Business

Parallels
1:21 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Iran's Leaders Send Sobering Message: No Quick Economic Fix

Two Iranian textile merchants wait for customers in Tehran's main bazaar. President Hassan Rouhani has raised hopes by reaching out to the West and promising to work for an end to sanctions. But his team has cautioned that the country's economic problems have deep roots.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 2:21 am

The U.S. and its Western allies have not been able to win the nuclear concessions they have sought from Iran. But they have been able to inflict considerable economic pain through sanctions.

But now, Iran's call for a nuclear agreement and an end to sanctions has raised hopes among Iranians that better economic times may be ahead. The Iranian currency has stabilized somewhat since the election of President Hassan Rouhani, although inflation and unemployment remain high.

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Business
3:53 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

15 Years Later, Where Did All The Cigarette Money Go?

So far, the tobacco industry has paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of a settlement. While smoking is down among young people and even adults in some areas, it's still unclear where much of that money has gone.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:12 am

Fifteen years after tobacco companies agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines in what is still the largest civil litigation settlement in U.S. history, it's unclear how state governments are using much of that money.

So far tobacco companies have paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of the 25-year, $246 billion settlement.

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Business
3:19 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Shortage Of Workers Hampers Chili Harvest In New Mexico

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 4:12 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

Let's talk chili peppers. It's harvest time in New Mexico where the iconic crop has been grown for centuries. New Mexico still produces more chili peppers than any other American state. But production in the U.S. is a fraction of what's produced in India and China, countries with large pools of labor.

NPR's Ted Robbins reports that farmers in New Mexico could increase their harvest if they had the people to do it.

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Planet Money
7:56 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Models, Rules And High School Dropouts: A Guide To The Economics Nobel

The Nobel Foundation

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:27 pm

While a few gamblers bet real money on potential Nobel Prize winners, at Planet Money we're content to merely speculate. We're particularly interested in who might win the economics prize, which will be announced Monday morning.

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Economy
3:07 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

How Washington Looks From A Global Financial Perspective

Zanny Minton Beddoes, the economics editor for The Economist, argues that the stalled budget negotiations and the government shutdown have already harmed U.S. standing in the world. She explains her position to host Arun Rath.

The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Sat October 12, 2013

North Dakota's Delay In Reporting Oil Spill Raises Questions

Cleanup went on Friday at the site of an oil pipeline leak and spill north of Tioga, N.D. Officials took nearly two weeks to tell the public about the break in a Tesoro Corp. pipeline.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

The handling of an oil spill in North Dakota is raising questions, after a state agency waited to tell the public it had taken place. A wheat farmer was the first to recognize the spill had happened; it became public knowledge nearly two weeks later.

Here's how the AP describes the spill's discovery:

"Farmer Steve Jensen says he smelled the crude for days before the tires on his combines were coated in it. At the apparent break in the Tesoro Corp.'s underground pipeline, the oil was 'spewing and bubbling 6 inches high,' he said in a telephone interview Thursday."

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Business
3:42 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

At Global Gathering, Many Worry About U.S. Strength

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank began Thursday in Washington amid a partial government shutdown. Many delegates are concerned that the U.S. budget impasse may threaten global economic stability.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:19 am

When you invite guests over, you probably straighten up the house to make a good impression.

This week, the nation's capital is welcoming guests from all over the world. Thousands of finance ministers, central bankers, scholars and industry leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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Business
3:22 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

JP Morgan Posts Loss Ahead Of Expected Fines

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Today, a rare quarterly loss for the nation's biggest bank, JP Morgan Chase. As NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports, the bank is spending billions of dollars on litigation.

DAN BOBKOFF, BYLINE: It's not in JP Morgan Chase's nature to lose money. They made profits all through the financial crisis, bolstering both the reputations of the bank and its CEO Jamie Dimon. So a $380 million loss last quarter is noteworthy.

JAMES DIMON: It's very painful, OK, for me personally.

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The Salt
1:45 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

McDonald's President Was Caught Off Guard By Low-Wage, Single Mom

McDonald's USA President Jeff Stratton responds to an employee who burst into an event.
YouTube screengrab

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:11 am

A video of a McDonald's worker confronting the president of the fast-food behemoth has gone viral this week, with the help of a fast-food workers' campaign aimed at raising hourly wages to $15.

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The Salt
12:08 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

What's In That Chicken Nugget? Maybe You Don't Want To Know

Chicken Nuggets, from artist Banksy's 2008 installation "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:19 am

Chicken nuggets: Call 'em tasty, call 'em crunchy, call 'em quick and convenient. But maybe you shouldn't call them "chicken."

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Some States Allowed To Reopen National Parks — And Foot The Bill

Dawn at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park is a favorite moment for photographers from all over the world. They'll soon be able to return to the park, given Utah's deal with the Interior Department to fund park operations.
Courtesy of Wanda Gayle

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:16 pm

"This is a godsend!" exclaimed Utah Gov. Gary Herbert late Thursday night, as he signed an agreement with the Department of the Interior to use state funds to reopen eight national park areas in his state for at least 10 days.

The Republican governor wasted no time in wiring $1.67 million to Washington overnight so that some of the areas can open as early as today. Rangers and other National Park Service employees will staff the parks as usual.

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Health Care
10:29 am
Fri October 11, 2013

In Mississippi, Bankruptcy Follows Broken Legs

According to a recent study, more than half of the Mississippians who file for bankruptcy do so because they cannot pay their medical bills. Clarion Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell tells host Michel Martin what's causing such devastating costs.

The Salt
10:21 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Drinking With Your Eyes: How Wine Labels Trick Us Into Buying

When the Hahn Family switched their Pinot Noir to this label, the wine started flying off the shelves.
Tucker & Hossler Courtesy of CF Napa Brand Design

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:34 pm

We're all guilty of it. Even if we don't want to admit it, we've all been suckered into grabbing a bottle of wine off the grocery store shelf just because of what's on the label. Seriously, who can resist the "see no evil" monkeys on a bottle of Pinot Evil?

But the tricks that get us to buy a $9 bottle of chardonnay — or splurge on a $40 pinot noir — are way more sophisticated than putting a clever monkey on the front.

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All Tech Considered
9:08 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Health Site Stumbling, Twitter's Roots

Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:53 am

It's Friday, which means we're rounding up the tech headlines and our NPR coverage of technology and culture this week.

ICYMI

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It's All Politics
6:19 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Friday Morning Political Mix

House Republicans, led by Speaker John Boehner, took steps to talk with Democrats with the goal of ending the fiscal impasse.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:05 am

Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. It's the 11th day of the partial federal government shutdown, 2013 edition.

President Obama and House Republicans at least opened a line of communications before the second week of the shutdown ended, so that was good news.

Less positive was that it came only a week before the Oct. 17 expiration date Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave for when he would run out of tricks to keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its obligations.

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Business
2:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

One National Park Remains Open During Federal Shutdown

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And here's something a little easier to understand. At least one national industrial park has remained open throughout the partial government shutdown. Our last word in business today is: Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now in theory, this park should be closed, like other parks, but the National Park Service has not completed the deal to acquire the land yet, so it remains open under local care of the city of Paterson, New Jersey.

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Around the Nation
2:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Web Glitches Hinder Mississippians Signing Up For Insurance

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

JEFFREY HESS, BYLINE: I'm Jeffrey Hess in Jackson, Mississippi which is one of the 34 states letting the federal government take the lead in establishing a health insurance exchange. Heavy web traffic and software problems have made it nearly impossible to use the new web site since it opened last week.

MEREDITH STARK: Why I keep trying is because this is something we need.

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Politics
2:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Reason For Optimism? Two Sides Talking On Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's sort out the talks over the partial government shutdown and the debt ceiling with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson, who's on the line. Mara, good morning.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Business
2:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Commissions From Managed-Futures Market Can Wipe Out Profits

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's hear, next, about investors who try to diversify their portfolios but may have only enriched their advisers. Some brokers and firms have been encouraging customers to invest in managed futures. Those are basically investments in futures contracts, such as gold, or global currencies or pork bellies. They are sold as a way to minimize risk.

David Evans of Bloomberg says, in reality, they've been a bad deal.

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Around the Nation
2:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Boulder, Colo., Feels Furloughed Government Workers' Pain

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:25 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Let's check in now on some people and places affected by the large-scale federal government shutdown. We go first to Boulder, Colorado. Its home to hundreds of federal research laboratory employees and thousands more university and contract workers, all locked out of federal buildings and labs during the budget impasse.

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Business
2:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

North Dakota Farmer Finds Major Oil Spill

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a major oil spill.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Around the Nation
12:58 am
Fri October 11, 2013

The Shutdown News Isn't All Bad For A Few American Indian Tribes

Mariluisa and Andrea Caricchia traveled 6,000 miles from Italy to spend their honeymoon at the Grand Canyon. Instead, they are exploring tribal land.
Laurel Morales KJZZ

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:16 am

Grand Canyon National Park is closed for the government shutdown, but tourists determined to see it can take in views from reservation land. The Hualapai Tribe owns Grand Canyon West, where visitors can venture onto a Plexiglas horseshoe walkway that stretches out over the chasm below.

On the east side of the Grand Canyon, visitors are flocking to the Navajo Nation, where Nita Rodriguez gives a tour.

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The Salt
2:36 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Starbucks Pours Money, And Health Hype, Into Pricey Juice

Starbucks'-owned Evolution Fresh says its method of processing juice delivers more of the flavor and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables.
Courtesy of Starbucks

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:17 pm

Most Americans don't get the 4 to 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables we're supposed to consume every day, per government guidelines. But companies that make juice, especially high-end, "fresh" juice, are ready to come to our rescue.

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The Salt
1:02 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books

SerrNovik iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:12 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.

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Parallels
12:16 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

If You Think Wealth Disparity Is Bad Here, Look At Russia

Prospective clients walk past yachts during the Millionaire Boat Show at the Royal Yacht Club in Moscow on Sept. 3, 2011. A new report says Russia has the highest rate of inequality in the world – barring some small Caribbean islands.
Sergei Karpukhin Reuters /Landov
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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Report: Parks Shutdown Saps $750 Million In Visitor Spending

A hiker gazes 3,000 feet down to the Colorado River at Toroweap Overlook in Grand Canyon National Park. A parks advocacy group says the Grand Canyon region has lost 120,000 visitors and $11 million in visitor spending since the government shutdown began.
Courtesy of Wanda Gayle

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:28 pm

An estimated 7 million people have been shut out at 12 of the busiest and biggest U.S. national parks, costing parks and nearby communities about $76 million in lost visitor spending for each day the partial government shutdown drags on.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Salmonella Shutdown? USDA Threatens Closure Of Major Chicken Plants

Foster Farms, the chicken processor at the center of a major salmonella outbreak, now faces the threat of a shutdown at its facilities.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:17 am

Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:

At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.

"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Treasury Secretary: Debt Default Would Have Dire Consequences

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:49 am

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged lawmakers on Thursday to raise the government's borrowing limit or face the prospect of causing lasting damage to the U.S. economy.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu October 10, 2013

After White House Meeting, Both Sides Agree To Keep Talking

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:48 pm

This post was last updated at 7:19 p.m. ET.

After an hour-long meeting with President Obama, Republicans said they have agreed to keep talking, in hopes of bridging a gulf that has already led to a government shutdown and is threatening the first default in U.S. history.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Weekly Unemployment Claims Spike; Shutdown Gets Some Blame

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:36 am

First-time claims for unemployment insurance were up sharply to 374,000 from 308,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday.

The increase for the week ending Oct. 5 is a departure from a trend in recent weeks that was lower than at any time since the spring of 2007, before the onset of the recession.

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