Marilyn Geewax

Marilyn Geewax is a senior editor, assigning and editing business radio stories. She also serves as the national economics correspondent for the NPR web site, and regularly discusses economic issues on Tell Me More and Here & Now.

Her work contributed to NPR's 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news for "The Foreclosure Nightmare." Geewax also worked on the foreclosure-crisis coverage that was recognized with a 2009 Heywood Broun Award.

Before to joining NPR in 2008, Geewax served as the national economics correspondent for Cox Newspapers' Washington Bureau. Before that, she worked at Cox's flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first as a business reporter and then as a columnist and editorial board member. She got her start as a reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Over the years, she has filed business news stories from China, Japan, South Africa and Europe.

Geewax was a 1994-95 Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where she studied economics and international relations. She earned a master's degree at Georgetown University, focusing on international economic affairs, and has a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University.

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Business
9:14 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Can A Huge Hog Deal Pose A National Security Risk?

Smithfield hams hang outside the Taste of Smithfield restaurant and gourmet market in Smithfield, Va. Shuanghui International Holdings plans to buy Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest hog producer.
Rich-Joseph Facun Reuters/Landov

Americans do love their bacon, but is that romance a national security issue?

Maybe.

This week, China's biggest pork producer announced plans to buy Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa wants a national security review by an interagency panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS.

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Business
1:21 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

What's Under Youngstown May Help What's On Top

By leasing land for drilling, city leaders in Youngstown, Ohio, hope to generate funds to demolish vacant buildings.
M.L. Schultze for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 5:18 pm

A century ago, when fiery steel mills were roaring to life in Youngstown, Ohio, builders were racing to put up homes, storefronts, barbershops and more.

Today, many of those buildings sit empty and rotting. With the mills mostly gone and the population down 60 percent from 1960, to just 67,000, the city needs millions of dollars to tear down roughly 4,000 vacant structures.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

U.S. Airlines Forecast A Sunnier Summer

More passengers are expected to fly on U.S. airlines this summer, an industry group said Thursday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:53 pm

After a long bumpy ride that started five years ago, the domestic airline industry seems to be pulling up and smoothing out.

The number of passengers planning to fly this summer will tick up 1 percent from 2012, climbing back to the highest level since 2008, an industry group said Thursday.

The airlines' profit outlook is also brighter, as jet fuel prices have settled down a bit. Passenger complaints are quieting down, too.

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Business
9:12 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Comp Time Or Cold Cash. Which Would You Pick?

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 11:19 am

Overtime or comp time? Which one suits you best?

Both you and your boss may agree it would be best for you to work a sixth day when a big project is due in March, and then take off for a long weekend in June. No big deal.

But under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, private employers must pay time and a half to workers who put in more than 40 hours on the job in any one week.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
11:53 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Flight Delays Push Congress To End Controller Furloughs

Travelers stand in line at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday. Congress moved quickly this week to give the Federal Aviation Administration flexibility to end air traffic controller furloughs that resulted in flight delays at several airports.
Damian Dovarganes AP

The U.S. Congress — a body not exactly known for its swift feet — raced Friday to complete legislation to help travelers avoid delays at airports.

The House voted 361-41 to approve legislation that the Senate passed without objection late Thursday. The bill gives the Federal Aviation Administration more spending flexibility to cut its budget while avoiding furloughs of air traffic controllers.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Still In The Middle Class, But Standing On A Banana Peel

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 1:01 pm

Most U.S. workers fit snugly into the middle class, but they worry a lot about falling out of it, according to a poll released Thursday.

After years of watching home prices slide and job creation stall, 6 in 10 Americans say they fear tumbling from the middle class in the next few years, the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll suggests.

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Business
3:28 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Airport Delays Raise Questions About Controller Furloughs

Passengers check their flight status at Los Angeles International airport on Monday. The FAA said staffing cuts were causing delays in the Eastern U.S.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Some air travelers faced delays Monday as furloughs of air traffic controllers began taking effect.

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The Changing Lives Of Women
10:47 am
Sun April 21, 2013

An Exploration Of The Changing Lives Of Women

Graphic designer Kaleena Porter sits with her dog, Moby, in the living room of her new home in Washington, D.C.
Marie McGrory NPR

Many revolutions begin with the sound of explosions and marching boots.

Now, another revolution is shaking up the world, and it's moving forward to the beep of alarm clocks and the clack of heels heading out.

Legions of women around the world are leaving their homes to join the paid labor force. Worldwide, 4 in 10 paid workers are female; in the coming decade, an estimated 1 billion more women will enter the formal workforce, pushing up economic growth.

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Business
5:28 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Tax Tips For Procrastinators, And You Know Who You Are

A customer goes over tax documents at a post office in New York City on last year's Tax Day.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 10:40 am

Still haven't filed your taxes, eh?

Well, you have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to get it all done — or at least file for an extension that gets you off the hook until Oct. 15. To help all of you procrastinators, here are answers to a few of your questions.

If I'm filing by mail, can I come skidding into the post office at 11:58 p.m. and still make the deadline?

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Your Money
4:41 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Will You Be Chained To A Smaller Check In Retirement?

Opponents of President Obama's expected proposed changes to Social Security rallied at the White House on Tuesday. Among them were lawmakers like Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:46 pm

When President Obama on Wednesday unveils his blueprint for the government's 2014 budget, he'll offer lots of ideas for changes in taxes and spending.

But the proposal likely to grab the most attention will be the one dealing with cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients. Many economists would applaud a change in the way Social Security officials measure inflation, but many older Americans may hiss, fearing a new formula will cut their benefits.

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Economy
8:43 am
Fri April 5, 2013

U.S. Job Growth Slows As Jobless Face Benefit Cuts

Applicants complete forms at a job fair in Newark, N.J. Weak U.S. job growth comes at the same time benefits for the long-term unemployed are shrinking.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 2:55 pm

The 11.7 million Americans searching for work got discouraging news Friday morning when the Labor Department said employers created only 88,000 jobs in March. The weak job growth comes at the same time benefits for the long-term unemployed are shrinking.

The smaller-than-expected increase in payrolls was a big disappointment, coming after a long stretch of much better results. Over the past year, employment growth has averaged 169,000 jobs a month.

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Business
5:16 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Cheap Natural Gas Pumping New Life Into U.S. Factories

A worker hooks up pipe during natural gas drilling by EnerVest on the Barnett Shale near Fort Worth, Texas, in 2012.
Ron Jenkins MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 3:13 pm

The millions of Americans who lost factory jobs over the past decade may find this hard to believe, but U.S. manufacturing is coming back to life.

The chest compressions are applied by the pumping of cheap, domestic natural gas.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
10:29 am
Thu March 21, 2013

You Be The Judge: Is The Housing Market Really Improving?

A home for sale in Glenview, Ill. Existing-home sales hit the highest level in more than 3 years in February. But not everyone is convinced that the housing sector's momentum has staying power.
Nam Y. Huh AP

This week, optimists had no trouble finding fresh evidence to suggest that the housing market is recovering.

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Business
2:15 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Why The Crisis In Cyprus May End Up Hurting You Too

Cypriots protest an EU bailout deal outside the parliament in Nicosia on Monday. A proposed bailout deal would slap a levy on all Cypriot bank savings.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:28 am

Ask Americans to point out Cyprus, and most would have to spin a globe several times before noticing the small island nation, east of Greece and south of Turkey.

But whether or not you have ever given a thought to the 1.1 million people living there under the warm Mediterranean sun, Cyprus might send a chill up your spine this week.

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Economy
11:59 am
Fri March 8, 2013

5 Things The Jobs Report Tells Us About The Economy (Or Not)

The job market showed strong growth in February. But questions about low wages, consumer debt and government austerity cloud the sunny picture.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 1:02 pm

If you enjoy having a good argument, Friday's report on the labor market gives you plenty to chew over. Find a debate partner and let's get started.

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Economy
10:15 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Economists See Budget Cuts Putting The Recovery At Risk

Shipyard workers wait for President Obama to speak about looming automatic federal budget cuts Tuesday in Newport News, Va.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:52 pm

Getting economists to agree with each other isn't easy. But Congress and the White House have managed to unite them.

More than 95 percent of top U.S. economists believe growth is "likely to be negatively affected" by the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in Friday, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Surely Congress Would Know Better Than to Hurt Airlines. No?

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 3:31 pm

Those baggage fees, cramped seats and tiny pretzel bags to the contrary and notwithstanding, airline passengers enjoyed good times in 2012, according to an annual recap from Airlines for America, the industry trade group.

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Business
9:02 am
Thu February 14, 2013

How The American-US Airways Merger Might Affect You

A US Airways plane rests near two American Airlines jets at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport last year. The combined carrier would be named American Airlines.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:24 pm

American Airlines and US Airways on Thursday announced they plan to merge to create the country's largest airline, with a route network stretching from coast to coast, and covering large swaths of Latin America, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa.

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Economy
12:52 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Obama's Call For Higher Minimum Wage Could Have Ripple Effect

Wendy Brown of Schenectady, N.Y., holds a sign before an Occupy Albany rally pushing for a raise in New York's minimum wage on May 29, 2012.
Mike Groll AP

So maybe the Great Recession really is over.

After more than five years of recession and painfully slow recovery, President Obama has sent a powerful signal that he thinks the U.S. economy is now in much better shape — good enough, at least, to provide workers with raises.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama called upon Congress to boost the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015, up from the current $7.25. The wage would rise in steps, and after hitting the maximum in two years, would thereafter be indexed to inflation.

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Economy
9:55 am
Wed February 6, 2013

With Gasoline Prices Rising, Consumers Are Having A Tough Year

Raul Rivero fills up in Miami. Having less take-home pay at the same time gas prices are rising could dampen consumer spending, economists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:30 am

Business leaders involved in homebuilding, oil drilling or automaking are happy about the way 2013 has kicked off. Lower- and middle-income consumers, on the other hand, are feeling like the year has kicked them in the head.

"Consumers have not rebounded with the arrival of the new year," says Ed Farrell, director of consumer insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center. "Middle-income Americans were particularly hard hit this month and appear to be losing ground."

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Business
8:57 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Jobs Still Lag, But Homebuilding May Soon Help

A new home under construction in Pepper Pike, Ohio. This spring's jobs data could look much brighter if housing heats up.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:43 pm

Here in the depths of winter, U.S. economic numbers aren't looking so hot. This week, new reports showed growth started to freeze up last fall, and the unemployment rate rose a bit in January, to 7.9 percent.

But most economists say you shouldn't let those cold facts fool you: This spring's data could look much brighter if the housing market continues to heat up.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Transportation Secretary: Duration Of Dreamliner Review Is Unknown

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks during a news conference at the Transportation Department in Washington in January.
Susan Walsh AP

If you were dreaming of flying soon in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, you have to wake up: Federal Aviation Administration isn't rushing its review of the grounded aircraft.

"We need to get to the bottom of the recent issues with the batteries in the 787 and ensure their safety before these aircraft can be put back in service," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today at an Aero Club luncheon in Washington.

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Economy
10:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Three New 'Cliffs' Threaten The Economy

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Jan. 2. Financial market participants will be keeping a close eye on upcoming deadlines affecting the U.S. debt ceiling, scheduled automatic budget cuts and federal funding.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:39 pm

Maybe you were hoping you'd never hear the phrase "fiscal cliff" again after Congress passed legislation Jan. 1 to address that tax-break-expiration deadline.

Sorry.

Three more cliff-type deadlines are fast approaching. They involve: 1) raising the federal debt ceiling 2) modifying automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and 3) funding the government to avert a shutdown.

The deadlines all hit between Valentine's Day and Easter, which means new rounds of chaotic congressional negotiations may start up just after the Jan. 21 presidential inauguration parade ends.

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Economy
12:40 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

As 2013 Begins, A 'Pretty Positive' Job Outlook

The health care sector added 45,000 jobs in December and is expected to see continued growth this year, economists say.
iStockphoto.com

If you're searching for work in this new year, the Labor Department's final jobs report for 2012 suggests: The trend is your friend in 2013.

The jobs outlook is actually "pretty positive," said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an employment consulting firm.

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U.S.
1:20 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

The alternative minimum tax created a "useful fiction," as one analyst says, by appearing to shrink budget deficits.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

There's one exception. Everyone is glad Congress finally found a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

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Economy
11:28 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Economists See (OK-ish) Growth In 2013

Farmer Randy Dreher unloads corn from his combine during harvest north of Audubon, Iowa. Farm exports are booming and high global prices are helping growers despite the U.S. drought.
Gary Fandel/Iowa Farm Bureau AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:07 am

Suddenly, the new year is looking a bit brighter — at least in the eyes of most economists and investors.

On Day 1 of 2013, Congress voted to veer away from the "fiscal cliff" by passing a package of provisions that avoided broad tax hikes and big spending cuts. And on Day 2, stock prices shot up.

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Economy
9:30 am
Mon December 24, 2012

The 2012 Economy Brought Glad Tidings To Many

Construction workers build a home in Palo Alto, Calif. A real turnaround seemed to take hold in the housing sector in 2012 after years of fits and starts.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 11:56 am

After years of recession and slow recovery, maybe you didn't notice. But it turns out, 2012 was a fairly good year for the U.S. economy.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has risen nearly 14 percent this year and the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.7 percent, the lowest point in four years. Inflation and interest rates have stayed low, allowing families to cut their debt loads.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Investors Shun Gun Makers As Gun-Control Talk Increases

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:00 am

(Scroll down for a Tuesday morning update.)

On Wall Street, investors appear to be listening closely to the growing talk in Washington about curbing assault weapons.

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It's All Politics
9:49 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Calendar: What Happens When

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:39 am

As weary as many Americans grew of campaign commercials last month, they may be getting even more annoyed this month by endless talk of the fiscal cliff, the massive collection of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at year's end.

It's easy to understand the urge to stick fingers in ears and loudly chant "la-la-la-la." The budget problems are indeed complicated, and the negotiations tedious.

But resolving the mess is extremely important: Without a solution, every person who gets a paycheck or has investments will see his or her taxes rise.

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Economy
10:02 am
Fri December 7, 2012

A Good Jobs Report Might Be Bad For The Jobless

Judy Smith, of Dalton, Ga., looks over paperwork as she files for unemployment benefits in August after being laid off from a catering job. More than 2 million people who get extended benefits may lose them if Congress doesn't act soon.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:49 am

The Labor Department's glad tidings Friday about the uptick in job creation last month might morph into bad news next month for many of the long-term unemployed.

That's because the boost in November hiring, with employers adding 146,000 jobs, might make it more difficult for Democrats to argue in favor of having Congress renew the extension of benefits for people out of work more than six months.

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