Business

Business
2:43 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

How NAFTA Helped The Mexican Billionaires' Club

Carlos Slim Helu (left) talks with Steve Forbes of Forbes magazine. The magazine lists the Mexican telecom mogul as the world's richest man, with a net worth of $73 billion.
Jeremy Piper AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 1:50 pm

When the North American Free Trade Agreement was being negotiated, supporters promised it would increase the income of Mexicans. And the middle class did grow in Mexico over the past two decades. But it's clear that Mexico's ultrarich are among its big winners.

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Arts & Life
2:43 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

'Playboy' Gets Pranked: Group Flips The Script On Sex

You can't buy these panties at your local Victoria's Secret. While they mimic the look of that brand's Pink line, they're actually part of a project by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture.
Courtesy of FORCE

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 6:43 pm

Rebecca Nagle sometimes finds herself asking the question: What would Hugh Hefner say?

"The only sex that is good is when it's good for everyone," she says, laughing. "And I've only ever had good sex."

Hefner didn't actually say that. Nagle wrote it.

"But you can really imagine Hugh Hefner saying that," she insists.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Ford Tops Resurgent U.S. Car Industry, 2013 Sales Results Show

Ford says it sold the most F-series trucks since 2006. Here, a 2014 F-150 goes through quality control on the assembly line at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 11:58 am

Ford and GM are calling 2013 the best year for U.S. auto sales in at least five years. On Friday, they reported double-digit annual gains, while Chrysler reported an increase of 9 percent for its strongest year since 2007.

The new sales figures reflect a continuing turnaround from the struggles that led to a federal bailout in recent years. Here are highlights from each company's report:

Ford

  • Retail sales were up 14 percent in 2013, as Ford sold 2,493,918 vehicles.
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Economy
9:03 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Could Salary Bump Mean Economic Slump?

Minimum wage workers in 13 states will see a bump in their paychecks this year. Host Michel Martin talks about the possible ripple effects of raising minimum wages. She's joined by Bloomberg Businessweek contributor Roben Farzad and NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax.

Business
5:41 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Beanie Baby Creator Faces Jail Time For Evading Taxes

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 5:51 am

H. Ty Warner has asked a judge for probation. He's scheduled to be sentenced later this month for evading taxes on a secret Swiss bank account.

Business
5:41 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Visitors To Colorado Will Find Few Legal Places To Smoke Pot

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 5:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Recreational marijuana has been on sale in Colorado for a couple days now. And pot shops there have been surprised by the long lines of customers. Many people have been coming in from out of state hoping to be among the first to buy recreational pot legally.

But as Colorado Public Radio's Ben Markus reports, tourists are finding there are few legal places to smoke it.

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Business
5:41 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Machinists To Vote On Boeing's Latest Contract Offer

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 5:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a vote takes place today that could have a major impact on the economy in and around Seattle. The giant airplane maker Boeing is threatening to move thousands of jobs away from the Seattle region unless 30,000 unionized Boeing workers vote to accept cuts to retirement and health benefits.

Ashley Gross of member station KPLU has the story.

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Business
5:41 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Cybersecurity Merger Ups FireEye's Stock Price

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 5:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with securing cyberspace.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: All right, we're talking about a $1 billion deal here. The cybersecurity company FireEye has bought Mandiant. Mandiant gained some fame last year. They exposed a secretive branch of the Chinese military that was hacking into the computer networks of over 100 multinational companies.

The Two-Way
6:43 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Consortium Threatens To Pull Plug On Panama Canal Expansion

Men sit by the side of the Panama Canal as a ship sails past in Gamboa near Panama City, last month. The expansion project is aimed at accommodating the world's largest container ships.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:09 am

Cost overruns are threatening to shut down a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal aimed at allowing the world's largest ships to pass through the short cut between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean.

A European consortium funding the project says it won't continue the work until Panama coughs up the extra cash — which amounts to $1.6 billion over and above an original $3.2 billion bid to build a third set of locks.

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Economy
2:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Widening Wealth Gap: Bringing Income Inequality Into Focus

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:18 pm

The widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. has become a central touch point for economists, pundits and politicians across the U.S. New York City's newly sworn-in mayor, Bill deBlasio, was elected after campaigning against a city divided between the haves and have-nots. President Obama has called tackling inequality the defining challenge of our time, saying that growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility jeopardizes the American dream. But what, exactly, is income inequality?

The Salt
1:49 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Cork Versus Screw Cap: Don't Judge A Wine By How It's Sealed

Winemakers are increasingly turning to screw caps. Now consumers are learning to get over their prejudice for cork, too.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:18 pm

Step aside, cork.

If you're a wine drinker, you've probably noticed that screw caps are no longer considered the closure just for cheap vino. Increasingly, bottles of very good wines are unscrewed, rather than uncorked.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Jobless Claims Were Nearly Unchanged Last Week

There were 339,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down slightly from 341,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

According to The Associated Press, the slight decline is "evidence that layoffs are low and hiring will likely remain steady."

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Business
5:11 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Colorado Begins Sales Of Recreational Marijuana

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is green rush.

The first legal sale of recreational marijuana in recent memory happened in Denver yesterday.

TONY FOX: 8 a.m., we're going to do.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That's Tony Fox, who owns the 3-D Cannabis Center. She was making the ceremonial first sale, surrounded by dozens of reporters, to Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War veteran with PTSD, who was involved in the campaign to legalize pot in Colorado.

FOX: Sean, your total is $59.74.

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Research News
4:25 am
Thu January 2, 2014

How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:52 am

A Harvard economist finds there are psychological connections between the bad financial planning of many poor people and the poor time management of busy professionals. In both cases, he finds the experience of scarcity causes biases in the mind that exacerbate problems.

Business
3:40 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Given A Second Chance, Convicted Currency Trader Helps Others

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And even as things are looking up for the auto industry, many Americans still feel the sting of the 2008 recession. In the years since, many banks have been hit with large fines, but no major Wall Street executive has been convicted of criminal charges for their role in the financial crisis. That's not always how it went. A few years ago, a series of corporate scandals generated outrage and some stiff prison sentences.

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Television
3:37 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Fielder Offers Absurd Marketing Advice On Comedy Central

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:01 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's hear now about a new reality show featuring a mild-mannered Canadian who gives outlandish advice to companies looking to up their game. It's called "Nathan for You." And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, it's become an unlikely hit for Comedy Central.

(SOUNDBITE OF A BARKING DOG)

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: On a sunny winter day in North Hollywood, Nathan Fielding is directing his latest quirky marketing ploy, this one for a new housecleaning service.

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Planet Money
3:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

A Bet, Five Metals And The Future Of The Planet

James Cridland Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:24 am

This famous bet — between a biologist and an economist — was over population growth. It started three decades ago, but it helped set the tone for environmental debates that are still happening today.

The biologist at the heart of this bet was Paul Ehrlich at Stanford. He wrote a best-selling book in 1968 called The Population Bomb. It was so popular he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

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The Salt
3:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Why The Cod On Cape Cod Now Comes From Iceland

With local cod so scarce, Chef Toby Hill of Lyric Restaurant in Yarmouth Port, Mass., tries out a dogfish salad — served here with garlic aioli on toast — instead. Dogfish is still plentiful in New England waters, but wholesale fisheries say there's not much demand for it in the U.S.
Christine Hochkeppel Courtesy of Cape Cod Times

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:53 pm

Good luck finding local cod in Cape Cod, Mass.

The fish once sustained New England's fishing industry, but in recent years, regulators have imposed severe catch limits on cod, and the fish remain scarce.

"I've never seen cod fishing this bad," says Greg Walinsky, who has been fishing on Cape Cod for more than 30 years. "It looks to me like it's over. And I can't catch any codfish."

It's so bad, many fishermen say, that for the first time, they cannot catch enough cod to even reach shrinking government quotas.

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NPR Story
3:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Fiat Pays $4.3 Billion To Get Complete Control Of Chrysler

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Fiat and Chrysler.

The Italian automaker Fiat has paid $4.3 billion to gain complete ownership of Chrysler. The agreement announced yesterday is not a big surprise. Fiat already held a majority share of the Detroit automaker that produces Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles.

Industry analysts say this final step in the merger creates a global company that's better able to compete with the likes of General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
7:01 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Most Economists Say Happy New Year — Really

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 7:29 am

As the new year begins, most economists' annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.

"The economic news remains broadly encouraging," the Goldman Sachs forecasters write in their 2014 outlook.

And the brighter prospects are not limited to this country. "The global economy is likely to emerge in 2014 with modest growth of 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent this year," according to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.

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Business
4:45 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Las Vegas Company Offers Fix To Hangover

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Cure.

Because what happens in Vegas should stay there, like there hangover - if you celebrated New Year's Eve they are big time. A Las Vegas company called Hangover Heaven is offering much needed relief to midnight revelers with house calls and a walk-in clinic. The cure: an IV offering one and a half liters of hydration, plus a concoction of vitamins, antioxidants and headache medicine. $99 gets you the basic package called The Redemption.

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Business
4:39 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Hewlett-Packard To Cut More Jobs

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Hewlett-Packard layoffs.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: In a securities filing, the maker of computers and printers confirmed that it will cut 5,000 more jobs this year than it originally estimated. That would bring to 34,000 the number of jobs the company is planning to cut worldwide by October.

Energy
3:26 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Derailing Revives Calls To Change How Trains Haul Crude Oil

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are in the small town of Casselton, North Dakota, trying to learn what caused a fiery train crash. It's the latest in a series of accidents involving trains hauling crude oil. By far the most destruction happened last summer in Canada, where the center of a town in Quebec was destroyed, leaving 47 people dead.

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Economy
3:20 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Home Prices Mark Biggest Gains Since 2006

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And before the ball dropped in Times Square last night, new numbers came out on the housing market, and they showed the past year saw the biggest gains in home prices since 2006.

NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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All Tech Considered
12:58 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Banks Try To Save Big With 'ATMs Of The Future'

An ATM at a Chase lobby in New York is part of what company executives are touting as a "branch of the future" — a place where machines distribute exact change and count cash so tellers don't have to.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

There's a drive-thru ATM in Charlotte, N.C., that looks pretty standard, but it has an extra function: a button that says "speak with teller."

The face of a woman wearing a headset sitting in front of a plain blue background flashes onto the ATM screen. "Good afternoon," she says. "Welcome to Bank of America. My name is Carolina. How are you today?"

She's one of a cadre of Bank of America employees in Florida and Delaware call centers, where they remotely control ATMs across the country. I ask for $26.

"Just a $1, a $5 and $20," I say.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Target Says Some Of Its Gift Cards 'Not Properly Activated'

Target says a small percentage of the gift cards it sold won't work properly — more bad news following on the heels of a security breach affecting some 40 million credit and debit cards.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's not been a very good holiday season for Target.

First, it was the pre-Christmas announcement that 40 million credit and debit card accounts used for purchases at the retail chain had been hacked, even though the company later said the "strongly encrypted PIN data" that were breached shouldn't be at risk.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Out Like A Bull: 2013 Was A Banner Year For Wall Street

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 11:17 am

U.S. stocks in 2013 posted their best showing since 1997, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 26.5 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index up 29.6 percent and the Nasdaq up 38 percent.

NPR's Jim Zarroli says Wall Street's stellar performance was set against the backdrop of a U.S. economy that continued to limp along.

Brad McMillan, the chief financial officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, tells NPR "The stock market surprised everybody."

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The Salt
3:15 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers who have made the choice to rent land to farm instead of buy because of increasing property values.
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:02 pm

Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it.

Many of these farmers — many of whom didn't grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is.

The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative.

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Economy
2:55 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

2013 Was A Tremendous Year...At Least For The Stock Market

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 9:20 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

2013 was a so-so time for the U.S. economy, but it was a banner year for the stock market. Investors poured money into stocks, driving up prices to record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the year up 26 percent. The S&P 500 did even better. NPR's Jim Zarroli looks at how the market defied expectations.

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Around the Nation
2:46 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course

Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
Laura A. Oda MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:23 pm

One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.

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