Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:09 am
A federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday hears arguments over a radical plan to stem the foreclosure crisis. The City of Richmond is proposing to buy underwater mortgages in order to help keep local residents in their homes. If banks don't want to sell those mortgages, the city says it is prepared to invoke eminent domain to seize the mortgages.
There is, of course, a lot of attention being paid about what's happening in Richmond because millions of other American homeowners around the country are also underwater - again, homes that are worth less than their mortgages. We're joined now by NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who's been following all of this. Good morning.
CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.
MONTAGNE: How many homeowners are still underwater? I gather with the housing market coming back, this is changing - for the better.
Economist Tyler Cowen believes that income inequality in America is only increasing. His new book is called <em>Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation.</em>
Credit Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika / iStockphoto.com
Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University. He is also the author of <em><em>The Great Stagnation</em>, An Economist Gets Lunch, Good and Plenty</em> and <em>Create Your Own Economy. </em>He blogs at <a href="http://marginalrevolution.com/">Marginal Revolution</a>.<em></em>
Economist Tyler Cowen has some advice for what to do about America's income inequality: Get used to it. In his latest book, Average Is Over, Cowen lays out his prediction for where the U.S. economy is heading, like it or not:
"I think we'll see a thinning out of the middle class," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "We'll see a lot of individuals rising up to much greater wealth. And we'll also see more individuals clustering in a kind of lower-middle class existence."
Celebrity editor Tina Brown announced Wednesday that she's leaving The Daily Beast to launch her own media company. She has been a regular guest on Morning Edition. Brown, 59, plans to produce live forums on news topics.
Brown has edited some of the most prestigious publications: Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Tattler. Five years ago, she helped found The Daily Beast — a news and opinion website. Now, the editor-in-chief says she's leaving to do what she calls "theatrical journalism" before live audiences.
Jamesport has the largest Amish community in Missouri, and horse-pulled buggies are often parked alongside cars. Horse owners in the state are divided over whether to allow horses to be killed for meat in the U.S.
Credit Frank Morris for NPR
Dave Rains owns a would-be horse processing plant near Jamesport, Mo., but a lawsuit has prevented him from getting his business running.
Sept. 15 is the anniversary of collapse of Lehman Brothers, which many see as a watershed moment in the financial crisis. We look back at a time when fear and uncertainty gripped financial markets and policymakers around the world and drove the world economy into the Great Recession.
Wall Street is buzzing about Verizon today. The telecommunications giant carried out the biggest sale in the history of the bond market, $49 billion worth of corporate bonds. Verizon will use the money to finance its recent mega deal with Vodafone.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, the sale comes at a time when interest rates are rising. And companies that want to raise money can't afford to lose any time.
An employee drives a Google Maps Street View car around Palo Alto, Calif. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Tuesday that Google went far beyond listening to accessible radio communication when it drew information from inside people's homes.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 2:20 pm
The U.S. Appeals Court in San Francisco refused Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses Google of violating federal wiretapping laws by collecting emails and data about people's Web surfing habits as the company's Street View cars crisscrossed the world.
Millions of people use unencrypted wireless networks in their homes to access the Internet. The lawsuit alleges Google's Street View cars were listening in to those digital conversations and making recordings of the traffic in violation of federal law.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 1:25 pm
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to treat foreign multinational companies on a par with the country's own state-owned enterprises, but he warned that an economic rebound remains fragile.
Li, speaking at a business forum in the northeastern city of Dalian on Wednesday, cautioned that the global economic outlook was a "complex situation" and outlined a series of steps designed to keep the country on a moderate but sustainable growth path.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:15 pm
When the global financial system started to collapse five years ago, leaders from the Treasury Department, Congress and the Federal Reserve jumped up and started running.
Like men on a burning wooden bridge, they raced along, making crazy-fast decisions. They seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out big banks, saved automakers, slashed interest rates and funded a massive infrastructure-building project to stimulate growth.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 10:22 am
The number is stunning:
"Verizon Communications could be taking on nearly $50 billion in new debt in a massive bond sale to help the telecom giant pay for its $130 billion acquisition of Verizon Wireless shares," writes USA Today.
In a sign of China's growing importance as a market for Apple, the company will be rolling out its new iPhones simultaneously in the U.S. and China for the first time later this month. There are a few signs, however, that the new models will not find the sort of frenzied demand as before.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is swapping out three of its blue chip companies, in what's being called the biggest shake up of the index in almost a decade. Standard & Poor's announced it's dropping Hewlett Packard, Alcoa and Bank of America at the end of next week. Sliding into their places: Visa, Nike and Goldman Sachs.
Today marks the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Over the last several years, a group of family members have created a movement to turn the anniversary into a national day of service. This year more than 30 million people will be involved, and they claim it's the largest day of service in the country.
Since Sept. 11, one of the most effective ways the United States has found to weaken terrorist groups has been to go after their finances. Renee Montagne talks to former Treasury official Juan Zarate, who's new book is: Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.
Las Vegas is adding an eye-catching tourist attraction, in the form of a huge wheel that can take more than 1,000 people on a ride 550 feet into the sky over the city's famed Strip. The main construction of the wheel, called the High Roller, is nearly finished; it is expected to open in early 2014.
OK. Maybe you're one of the millions of Americans who attended college but never had a chance to finish. And you have dozens or scores or hundreds of credits just sitting there that don't quite add up to a degree. The University of Wisconsin system has introduced an alternative way to finish your degree by earning credits based on what you already know. It's the so-called Flex Option.
The other day, I was interviewing an economist who studies the effect college majors have on peoples' income. He was telling me that women often make decisions that lead them to earn less than they otherwise might.
Women are overrepresented among majors that don't pay very well (psychology, art, comparative literature), and underrepresented in lots of lucrative majors (most fields in engineering).
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Apple unveiled two new phones today. One of them, the iPhone 5C, is a lower-priced phone aimed at customers in the developing world. The other, a high-end model, comes with a fingerprint scanner called Touch ID. Now, the unveiling comes as the company faces pressure on several fronts - from rival phone makers, and from Wall Street investors clamoring for breakthrough products.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:39 am
Should you want to super-size your meal (and boost your social status in the process), plenty of American restaurant chains would be more than happy to have you dine with them. Olive Garden, for one, is currently in the middle of a "Never Ending Pasta Bowl" promotion. According to the chain's Twitter feed, it has served more than 5.3 million bowls of "unlimited" pasta with soup and salad for $9.99 since Aug. 5.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:40 pm
Apple unveiled its replacement for the iPhone 5 — one for the top end of the market that features an innovative new fingerprint security device, a faster processor and longer battery life; and a second budget phone that will retail for as low as $99.
CEO Tim Cook was joined by other Apple executives at the Cupertino, Calif., headquarters for the long-anticipated and hyped announcement of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:48 pm
Leaks to tech industry sites give us a sense of what to expect from Apple's coming product announcement: Not one, but two new iPhone models. One will be more affordable, to reach international markets. The other, which we believe will be called the iPhone 5S, will come in gold or champagne colors.