Business

The Salt
4:21 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

The founder and chairman of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 6:40 pm

Shake Shack, the Manhattan-based burger chain, has a cult following, and investors gobbled up shares Friday when it became a publicly traded company.

In its initial public offering, shares were priced at $21, but they jumped to nearly $50 as trading began, and closed the day just under $46.

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Code Switch
3:24 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Is There A #PubRadioVoice That Sounds Like America?

#PubRadioVoice brought together our listeners with African-American and Latino radio journalists in a discussion on whether the voices on air truly represent the "public" in public radio.
Emily Jan NPR

Chenjerai Kumanyika, a professor at Clemson University and aspiring public radio journalist, sparked a challenging conversation with his commentary about the "whiteness" of public radio voices. We hosted a Twitter chat about his essay and invited listeners and public radio professionals to share their thoughts using #PubRadioVoice.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Close Friend Of Putin Awarded Contract For Crimea Bridge

In Aug. 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and businessman and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg,(right) mourn during a farewell ceremony for Putin's first judo coach, Anatoly Rakhlin, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Mikhail Klimentyev AP

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 5:02 pm

Moscow has awarded a $3 billion contract to build a bridge linking Russia with the newly annexed Crimean peninsula to a close friend of President Vladimir Putin.

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Media
3:40 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:46 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Planet Money
3:17 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Winning At Short Selling May Not Be A Reason To Celebrate

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:46 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Russia's Economic State Is A Reversal Of Fortune For Putin

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:46 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Even Russia's government admits the country's economy is taking a hit from those sanctions. The plunge in the price of oil isn't helping that oil-driven economy either.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Author Interviews
2:15 am
Fri January 30, 2015

From Laundering To Profiteering, A Multitude Of Sins At The Vatican Bank

The Vatican Bank is "essentially an offshore bank in the middle of a foreign country," says Gerald Posner. Above is an aerial view of St. Peter's basilica in Vatican City.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 7:52 am

For decades, the Catholic Church has been dogged by scandals involving money. Vatican City — a sovereign state — controls its own finances through the Vatican Bank. It developed as a cross between the Federal Reserve and an offshore bank. In a new history, God's Bankers, Gerald Posner explains that its roots go back to the mid-19th century.

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Parallels
2:14 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Russian Economic Woes Hit France's Ski Slopes

Russian tourists typically flock to the luxury ski resort of Megeve in the French Alps, but the weak ruble has kept them away this year.
Jean-Pierre Clatot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 9:16 am

Russia's worsening economy is having an impact far beyond its borders — even affecting Alpine ski resorts where Russians once flocked.

For the past decade, they've come in large numbers to ski the fabled Alpine slopes around Mont Blanc. But the drop in the ruble is now keeping them away. And that's having an effect on the wintertime economy in the region.

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Business
4:10 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Some Businesses Say Immigrant Workers Are Harder To Find

Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., says it can't keep enough workers to meet demand for its poultry products, despite paying $16 per hour plus benefits.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:07 am

At Fieldale Farms in Gainesville, Ga., workers cut up chicken breasts and feed the parts into machines. The pieces are then marinated, breaded and eventually sold to restaurants.

The work here can be physically demanding. Not a lot of people want to do it — even though the average wage here is $16 per hour plus benefits.

Tom Hensley, the company president, says Fieldale Farms hires just about anyone who can pass a drug test.

"We hire 100 people a week. Because we have 100 people who quit every week, out of 5,000 employees," he says. "We're constantly short."

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Business
3:58 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

What Fluctuations In Currency Mean For Car Interiors

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Planet Money
3:43 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

The Spicy History Of Short Selling Stocks

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
3:16 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

With 'Discover' Feature, Snapchat Bucks Social Trend In News

The Snapchat Discover user interface.
Snapchat

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 9:49 am

When it comes to the news — what its contents are and how it is delivered — who knows best? This conversation has been taking place as newsrooms go digital and social. This week the messaging app Snapchat weighed in, launching a new feature called Discover.

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All Tech Considered
3:04 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Pro-ISIS Messages Create Dilemma For Social Media Companies

Zarine Khan (right) and Shafi Khan, parents of Mohammed Hamzah Khan, speak to reporters in Chicago Oct. 9 after a federal hearing for their 19-year-old son, accused of trying to join Islamic State militants in Syria.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 9:46 am

According to law enforcement officials, ISIS and other terrorist organizations are increasingly adept at using social media to recruit from abroad. Last year alone, the FBI reports, around 20 American citizens were detained trying to travel to Syria to join militants fighting for the so-called Islamic State.

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The Salt
2:56 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Food Industry Drags Its Heels On Recyclable And Compostable Packaging

Environmental groups cited Wendy's as "Poor" in the area of packaging sustainability. One reason is that the chain still uses black plastic bowls, which cannot be recycled.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 4:46 pm

Let's face it: We are people who consume many of our meals on the go. That means we're not eating on real plates or bowls but out of plastic containers and paper boxes. And perhaps daily, we drink our coffees and sodas out of plastic or plastic-lined paper cups.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Senate OKs Keystone XL Pipeline, Setting Up Fight With Obama

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prepares to speak to the media Thursday before the Senate voted to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 3:10 pm

Updated at 5:04 p.m. ET

The Senate in a bipartisan 62-to-36 vote approved Thursday the Keystone XL pipeline project, setting up a faceoff with the White House, which has threatened a presidential veto.

Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans to pass the measure, which now must be reconciled with a version passed last month by the House. The Senate vote is also not enough to override a presidential veto.

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Planet Money
4:29 am
Thu January 29, 2015

We Shorted America!

We bet against this.
Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 9:02 am

A lot of people buy stocks, hoping they will go up in value. But it is possible to bet in the opposite direction. You can bet against a stock, hoping it will plunge. It's called "shorting" a stock.

Most people don't short stocks, and we wondered why. So we decided to short something ourselves.

We had no idea what to short, or how to do it. So we asked the well-known short seller Andrew Left of Citron Research for advice. He interrupted me before I could finish explaining our plan.

"Don't do it," he said.

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Business
3:33 am
Thu January 29, 2015

After Weak Earnings, McDonald's CEO Steps Down

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:50 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Research News
3:31 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Companies Wanting Immediate Sales Should Pass On Super Bowl Ads

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 7:50 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Business
2:14 am
Thu January 29, 2015

And So We Meet, Again: Why The Workday Is So Filled With Meetings

PW Illustration Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 6:46 am

The ouster of Bryan Stockton from his perch as CEO at Mattel this week came as the toymaker's best-known brands like Barbie stagnate and it loses business to Web-based games.

Stockton himself said last year that Mattel lacked an innovative culture and blamed it in part on something specific: bad meetings. That's a common and persistent corporate ailment.

Scott Ryan-Hart is a cartographer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, where a typical meeting can last more than two hours.

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Economy
2:14 am
Thu January 29, 2015

For Long-Haul Drivers, Cheap Gas Means A Sweeter Commute

Jed Brown drives 100 miles each day to work between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cheaper gas is making his commute more manageable, but he doesn't expect the low prices to last.
Uri Berliner NPR

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 6:21 am

With wages still stuck for many Americans, the big drop in gasoline prices is the equivalent of an unexpected cash bonus for the nation's drivers.

The average American household is expected to save $750 this year from lower gas prices, according to the Energy Department.

But Thomas Kinnaman, an economist at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., says it's instructive to look beyond the word "average."

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Shots - Health News
2:12 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Insurance Choices Dwindle In Rural California As Blue Shield Pulls Back

Lori Lomas, an insurance agent with Feather Financial in Quincy, Calif., has noticed that her clients in San Francisco have many more health carrier options than her mountain neighbors.
Pauline Bartolone for KXJZ

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:32 am

After the insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act first went live in late 2013, Lori Lomas started combing the website of Covered California on a hunt for good deals for her clients. Lomas is an agent at Feather Financial, in the Sierra Nevada town of Quincy, Calif.; she's been selling health policies in rural communities for more than 20 years.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

The Next Air Force One Will Be A Boeing 747-8

Air Force One, carrying President Obama, passes a Boeing building in Seattle. The Air Force has announced that the next Air Force One will also be a Boeing aircraft.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:22 pm

The Air Force has picked a new Air Force One, the Boeing 747-8, and it wasn't even a close race. In a statement announcing the pick, the Air Force said the decision was made "through a Determinations and Findings document, which "authorizes the commercial aircraft purchase by other than full and open competition."

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The Salt
4:28 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:29 pm

You want a cup of decaf. Your significant other is craving the fully caffeinated stuff. With the simple push of a button, Keurig's single-serving K-Cup coffee pods can make both of you happy.

But those convenient little plastic pods can pile up quickly, and they're not recyclable. And that's created a monster of an environmental mess, says Mike Hachey. Literally.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson Steps Down

McDonald's President and CEO Don Thompson is retiring and will be replaced by Steve Easterbrook, the fast-food giant said in a statement.

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Business
3:36 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Yes, Your Toilet Paper Squares And Rolls Are Shrinking

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Steven Chercover, a research analyst who studies the paper and forest industries, about the trend of shrinking toilet paper rolls. The old standard square sheet of 4.5 inches wide by 4.5 inches long has been getting increasingly smaller.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Ad Fumble: GoDaddy Pulls Super Bowl Puppy Commercial Amid Outrage

A still from the GoDaddy Super Bowl ad that the company has now pulled.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 5:47 pm

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Around the Nation
2:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Deal May Be In Sight For Pacific Coast Longshoremen

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:57 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Parallels
2:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Where Is All That Excess Oil Going?

Tankers are berthed beside the Fawley oil refinery on Jan. 7, in Southampton, England. With low oil prices, some traders are buying oil and storing it in tankers, hoping the price will rise soon so they can sell it at a profit.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:57 pm

There's a term traders use when the price of a commodity like oil has fallen because of oversupply but seems guaranteed to rise again.

It's a market that's "in contango," says Brenda Shaffer, an energy specialist at Georgetown University. "It almost sounds like a sort of great oil dance or something."

And Shaffer says that some oil speculators see an oil market that is in contango in a major way.

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Parallels
11:34 am
Wed January 28, 2015

China Continues To Push The (Fake) Envelope

Some fake Apple stores like this one in Kunming, in China's southwestern Yunnan province, were so authentic-looking that even some of their employees didn't know they were fake.
Stephen Shaver UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

Nobody does fake like China. In 2011, a fake Apple store popped up in the southwestern city of Kunming. It looked so authentic, even some employees thought it was real.

This year, three farmers in central China set up a fake local government.

This month, police shut down a fake bank in the eastern city of Nanjing, where depositors reportedly lost nearly $33 million.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Yahoo Plans To Spin Off Remaining Stake In Alibaba

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:09 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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