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Let's go now to a different type of media: late night television, where huge changes are afoot. Jimmy Kimmel is getting a better time slot. Arsenio Hall is coming back. Jay Leno took a pay cut, and Jon Stewart cleans up at 11 o'clock.

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Watching a presidential campaign, it's easy to think that the nation is deeply divided over how to fix the economy. But when you talk to economists, it turns out they agree on an enormous number of issues.

So we brought together five economists from across the political spectrum and had them create their dream presidential candidate. Over the next few days, we'll have a series of stories on our economists' dream candidate. We start this morning with some changes to the tax code.

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"Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested this morning in downtown Manhattan after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan's financial district," the FBI confirms an email just sent to reporters.

It adds that:

The percentage of Americans working in manufacturing fell under President Reagan. It also fell under Presidents Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama (respectively).

Which is to say, the decline of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. economy is not about who is president or what his policies are. It's the result of long-running, irreversible, historical factors (read: technology and globalization).

The rate at which builders began work on new homes surged to a four-year high, the Commerce Department said today.

The AP reports that September clocked the fastest pace since July of 2008. The AP adds:

"The Commerce Department says builders broke ground at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 in September. That's an increase of 15% from August.

Behind the ephemeral "cloud" of cloud computing, the network we use for everything from checking our email to streamlining our health care system, there lies a very tangible and very big computer infrastructure.

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NPR's business news starts with echoes of Solyndra.

A Massachusetts manufacturer of electric car batteries has filed for bankruptcy. The company, A123 Systems, had received hundreds of million dollars in federal support, including a $250 million grant.

'Wired' Magazine Story

Oct 17, 2012

Google has nearly 20 data centers packed with computer servers that are huge consumers of energy. Google allowed technology writer Steven Levy of Wired magazine to see its facility in Lenoir, N.C. Levy talks to Steve Inskeep about what he saw while he was there.

Transcript

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Here in the United States, the corn harvest is nearly complete. It was earlier and much smaller than in recent years, which means stockpiles are lower and prices will likely be higher. Now, while this summer's drought is largely to blame, the dry weather did offer perfect conditions to test drought-resistant corn. As Iowa Public Radio's Amy Mayer reports, seed companies and farmers are now crunching the yield numbers to see what these new varieties could mean in coming years.

Target Begins Running Holiday TV Ads Early

Oct 17, 2012

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And today's last word in business is: Are you ready?

(SOUNDBITE OF TARGET COMMERCIAL)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The holidays are coming, and they're going to be big.

MONTAGNE: Target has aired its first holiday ad of the season.

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The home care workforce — some 2.5 million strong — is one of the nation's fastest growing yet also worst paid. Turnover is high, and with a potential labor shortage looming as the baby boomers age, there are efforts to attract more people to the job.

Today's announcement that Vikram Pandit had abruptly resigned as chief executive of banking giant Citigroup has left competitors, analysts and media pundits stunned and sputtering.

"This comes as a huge surprise," William George, a Goldman Sachs board member, said in an interview on CNBC.

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Now we turn to matters of personal finance. The national debt has been a big issue in the presidential campaign, and that's important, but there's another kind of debt that affects the lives of millions of Americans every day, and that is student loan debt.

Why do so many people hate Monsanto?

Is it because this multinational corporation pioneered some enormously successful genetically engineered crops, including corn, soybeans and cotton?

As this election year began, political pundits insisted the No. 1 issue would be the economy. They expected the candidates to offer voters detailed plans for encouraging job growth.

Now, with the election just three weeks away, many Americans are still scratching their heads, wondering what exactly President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney would do to improve the economy.

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Steps Down

Oct 16, 2012

Vikram Pandit, the chief executive officer of Citigroup, has stepped down, the company's board announced today.

"The Board also announced it has unanimously elected Michael Corbat CEO and a director of the Board," Citigroup said in a statement. "Mr. Corbat previously served as Citigroup's CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa."

Who's The Richest Person In History?

Oct 16, 2012

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Pizza Hut Rethinks Debate Promotion

Oct 16, 2012

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR's business news starts with some shopping season indicators.

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And four major manufacturers say they will start offering financial support for the training of military veterans. The corporations are taking part in a program called Get Skills to Work Coalition. It has said its initial goal at training 15,000 vets.

A Check On How The Fall TV Season Is Going

Oct 16, 2012

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Bank of America will release quarterly earnings tomorrow and once again, foreclosures will be part of the equation. The Charlotte-based bank's role in the 2008 housing crash has landed it on a fair number of lists of most hated institutions in America.

Snoop Dogg Touts Hot Pockets

Oct 16, 2012

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Today's last word in business is: pocket like it's hot.

SNOOP DOG: I just heat it up to eat it up.

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In many American communities, buying a home is now less expensive than renting. And with the economics tilting in favor of homeownership, many first-time buyers are jumping into the market.

After eight years of renting, Kitsy Roberts and her husband, Janko Williams, are practically giddy about their new Seattle home. And like proud parents, they are eager to show it off, from its historic details to its fresh paint.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

Yesterday millions of people watched a man free fall from 24 miles above earth, breaking the sound barrier, and then watched as Felix Baumgartner glided down into the New Mexico desert.

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