, I could maybe sell gongs for a living.' "

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Business
4:13 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Facebook, Apple Part Of Big Year For Business News

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 3:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Any new member of Congress faces a steep climb to get up to speed on the economic challenges facing the U.S. over the next 12 months. Some of the loudest demands for congressional attention will no doubt come from America's CEOs and business leaders because while the recovery has been trudging along in the right direction, some of America's largest companies and corporations have not distinguished themselves over the last year.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Major Port Strike Averted

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. A strike has been averted at many of the nation's busiest shipping ports, at least temporarily. The union representing longshoremen at ports along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico have threatened to walk off the job starting Sunday. But as we hear from NPR's Jim Zarroli, port operators and the union have reached agreement on one of their most contentious issues.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Port Strike Averted As Dock Workers, Terminal Operators Agree To Extension

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:46 pm

Longshoremen and East Coast and Gulf Coast port operators have agreed to an extension on labor negotiations, a federal mediator said Friday, averting a potentially crippling strike that would have halted container traffic at many of the nation's largest seaports.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: The temporary deal extends the contract to Feb. 6.

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Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

What's In Store For The Airline Industry In 2013?

Events in the new year could include the biggest airline merger ever. For months, a deal between American Airlines and U.S. Airways has been talked about. The new year is also likely to bring slightly higher domestic ticket prices and some new planes.

Environment
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Administrator Lisa Jackson To Leave EPA

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:32 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Also last month, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency joked to an environmental law conference: Everyone who wants my job, stand up. Yesterday, Lisa Jackson turned serious and made it official: She's leaving the EPA next month.

As NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin reports, there are mixed feelings about Jackson's departure.

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Planet Money
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

The 'Fiscal Cliff' And The Art Of Negotiating

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:50 am

The tortuous negotiations involved in the "fiscal cliff" talks are like a chess game. The opponents follow rules and techniques. Negotiating is part science, part art, and everyone does it in their daily lives.

Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

SEC Filing Reveals Apple CEO's Pay Package

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big pay cut.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Apple hit a big milestone this year when it became the most highly valued public company in history. So it may be a surprise to hear that Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, saw a big dip in salary - like, a 99 percent dip.

Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

The last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business has the Second City coming in first, but I have a feeling this will not be a source of pride. In 2013, Chicago will have the most expensive parking meters in North America.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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