Business

Asia
2:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

China's Challenge: How To Keep Economic Boom Alive

Office workers walk past China Dream propaganda boards, showing messages pushed by current Chinese President Xi Jinping's administration, on display near a construction site in Beijing on Oct. 8. The country's leaders are meeting this weekend to chart China's economic course.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 5:44 pm

How do you keep the world's longest economic win streak alive?

That's the question China's leaders face at a meeting that opens Saturday in Beijing. The meeting, known as the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, is the most important of its kind in years, and for the planet's second-largest economy, a lot hangs in the balance.

In decades past, meetings like this have been game changers. Consider the one in 1978, when Deng Xiaoping officially shut the door on the chaotic Mao era.

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Shots - Health News
1:06 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Persistence Pays Off For Uninsured Alaskan

Hairdresser Lara Imler used to be an accountant. She doesn't miss her old job, except for the insurance.
Annie Feidt

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:17 am

Despite all the problems with HealthCare.gov, a few dozen Alaskans have managed to enroll in a health plan through the marketplace. Lara Imler is one of them.

Imler, a 37-year-old hair stylist in Anchorage, ditched her office job as an accountant in 2004. She says she loves making people feel better about themselves and is a lot happier cutting hair than she was sitting in front of a computer. But she does miss one big thing about her old job: "I had health insurance, and it was wonderful."

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All Tech Considered
3:17 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Nick Bilton On Twitter's Creation Myth & 'Forgotten Founder'

A worker unveils a floor mat bearing the logo of Twitter on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:21 am

On arguably the biggest day in Twitter's history, we wanted to look back to find out just how it all started, because like many Silicon Valley companies, its origin story is fraught.

That's the subject of Nick Bilton's new book, Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal. On Thursday, he chatted with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish about the 140-character service's complicated history, how Twitter made his book reporting easier and the forgotten founder of Thursday's stock darling.

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All Tech Considered
2:45 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

On Twitter's IPO Day, A Look At How 5 Tech Stocks Have Fared

Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:09 pm

As eyes turned to the markets on Twitter's first day of trading, NPR wondered how some other tech stocks have performed since their IPOs. (Twitter closed at $44.90 Thursday, about 73 percent above its IPO price of $26 a share.)

Some of these stocks have soared. Others have stumbled.

Planet Money
2:32 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

What Happened To Those TV Ads For Payday Loans?

Western Sky

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

On TV this summer, you might have seen this ad with a smiling young woman offering help for all those troublesome bills.

"The problem-solver from Western Sky. Get up to $10,000 without collateral. Enough to pay off your payday advances, once and for all," she says.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Super Mario Cut Interest Rates Today And That's Huge News

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank. Some say he's super.
Daniel Reinhardt DPA/LANDOV

Twitter's IPO is Thursday's sexy business story.

But the really big business news is that "the European Central Bank startled investors Thursday with a surprise cut in its benchmark interest rate." As The Associated Press adds, "The bank lowered the benchmark refinancing rate to a record low 0.25 percent from 0.5 percent."

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Lululemon Founder: Our Pants Won't Work For Some Women

Some of the clothes at a Lululemon store in Pasadena, Calif., earlier this year.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:04 am

Eight months after the company he founded had a big public relations problem because too much of some women's backsides could be seen through its yoga pants, Lululemon founder Chip Wilson has put the story back in the news.

"Quite frankly, some women's bodies just actually don't work" in Lululemon's pants, Wilson said this week on Bloomberg Television's Street Smart.

"It's about the rubbing through the thighs," he added, and "how much pressure is there."

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Business
8:10 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Twitter Makes Market Debut

The New York Stock Exchange is at the center of attention Thursday morning as Twitter goes public at $26 per share. That means company is expected to raise almost $2 billion. For the latest on this highly anticipated IPO, NPR's Zoe Chace talks with host David Greene.

The Two-Way
6:41 am
Thu November 7, 2013

At First Glance, Economy Grew More Than Expected In 3Q

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair in Emeryville, Calif., last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 8:37 am

This post was updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected 2.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

That's a bit faster than the 2.5 percent pace of the second quarter. According to the BEA, consumer spending, inventory investment and exports helped fuel slightly stronger growth.

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Twitter Pops To $44.90 A Share In Debut On Wall Street

Will it fly? The Twitter bird logo was decorating a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:43 pm

6 p.m. ET: Twitter Shares Close At $44.90

At the end of its first day of public trading, shares of Twitter were valued at $44.90, reflecting a market value of more than $31 billion. The company sold 70 million shares of stock, raising $1.82 billion in the process.

Earlier Thursday, the company's shares soared from their initial public offering price of $26.

2:35 p.m. ET:

As you can see if you click on the player below, Twitter's stock has been trading around $47 a share in recent minutes.

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Research News
2:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Why Do People Agree To Work In Boring Jobs?

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:15 am

In the essay "The Myth of Sisyphus," philosopher Albert Camus — who would have turned 100 on Thursday — explored the nature of boring work. There's new psychological research into why people end up in boring jobs.

Business
2:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Movie Rating System Measures Gender Bias

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:54 am

Some Swedish movie theaters are introducing the system. The scale grades films based on a concept introduced by the feminist cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Whether a film passes or fails depends on whether any of its named female characters have conversations with one another about something other than men.

Business
2:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Twitter Sets IPO Price

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:57 am

Twitter goes public at $26 per share on Thursday. That's up from an earlier planned offering in the $17 to $20 range — and it may signal increased demand from institutional investors like hedge funds. Twitter is valued at just over $18 billion even though it has never turned a profit.

Business
2:43 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Most Remaining Blockbusters To Close In January

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 2:54 am

Blockbuster is going to shut all of its company-owned stores. Some franchise stores will stay open. At its peak, the video rental chain had about 9,000 stores.

Business
12:58 am
Thu November 7, 2013

No Room For Erasers, As Technology Deletes Pen Businesses

In the 1800s, fountain pens were the height of writing technology, allowing writers to pen words continuously without stopping for an ink dip.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 11:09 am

We tweet. We text. We email. But how often do we really write anymore? Not much, if you look at the business of selling pens — or "fine writing instruments," as shop owners call them. With their writing tools becoming obsolete, pen stores have folded, including a century-old shop in New York.

But despite the tech-heavy trends, a few old-fashioned pen stores are still holding on.

Wood Shelves, Ink Bottles, And Sinatra

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Judge: MF Global Customers To Recover All Their Losses

Jon Corzine, former New Jersey governor and ex-CEO of MF Global, leaves a congressional hearing in 2011.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:35 pm

One thread runs through nearly every story of financial fraud, from Enron to Madoff: Investors bilked out of their money rarely get it back.

So, this lead from The New York Times Dealbook blog caught our attention:

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Around the Nation
3:01 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Despite Barriers, Farm Worker Breaks Silence About Rape Case

Guadalupe Chavez moved to a trailer home in Oregon after her sexual assault case went to trial in California.
Grace Rubenstein Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:21 pm

This is the second story in a two-part report about sexual assault of agricultural workers in the U.S. Read part one.

It started with a missing paycheck.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
9:58 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Should Anyone Be Able To Take A Job Anywhere?

Kathleen Newland and Ron Unz argued against the motion "Let Anyone Take A Job Anywhere" in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on Oct. 30.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:22 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

In a global economy, does it make sense to allow workers to move freely?

Letting people go where the jobs are would improve the lives of millions around the world, some argue. But others say an influx of labor into the richest countries would devalue workers' worth and actually hurt more in the long run.

A group of experts recently took on this question in an Oxford-style debate for Intelligence Squared U.S. They faced off two against two on the motion "Let Anyone Take A Job Anywhere."

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Shots - Health News
7:17 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Administration Looks To Give Labor Unions Health Tax Relief

Union member Tom Stensberg holds a sign thanking Congress for the Affordable Care Act during a rally hosted by the AFL-CIO at the U.S. Capitol in May 2010.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Weeks after denying labor's request to give union members access to health law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law's substantial taxes.

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Business
2:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Twitter's IPO Managed Differently Than Other Tech Stocks

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:38 am

What makes an initial public offering a success? Twitter is going the old school route, pricing its shares modestly in hopes of a pop in early trading. The company will go public on Thursday, and the banks they've hired to help are some of the oldest and most well established in the country.

Politics
2:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Obama To Visit Dallas To Smooth Bumps In Health Care Sign-Up

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 7:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Today, President Obama meets some of the volunteers trying to sign up Americans for health insurance. The volunteers work in Texas, where the president is traveling.

MONTAGNE: The trip to Dallas is partly to raise money for Democratic Senate candidates, and partly the promote the new health care law. But in Dallas, it's hard to miss the current gap between that law's ambition and its current execution.

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Business
2:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Sprecher Slams High-Speed Electronic Exchanges

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:26 am

The CEO of the firm that's about to take over the New York Stock Exchange has criticized alternative market trading. Jeffrey Sprecher said equity markets, including the NYSE, allow sophisticated traders to take advantage of small investors. He added such models are destined to fail and that people outside the markets have a sense things aren't fair.

Remembrances
2:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Remembering Chef Charlie Trotter, Chicago Fine-Dining Visionary

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:55 pm

For decades, Charlie Trotter's name was synonymous with cutting-edge cuisine. His Chicago restaurant was regarded as one of the finest in the world — a stellar accomplishment for the self-taught chef, who died Tuesday at age 54.

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Business
2:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Copy Of Napoleon's Will To Be Sold At Auction

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 6:21 am

The last will and testament of the man who once conquered much of Europe is being auctioned in Paris. It is expected to go for more than $100,000. The original letter in Napoleon's illegible handwriting is in France's National Archives.

Business
2:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Seattle Suburb Backs Higher Minimum Wage

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 4:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A pay hike for thousands is at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In the Seattle suburb of SeaTac, supporters of a ballot initiative implementing a $15 hourly minimum wage are declaring victory. The measure would benefit some 6,300 workers in the travel and hospitality industries around Seattle's main international airport.

Business
2:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Google's Barge Provokes Wild Expectations

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 6:25 am

A mysterious barge stacked with shipping containers is docked at a pier on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. It's owned by Google but Google isn't revealing the reason the barge is there. The barge has captured the imagination of people around the globe.

Around the Nation
1:05 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Starbucks Is Latest Company Aiming To Help Vets Land Jobs

Seattle coffee giant Starbucks says the company will hire at least 10,000 veterans or their spouses over the next five years.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 7:22 am

In recent years, companies ranging from JPMorgan Chase to Walmart to Boeing have announced special hiring programs for veterans. Seattle coffee giant Starbucks is the latest.

All of these companies are trying to bring down a stubbornly high unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But to succeed, companies have to take the time to understand the skills of service members.

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Planet Money
1:04 am
Wed November 6, 2013

I Applied For An Online Payday Loan. Here's What Happened Next

eTaxLoan.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:06 pm

Payday lenders made about $49 billion in high-interest loans last year. More than a third of those loans were made online. I wondered what happens when you apply for such a loan, so I decided to find out.

In the course of reporting a story earlier this year, I logged on to a site called eTaxLoan.com and filled out an application.

I asked for $500 and, to be safe, I made up an address, a name (Mary) and a Social Security number. The site asked for more sensitive stuff — a bank account number and a routing number — and I made that up, too.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

41 Hours Of Retail: Kmart's Black Friday Plan Is Criticized

Kmart's plan to be open for 41 straight hours beginning at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning is drawing criticism. At this Kmart store in Connecticut, shoppers wait in line to take advantage of sales on Thanksgiving Day.
Douglas Healey AP

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:10 pm

It's only been hours since Kmart announced its Black Friday plan — to remain open for 41 hours in a row beginning early on Thanksgiving Day. But online critics are throwing a red light on the plan, with some calling the company a Grinch for its aggressive approach to the start of the Christmas shopping season.

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Around the Nation
3:42 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Silenced By Status, Farm Workers Face Rape, Sexual Abuse

Maricruz Ladino packs lettuce in a cooler in Salinas, Calif.
Grace Rubenstein Center for Investigative Reporting

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 4:36 pm

This is part one of a two-part report about sexual assault of agricultural workers in the U.S.

Even though it's a warm day in California's Salinas Valley, Maricruz Ladino looks like she's going ice fishing.

"I look like a tamale — so many layers!" she says in Spanish.

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