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
3:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Fed Meeting Could Lead To Stimulus Reduction

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we are following other stories this week, including possible action by the Federal Reserve. Many analysts expect the Fed to announce the first reduction in its massive intervention in the economy, $85 billion per month, a decision that may come at the end of a two-day meeting. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

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Economy
3:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Five Years Later, Lehman Brothers Fall Still Stings

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:59 pm

Sept. 15 is the anniversary of collapse of Lehman Brothers, which many see as a watershed moment in the financial crisis. We look back at a time when fear and uncertainty gripped financial markets and policymakers around the world and drove the world economy into the Great Recession.

Business
2:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Threat Of U.S. Strike In Syria Drives Up Oil Prices

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 4:01 pm

Crude oil prices are up about 20 percent over the past two months. On Tuesday, the price of the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, hit $109. Events in Syria are driving the price spike. Syria doesn't produce much oil, but there is great concern that the conflict there might spill over and involve other Persian Gulf nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Business
3:42 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Is Government's Renewed Push On Mortgage Fraud Too Late?

Foreclosures increased dramatically as a result of risky subprime loans during the 2000s.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

"Remain aggressive." That's the message Attorney General Eric Holder says he has given to prosecutors around the country about pursuing wrongdoing by financial institutions — particularly, wrongdoing related to the financial crisis of 2008.

But as the five-year anniversary of the crisis approaches, the record of prosecutions against high-level Wall Street executives has been dismal.

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U.S.
3:13 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

3 Years Later, There's Still Work Left To Be Done On Dodd-Frank

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Today, President Obama called all of the country's top financial regulators to the White House to get a progress report on implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. That's the set of reforms that were passed following the financial crisis. With the fifth anniversary of the financial meltdown nearing, the president wants to communicate a sense of urgency about following through on the reforms.

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Economy
3:11 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Fears Of A Diminished Stimulus Send Stock Market Falling

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. The stock market usually likes good news about the economy, but that's not always the case. This morning, stocks opened down sharply just after the government announced a surprisingly large drop in initial claims for unemployment benefits. In fact, claims fell to the lowest level since before the recession and the Dow Jones Industrials ended the day down 225 points, a decline of 1.5 percent.

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Economy
2:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Better GDP Report Doesn't Mean Economy Is In Good Shape

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief today from economists. The government reported that the economy is not growing quite as slowly as had been expected and there are some positive signs on the jobs front. A private sector jobs report released today could mean the main government employment report on Friday will also show some strength.

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Business
3:29 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Full-Time Vs. Part-Time Workers: Restaurants Weigh Obamacare

The California Tortilla chain is one company still deciding how to react to the new health care requirements for business, set to take effect next year.
John Ydstie NPR

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:21 pm

Many businesses that don't offer health insurance to all their employees breathed a sigh of relief earlier this month when they learned they'd have an extra year to comply with the new health care law or face stiff penalties.

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Business
3:20 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Wall Street Poised For Bernanke's Senate Panel Testimony

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues his two-day monetary policy testimony on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, the chairman appeared before the House Financial Services Committee.

Economy
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Bernanke Gives Economic Road Map With Uncertain Timeline

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

One month ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke introduced the idea of winding down the Fed's massive stimulus programs. On that announcement, the markets tanked. Today, Bernanke said pretty much the same thing. But this time, the markets yawned.

As NPR's John Ydstie explains, the Fed chairman appears to have finally found the formula to ease Wall Street's concerns.

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Business
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Boeing Takes Another Hit With Fire On Plagued 787 Dreamliner

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

An Ethiopian Airlines jet caught fire on the ground today at London's Heathrow Airport. It was a Boeing 787, also known as the Dreamliner, which has more than its share of troubles. The 787 has had serious problems with its lithium-ion batteries. In January, one overheated and another caught fire. The whole 787 fleet was grounded for more than three months after that.

Here's NPR's John Ydstie with more on what happened today.

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Politics
3:58 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Senators Express Concerns About Smithfield Foods Merger

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Pork was on the menu on Capitol Hill yesterday, but not the kind Congress produces. Lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee were focused on the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a big Chinese company.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Lawmakers Express Concern About U.S.-Chinese Pork Deal

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee had a lot of questions today about the takeover of Smithfield Foods. That's because a Chinese company has offered to buy America's largest pork processor. Both Democratic and Republican senators have expressed concerns about the $4.7 billion deal and its potential effects on U.S. food safety and security.

NPR's John Ydstie has been following the testimony today and joins us now. Hi, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

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Shots - Health News
1:39 am
Wed July 3, 2013

One Man's Quest To Make Medical Technology Affordable To All

Patients sit with their eyes bandaged at an Aravind Eye Care clinic in Madurai, India after cataract surgeries. Aravind performs more than 300,000 cataract surgeries annually.
Reinhard Krause Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 12:47 pm

David Green is a man on a mission to drive down the cost of medical devices and health services.

His tactic: Use market forces and slightly tweaked business strategies to make health care accessible to even the poorest people. And he's had some amazing success.

I caught up with Green (no relation to NPR's David Greene) at a company he is launching in Chicago that's taking on the high cost of hearing aids. He's demonstrating how to program his company's new hearing device on a cellphone.

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Shots - Health News
1:23 am
Tue July 2, 2013

To Make Hearing Aids Affordable, Firm Turns On Bluetooth

Sound World Solution's hearing device lets a user customize its settings using a Bluetooth connection and a smartphone.
Courtesy of Sound World Solutions

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:38 am

As many as 300 million people around the world need hearing aids. The vast majority of the 7 million people who get them annually are in the U.S. and Europe.

One big reason is cost. On average, a set of hearing aids rings up a tab of about $4,000. Most insurance policies don't cover them.

A company called Sound World Solutions is trying to do something about the limited reach of hearing aids by creating a high-quality hearing device that costs less than a tenth the normal price.

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Economy
2:34 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Fed Warns Stimulus Package Will Be Ratcheted Down

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Those Chinese figures helped Asian markets to take a big tumble today, as did yesterday's comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He said the Fed will likely begin slowing down its economic stimulus later this year. The Fed's massive bond buying program - which is a major part of that stimulus - is seen as a big reason behind recent rallies in the financial market.

NPR's John Ydstie has more.

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Business
3:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Is Obamacare Hurting Hiring By Small Businesses?

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 4:05 am

The Affordable Care Act, which has become known as Obamacare, will require small businesses with 50 or more employees to offer health care coverage to their workers. Some have suggested that could be discouraging hiring by small businesses.

Europe
3:16 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Mired In Recession, EU Eases Some Austerity Measures

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 1:39 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

While there are many signs that the American economy is picking up steam, in much of the European Union, the opposite is true. Austerity programs aimed at reducing national debts have been blamed for crushing growth and sending unemployment in the eurozone nations to a record high of 12 percent.

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Business
2:48 am
Thu May 23, 2013

When Will Fed Officials Ease Off The Accelerator?

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some of the shine off the stock market.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Economy
3:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Bernanke: Economy Still Too Shaky To End Low Interest Rates

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

For those who closely follow decisions made by the Federal Reserve, today's marquee event was the testimony of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. He appeared on Capitol Hill before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. And some lawmakers asked Bernanke about concerns of chaos in the financial markets once the Fed stops pumping money into the economy. NPR's John Ydstie explains.

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Business
2:41 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Apple CEO Defends Tax Practices At Senate Hearing

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The top executives of Apple faced tough questions today on Capitol Hill. They came at a hearing about Apple's alleged avoidance of billions of dollars in U.S. income taxes. Yesterday, Senate investigators released a study describing how the maker of the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers used subsidiaries based in Ireland to avoid income taxes on a big chunk of its global profits.

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Business
2:24 am
Tue May 21, 2013

CEO Cook To Defend Apple Before Senate Committee Hearing

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an introduction of the iPhone 5 in San Francisco on Sept. 12. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations says Apple is paying billions of dollars less than it should in taxes each year, taking advantage of technicalities in U.S. and Irish tax laws.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 9:13 am

Giant technology firm Apple is paying billions of dollars less than it should in U.S. taxes each year, according to a report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. In a hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Apple CEO Tim Cook will defend the company.

The subcommittee's report says Apple avoids the tax payments mainly by shifting profits to three subsidiary companies in Ireland. The investigation found Apple is taking advantage of technicalities in U.S. and Irish tax laws to avoid paying any tax on a huge portion of its profits.

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Business
3:25 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Obama Names OMB Controller As Acting IRS Commissioner

On Thursday, President Obama named Daniel Werfel, 42, acting IRS commissioner. The announcement comes a day after the resignation of Steven Miller, who got caught up in the controversy over the IRS targeting Tea Party groups.

Asia
2:24 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Yen's Drop In Value Could Fuel Curency War

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Japan's economy is finally getting a lift. The stock market is soaring there. Companies like Toyota and Sony are seeing a surge in profits. And today, Japan's government reported the economy grew a three-and-a-half percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, a significant improvement.

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Business
4:19 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Budget Deficit Outlook Improves Since February

Copies of President Obama's budget plan for fiscal 2014 are prepared for delivery at the U.S. Government Printing Office in Washington in April. The Congressional Budget Office has sharply cut the outlook for the federal deficit.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 9:22 am

As the economy improves, the federal budget deficit is growing dramatically smaller. The Congressional Budget Office has sharply revised its estimates from just a few months ago, knocking off $200 billion in red ink for the current fiscal year. Some temporary factors are being cited for the projected improvement.

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Economy
3:27 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Housing Recovery Lifts Other Sectors, Too

Chevy trucks line the lot of a dealer in Murrysville, Pa. Sales were up by double digits at Chrysler, General Motors and Ford last month.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:00 pm

The government's employment report for April comes out Friday. It's an important measure of the economy's health and the advance signals have been mixed. One report this week showed layoffs falling to a five-year low, but another suggests disappointing jobs creation.

At least one sector is providing some positive news for the job market: housing.

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Business
6:16 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Regulators Warn Banks On Direct-Deposit Loans

Regulators are warning some of the nation's largest banks to stop offering loans that are hard to distinguish from those given out by storefront payday lenders.
CX Matiash AP

Consumer advocates call them "debt" traps. The banks that offer them call them direct-deposit advances and describe them as available funds for short-term emergencies.

But the cash advances have many of the negative characteristics of payday loans. And on Thursday, U.S. bank regulators took a step toward protecting consumers from the risks they pose. The regulators proposed standards for "deposit-advance products."

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Economy
2:44 am
Wed April 17, 2013

IMF Trims Its Global Growth Forecast

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The International Monetary Fund has trimmed its forecast for global growth.

NPR's John Ydstie reports the outlook was adjusted downward, largely because so much of Europe is still in recession.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: The IMF projects the Euro area economy will shrink three-tenths of a percent this year, but return to positive growth next year.

Meanwhile, the IMF forecast, called the World Economic Outlook, predicts the U.S. will grow just under two percent this year and around three percent in 2014.

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Business
3:49 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Japan's Big Stimulus Move Shocks Globe's Market Watchers

Passersby watch share prices spike in Tokyo on April 4, the day Japan's central bank announced a massive purchase of government bonds. The bank hopes the scale of the effort will boost Japan's slow-moving economy.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Currency traders were stunned last week by aggressive action from Japan's central bank. The Bank of Japan embarked on a bond-buying program that, by one measure, is twice the size of the extraordinary moves by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve in the United States. The BOJ's move is an effort to shock the Japanese economy out of more than a decade of sluggish growth and deflation.

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Economy
1:07 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Cyprus' Crisis Frames Eurozone As 'Work In Progress'

Banks in Cyprus reopened to customers for the first time in nearly two weeks Thursday, albeit with strict restrictions.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 9:14 am

On the second day since Cyprus reopened its banks, depositors continue to face restrictions on getting at their money. ATM withdrawals are limited to 300 euros a day, and there are limits on how much cash travelers can take abroad.

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