Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:04 am
Silly me. I thought "rent-seeking" was something only landlords did.
But economists have their own way of looking at the world. To them, rent-seeking is a term for describing how someone snags a bigger share of a pie rather than making a pie bigger, as the venerable Economistexplains it.
So, a drugmaker can be seen as a rent-seeker if it cajoles doctors to prescribe more of a particular brand of medicine at the expense of a rival pharmaceutical company's wares.
E-books have strained the relations between libraries and the major publishing houses. Libraries say they're being cut out of the market because publishers are afraid they could lose money selling e-books to libraries. After much negotiation, the publishers are experimenting with new ways of doing business. But some libraries are already looking to bypass the high prices and restrictions that publishers place on e-books.
The World Trade Organization has ruled in favor of the U.S. in a long-standing trade dispute over allegations China unfairly imposed anti-dumping tariffs that restricted American poultry exports. China could appeal the WTO decision.
Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 3:36 am
Saw mills are re-opening in Colorado and Wyoming after a long lull in the timber industry. They're harvesting and processing trees that have been killed by beetle infestation. Beetle killed wood is just as strong as regular wood.
Over the weekend, the Obama administration vetoed a ban on imports of older iPad and iPhone models. This kind of White House veto hasn't happened since 1987. The decision by the U.S. trade representative reverses a ruling by the International Trade Commission.
The world's soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. To make sure that doesn't happen, researchers are testing out innovative ways to keep moisture in the soil.
In eastern Colorado, one way could be in the plodding hooves of cattle.
Conventional wisdom tells you that if ranchland ground has less grass, the problem is too many cows. But that's not always the case. It depends on how you manage them, if you make sure they keep moving.
It's finally happening, folks. This year, the average time Americans spend with digital media each day will surpass traditional TV viewing time. That's according to eMarketer's latest estimate of media consumption among adults.
The average adult will spend more than five hours per day online and on non-voice mobile activities (read: texting, apps, games). That's compared to an average four hours and 31 minutes each day of TV watching.
Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:11 pm
The New York Times Co. has announced the sale of The Boston Globe to the principle owner of the Boston Red Sox for $70 million, a sum that represents a fraction of the $1.1 billion paid for the flagship newspaper two decades ago.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later today, we'll hear more about Pope Francis' recent visit to Brazil and we'll hear about why he made headlines around the world. That's in just a few minutes. But first, back here in this country, we want to hear about today's jobs numbers. One-hundred sixty-two thousand jobs were added last month, bringing the unemployment rate down to 7.4 percent. That's even below last month's report of 7.6 percent. The report also shows, though, that wages are going down for many workers.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 3:01 pm
The Food and Drug Administration issued Friday the first legally binding rules for what food companies can legally label "gluten-free."
The rules should help millions of Americans who can't tolerate gluten in their diet.
Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye. Bakers appreciate its gluey texture for making bread. But when people with celiac disease eat it, it causes their immune systems to attack their small intestines.
The South American country's response to incessant drug-related violence in the region signals a quest for alternatives to the U.S.-led war on drugs, and a rethinking of official U.N. anti-drug policy, which has been in effect for more than half a century.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:11 am
America's unemployment rate sank to 7.4 percent in July, a drop of two-tenths of a percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says in its monthly summary of the U.S. economic situation. But employers added 162,000 jobs last month, coming in below economists' expectations.
NPR's business news starts with new trouble for B of A.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: In a regulatory filing yesterday, Bank of America revealed it may be facing civil charges over its activities during the financial crisis. The bank disclosed an investigation by the Department of Justice related to residential mortgage-backed securities. Bank of America says it's cooperating. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The unemployment rate only includes people who don't have jobs and are looking for work. A much larger swath of people — about 36 percent of U.S. adults — don't have jobs and aren't looking for work at all. That figure is higher than it's been in decades (and, conversely, the share of adults in the labor force — shown in the graph above — is lower than it's been in decades).
Here are four reasons why so many people are leaving the labor force.
A couple of guys with serious investment banking experience are moving into the marijuana business. They've launched the first multimillion-dollar private equity fund devoted entirely to what they like to call the "cannabis space."
It started when Brendan Kennedy was working at the Silicon Valley Bank and learned of an entrepreneur who wanted to sell software for marijuana dispensaries. The idea piqued Kennedy's interest. A few days later, a radio show about legalizing pot piqued it even more.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
In New York City today, a victory for the Securities and Exchange Commission: A federal jury held former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre liable on six of the seven counts against him. The SEC had accused Tourre of intentionally misleading investors about a mortgage-backed security just as the housing sector was beginning to collapse. The investment created huge losses.
When it was launched Thursday, the Moto X, Google's first smartphone product to come out of its buyout of Motorola, was not the highest powered or highest pixeled device. Rather, the designers boasted of its usability — that the Moto X has a larger purpose: making the technology of a phone adapt to the way people use them, rather than force user behavior to adapt to the technology.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 2:59 pm
A federal jury in New York City has found that Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs trader who regulators say caused investors to lose $1 billion, is liable in the mortgage securities fraud case filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Regulators say Tourre, 34, a native of France who was nicknamed "Fab" in his office, packaged toxic subprime mortgages into a collateralized debt obligation that was sold to investors under the name Abacus in 2007.
NPR's business news starts with unemployment numbers.
No, this is not the big monthly jobs report. We'll get that tomorrow. But this morning one number from the Labor Department - the department announced that applications for jobless benefits fell to 326,000 last week. That is the lowest level since January of 2008. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.