John Ydstie

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street and the federal budget for NPR for two decades. In recent years NPR has broadened his responsibilities, making use of his reporting and interviewing skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. His current focus is reporting on the global financial crisis. Ydstie is also a regular guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During 1991 and 1992 Ydstie was NPR's bureau chief in London. He traveled throughout Europe covering, among other things, the breakup of the Soviet Union and attempts to move Europe toward closer political and economic union. He accompanied U.S. businessmen exploring investment opportunities in Russia as the Soviet Union was crumbling. He was on the scene in The Netherlands when European leaders approved the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union.

In August 1990, Ydstie traveled to Saudi Arabia for NPR as a member of the Pentagon press pool sent to cover the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. During the early stages of the crisis, Ydstie was the only American radio reporter in the country.

Ydstie has been with NPR since 1979. For two years, he was an associate producer responsible for Midwest coverage. In 1982 he became senior editor on NPR's Washington Desk, overseeing coverage of the federal government, American politics and economics. In 1984, Ydstie joined Morning Edition as the show's senior editor, and later was promoted to the position of executive producer. In 1988, he became NPR's economics correspondent.

During his tenure with NPR, Ydstie has won numerous awards. He was a member of the NPR team that received the George Foster Peabody for its coverage of 9/11. Ydstie's reporting from Saudi Arabia helped NPR win the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in 1991 for coverage of the Gulf War. Prior to joining NPR, Ydstie was a reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio. While there, he was awarded the Clarion Award for his report "Vietnam Experience and America Today."

A graduate of Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN, Ydstie earned a bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, with a major in English literature and a minor in speech communications.

Ydstie was born in Minneapolis, and grew up in rural North Dakota.

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Business
4:08 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

As Oil Prices Tank, Firms Large And Small Feel The Pain

An oil well in Garden City, Texas. With prices plunging, oil companies are laying off thousands of workers.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

It's a painful time to be in the oil business. With the price of crude oil about half what it was six months ago, companies large and small are being pressured to cut costs.

On the front lines are oil services companies that do everything from drilling to providing electrical power at well sites. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are threatened as companies try to adjust.

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Energy
2:20 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Low Oil Prices Great For Consumers, Less So For Investors

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 4:26 pm

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Economy
1:34 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Oil Price Dip, Global Slowdown Create Crosscurrents For U.S.

Oil pumpjacks are seen in McKenzie County in western North Dakota. Cuts in production and energy company payrolls will cost the U.S. economy up to $150 billion, economist David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors projects.
Matthew Brown AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 6:48 am

Continued job growth has boosted prospects for the U.S. economy, but it continues to face some tricky crosswinds. The big drop in oil prices and a stronger dollar both help the economy and hurt it. Add to that the recent slowdown in global growth.

Lots of economists have suggested the big drop in oil prices is a gift to consumers that will propel the economy. David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors is one of them. He argues that cheaper oil will ultimately be a positive.

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Economy
3:49 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

U.S. Jobs Picture Finally Getting Back To Normal

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 12:24 pm

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Economy
9:25 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Oil Industry Sees Layoffs, Even As Jobs Numbers Rise Elsewhere

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U.S.
5:14 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Obama's Arctic Refuge Drill Ban Won't Change Much, For Now

A herd of caribou begins the long trek across the Arctic plains in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Peter Mather SN/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 10:14 am

President Obama says he will ask Congress to give wilderness status to protect more than 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The president announced his intention Sunday in a video, describing the area as a pristine habitat with abundant wildlife.

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Europe
2:24 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

European Central Bank To Try Its Hand At Quantitative Easing

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:28 pm

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Economy
10:10 am
Thu January 22, 2015

European Central Bank Launches Stimulus Plan

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:08 am

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Economy
2:26 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Middle Class Economics Dominate Obama's State Of The Union

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:00 pm

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Business
4:33 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Dollar's Rise Is Good News For The U.S., For Now

A pedestrian passes a currency exchange in London Jan. 5. The value of the U.S. dollar has risen about 15 percent against the euro since last summer.
Andy Rain EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:17 pm

If you've traveled outside the U.S. recently, or sent your U.S.-made products abroad, you've probably noticed that the dollar is getting stronger. The stronger dollar is the sign of a healthier U.S. economy, but its strength has the potential to erode growth.

There are a number of factors behind the dollar's rise, says economist Jens Nordvig, a currency expert at Nomura Securities. The main one is the health of the U.S. economy.

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Economy
3:57 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Economists Expect Strong Job Growth In December

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 3:44 pm

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Business
3:05 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Trend Of Falling Gas Prices Expected To Continue

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:39 pm

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In this country yesterday, the nationwide average price for a gallon of regular gas was just below $2.20; that's according to AAA. Some people have been paying less than $2. NPR's John Ydstie reports the falling prices are likely to continue.

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Economy
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Economy Weathers A Bad Winter And Other Storms To Finish 2014 Strong

A New York Stock Exchange trader works on the floor on Dec. 17. Stocks rose nearly 300 points after the Federal Reserve announced it plans to begin raising interest rates next year.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 11:09 am

The economy was floored by the polar vortex early on in 2014 — plus, businesses and consumers were still a little dazed by a government shutdown and debt ceiling fight late in 2013.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, says it all produced an anxious start to the year. "Yeah, a lot of worry, particularly because we had misstepped a few other times during the recovery," he says. "We had these false dawns when we really thought the economy was going to kick into gear and then we kind of fell back into the morass."

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Economy
3:19 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Fed: Interest Rates Could Rise As Early As May 2015

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

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Economy
2:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Ruble's Troubles Tied To Falling Oil Prices, International Sanctions

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm

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Business
2:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Low Gas Prices Expected To Continue As Crude Oil Drops To $58 A Barrel

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
2:35 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Controversial Budget Bill Would Roll Back Dodd-Frank Provision

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:39 pm

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Economy
2:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

'Blockbuster' Jobs Report Shows 321,000 Added To Payrolls

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:30 pm

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Economy
3:13 am
Fri December 5, 2014

November Jobs Report Shows Steady Growth

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 11:07 am

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Business
4:24 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Holiday Shoppers Are Filling Their Carts, Online

Workers pack items Sunday at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif. Cyber Monday online sales jumped 8.5 percent over 2013.
Noah Berger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:45 pm

This weekend, Will Falls decided to skip the local mall near Raleigh, N.C., and shop online instead.

"No standing in line, no finding a parking spot," he says. "Just get comfortable and go at it."

Millions of Americans did the same — Falls helped contribute to an 8.5 percent increase in online shopping Monday compared with 2013, according to data from IBM.

That growth stands in contrast to an 11 percent drop in sales reported by the National Retail Federation at brick-and-mortar stores over the Black Friday weekend compared with a year ago.

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Shots - Health News
2:08 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Obamacare 'Glitch' Puts Subsidies Out Of Reach For Many Families

Don Benfield is trying to get health care coverage for his family. The options at work are too expensive, but his employer's option disqualifies him from Affordable Care Act subsidies.
Courtesy of Don Benfield

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 6:50 am

Don Benfield of Taylorsville, N.C., makes $11 an hour working for a mobile-home parts business, selling things like replacement doors and windows.

Benfield, 51, doesn't have health insurance.

"I haven't had health care insurance in years, simply because I haven't been able to afford it, especially with food prices, how they went up," he explains.

Benfield's employer does offer health insurance coverage, even though, with fewer than 50 employees, the business is not required to.

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Business
2:47 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Business Groups Argue EPA's Plan Will Have Economic Consequences

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 10:12 am

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Shots - Health News
3:12 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

HealthCare.gov Head Says Site Is Tested And 'Ready To Go'

The second open enrollment period for buying health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act starts Saturday.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 4:40 pm

It's being challenged in the Supreme Court. Members of the new Republican Congress want to repeal it. But Obamacare will get a second chance on Saturday, when enrollment opens again in the government-sponsored health exchanges.

The Obama administration is expecting over 3 million new enrollees and almost 6 million return customers. And while the system faces some challenges, the government says it's up to the task.

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Business
2:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Banking Giants Settle Currency Manipulation Charges

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:45 pm

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Six big banks will pay more than $4 billion to U.S. and European regulators for more bad behavior, this time rigging foreign currency markets. Among the charges? That currency traders at the banks collaborated in online chat rooms to cheat customers.

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Business
4:00 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

It's Still Too Early For Tanking Oil Prices To Curb U.S. Drilling

Ray Gerrish repairs a drilling rig near Watford City, N.D. Oil industry analysts predict that oil prices will have to remain low for at least several months before having a significant effect on U.S. production.
Jim Gehrz MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 4:32 pm

Oil prices fell again Tuesday, to just below $76 a barrel before recovering slightly — one day after Saudi Arabia cut prices for the crude it sells in the U.S. market.

During most of the last quarter-century, that would have been viewed as a very positive development for the U.S. economy. But oil production here has increased so quickly in the past several years, the continuing price drops pose a potential threat to U.S. oil producers.

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Economy
2:30 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Federal Reserve Votes To End Quantitative Easing

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 4:16 pm

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Law
2:55 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Former Treasury Secretaries Head To Court For AIG Lawsuit

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 4:30 pm

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Shots - Health News
4:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Obamacare's First Year: How'd It Go?

In New Jersey in March, Dianna Lopez of the Center for Family Services (right) speaks with Betsy Cruz, of Camden, N.J., about health insurance coverage during an Affordable Care Act information session.
Lori M. Nichols South Jersey Times/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 8:44 am

Exactly one year ago, the Obamacare insurance exchanges stumbled into existence. Consumers struggled to sign up for its online marketplace — and the Obama administration was pummeled. Eventually, HealthCare.gov's problems were mostly fixed, and two weeks ago, the administration announced 7.3 million people have bought insurance through it so far this year.

So, was the health exchanges' first year a success — or something less?

Ask President Obama, and he says you measure the Affordable Care Act's success this way:

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Sports
2:59 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Big Sponsors May Find It Hard To Break Up With The NFL

Anheuser-Busch's 2014 Super Bowl commercial was titled "Puppy Love." The company is one of several big sponsors that have expressed concern with the NFL.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 10:44 am

NFL sponsors are not just advertisers; they're a select group of companies that together pay more than $1 billion a year to wrap their own brands in the NFL's aura.

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Economy
3:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Fed Pledges To Keep Interest Rates Low For A While

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 4:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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