Business

Business
4:30 am
Thu January 23, 2014

World Economic Forum Opens In Switzerland

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The World Economic Forum is underway at the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos. It's an annual meeting of the world's business elites but also in attendance are world leaders and academics, celebrities and charities.

Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times. He's a regular at Davos and he joined us from there. Good morning.

GIDEON RACHMAN: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Tell us about who is there this year and if there are some names that you're surprised to find are not.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Texas Landowners Keep Watchful Eye On Keystone KL Pipeline

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:20 am

Oil is now running through the southern part of the keystone XL pipeline. Supporters and opponents will be watching carefully to see what that could mean for the northern section of the project, that still awaits approval from the Obama administration.

Europe
1:51 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Spain Exits Bailout In A Sign Of Progress, Not Full Recovery

Shareholders protest bank practices at the headquarters of Spain's largest mortgage lender, Bankia, in Madrid on June 23, 2012, at the height of the country's banking crisis. Europe stepped in at that time with $56 billion in loans to help the banking system.
Andrea Comas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:47 pm

Spain's banking system on Thursday is marking an end to its reliance on bailout loans from Europe that were desperately needed 18 months ago to shore up its banks after a construction boom-and-bust.

Spain is now the second eurozone country to cleanly exit its bailout program, after Ireland.

It's a dramatic difference from a year and a half ago, when demonstrations erupted outside banks in Spain almost daily. At the time, record numbers of Spaniards were losing their homes in foreclosure. Unemployment soared past 25 percent and kept rising.

Read more
All Tech Considered
1:42 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Target Hack A Tipping Point In Moving Away From Magnetic Stripes

A cryptographic chip embedded in a British debit card. America is nearly alone in still relying on magnetic stripes to authenticate purchases.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:01 pm

The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.

Read more
Intelligence Squared U.S.
1:06 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Debate: Is The Affordable Care Act Beyond Repair?

Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Megan McArdle face off against Jonathan Chait and Dr. Douglas Kamerow over the Affordable Care Act in a debate moderated by John Donvan in January.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared US
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

The Affordable Care Act had ardent critics and supporters long before last fall's troubled launch of the HealthCare.gov website. Opponents of Obamacare say the law will reduce, not increase, the number of health plans available to Americans and that fewer consumers will be able to afford care than before. And delays in implementation of portions of the ACA, they argue, demonstrate how the Obama administration has been forced to undermine its own law in order to keep it running.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Warren Buffett's $1 Billion Basketball Bet Is A Very Long Shot

Warren Buffett with Harlem Globetrotter Chris "Handles" Franklin at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in May 2013.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:13 pm

Talk about March Madness:

Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans have teamed up on a "Billion $ Bracket Challenge."

Basically, Quicken is offering a $1 billion grand prize — yes, that's billion, with a B — if someone correctly picks the outcome of all 63 games in the men's Division I college basketball tournament this spring.

Read more
Planet Money
11:47 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Millions Of People Are Quitting Their Jobs Every Month. That's Good News.

quits
Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 8:35 am

It might be hard to imagine in this sputtering recovery, but 2.4 million people actually quit their jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's nearly a million more quitters than there were during the darkest months of the recession.

Read more
The Salt
11:24 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Long John Silver's Throws Trans Fats Overboard

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:22 pm

Long John Silver's has gained some notoriety in the past for serving up what the food police dubbed the most unhealthful meal in America. (aka heart attack on a hook.)

But the fast-food chain is out to change its reputation. One step in this new direction: a quick transition from partially hydrogenated oils that contain bedeviled trans fats. Today, the chain announced it is moving to a 100 percent soybean oil that is trans-fat free.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:37 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Almost No Poor Nations By 2035? That's What Bill Gates Says

Bill Gates at an event held by his foundation in Berlin last November.
Maurizio Gambarini EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:26 am

It is a myth that "poor countries are doomed to stay poor," and by the year 2035, "there will be almost no poor countries left in the world," Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates writes in his latest annual letter about the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conditions in the nations where the foundation works.

Gates sees a world where once-impoverished countries have already made tremendous progress and where more will follow their lead.

Read more
Business
5:47 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Amazon Does The Math, Anticipates Your Needs

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Amazon has a patent for what it calls "anticipatory shipping" — shipping goods to a warehouse near you before you've bought them. Renee Montagne talks to Tim Stevens, editor-at-large for CNET, about Amazon developing a sales method to ultimately read your mind.

Around the Nation
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Punishing Winter Temperatures Drain Propane Supplies

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this latest winter storm and those freezing temperatures are putting a strain on already low supplies of propane in the Northeast and Midwest. Millions of Americans use the liquefied gas to heat their homes. And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, they're paying more and getting less this winter season, which started early, thanks to the extreme cold of the polar vortex.

Read more
Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Banks Challenged By Economy Despite Positive Earnings

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Over the past week or so, most of the country's banks have reported their profits for the last quarter of 2013. The numbers, mostly, have better than most analysts expected. After a rough few years, most big financial institutions are faring pretty well. But there's some debate about how sustainable the numbers really are.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

Read more
Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Global Economic Recovery To Keep Strengthening

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

The International Monetary Fund has updated its outlook for the world economy. The IMF boosted its forecast for global growth slightly. It also hiked its estimate for U.S. growth.

Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Sears To Close Flagship Store In Downtown Chicago

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a Chicago farewell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Sears announced its closing its flagship store in downtown Chicago as part of an ongoing effort to cut expenses. It was once the largest retailer in Chicago. In fact, it was the namesake for the Sears Tower, the country's second tallest building.

One executive said that ever since it moved from the Sears Tower - which is now the Willis Tower - the downtown Chicago Sears has lost millions of dollars.

Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Quicken Loans Offers $1 Billion In NCAA Bracket Promotion

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

The finance company is offering a $1 billion prize to whoever correctly picks each game in the men's NCAA tournament. The odds of correctly picking every game are more than 9 quintillion to 1.

Around the Nation
1:43 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents

The bustling Sidamo coffee shop in Washington's H Street Northeast neighborhood. The area has attracted many new, young residents and high-end bars, retail and restaurants over the past several years.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:34 am

Bobby Foster Jr. can often be found reading the paper on a wooden bench outside Murry's grocery store on the corner of Sixth and H streets northeast in Washington, D.C.

"The sun shines over here this time of day," says Foster, a retired cook. "It's always good when the sun shines."

Murry's has been an anchor in this neighborhood for decades — during the crack wars of the 1980s and the urban blight that followed, when most other businesses packed up and left. Foster has been somewhat of an anchor, too. He's lived here for 54 years.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Buying A Detroit House For $500, And Then Explaining Why

A corner in Poletown, the section of Detroit where Drew Philip bought a house for $500.
Courtesy of Garrett MacLean

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:43 am

Drew Philp made waves this month by explaining to the Internet why he bought a house in struggling Detroit for $500. In his much-discussed story for Buzzfeed, Philp said that he is part of "another Detroit," one where people are working to help each other and save their city.

Read more
Business
4:50 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Big Bike-Sharing Supplier's Bankruptcy Doesn't Doom U.S. Programs

A major supplier to bike-sharing companies declared for bankruptcy this week — but experts say they still see the services spreading. Here, a man rides a Citibike through the Dumbo district of Brooklyn.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:29 pm

The Canadian company that is the main equipment and technology suppliers for bike-sharing systems across the U.S. has filed for bankruptcy.

Read more
MPX Lead
3:40 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Hackers Go 'Phishing' In The Wake Of Target Data Breach

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:55 pm

The retailing giant Target is doing what it can to limit the damage from a massive data breach. But there are signs that other hackers are trying to take advantage of the original data theft with elaborate "phishing" schemes.

MPX Lead
3:28 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

High Court Considers Legality Of 'Fair Share' Union Fees

A worker clears snow from in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 7:57 am

The rest of Washington may have shut down for the snow, but not the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, the justices heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could decimate public employee unions. At issue: whether nonunion members can be required to pay fees to help cover the cost of negotiating a contract from which they benefit.

Read more
The Salt
1:51 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?

A woman shops in the produce section at Whole Foods in New York City. The company recently announced it would prohibit produce farmed using biosolids in its stores.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:55 pm

If you've ever shopped at Whole Foods, you've probably noticed that some of the foods it sells claim all kinds of health and environmental virtues. From its lengthy list of unacceptable ingredients for food to its strict rules for how seafood is caught and meat is raised, the company sets a pretty high bar for what is permitted on its coveted shelves.

Read more
Economy
10:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Falling Unemployment Rate: Are We Delusional About The Economy?

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:52 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, much of the news out of Detroit has been bad lately, but one guy says it's a great place to live. We'll hear why he decided to help the Motor City comeback by purchasing a $500 wreck of a house. That's just ahead.

Read more
Economy
9:13 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Workers May Be Missing, Or Maybe Just Retiring

Is the economy strengthening, or is the jobless rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:52 am

For more than four years, the unemployment rate has been sliding down — from a 10 percent peak to today's 6.7 percent.

But does that reflect a fast-strengthening economy? Or is the rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?

In coming weeks, members of Congress and the Federal Reserve Board will be making big policy decisions based upon their best understanding of those unsettled questions.

Read more
Business
5:20 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Cost Overruns Threaten Widening Of Panama Canal

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Anyone who's lived through home construction knows that delays and higher costs than expected are inevitable, and that is playing out on an enormous scale at the Panama Canal.

Work on expanding a 50-mile long commercial waterway has been under constant threat of a work stoppage because of a dispute over who will pay huge cost overruns, now estimated to top $1.6 billion.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

Read more
Business
5:13 am
Tue January 21, 2014

More Cities Bring Buried Streams Back To Life

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Many cities across this country have paved over their streams, often to make way for urban development. The streams go underground. Now cities are realizing that uncovering those streams can have environmental and economic benefits.

Ann Thompson of member station WVXU reports so-called daylighting could be coming to a stream near you.

Read more
Business
3:16 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Union Angered By Postal Service Deal With Staples

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The American Postal Workers Union is fighting back against a deal that puts U.S. Postal Service counters inside Staples stores. The Postal Service is facing a deficit and increased competition, so it's developing retail partnerships with companies like Staples.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Law
1:18 am
Tue January 21, 2014

A Union For Home Health Aides Brings New Questions To Supreme Court

One of the questions before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 10:40 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in an Illinois case that could drive a stake through the heart of public employee unions.

At issue are two questions: whether states may recognize a union to represent health care workers who care for disabled adults in their homes instead of in state institutions; and whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.

To understand why a growing number of states actually want to recognize unions to represent home health care workers, listen to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

Read more
Business
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

T-Mobile CEO Swears (Like A Sailor) That Industry Will Change

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And it's been a big year for T-Mobile. The telecom company finally landed the iPhone. It started trading as a public company and has kicked off a price war with its competitors. In the process, it's become the fastest-growing mobile phone company in the country, recruiting 4.4 million new customers. But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, T-Mobile's combative and profane CEO, John Legere, is grabbing all the headlines.

Read more
The Salt
3:25 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

D.C. Barbecue Joint Serves Food For Soul And Mind

Chef Furard Tate says he wanted to "bring love back" to a Washington, D.C., neighborhood damaged since the 1968 riots.
Allison Keyes NPR

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 5:44 pm

Chef Furard Tate is the kind of man who never sits still. He flits from the order desk at Inspire BBQ back to the busy kitchen, where young men are seasoning sauce, cooking macaroni and cheese, and finishing off some dry-rubbed ribs smoked on a grill.

"We grill on a real grill," Tate says. "None of this electric stuff."

But as important as the food is, Tate says it's also important that it's made by young hands who must learn a slow, consistent process.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Oxfam: World's Richest 1 Percent Control Half Of Global Wealth

Local villagers scavenging coal illegally from an open-cast mine in a village near Jharia, India, in 2012.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 4:16 pm

Just 1 percent of the world's population controls nearly half of the planet's wealth, according to a new study published by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

The study says this tiny slice of humanity controls $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people.

Other key findings in the report:

-- The world's 85 richest people own as much as the poorest 50 percent of humanity.

Read more

Pages