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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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

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/.

Transcript

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Business
3:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

With Turmoil Roiling Abroad, Why Aren't Oil Prices Bubbling Up?

A soldier guards a pipe en route to the Kawergosk Refinery near Irbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, in July. Fighting in northern Iraq forced the closure of the country's largest oil refinery, Baiji, and cut production from the Kirkuk oil field this summer.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:32 am

The price of oil has been falling — a drop that you may already have noticed at the pump. Gasoline prices have dropped noticeably since June, and oil is now well below $100 a barrel.

That decline has happened even as conflicts have flared in or near oil-producing regions. Normally, oil prices are expected to spike higher amid turmoil — so why have they been trending lower?

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Business
3:04 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Employer-Sponsored Health Costs Rose Modestly In 2014

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 6:24 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Health care costs have been rising, but not rising as quickly as they used to. We just learned that the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance rose just 3 percent this year, fitting that trend.

Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

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Economy
2:20 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

A Disappointing Jobs Report May Mask Economy's Strength

Jessica Pimentel fills out an application during a job fair in Sunrise, Fla. The latest employment numbers indicate a slowdown in job growth, but many economists are skeptical that the economy is weakening.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 6:39 pm

The latest employment numbers indicate a slowdown in job growth, but many economists aren't buying it.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that only 142,000 jobs were added in August. That's way below what analysts had expected. And many economists don't think it represents the true strength of the U.S. economy.

Economists from across the country voiced skepticism about the government's data.

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Economy
3:02 am
Fri September 5, 2014

How Close Is The Economy To Full Employment?

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 9:55 am

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

Business
4:13 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Fed Officials Debate Timing Of Interest Rate Hike

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:07 am

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

Business
12:42 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Crosses Milestone

Donald Bowers Getty Images for Fortune

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 8:09 am

The most expensive stock on the New York Stock Exchange just got a little more expensive. A Class A share of Berkshire Hathaway is now worth more than $200,000.

On Thursday, shares closed up $3,500 at $202,850. The Omaha, Neb.-based company has a market value of more than $333 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway is the company created and run by Warren Buffett for nearly five decades now. The conglomerate owns more than 80 firms, including Geico Insurance, BNSF Railway and Dairy Queen.

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The Salt
4:32 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Shifting Climate Has North Dakota Farmers Swapping Wheat For Corn

Dan Selvig says wetter conditions helped convince his family to shift their plantings to corn.
John Ydstie NPR

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 9:29 am

Overall, climate change is predicted to hurt agriculture around the world. It could even threaten corn production in the Corn Belt.

But in North Dakota conditions are now better for raising corn, and that's a big benefit for farmers.

When I was growing up in Wolford, N.D., up near the Canadian border, wheat was king. It had been the dominant crop since the prairie was first plowed in the late 1800s. So it was kind of strange to go back this summer and find Larry Slaubaugh, a local farmer, filling his 18-wheeler with corn from a huge steel grain bin.

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The Salt
3:20 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Iowa's Corn Farmers Learn To Adapt To Weather Extremes

Farmer Seth Watkins (left) and agronomist Matt Liebman stand amid native prairie grasses near Des Moines, Iowa. The conservation strip is used to stop soil erosion.
John Ydstie NPR

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 9:32 am

Climate change is creating all kinds of challenges and opportunities for business. One of the sectors that feels the effects most immediately is agriculture. Already, weather patterns are making it more challenging to raise corn — even in Iowa — in the middle of the Corn Belt.

Seth Watkins raises corn and cattle in southern Iowa, and he recalls the memorable weather from 2012.

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Europe
2:52 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Russia Retaliates For Western Sanctions With Ban On Food Imports

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 5:43 pm

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

Economy
2:01 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

In July Jobs Numbers, Fodder For Cautious Optimism

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:33 pm

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

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Business
5:14 am
Fri August 1, 2014

July Jobs Report Less Stellar Than June's, But Still Strong

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 10:14 am

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

Economy
2:00 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Fast Growth Does Little To Budge Fed's Caution — For Now

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:07 pm

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

Transcript

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Business
2:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

U.S. Judge Sides With Iraq, Blocks Kurds' Attempt To Sell Oil

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 6:07 am

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As Iraq has been torn apart by sectarian violence, the country's Kurdish population has moved towards independence with income from oil.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
5:09 am
Fri July 25, 2014

All Of The Major U.S. Airlines Report Strong 2nd-Quarter Earnings

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:14 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Health Care
3:23 am
Wed July 23, 2014

What Do The New Obamacare Rulings Mean For People Getting Subsidies?

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Law
2:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

GOP Marks Dodd-Frank's 4th Birthday With Calls For Repeal

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Four years ago today, President Obama signed a massive overhaul of the nation's financial laws, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law was a response to the Wall Street bailouts and regulatory failings that sparked the financial crisis and caused the great recession. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the anniversary is being marked by calls from some to repeal parts of the law.

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Economy
2:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Despite Brightening Signs, Fed Is Likely To Stay The Course

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Business
3:15 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Political Support Erodes For Export-Import Bank

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 10:48 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Export-Import Bank is an 80-year-old Washington institution whose mission is to help U.S. companies sell products abroad. Now the bank is being threatened with extinction. Tea Party Republicans argue that the bank's really just providing corporate welfare. NPR's John Ydstie has more.

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Business
3:27 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Study: Climate Change Is A Growing Threat To Corn Production

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And from food to fuel, corn is a major pillar of the U.S. economy. It's the country's biggest crop. One-third of all U.S. cropland is dedicated to corn. A new study says climate change and unsustainable irrigation practices are a long-term threat to U.S. corn production. The study calls on farmers, governments and businesses to cooperate to head off those negative effects. NPR's John Ydstie has more.

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Economy
2:13 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

In May Jobs Report, A Milestone: A Return To Pre-Recession Levels

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 5:29 pm

The May jobs report showed steady job creation. Payrolls expanded by 217,000, and unemployment held steady at 6.3%. And there was a milestone: The U.S. economy now has slightly more jobs than it did in December 2007, when the last recession began.

Economy
3:08 am
Fri June 6, 2014

May Employment Data Show U.S. Surpassed Pre-Recession Job Totals

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 10:08 am

The Labor Department released its monthly employment report on Friday. The economy added 217,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent.

Business
2:08 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

New Pollution Rules Leave Utilities Frustrated, As Details Remain Up In Air

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 5:18 pm

The Obama administration has proposed rules for limiting greenhouse gases, but many of the details must still be set by states, leaving utilities unsure about specifics they'll be expected to achieve.

Business
3:22 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Lifting Ban On Crude Oil Exports Would Boost U.S. Economy

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:33 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Health Care
2:30 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Study Questions Need For Employer Health Care Requirement

The employer mandate requires that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance to their workers. A new study by the Urban Institute says the mandate should be eliminated.
Mutlu Kurtbas iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 4:17 pm

When the Affordable Care Act was unveiled, business groups railed against the provision that requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance for their full-time workers.

The Obama administration responded by pushing back the deadline for the coverage, so it hasn't yet taken effect. Now support for this so-called employer mandate is eroding in some surprising quarters.

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Economy
3:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

The Merits Of Income Inequality: What's The Right Amount?

The Occupy Wall Street movement helped put the issue of income inequality in the spotlight. But economists say there's a balance.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:38 am

Income inequality is a big problem, many economists agree. But they also say some level of inequality is necessary for capitalism to work.

Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not seen since the 1920s. The top 1 percent pocket more than 20 percent of the nation's income, and the 400 richest people in the country own more wealth than everyone in the bottom 50 percent.

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Remembrances
3:01 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Remembering Economist Gary Becker, Who Described 'Marriage Market'

Gary Becker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in 2007.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:59 pm

University of Chicago economist Gary Becker died Saturday at the age of 83. He won the Nobel Prize in 1992 for broadening the horizons of economics, using economic analysis to explore social issues like crime, racial discrimination and drug addiction.

Becker was a giant in the field of economics, and his pioneering application of economic theory to social questions extended to the marriage market. In an NPR interview on the day he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, Becker explained:

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Economy
2:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Positive April Jobs Report Blows Past Expectations

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 9:17 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. U.S. employers were in a hiring mood in April. That's the takeaway from the government's monthly jobs report released today. It shows 288,000 jobs added to payrolls. That's the biggest monthly job growth in nearly two and a half years. NPR's John Ydstie has more on the report, which also included a big drop in the unemployment rate.

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