When UPS told workers that it would no longer offer health coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance, it caused a big stir. But the shipping giant has plenty of company.
So many employers are trying to cut back on health coverage for spouses that it has become a trend. The practice began well before the Affordable Care Act passed, and the connection to the law, in some cases, isn't that direct.
If you are trying to buy a home, you just got good news: The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is not going to try to drive up long-term interest rates just yet.
Stock investors are happy for you. They like cheap mortgages too because a robust housing market creates jobs. To celebrate, they bought more shares, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 147.21 to an all-time high of 15,676.94.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
A giant of the auto business died yesterday, a few days after he turned 100. Eiji Toyoda was president and later chairman of Toyota. The family name is T-O-Y-O-D-A. Toyoda played a key role in the company going worldwide, especially Toyota's move into the U.S. market. Micheline Maynard covers the automotive industry. She's a contributing editor for Forbes these days. Welcome to the program.
The stock market hit new highs today after the Federal Reserve made a surprise announcement. Investors and economists had expected the Fed to start winding down it's $85 billion a month stimulus program at its policymaking meeting today, but it didn't. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the Fed said it wanted to make sure a recent improvement in the economy and labor market continued before pulling back its stimulus.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:28 pm
The Federal Reserve said today that it is not slowing down its monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds.
The program is intended to stimulate a sluggish economy and the Fed was widely expected to announce that in light of a recovering economy, it was tapering the bond-buying program. Instead, it delivered a surprise that caused the markets to jump, as the Dow and the S&P closed at record highs.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 1:31 pm
The man behind Beanie Babies, the toy animals that saw their heyday in the mid-1990s, has agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion for failing to report income held in Swiss bank accounts.
H. Ty Warner, 69, has been charged in U.S. District Court with felony tax evasion. The indictment alleges that in 1996, Warner traveled to Zurich to open an account with Union Bank of Switzerland with the intent to "evade and defeat" taxes on $3.1 million in foreign income.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later this hour, we will meet the new Miss America, Nina Davuluri, and we'll find out how she's already gotten a lesson in grace under fire after her Indian-American heritage drew a swarm of haters on the web. It's the first of two conversations we'll have this hour about the interesting politics of beauty right now.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:43 pm
A story in the Financial Times caught our eye this week. It was on foreign workers in South Korea.
The story looked at the town of Ansan, where about 7.6 percent of the population is foreign. They come from other Asian countries, as well as from Russia. Here's one of the reasons for the change in South Korea, a highly homogeneous society:
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:42 am
With the coffee giant caught in the middle of what he says is an "increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening" debate, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has posted a letter to "fellow Americans" asking that they not bring guns into Starbucks' shops.
Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 4:06 am
Three New York men were so eager to get the game; they hatched a scheme that could be one of its plots. According to the New York Post, the men pulled up to a mall in an unmarked vehicle, walked past hundreds of people in line and purchased the game. Real police pulled them over after they ran multiple stop signs trying to get away.
Law students are looking for some changes to their education. The American Bar Association plans to issue a report in the next few weeks, recommending a major overhaul of how law schools operate. And students are hoping that a recent comment from President Obama, will boost one reform in particular: cutting law schools down to two years, from three.
After 117 years, sports has finally made it to the big time, when, starting next Tuesday, a sports company will be included in the Dow Jones averages.
The Dow Jones, of course, has always preferred very serious corporations –– your banks, your automotives, your insurers. OK, the movies were allowed in 1932 with the inclusion of Loews, and Walt Disney was brought onboard in 1991, but sports was never considered substantial enough for an industrial average until now, when Nike has been ordained.
At a community center named for Florida civil rights pioneer Carrie Meek, a few dozen members of Miami's National Church of God gathered over the weekend for a tea party — and to hear from a special guest, Monica Rodriguez of Enroll America.
The organization is working to spread the word about the Affordable Care Act, the federal law that will let people without health insurance shop for coverage starting Oct. 1.
For Ron Lieber, personal finance writer for TheNew York Times, it'sa tool to help teach values and character traits like patience, moderation, thrift and generosity. And Lieber, who's writing a book, The Opposite of Spoiled, about kids, money and values, tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep there are three basic ways that parents approach an allowance.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:24 pm
Robots are working alongside humans on car production lines, taking what Technology Review calls "a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots" at car factories. Previously, robots had been seen as being too unsafe to place them shoulder-to-arm-joint with humans on the assembly line.
It all started out so promisingly. She was young, still in her teens, and she'd landed her first job. As is the custom in Brazil, to get your salary you have to open an account with the bank the company deals with — and with that new account came the woman's first credit card.
"The banks say, 'I want to help you,' " she says. "And if you have a credit card, it's a status symbol, you are well-regarded."
She switched jobs. That company dealt with another bank — which issued her another credit card. She got a store credit card, too.
For the first year since the recession, median household incomes did not decline in 2012. But it's hardly a reassuring picture. Incomes were flat despite the economic recovery and big gains in the stock market. That's a troubling aspect about today's labor market. It's four years since the official end of the recession and many households are worse off than when it started.
Now that Larry Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration to lead the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, Vice Chair of the Fed, has emerged as the frontrunner. For more on Yellen and her career, Audie Cornish talks with Alan Blinder, a professor of economics at Princeton University.
As news traveled about the mass shootings at the Navy Yard, there were some missteps by the media. At first, some news outlets reported there were up to three different gun men. So far, that's turned out not to be the case. There were reports that there was a second shooting at Bolling Air Force Base, that turned out not to be the case.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just added fuel to the fire already raging in Washington over what to do about the deficit. A new CBO study paints a grim picture of the nation's long-term debt and deficit.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports that despite three years of fighting over it, Congress hasn't done much to improve things.
Reports show that Latinos are plugged into social media, but does this mean they are turning from traditional media? Host Michel Martin speaks with Viviana Hurtado, founder of The Wise Latina Club, and entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas about how social media is helping to empower Latinos.
Entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas speaks with host Michel Martin about why he thinks more Latino business leaders need to step up to the plate. Espuelas was named by PODER Magazine as one of "The Nation's 100 Most Influential Hispanics" in 2012.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 10:43 am
There's news this week that shipbuilder STX Finland will close what it describes as "the world's leading ferry builder," a yard where the company also built small cruise ships, icebreakers and naval craft.
The company blamed economic conditions for the closure of the Rauma Shipyard. Work from there will be shifted to the company's facility in Turku. About 700 people will lose their jobs.
Next, we go to a wildly successful Japanese export that specializes in cute. I'm talking about the white cat with a red bow and a button nose, whose image adorns everything from school supplies to rifles to RVs.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Yes, our last word in business today is: Hello Kitty - in a can.
The Japanese company Sanrio has licensed the pudgy face cartoon cat to a Taiwanese beverage maker which is selling fruit-flavored beer in China and Taiwan.
And we are following other stories this week, including possible action by the Federal Reserve. Many analysts expect the Fed to announce the first reduction in its massive intervention in the economy, $85 billion per month, a decision that may come at the end of a two-day meeting. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.