Business

Economy
11:27 am
Fri December 6, 2013

For Workers, A Week Stuffed With Good News

An auto worker tightens bolts on the wheel of a Focus at a Ford plant in Wayne, Mich. Reports this week showed increases in auto sales and manufacturing jobs.
Mira Oberman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 2:40 pm

Here's something you haven't heard in years: The U.S. economy had a great week.

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All Tech Considered
9:51 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Tech Week That Was: #NPRBlacksInTech, Amazon's Buzz On Drones

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' announcement that the company is pursuing drone delivery technology incited equal parts media buzz and fervent skepticism.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:36 am

This week, our friends at NPR's Tell Me More turned the spotlight on black leaders in the tech industry — a demographic that's underrepresented in the field, as Gene Demby explored when covering coders of color. The conversation continues on Twitter through Dec. 20, where tech thinkers will live-tweet their days and answer questions about the field.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Paneer Pizza: Domino's Sees India Becoming Second-Largest Market

An employee rides a motorcycle to deliver Domino's pizzas in New Delhi this past May. Domino's Pizza CEO J. Patrick Doyle says India is poised to become the chain's largest market outside the U.S., on the strength of a menu tailored to Indians' tastes.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 11:40 am

In recent years, Domino's Pizza has rapidly expanded overseas — helping it open stores at a faster clip than Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, according to Forbes. Part of that growth is in India, which company CEO J. Patrick Doyle says is poised to supplant Britain as the chain's largest market outside the U.S.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Eyes Turn To The Fed As Unemployment Rate Falls To 5-Year Low

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:41 am

(This post was updated at 10:15 a.m. ET)

The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent — the lowest mark in five years — and employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The latest data could build anticipation that the Federal Reserve might taper its stimulus program.

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Business
3:16 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela Helps Madiba Shirts To Become Popular

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Madiba Shirts.

We've been remembering this morning that many impacts that Nelson Mandela had on the world in politics and race and reconciliation. He died yesterday in South Africa at the age of 95. But we cannot leave without mentioning his impact on fashion.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
3:16 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Value In Brazil's State Oil Company Drops

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras, lost 15 percent of its market value this week - that's some $10 billion. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Sao Paulo on why oil analysts predict more trouble ahead for the oil giant.

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Economy
3:16 am
Fri December 6, 2013

November's 7 Percent Jobless Rate Beats Expectations

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:49 am

The Labor Department on Friday said the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, a five-year low, as U.S. employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls in November. In October, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.

Economy
5:47 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Meet The Humble Container That Moves The Global Economy

The container carrying the Planet Money women's T-shirts is loaded onto a ship in Cartagena, Colombia.
Eric Helton for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 12:49 pm

NPR's Planet Money team is manufacturing its own T-shirt. After the women's shirt was assembled in Colombia, they voyaged by container ship to Miami. The container, a big standardized box that moves easily from truck to ship to train, is the unsung hero of the global economy. It was invented in the 1950s and dramatically reduced shipping costs, ushering in a new era vastly different than the world retired stevedores remember.

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Around the Nation
5:47 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Fast Food Workers Rally Across Country For Better Pay

Workers rallied in 100 cities on Thursday to raise awareness for increasing pressure to raise wages. The push comes as 19 cities and states already raised minimum wages. A report from Berkeley economists finds the low-wage fast food jobs are costing taxpayer billions of dollars in public assistance — everything from food stamps to Medicaid.

Politics
3:48 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

To Fix Social Security, Some Democrats Want To Lift Wage Cap

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D- Mass., listens to testimony during a Banking Committee hearing on Nov. 12. In a Senate floor speech on Social Security last month, Warren said, "With some modest adjustments, we can keep the system solvent for many more years, and we could even increase benefits."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 5:39 pm

For the past three years, there's been a shortfall in the payroll taxes collected for Social Security. And as more baby boomers join the ranks of the 57 million people already receiving benefits, that deficit is bound to keep growing.

At the same time, the overall share of wages being taxed for Social Security is shrinking as the higher wages that are exempt have soared. The Social Security Board of Trustees predicts a nearly $3 trillion trust fund built up over decades will vanish within 20 years.

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Planet Money
1:51 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The Job Market Is Still Awful, In 3 Graphs

Quoctrung Bui / NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:05 am

Update: The jobs report is out. The U.S. added 203,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent. The job market is improving, but it's still very bad.

When the big jobs report comes out Friday morning, we'll hear a lot about what happened in November in the job market.

But whatever happened last month, it won't change this fact: The job market is still terrible.

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Parallels
12:59 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The World's Largest Vessel Enters The Water In South Korea

A rendering of the world's largest vessel, the Shell Prelude, which comes in at just over 1,600 feet. It has just left its dry dock in South Korea, where it is being built. It will eventually head toward Australia, where it will be anchored off the coast and used as a liquefied natural gas facility.
Shell

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:24 pm

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The Salt
11:23 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Fast-Food Workers Across The U.S. Cry Poverty Wages, Demand Better Pay

Fast-food workers march toward the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Similar rallies occurred in about 100 cities across the U.S.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:57 am

When you're making eight bucks an hour, which is pretty typical in the fast-food industry, it's tough to make ends meet.

And increasingly, the working poor are asking this question: Why am I living in poverty, even when I'm working full time?

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Ford Hopes New Mustang Will Get The World's Motor Running

The new 2015 Ford Mustang was unveiled Thursday. The car's new design includes features that are geared toward global markets.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 10:19 am

Ford unveiled its new Mustang on Thursday, in a splashy event that was undermined a bit by leaked photos that showed the new model's design. And the Mustang will be sold around the globe for the first time since the car was introduced nearly 50 years ago.

From Michigan Radio, Tracy Samilton filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Thu December 5, 2013

China Bans Bitcoin Trading By Banks

Chinese banks cannot trade in Bitcoins, the digital currency that doesn't recognize international boundaries, China's top regulators said Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 10:03 am

China says banks in the country are no longer allowed to trade in Bitcoin, the digital currency whose value has sharply risen this year. Chinese citizens, however, are not forbidden from using the currency.

The Bitcoin exchange rate took a hit following Thursday's news from China's central bank.

From Shanghai, NPR's Frank Langfitt filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

U.S. Economy Grew At 3.6 Percent In Third Quarter; Jobless Claims Dip

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:23 am

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the third quarter, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's a rise from the second quarter, when the real gross domestic product tallied a 2.5 percent gain.

The pace of growth is the fastest since the first quarter of 2012, which clocked in at 3.7 percent.

Thursday's release is the "second" estimate for the third quarter, following up on data released in November that put the GDP's increase at 2.8 percent.

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Business
5:26 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Reviewers On Amazon Poke Fun At $40,000 TV

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Samsung is selling an HD television for $40,000. That price tag prompted the following customer reviews on Amazon.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

I was going to send my kids to college, but I had to do what was best for my family.

INSKEEP: Glad it has low energy costs, as I'm on a very tight budget.

MONTAGNE: I hesitated to buy, but I saw double-A batteries were free with the remote.

Business
3:05 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Temp Worker Writes Of 'Belly Of The Online Shopping Beast'

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's take a closer look at people working for much less than $15 an hour. For one week this fall, writer Gabriel Thompson did temp work in a busy warehouse in Southern California's Inland Empire region, which he describes as the belly of the online shopping beast. The warehouse where he packed merchandise for 9 bucks an hour is owned by Ingram Micro, the world's largest technology distributor.

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Business
3:03 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Banks Come Under Fire For Filling In The Payday Loan Gap

Federal regulators are setting new rules for banks that offer deposit advances.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

A payday loan is a costly form of credit operating on the fringes of the economy. That's why the target of a new crackdown by federal regulators may surprise you: Instead of a forlorn-looking storefront with a garish neon sign, it's your familiar neighborhood bank.

A small but growing number of banks, including some major players, have been offering the equivalent of payday loans, calling them "deposit advances."

That is, at least, until bank regulators stepped in Nov. 21 and put new restrictions on the loans.

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Economy
3:01 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Pressure Mounts On Fast-Food Industry To Pay Workers More

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Protests are planned at fast-food chain restaurants 100 American cities today. Unions are staging these protests as part of a campaign to press the industry to pay more than the minimum wage. In fact, organizers are calling for $15 per hour. In some cases, that would double the pay that workers get now, and the industry appears unlikely to do that voluntarily.

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Business
2:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Apple Gets Business Boost In China

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an Asian breakthrough for Apple.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Wireless phone carrier China Mobile has signed a deal with Apple to offer iPhones on its network. According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal would give Apple access to China Mobile's many subscribers - around 700 million of them. That's about seven times more subscribers than Verizon - which is the largest mobile carrier in the United States.

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Around the Nation
2:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Calif. Cold Snap Threatens Orchards

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It is freezing here in Southern California. Overnight, temperatures plunged into the 20s and that cold front is threatening citrus and avocado orchards through Central and Southern California. Citrus alone is a $20 billion industry here. So growers are scrambling to protect their crops.

We reached one of them - Jim Churchill - who grows Pixie tangerines in the Ojai valley north of Los Angeles. He was spending the night in his orchard. And Jim Churchill, good morning. And this is probably the first of a few nights, right?

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Economy
2:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Wal-Mart Brings Jobs To D.C. And Complaints Over Low Wages

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Wal-Mart opened its first two stores in Washington, D.C. yesterday, earning cheers from the district's mayor and some residents who say they'll be happy to shop in the city and not in the suburbs. But there have been months of debate over the wages the big box store pays its employees. Some activists and lawmakers say Wal-Mart does not pay workers enough to live on.

NPR's Allison Keyes has our story.

(APPLAUSE)

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

MSNBC's Martin Bashir Steps Down Over Palin Remarks

Martin Bashir attends the Today show's 60th anniversary celebration, in January 2012.
Evan Agostini AP

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 5:27 pm

MSNBC host Martin Bashir has resigned from the network following controversial remarks he made about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Some three weeks ago, Bashir referred to Palin as a "world-class idiot" for suggesting that U.S. indebtedness to China was akin to slavery. The television host quoted from plantation owner Thomas Thistlewood's diary describing a punishment for slaves that involved having others defecate in their mouths.

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Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Pipeline On Wheels: Trains Are Winning Big Off U.S. Oil

A train leaves the Rangeland Energy company's crude oil loading terminal near Epping, N.D. So far this year, 60 percent of all oil produced in North Dakota left the state by rail. One economist says there aren't enough oil tankers to fill the demand.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 7:28 pm

The oil boom in the United States is creating another boom — for the railroad industry.

So far this year, in North Dakota alone, 140 million barrels of oil have left on trains. Shipments of crude oil by rail are up almost 50 percent over last year — and this upward trend is expected to continue.

A visit to the world-famous Tehachapi Loop, part of a winding mountain pass in Southern California, demonstrates the scale and reach of the oil boom in the middle of the country. As a train full of oil tanker cars rumbles past, it's hard not to think of it as a pipeline on wheels.

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Planet Money
11:46 am
Wed December 4, 2013

'Our Industry Follows Poverty': Success Threatens A T-Shirt Business

Noreli Morales (right) works on the Planet Money women's T-shirt at a factory in Medellin, Colombia.
Joshua Davis for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 4:26 pm

The Planet Money men's T-shirt was made in Bangladesh, by workers who make about $3 a day, with overtime. The Planet Money women's T-shirt was made in Colombia, by workers who make roughly $13 a day, without overtime.

The wages in both places are remarkably low by U.S. standards. But the gap between them is huge. Workers in Colombia make more than four times what their counterparts make in Bangladesh. In our reporting, we saw that the workers in Colombia have a much higher standard of living than the workers in Bangladesh.

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Your Money
9:50 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Shopping With Your Values In Mind

Shopping is on everyone's mind during the holiday season — not just what to buy, but where you buy it. Host Michel Martin speaks with columnists David Sirota and Mario Loyola about shopping with your values in mind.

The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed December 4, 2013

European Union Fines Banks Billions For Rigging Interest Rates

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia announces fines against eight large banks, in a scandal over rigging interest rates.
Georges Gobet AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 10:45 am

European regulators have fined eight large banks a total of more than $2 billion over an illegal cartel scheme to fix interest rates. The fine, the largest ever issued in such a case by the European Union, comes after a two-year investigation into banks' collusion. And the inquiry isn't yet complete.

Two American banks — JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup — are included in the list of financial institutions fined as part of a settlement deal. Several banks that cooperated with investigators saw their fines reduced or eliminated.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Wed December 4, 2013

U.S. Job Growth Surged In November, Report Signals

Air Force Staff Sgt. Bri Smith (right) of Atlanta talks with a Mary Kay consultant during a November job fair for veterans.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 10:54 am

A report from payroll company ADP finds that "the U.S. private sector added 215,000 jobs during November making it the strongest month for job growth in 2013," says the company's president and chief executive, Carlos Rodriguez.

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Business
5:31 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Confirmation: Selfies Are Forces Of Evil

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. For those who believes selfies are a force of evil, here's confirmation. Darth Vader just posted on Instagram a photo of his face - that is, his iconic black helmet - with the tag GPOM for Gratuitous Portrait Of Myself. The selfie launched the Star Wars Instagram account - a marketing effort by Disney - two full years before the next sequel. It's a pretty good shot, though we have to say a little on the dark side. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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