Let's hear, next, about investors who try to diversify their portfolios but may have only enriched their advisers. Some brokers and firms have been encouraging customers to invest in managed futures. Those are basically investments in futures contracts, such as gold, or global currencies or pork bellies. They are sold as a way to minimize risk.
David Evans of Bloomberg says, in reality, they've been a bad deal.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
Let's check in now on some people and places affected by the large-scale federal government shutdown. We go first to Boulder, Colorado. Its home to hundreds of federal research laboratory employees and thousands more university and contract workers, all locked out of federal buildings and labs during the budget impasse.
Grand Canyon National Park is closed for the government shutdown, but tourists determined to see it can take in views from reservation land. The Hualapai Tribe owns Grand Canyon West, where visitors can venture onto a Plexiglas horseshoe walkway that stretches out over the chasm below.
On the east side of the Grand Canyon, visitors are flocking to the Navajo Nation, where Nita Rodriguez gives a tour.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:17 pm
Most Americans don't get the 4 to 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables we're supposed to consume every day, per government guidelines. But companies that make juice, especially high-end, "fresh" juice, are ready to come to our rescue.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:12 pm
Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.
Prospective clients walk past yachts during the Millionaire Boat Show at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow on Sept. 3, 2011. A new report says Russia has the highest rate of inequality in the world – barring some small Caribbean islands.
A hiker gazes 3,000 feet down to the Colorado River at Toroweap Overlook in Grand Canyon National Park. A parks advocacy group says the Grand Canyon region has lost 120,000 visitors and $11 million in visitor spending since the government shutdown began.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:28 pm
An estimated 7 million people have been shut out at 12 of the busiest and biggest U.S. national parks, costing parks and nearby communities about $76 million in lost visitor spending for each day the partial government shutdown drags on.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:17 am
Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:
At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.
"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:48 pm
This post was last updated at 7:19 p.m. ET.
After an hour-long meeting with President Obama, Republicans said they have agreed to keep talking, in hopes of bridging a gulf that has already led to a government shutdown and is threatening the first default in U.S. history.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:58 am
If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the U.S. government won't be able to pay its debts. Here's who the government owes money to — all the holders of U.S. Treasury debt, broken down by category and by how much government debt they hold.
NPR's business news starts with worry about American debt.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: Fidelity Investments has sold all of its short-term U.S. government debt. That limits losses for the country's largest manager of money market funds in case the U.S. Treasury run out of money on October 17th and Congress does not do something about the federal debt limit.
Fidelity's president said this move was precautionary. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
OK. You might already know this if you spend some time on the Internet, but revenue for online advertising is way up - reaching more than $20 billion in the first half of 2013 - that's an almost 20 percent hike from the same period last year, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, ads on mobile devices are growing the fastest.
More than 400,000 federal workers remain on furlough. That's the situation even after many Defense Department workers were called back to the office. And then there are federal contractors. These are private American business owners and workers who've taken over more and more government functions in recent years and who are now feeling the pain of a shutdown.
Now, the partial shutdown prompted angry debate across the country. But at the center of that debate, we found quiet yesterday. We dropped by a Senate office building where the halls were empty. Papers taped on doors read: We regret that due to the government shutdown our office is closed. *
For weeks, economists and bankers have been warning that there will be catastrophic consequences if Congress fails raise the nation's borrowing limit.
They say it will mean the nation will default on its debt, which could rock U.S. and global markets. The Treasury has warned that it will exhaust the "extraordinary measures" it has been using to keep paying the nation's bills by Oct. 17.
Because of the partial government shutdown, most of the monumental core in Washington, D.C. is not being maintained. But on Wednesday, Chris Cox of South Carolina bought an old lawn mower and a leaf blower and got to work.
What would happen if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. defaults on its debt later this month? The broad economic implications are unpredictable, but a default could cause huge trouble for the global economy.
But whatever happens to the global economy, one thing is clear: People all over the world who have loaned the U.S. government money won't get paid on time.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 9:49 am
South of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane thrive in the heart of one of the world's largest wetlands. The Everglades stretches from the tip of the peninsula to central Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee.
"The Everglades actually begins at Shingle Creek, outside of Orlando," says Jonathan Ullman of the Sierra Club.
That's nearly 200 miles north of the agricultural land that Ullman and other environmentalists say is crucial to state and federal efforts to restore the wetlands area to a healthy ecosystem.
Are House Republicans still seeking Democratic concessions on the Affordable Care Act? Or have they switched their sights to even bigger targets: federal spending on entitlements like Medicare and Social Security?
The answer on Wednesday depended on which Republican you asked.
The longer the government shutdown continues, the more sectors in our economy are being affected. More and more, the housing market is feeling the pinch. Most economists think if the federal government reopens in the next few days, the damage won't be too bad. But already, some home sales are being delayed and even derailed, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.
Janet Yellen is President Obama's choice to replace Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve. The announcement came Wednesday afternoon. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will be the first woman to lead the Fed.
The government shutdown is starting to hamper trade. More than 40 federal agencies involved in trade shipments — from the EPA to the Commerce Department — have trimmed their staffs, resulting in a slowdown or halt of goods.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:04 pm
Browsing farmers markets this fall, you may find some new apple varieties mixed in with the Granny Smiths, McIntoshes and Fujis. Susan Brown, head of the apple breeding program at Cornell University, estimates that there have been 130 new apples released around the world in the past six years.
This summer, she contributed two more to that tally: the SnapDragon and the Ruby Frost.