Business

Business
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

More Employees Agree To Fragmented Hours To Get Work

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Close to added close to two million jobs to the workforce this year. Not all of fit the nine to five mold. Much of the newly hired are working fragmented, unpredictable hours. From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz has this report.

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Business
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Cost Of '12 Days Of Christmas' Up From 2012

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: 12 days of Christmas.

According to PNC Wealth Management's Christmas Price Index, the cost of the gifts in that holiday song jumped by 7.7 percent this year...

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Based on reports from retailers and among others, a National Aviary and the Pennsylvania Ballet.

MONTAGNE: You might think those five golden rings pushed up the prices. But in fact, the price spike was driven by a spike in the cost of lords-a-leaping and ladies dancing.

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Business
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Examining Flip Side Of A Firm's Social Responsibility Record

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Goldman Sachs has given hundreds of millions of dollars to charity in recent years. In part, its effort to do good has been shaped by the battering its reputation took during the financial meltdown in 2008 when Goldman traders were accused of misleading investors.

The efforts of companies to look good in the public eye may seem positive but there is also a disturbing side of doing good work, as NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam tells our own Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hi, Shankar.

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Business
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Cyber Monday Sales Up From Last Year

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We begin NPR's business news starts some mobile browsing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Millions of consumers - maybe including you - went online yesterday searching for deals on Cyber Monday. This is the biggest e-commerce shopping day. Online sales for the day hit $2 billion. That's up nearly 20 percent over last year.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Your Money
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

U.S. Workers Lack Confidence To Manage Retirement Savings

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Its open enrollment season at many work places, which means opportunities to make changes in your retirement savings plans. The investment company Charles Schwab has found that many American workers lack the confidence to effectively manage their retirement savings.

In search of advice, we called up The Washington Post's financial columnist Michelle Singletary. Glad to have you back.

MICHELLE SINGLETARY: Oh, it's my pleasure to be here.

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Business
3:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Planet Money Spins A Yarn And Makes A 'Perfect' T-Shirt

Inside a yarn factory in Indonesia.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 12:10 pm

NPR's Planet Money team has manufactured a T-shirt. All this week we're following its journey around the globe. Today, the T-shirt makes a detour in the Pacific Ocean. Cotton from America gets shipped to a factory in Indonesia where it gets transformed into yarn.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Law
1:18 am
Tue December 3, 2013

A Supreme Court Fight For The Rights Of (Frequent) Fliers

Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg sued Northwest Airlines for what he says was unfair termination from its frequent-flier program. His case goes goes before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Do airline frequent fliers have any legal rights when they get into disputes over their club memberships?

That's the question before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, when the justices examine whether, and under what circumstances, frequent fliers can sue in these disputes.

Frequent-flier programs — famous for their free trips, upgrades and goodies — are also infamous for what some members view as arbitrary airline behavior.

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Business
3:41 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Sluggish Start To Holiday Sales May Mean More Price Cuts

Shoppers crowd a Macy's store in New York on Thursday. Many retailers stayed open on Thanksgiving Day this year, a new holiday tradition that analysts say is here to stay.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 3:53 pm

Despite retailers offering Thanksgiving hours and more online sales, Americans still nervous about the economy spent less this long weekend than they did last year, according to preliminary estimates.

But analysts say retailers will be working harder to boost sales in coming weeks by offering even deeper discounts.

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All Tech Considered
3:36 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Could A Tech Giant Build A Better Health Exchange? Maybe Not

Workers process applications for Oregon's health exchange program. The state paid tech giant Oracle to build its online exchange, but with the site still not functional, people shopping for insurance have been forced to apply on paper.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:48 pm

Oregon has spent more than $40 million to build its own online health care exchange. It gave that money to a Silicon Valley titan, Oracle, but the result has been a disaster of missed deadlines, a nonworking website and a state forced to process thousands of insurance applications on paper.

Some Oregon officials were sounding alarms about the tech company's work on the state's online health care exchange as early as last spring. Oracle was behind schedule and, worse, didn't seem able to offer an estimate of what it would take to get the state's online exchange up and running.

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Politics
2:44 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Unemployment Benefit Program Set To Expire At Year's End

Job seekers attend a March health care job fair in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:12 pm

More than 1 million people will see their extended unemployment benefits immediately cut off at the end of the month if Congress doesn't act.

An emergency federal benefit program was put in place during the recession to help those who are unemployed longer than six months. That allowed them to get as much as a year and a half of help while they searched for work, even after state benefits ran out.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Amazon's Drone Has Many Asking 'What Could Go Wrong?'

Buzzing to a neighborhood near you? Amazon.com's Prime Air prototype may someday fly small packages right to customers' homes.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 4:37 pm

The news that Amazon is hoping to one day use semi-autonomous drones to deliver small packages to customers has many asking a familiar question:

What could go wrong?

Check this tweet:

"An Amazon drone!? What could go wrong?! 'They're autonomous' - this is how the Terminator started FYI..."

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Planet Money
1:59 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Afterlife Of American Clothes

Bales of imported clothing are wheeled into the Gikombo Market in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sarah Elliott for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

This story is part of the Planet Money T-shirt project.

Jeff Steinberg had a maroon and white lacrosse jersey that he wore for years. It said "Denver Lacrosse" on the front and had his number, 5, on the back.

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Planet Money
1:58 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

The Giant Book That Creates And Destroys Entire Industries

How to send a shirt around the world for pennies" href="/post/giant-book-creates-and-destroys-entire-industries" class="noexit lightbox">
PLANET MONEY MAKES A T-SHIRT: How to send a shirt around the world for pennies
NPR

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

"There's our ship!" says Officer Lisa Sacco.

We're standing at the Port of Miami, where Sacco works for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Our ship, the Hansa Kirkenes, left Cartagena, Colombia, about a week earlier carrying all 6,078 of the Planet Money women's T-shirts.

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Business
10:58 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Five Cyber Monday Stories From NPR's Archives

Workers pull merchandise as it arrives at the Amazon.com's 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center in Phoenix on Nov. 26. Americans clicked away on their computers and smartphones for deals on Cyber Monday, which is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:50 pm

The term Cyber Monday wasn't established until 2005, but online shopping was popular even in the early days of the Internet.

Analysts questioned how business models would have to change. Retail stores came up with new partnerships to help lure buyers into an online shopping world. A little company called Amazon helped us feel comfortable buying items online. And the simple perk of "free shipping" tried to make a dent in holiday sales.

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Economy
10:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Holiday Sales: Gloomy or Merry And Bright?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we want to know how the federal health care website is working today after the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to get HealthCare.gov running smoothly. We'll check in later. But first, Americans are heading online today for another reason. It is Cyber Monday and retailers are offering bargains to kick off the holiday shopping season or so they tell us.

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The Protojournalist
9:39 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Quick Question: Is Cyber Monday Passe?

Marek Uliasz iStock

Cyber Monday. The phrase seems so quaint. Like floppy disk. Or information superhighway.

But the idea of making a big deal about everybody shopping online on a given day seems even more quaint.

So quick question: Is the notion of Cyber Monday passe?

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Code Switch
9:08 am
Mon December 2, 2013

A Battle For Fair Housing Still Raging, But Mostly Forgotten

"Every measure of well-being and opportunity, the foundation is where you live...cancer rates, asthma rates, infant mortality, unemployment, education, access to fresh food, access to parks, whether or not the city repairs the roads in your neighborhood," ProPublica's Nikole Hannah-Jones said.
Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 3:08 pm

It's not something we think about a lot or something that gets reported on often, but once you start digging around some, it's hard not to see the consequences of our country's long, sordid history of housing discrimination everywhere racial disparities manifest. The giant wealth gap between black and Latino Americans and white folks. Shorter life expectancies. Worse educational outcomes. Mass incarceration.

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All Tech Considered
8:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Getting To Know Black Innovators, One Tweet At A Time

Pitch Mixer founder Ayori Selassie speaks at an entrepreneur forum.
Tamara Orozco

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:37 am

There is no question that Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Beach and all of the other places we associate with tech entrepreneurism face diversity problems.

African-American innovators represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation.

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Shots - Health News
8:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Uninsured Fret About Getting Health Coverage By New Year's Day

For Tambra Momi, who has Dercum's disease, health coverage can't come soon enough.
Courtesy of Tambra Momi

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:07 am

Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.

Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.

Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Delivery By Drone? Amazon Says A New Era Looms

In an image taken of a test flight, an Amazon Prime Air drone carries a package. The online retailer could begin 30-minute deliveries within four to five years, CEO Jeff Bezos told 60 Minutes Sunday.
Amazon

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:21 am

Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.

That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Planet Money Explores The Economics Of T-Shirts

NPR

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 12:19 pm

Our Planet Money team is making a T-shirt and following the shirt around the world as it gets manufactured — from the farms where the cotton is grown to the factories where the shirts are sewn together. All this week on Morning Edition and All Things Considered we'll be hearing stories about the fascinating world behind that T-shirt.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Coast Guard Proposes Rule For Transporting Fracking Leftovers By Barge

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with fracking leftovers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Fracking, I said fracking. The controversial process used to extract natural gas produces millions of gallons of wastewater. Now to cut costs, energy companies want to transport that leftover water on barges. But, the U.S. Coast Guard has concerns.

Katie Colaneri of member station WHYY reports.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Companies Revisit 'Rank And Yank' of 1980s

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Longtime General Electric CEO and management icon Jack Welch popularized a management style in the 1980s that critics dubbed "rank and yank." The system ranks employees — with under-performers getting yanked from their jobs or the company. This old practice is in the news again. Microsoft recently did away with it. But other companies are embracing it.

Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Besides The Olympics, What Will $50 Billion Get You?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's try to put that nearly $50 billion price tag for the Sochi games in context. And we've turned to the website BuzzFeed for help with this. Our last word in business today is: $50 billion.

That's enough to buy all 32 NFL teams, we're told.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Or it's more than the entire economy of Costa Rica.

INSKEEP: It is almost five times Hollywood's domestic box office.

MONTAGNE: It's enough for 18 Oprahs.

INSKEEP: Although, can you really put a price tag on Oprah? I don't think so.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Russian Companies Fret Over Cost Of Sochi Games

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In just a couple of months, the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the Winter Olympics. Russia is reportedly spending nearly $50 billion on those games, which would be an Olympic record. To finance venues and housing, one of Russia's state-owned banks lent about $7.5 billion to an elite group of industrialists who are helping bankroll the games. Now, those investors are getting a little nervous.

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Business
12:56 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Could Hawaii Become A Same-Sex Wedding Destination?

Sunset on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Starting Monday, same-sex marriage is legal in Hawaii. The state has long been a destination for weddings and honeymoons. And now state officials, as well as hotels and restaurants, are hoping the latest marriage-equality law will spur a new market for wedding tourism.

Wedding planner Keane Akao is showing off a secluded beach wedding site, one of several on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

"You can use the beach for pictures," he tells a couple, "and this is actually called Secret Beach."

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Business
3:44 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Bentley, Once An Exclusive Car, Trying To Become 'Mainstream'

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 5:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THING CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

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Economy
6:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:55 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Earlier this year, NPR's Planet Money team decided to make a T-shirt for their fans.

ZOE CHANCE, BYLINE: What does it say?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let meput it on. Planet Money. Wow.

MARTIN: But this bit of public radio garb was different. This shirt would come with an autobiography. The Planet Money team set out to understand how the T-shirt was made and just who made it - from cotton field to final stitch. Alex Blumberg of Planet Money explains.

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Business
3:08 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

Boston Says It Has A Plan To Erase The Gender Wage Gap

It doesn't matter if you're a surgeon, a banker or a fisherman — if you're a woman in the United States, you're probably paid less than a man. That hasn't changed with federal laws or the feminist movement.

But now, Boston thinks it has a solution to completely erase the gender wage gap.

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Health Care
5:47 am
Sat November 30, 2013

A New Worry Looms Online For The Affordable Care Act

Insurance companies say they are finding numerous mistakes on a digital form that's essential for signing up through HealthCare.gov.
AP

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:13 pm

Saturday is the day the Obama administration promised it would have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for the majority of people who need to sign up for health insurance.

As the Obama administration scrambles to fix the glitch-plagued site, experts are beginning to worry about another problem that may further impair the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

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