Business

Research News
4:25 am
Thu January 2, 2014

How Scarcity Trap Affects Our Thinking, Behavior

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:52 am

A Harvard economist finds there are psychological connections between the bad financial planning of many poor people and the poor time management of busy professionals. In both cases, he finds the experience of scarcity causes biases in the mind that exacerbate problems.

Business
3:40 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Given A Second Chance, Convicted Currency Trader Helps Others

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And even as things are looking up for the auto industry, many Americans still feel the sting of the 2008 recession. In the years since, many banks have been hit with large fines, but no major Wall Street executive has been convicted of criminal charges for their role in the financial crisis. That's not always how it went. A few years ago, a series of corporate scandals generated outrage and some stiff prison sentences.

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Television
3:37 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Fielder Offers Absurd Marketing Advice On Comedy Central

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:01 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's hear now about a new reality show featuring a mild-mannered Canadian who gives outlandish advice to companies looking to up their game. It's called "Nathan for You." And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, it's become an unlikely hit for Comedy Central.

(SOUNDBITE OF A BARKING DOG)

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: On a sunny winter day in North Hollywood, Nathan Fielding is directing his latest quirky marketing ploy, this one for a new housecleaning service.

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The Salt
3:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Why The Cod On Cape Cod Now Comes From Iceland

With local cod so scarce, Chef Toby Hill of Lyric Restaurant in Yarmouth Port, Mass., tries out a dogfish salad — served here with garlic aioli on toast — instead. Dogfish is still plentiful in New England waters, but wholesale fisheries say there's not much demand for it in the U.S.
Christine Hochkeppel Courtesy of Cape Cod Times

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:53 pm

Good luck finding local cod in Cape Cod, Mass.

The fish once sustained New England's fishing industry, but in recent years, regulators have imposed severe catch limits on cod, and the fish remain scarce.

"I've never seen cod fishing this bad," says Greg Walinsky, who has been fishing on Cape Cod for more than 30 years. "It looks to me like it's over. And I can't catch any codfish."

It's so bad, many fishermen say, that for the first time, they cannot catch enough cod to even reach shrinking government quotas.

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NPR Story
3:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Fiat Pays $4.3 Billion To Get Complete Control Of Chrysler

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Fiat and Chrysler.

The Italian automaker Fiat has paid $4.3 billion to gain complete ownership of Chrysler. The agreement announced yesterday is not a big surprise. Fiat already held a majority share of the Detroit automaker that produces Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles.

Industry analysts say this final step in the merger creates a global company that's better able to compete with the likes of General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Planet Money
3:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

A Bet, Five Metals And The Future Of The Planet

James Cridland Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:24 am

This famous bet — between a biologist and an economist — was over population growth. It started three decades ago, but it helped set the tone for environmental debates that are still happening today.

The biologist at the heart of this bet was Paul Ehrlich at Stanford. He wrote a best-selling book in 1968 called The Population Bomb. It was so popular he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

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Business
7:01 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Most Economists Say Happy New Year — Really

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 7:29 am

As the new year begins, most economists' annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.

"The economic news remains broadly encouraging," the Goldman Sachs forecasters write in their 2014 outlook.

And the brighter prospects are not limited to this country. "The global economy is likely to emerge in 2014 with modest growth of 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent this year," according to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.

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Business
4:45 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Las Vegas Company Offers Fix To Hangover

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Cure.

Because what happens in Vegas should stay there, like there hangover - if you celebrated New Year's Eve they are big time. A Las Vegas company called Hangover Heaven is offering much needed relief to midnight revelers with house calls and a walk-in clinic. The cure: an IV offering one and a half liters of hydration, plus a concoction of vitamins, antioxidants and headache medicine. $99 gets you the basic package called The Redemption.

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Business
4:39 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Hewlett-Packard To Cut More Jobs

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Hewlett-Packard layoffs.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: In a securities filing, the maker of computers and printers confirmed that it will cut 5,000 more jobs this year than it originally estimated. That would bring to 34,000 the number of jobs the company is planning to cut worldwide by October.

Energy
3:26 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Derailing Revives Calls To Change How Trains Haul Crude Oil

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are in the small town of Casselton, North Dakota, trying to learn what caused a fiery train crash. It's the latest in a series of accidents involving trains hauling crude oil. By far the most destruction happened last summer in Canada, where the center of a town in Quebec was destroyed, leaving 47 people dead.

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Economy
3:20 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Home Prices Mark Biggest Gains Since 2006

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And before the ball dropped in Times Square last night, new numbers came out on the housing market, and they showed the past year saw the biggest gains in home prices since 2006.

NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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All Tech Considered
12:58 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Banks Try To Save Big With 'ATMs Of The Future'

An ATM at a Chase lobby in New York is part of what company executives are touting as a "branch of the future" — a place where machines distribute exact change and count cash so tellers don't have to.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

There's a drive-thru ATM in Charlotte, N.C., that looks pretty standard, but it has an extra function: a button that says "speak with teller."

The face of a woman wearing a headset sitting in front of a plain blue background flashes onto the ATM screen. "Good afternoon," she says. "Welcome to Bank of America. My name is Carolina. How are you today?"

She's one of a cadre of Bank of America employees in Florida and Delaware call centers, where they remotely control ATMs across the country. I ask for $26.

"Just a $1, a $5 and $20," I say.

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The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Target Says Some Of Its Gift Cards 'Not Properly Activated'

Target says a small percentage of the gift cards it sold won't work properly — more bad news following on the heels of a security breach affecting some 40 million credit and debit cards.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's not been a very good holiday season for Target.

First, it was the pre-Christmas announcement that 40 million credit and debit card accounts used for purchases at the retail chain had been hacked, even though the company later said the "strongly encrypted PIN data" that were breached shouldn't be at risk.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Out Like A Bull: 2013 Was A Banner Year For Wall Street

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 11:17 am

U.S. stocks in 2013 posted their best showing since 1997, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 26.5 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index up 29.6 percent and the Nasdaq up 38 percent.

NPR's Jim Zarroli says Wall Street's stellar performance was set against the backdrop of a U.S. economy that continued to limp along.

Brad McMillan, the chief financial officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, tells NPR "The stock market surprised everybody."

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The Salt
3:15 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers who have made the choice to rent land to farm instead of buy because of increasing property values.
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:02 pm

Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it.

Many of these farmers — many of whom didn't grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is.

The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative.

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Economy
2:55 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

2013 Was A Tremendous Year...At Least For The Stock Market

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 9:20 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

2013 was a so-so time for the U.S. economy, but it was a banner year for the stock market. Investors poured money into stocks, driving up prices to record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the year up 26 percent. The S&P 500 did even better. NPR's Jim Zarroli looks at how the market defied expectations.

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Around the Nation
2:46 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course

Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
Laura A. Oda MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:23 pm

One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Cabbing Home From That New Year's Party? Expect To Pay A Premium

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's the last night of the year, a big night for party-hopping and, of course, some bubbly. And that also means it's the biggest night of the year for cab companies. The surge in demand starts right after the clock strikes 12 and quickly outstrips supply. That mismatch can send prices soaring, depending on who's doing the driving. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports several ride services have come up with some solutions to try to manage the crunch.

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Business
2:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Boeing Soars Despite A Turbulent 2013

A Boeing 737 takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. Demand remains high for 737s and 777s, helping the company weather problems with its 787 earlier this year.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

On the very first Monday of 2013, Boeing got some bad news: There was a catastrophic battery fire on a 787 parked at Boston's Logan International Airport. Less than two weeks later, a second battery meltdown on another 787 prompted an emergency landing in Japan.

Government regulators responded quickly. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the entire fleet of 787s grounded indefinitely.

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Business
4:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Local Brewery Has Starbucks Frothing Over Stout's Name

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:44 am

The giant coffee chain sent a cease-and-desist letter to the owner of Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in Missouri. Starbucks told the pub to stop referring to one of its dark, frothy beers as "the frappicino." Starbucks noted it sounds a lot like its trademarked frozen coffee drink.

Business
3:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Electricity Use Drops In U.S. For 3rd Year In A Row

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with backing off the power.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Though our lives are more gadget filled than ever, home electricity use fell in the United States for the third year in a row. It's now at its lowest level since 2001.

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Around the Nation
3:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Connecticut Plagued By Soaring Foreclosure Rate

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. We're seeing more signs of recovery in the housing market. Last month, foreclosure filings dropped to their lowest levels since the housing crisis hit in 2007. And overall home prices are up nationwide. But recovery is not the narrative everywhere. In some states like Connecticut, foreclosures in 2013 have been up significantly over the year before.

Reporter Kaomi Goetz of member station WSHU has the story.

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Business
3:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Commercial Drone Testing Sites Chosen By FAA

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And if you start hearing a buzzing noise in your community in the next few months, here's a possible reason why. You live in one of the six states chosen yesterday for testing unmanned drone aircrafts. Among the states selected by the Federal Aviation Administration is New York.

Ryan Delaney of member station WRVO in upstate New York reports that the potential for job creation and investment was behind that state's decision to submit a bid.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Other 'F Word': Brewer Responds To Starbucks Over Beer Name

After being told that one of his products infringed on a Starbucks trademark, brewpub owner Jeff Britton wrote the coffee company a check.
Exit 6 Brewery

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:51 pm

In general, getting a cease-and-desist letter from a big corporation isn't the mark of a good day. But after a brewery owner got a letter from a law firm representing Starbucks, he saw a chance to draw distinctions between the businesses — and to be funny.

The coffee company's bone of contention, Missouri brewer Jeff Britton was told in a Dec. 9 letter, was the use of the name "Frappicino" to describe a stout served at Exit 6 Brewery, a brewpub in a tidy strip mall in Cottleville, northwest of St. Louis.

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All Tech Considered
3:09 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

$0 Profits Couldn't Hold Back This Year's Tech Darlings

Twitter made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in November. Both the social media giant and the relative newcomer Snapchat are valued in the billions, but neither company has yet turned a profit.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:30 pm

Zero. That's the total amount of revenue created by Snapchat in 2013. It's the total profit collected by Twitter. And it's roughly how much Apple's stock price has increased between early last December and now.

Which makes you wonder: With all these zeros piling up, how are so many people in Silicon Valley making so much money from technology?

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Business
2:27 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Looking Ahead At The Next Top Tech IPOs

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 2:38 pm

Every year, research firm CB Insights offers up a report on the fastest growing and most highly valued private companies in technology — basically, the ones most likely to go public. Audie Cornish speaks with Anand Sanwal, CB Insights' CEO, for a look at the top tech IPO's expected in 2014.

Business
2:27 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Mexican Auto Industry Revs Up For Big Year

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 2:38 pm

Industry officials say they are on course to boost production to as many as 4 million autos annually. That's good news for Mexico but has many in the U.S. worried, especially as Audi gets ready to build a new luxury line plant in Mexico and not in the U.S.

All Tech Considered
1:17 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

5 New Year's Resolutions From Women To Watch

Maya Penn
Marla Aufmuth TED

New Year's resolutions: Sometimes we make them; usually we break them. The annual goals are intended to bring out the best in us — but what if you're already extremely accomplished?

These five women have worked hard to help others, through businesses, innovation and writing. Four of them were speakers at the TEDWomen conference earlier in December in San Francisco (Katrina Alcorn was an attendee).

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Business
4:02 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Japanese Vending Machines Sell Bras

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:42 am

In Japan, you can buy an incredible range of things from vending machines: bags of rice, fishing tackle or fresh flowers. And now you can add bras to that list — in particular the wireless "Fun Fun Week" bra.

Business
3:53 am
Mon December 30, 2013

French High Court Approves 75 Percent Tax For Top Earners

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a tax hike for la creme de la creme.

Yesterday, French President Francois Hollande's millionaires tax got the official go-ahead from the nation's Constitutional Council. Now all salaries over a million euros will be taxed at a rate of 75 percent.

Part of the tax hike will be shouldered by companies who are paying the higher salaries. Business leaders complain the new tax will only drive more entrepreneurs and wealthy into exile.

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